The companies say the new Covid vaccines work against the BA.2.86 variant

Moderna’s latest coronavirus booster appears to work against the BA.2.86 omecron sub-variant, the drugmaker said in a statement on Wednesday.

The updated booster produced power Antibody response against BA.2.86, according to Moderna. This variant has not yet spread widely in the United States, but it has alarmed experts and health officials because of its high number of mutations.

The data provided by Moderna, based on blood samples, has not yet been reviewed by outside scientists. However, Moderna is the first Covid vaccine manufacturer to publish data on the efficacy of the updated booster against the new variant.

In a statement to NBC News Wednesday, drugmaker Pfizer said a recent preclinical study showed its updated booster also generated a potent antibody response against a number of Omicron variants, including BA.2.86.

Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are increasing in the United States with several new variants spreading.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has indicated that BA.2.86, which has been dubbed “Pirola” by some on social media, may be more likely to cause infection in people who have contracted or been vaccinated with COVID-19, though the agency added that no There is evidence of this. History that could cause a more serious illness.

However, the data was published this week Laboratory studies suggest that BA.2.86 may be less infectious and less immunogenic invasive than previously feared.

The current increases in cases and hospitalizations in the United States are likely driven by infection with XBB viruses, not the BA.2.86 variant, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Moderna’s updated booster, which is expected to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration early this week, along with updated shots from Pfizer-BioNTech and Novavax, is designed to target the sub-XBB.1.5 omicron variant.

Although that particular strain is no longer dominant, Recent laboratory studies in the United States It has shown that the updated boosters should provide protection against all current circulating subvariants, including BA.2.86.

Last month, Moderna released data showing that its latest booster also appears to provide protection against the EG.5 omicron subvariant, dubbed the “Eris” variant, as well as the sub-omicron variant FL.1.5.1.

EG.5 accounts for about 22% of all new COVID cases in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. FL.1.5.1 makes up about 15% of new cases.

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