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Fourth Covid Booster Likely Needed By Fall, Moderna CEO Says

The efficacy of boosters against Covid-19 is likely to decline and people may need another shot in the fall of 2022, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel says.

The efficacy of boosters against Covid-19 is likely to decline over the next few months and people may need another shot in the fall of 2022, according to Moderna  (MRNA) - Get Moderna, Inc. Report CEO Stephane Bancel.

“I still believe we’re going to need boosters in the fall of ’22 and forward,” Bancel said at a Goldman Sachs-organized healthcare conference on Thursday.

His comments on needing a fourth shot come on the back of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett citing a study on Tuesday that a fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine boosts antibodies five-fold a week after the shot is administered.

Bancel said Moderna is working on a vaccine candidate tailored to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, but that it is unlikely to be available in the next two months.

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Separately, a new study published on Thursday suggest boosters offer strong protection against the Omicron variant of Covid-19, with an mRNA vaccine booster offering the best protection against the fast-spreading variant.

People who got either the Pfizer-BioNTech  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report  (BNTX) - Get BioNTech SE Report or Moderna two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series and then a booster achieved “potent” neutralization against omicron, a paper published Thursday in the journal Cell found.

The initial two-dose vaccine regime does not produce antibodies capable of fully recognizing and neutralizing the omicron variant, researchers at the Ragon Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT and Harvard found.

The researchers noted that while Omicron is better at getting past vaccine-created immunity, people who have breakthrough cases do have milder disease, which could be because their initial vaccination helped create long-term immunity.

More than 300 million coronavirus cases have been recorded since the pandemic began in early 2020. Some 100 million of those cases were recorded in the first year, with the next 100 million being tallied in half that time.