People who received a dose of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine 13 months ago have higher rates of infections than those that got inoculated at the beginning of the year, new data shows.
The new stats from Moderna’s large vaccine trial indicated that the effectiveness of its doses decline over time, and support the case for booster doses, the company said Wednesday.
The new analysis revealed a weakness in the Moderna vaccine’s staying power — after a recent study suggested that it may be more effective over time than the Pfizer-BioNTech dose, due longer intervals between the first and second shots and higher levers of mRNA.
The drug maker compared the success of the vaccine in the 14,000 volunteers vaccinated last summer and fall to the 11,000 volunteers who took the shot between December and March. Eighty-eight people in the more recent group got COVID-19 compared to 162 cases among the former. However, only 19 of those cases were severe, and the rate of harsh illnesses was lower among the second test group.
Moderna said the study adds to evidence that a booster shot is needed, especially to protect against severe cases of COVID-19. It shared two studies to back up the findings, including a CDC review that found Moderna’s vaccine was much more effective at preventing hospitalization than Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson’s.
Moderna is developing a booster shot that protects against COVID-19 and the seasonal flu, as the FDA continued to weigh the need for a third Pfizer shot ahead of a Friday meeting.
In documents released Wednesday, the agency said “data indicate that currently US-licensed or authorized COVID-19 vaccines still afford protection against severe COVID-19 disease and death in the United States.”
With Post wires