Moderna asks for approval of third COVID-19 shot to protect against ‘new variants’

Due to mounting concerns regarding the possibility of new COVID-19 variants and their transmissibility, pharmaceutical company and vaccine manufacturer Moderna is seeking approval for the third dose of their COVID-19 vaccine.

Currently, Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is a two-dose vaccine, with just one dose being 82% effective against COVID-19 after the first inoculation (CDC). The second dose of Moderna vaccine is to be administered 28 days after the first dose, which then makes the vaccine 94% effective against the virus (CDC). In late 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allowed Moderna to start dispensing their COVID-19 vaccine under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA).

Due to the nature of the COVID-19 virus, some medical professionals such as Dr. Christian Drosten, the head of the Institute of Virology at Charité (Berlin University), have said that the transmissibility of the virus increases during fall/winter and may become seasonal, much like influenza. 

As summer is gradually coming to an end, and the world has seen the Delta variant become more widespread, this has caused much concern among the medical community and prompted questions of the possibility of needing a booster shot of the vaccine, especially as winter approaches. According to the New York Times, COVID-19 cases in the United States hit an all-time high of 226,000 in January 2021. There is, however, some disagreement with Dr. Drosten’s opinion.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and the Chief Medical Advisor to President Biden, has previously said in an interview with Chuck Todd in May, that “…if we get, which we will, to the goals that the president has established, namely if we get 70 percent of the people vaccinated by the Fourth of July, namely one single dose, and even more thereafter, you may see blips. But if we handle them well, it is unlikely that you’ll see the kind of surge that we saw in the late fall and the early winter.”

According to the CDC, 195,222,906 people, or 58.8% of the total population, have had at least one shot while 157,888,305 people, or 61.1% of the adult population, are fully vaccinated (Yahoo News). In an interview with Nava, Dr. Marty Makary of Johns Hopkins University stated that most Americans have some level of immunity against the Delta variant of the virus and that “for most people right now, Delta is downgraded to a mild seasonal virus that causes mild common cold-like symptoms.”

Moderna has claimed that its COVID-19 vaccine is effective against the Delta variant of the virus. With most vaccines pertaining to seasonal illnesses, it is common to receive an annual “booster shot,” which is an additional dose of the vaccine that ensures that the inoculation remains effective. Those who have received both doses of the Moderna vaccine may want to consider receiving the booster shot when it becomes available to maintain their immunity to the virus.



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