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Moderna has started trials for its third vaccine against COVID-19 variants

Moderna has started testing its COVID-19 vaccine against the variants that threaten efficacy

SHARE Moderna has started trials for its third vaccine against COVID-19 variants
Vials of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are pictured at the Fourth Street Clinic in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. Moderna has a new COVID vaccine trial underway for children.

Vials of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are pictured at the Fourth Street Clinic in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021. Moderna has started testing its COVID-19 vaccine against the variants that threaten efficacy.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

Moderna has started trials for a third COVID-19 vaccine that aims to take on widespread variants, the company said Friday.

What’s going on?

Moderna has started to test three variations of a booster shot among 60 participants, the company said.

Moderna said it would start with a variant-specific jab, which will be given in a smaller dose than the original vaccine. This will be done to make sure that the vaccine works on its own.

  • This new shot will need emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration prior to rolling out to the public.

The company said it will then study a combination of the original vaccine — those two doses that people have started to receive — mixed with the new variant vaccine.

Finally, the company will study the variant-specific vaccine but at a higher volume. Again, this will be done to make sure that the Moderna variant booster shot can work on its own and is safe to give out to people.

Moderna said: “Out of an abundance of caution, Moderna is pursuing a clinical development strategy against these emerging variants.”

Context

Moderna said in January it would work on upgrading the COVID-19 vaccine to combat the coronavirus variants so they don’t become more dominant in the U.S., as I wrote for the Deseret News. Moderna said in February it would begin conducting its new trials.