In the upcoming fall, vaccination may be necessary for Eris (EG.5) and FL.1.5.1, as they are believed to be the variants of concern.
Moderna has reported encouraging news regarding its updated COVID-19 vaccine ahead of the upcoming fall and winter season and the beginning of the school year. According to Moderna’s latest announcement, the vaccine has shown a notable increase in neutralizing antibodies against the Eris (EG.5) and FL.1.5.1 variants. This is a significant development, following the earlier news that the vaccine, designed for autumn 2023, had already demonstrated strong human immune responses against the key circulating XBB strains at the FDA VRBPAC meeting in June 2023.
“These new results, which show that our updated COVID-19 vaccine generates a robust immune response against the rapidly spreading EG.5 and FL 1.5.1 strains and reflects our updated vaccine’s ability to address emerging COVID-19 threats,” said Stephen Hoge, MD, president of Moderna, said in the press release. “Moderna is committed to leveraging our mRNA technology to provide health security around the world.”
As of August 5, EG.5 has become the predominant COVID-19 variant in the US, with 17.3% of new cases, reported the CDC. The WHO has also identified EG.5 in over 50 countries as of August 8th.
With the definition of COVID-19 infection unclear and the numbers of COVID-19 cases rising, the announcement is positive news in the ongoing fight against the disease.
“Moderna has submitted its updated COVID-19 vaccine to the US Food and Drug Administration, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and other regulators around the world. Pending authorization, it will be ready for fall vaccination with sufficient global supply,” according to the press release.
The autumn may be of concern, with hospitalizations up 12.5% and deaths increased by 10%, according to the CDC. Wastewater surveillance indicates a rise as well. To adequately safeguard against the potential threat, multiple forms of protection may be necessary, according to experts.