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Moderna updates timeline on when we’ll see a third shot

Moderna recently revealed when there would be a third COVID-19 shot, which would act as a booster for its vaccine

A health care worker fills a syringe with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Utah Islamic Center in West Jordan on Thursday, March 18, 2021.
A health care worker fills a syringe with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Utah Islamic Center in West Jordan on Thursday, March 18, 2021. Moderna recently said it will have a third booster shot in the third quarter of 2021 to help stop the spread of coronavirus variants, according to CNBC.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

Moderna recently said it will have a third booster shot in the third quarter of 2021 to help stop the spread of coronavirus variants, according to CNBC.

What Moderna said

Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told CNBC that the booster shot for the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine would be available in the fall if the current patterns hold.

  • “I want to make sure there are boost vaccines available in the fall so that we protect people as we go into the next fall and winter season in the U.S.,” Bancel said.

Moderna is currently undergoing trials of a third shot, which the company announced earlier in 2021 as COVID-19 variants began to spread. Bancel said Moderna hopes to submit its trial data to the Food and Drug Administration — which would then give emergency approval for the vaccine booster — by the fall.

  • “Our goal is to work really hard to get this ready before the fall,” Bancel told CNBC.

More on Moderna’s third shot

Moderna originally announced in January that it would develop an upgrade to its two-shot COVID-19 vaccine to defeat the dominant variants, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

The current two-shot plan “generates a weaker immune response against the strain from South Africa, though the company said antibodies in patients remain above levels that are expected to be protective against the virus,” according to CNBC.

Dr. Fauci talks about third shots

Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the United States’ top infectious disease experts, recently told MSNBC’s Mehdi Hasan that a third shot for two-dose COVID-19 vaccines might be necessary. But health officials need to monitor health trends for those who received the two doses to see when the third shot is necessary to keep immunity.

  • “So the good news is that it’s at least six months,” Fauci said. “Hopefully a lot more. But in direct answer to your question, if it turns out a year or a year and a half, we very well may need to get booster shots to keep up the level of protection.”