Variant-specific vaccines: 3 updates

As coronavirus variants and subvariants account for a majority of reported cases in the U.S., vaccine-makers are racing to test and prove efficacy against specific variants. Here are three updates on variant-specific candidates from Sanofi-GSK and Moderna:

None of the listed vaccines are authorized yet for public use. 

1. In a phase 3 trial, Sanofi-GSK's omicron-fighting vaccine candidate achieved a 72 percent efficacy against the variant — which the CDC reports makes up 100 percent of the nation's COVID-19 cases — according to a June 24 press release

Overall, the booster candidate showed a 64.7 percent efficacy against symptomatic infection and a 75.1 percent efficacy in people recovering from COVID-19. The trial found a "favorable safety and tolerability profile."

2. Moderna plans to deliver tens of millions of its bivalent vaccine booster candidate this fall. The company said in a June 22 press release its booster increased antibodies 5.4-fold against omicron's "sister variants," BA.4 and BA.5.

The vaccine-maker said it has shared data with regulators and has manufactured doses in anticipation of approval. 

3. Sanofi-GSK's COVID-19 booster candidate beat Pfizer's results June 13, with Sanofi-GSK's second generation resulting in 76.1 percent of study participants seeing at least a tenfold increase in neutralizing antibody titers. Pfizer's booster came in second with 63.2 percent.


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