Moderna to supply 2-3 billion booster doses this year

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Moderna plans to supply the world with 2 to 3 billion COVID-19 booster doses this year, including omicron-specific doses, the company's CEO told CNBC Jan. 10. 

Stephane Bancel said a booster dose that targets the omicron variant will soon enter clinical trials, and the company expects to have it ready by this fall. 

"We are discussing with public health leaders around the world to decide what we think is the best strategy for the potential booster for the fall of 2022," Mr. Bancel told CNBC. "We need to be careful to try to stay ahead of a virus and not behind the virus." 

The drugmaker has signed advanced purchase agreements worth $18.5 billion with the U.K., South Korea and Switzerland for the shots. 

In December, Moderna released preliminary data indicating a booster dose of its vaccine increased antibody levels against omicron more than its initial two-dose series alone. 

The omicron-fueled surge has sparked debate as to whether booster doses will eventually become routine, similar to annual flu shots. West Virginia on Jan. 6 became the first state to request permission from the federal government to offer a fourth COVID-19 vaccine or second booster to essential workers and people 50 and older. Still, some scientists say administering boosters every few months is neither realistic nor feasible.

 

 

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