Moderna vaccine update: Efficacy timelines, booster shots, delta variant, and more
Its new study, which Moderna published alongside its quarterly earnings today, revealed several key takeaways:
Moderna also reported $4.2 billion in vaccine sales during the second quarter of 2021—a tremendous increase from the same time last year, when it had yet to bring a product to market and posted a revenue of just $67 million. The company has already signed agreements for vaccine purchases worth $20 billion through the end of this year and another $12 billion in 2022. Undoubtedly, booster shots would help realize those numbers.
But the World Health Organization has pushed back on booster shots, on Wednesday calling for a moratorium on wealthy nations stockpiling the vaccines until at least 10% of people in all countries are inoculated. That’s as scientists have yet to reach a consensus on whether boosters are necessary to abate the pandemic, and meanwhile, vaccine inequity is rampant: While the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada have all achieved over 50% full vaccination status, poorer countries, such as India and South Africa, are at 7.9% and 5.5%, respectively.
However, White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci on Thursday advocated for a third dose for Americans with weakened immune systems, arguing that up to 80% of such patients—including those with cancer or organ transplants—did not produce detectable antibodies against COVID-19 after two doses. Federal health officials are currently in the process of authorizing the third dose, Fauci said at a briefing.