Moderna vaccine should protect recipients for at least a year, officials say

Moderna’s chief medical officer Tal Zaks said the company will have to test if giving people boosts will extend protection.

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Researchers for Moderna believe their vaccine against COVID-19 can protect recipients for at least a year.

Read More: NY Gov. Cuomo to propose law making it a crime to skip the line for COVID vaccine

According to WTOP News, Moderna’s chief medical officer Tal Zaks shared the news during the JP Morgan 39th annual Healthcare Conference.

“Our expectation is that the vaccination should last you at least a year,” he remarked, according to the report. “We’ll have to boost people to see how well the boost works.” He continued, “We think there is an opportunity to boost, especially the ones at high risk, should you need it.”

The boost would be a third dose of the vaccine. Moderna will have to test people to confirm if adding another immunization does lengthen the time it’s effective. The current vaccine consists of two shots, taken about a month apart. According to the report, since the vaccine was invented within the year, it is currently unknown how long the protection lasts.

LA County Nursing Facility Vaccinates Caregivers And Residents For COVID-19
Registered nurse Arpa Davoudian watches as a nurse prepares a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to administer to a resident at the Ararat Nursing Facility in the Mission Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles on January 8, 2021 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Moderna also shared plans to have clinical trial data on its coronavirus vaccine in young children in 2022. According to CNBC, CEO Stephane Bancel said the company began to study testing the vaccine in adolescents as young as 12. As of now, the vaccine has only been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in people who are 18 years old and older.

“We have to start a lower dose, so we should not see clinical data in 2021 but more [likely] in 2022,” Bancel said at the conference.

Read More: ‘Vaccine for the world’ gets approved by watchdog in the UK

As theGrio reported, in December the FDA approved the emergency use of the Moderna vaccine. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump’s administration modified plans for distributing it. According to AP, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said they will increase the vaccine supply and widen the age group with priority access.

“This next phase reflects the urgency of the situation,” said Azar said. “Every vaccine dose sitting in a warehouse rather than going into an arm could mean one more death that could have been avoided.”

President-elect Joe Biden received the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, per CNN. He plans to “get the entire COVID operation up and running,” according to the report. Biden has promised to distribute 100 million COVID-19 vaccine shots in his first 100 days in office.

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