Moderna’s Chief Medical Officer on new booster shot for COVID-19

WAFF's Jasmyn Cornell reporting
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 6:07 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - In August, the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization for Moderna’s updated bivalent COVID-19 vaccine in adults.

According to Dr. Paul Burton, Chief Medical Officer of Moderna, the new vaccine offers protection against Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 and other variants of the virus as we head into the fall and winter months.

The vaccine has now been used in almost 800 million people worldwide, he said. It consists of the original Spikevax vaccine and messenger RNA, which protects against the new Omicron variants, according to Dr. Burton.

Dr. Burton says if you had COVID-19 more than three months ago or if you were boosted more than three months ago, now is the time to get the booster.

Leaders with Moderna believe that this vaccine will provide protection for about a year.

WAFF 48 asked Dr. Burton what is the company doing to address future variants? Here’s what he had to say:

“It’s a virus that continues to evolve, but the power of mRNA means that we can follow, that we can adapt, we can come out quickly with a new vaccine when we need to. So, we feel confident that we can keep people protected even when the virus mutates and changes.”

Dr. Burton says Moderna’s original Spikevax vaccine remains effective in protecting people against hospitalization and severe disease.

Currently, the updated booster isn’t approved for young children, but the company is filing for use of the vaccine in younger children ages six and older.

It is also studying the vaccine in babies as young as six months old, according to Dr. Burton. He believes they’ll be able to provide the new vaccine for children six months old and up in the coming weeks and months.

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