The Covid Delta version is so contagious it raises the bar for vaccines

The Covid Delta version is so contagious it raises the bar for vaccines

Houston Fire Department paramedics prepare to move a person with breathing difficulties to a hospital from a senior living center on September 14, 2021 in Houston, Texas.

John Moore | Getty Images

The fast-spreading Delta variant is so contagious that it highlights vulnerabilities in vaccine safety and changes the outlook for an end to the pandemic, Moderna President Stephen Hoge said Wednesday evening.

Delta is “so good at infecting and reproducing people that it raises the bar for vaccine quality,” he said in a telephone interview. “It actually showed some vulnerabilities that [vaccines] earlier than expected.

Moderna on Wednesday shared a new analysis from its Phase III study, which showed that the incidence of breakthrough cases of COVID, which occur in fully vaccinated people, was lower in a group of trial participants who were Le vaccine was recently introduced, suggesting the safety of the COVID vaccine over time. .

There were 88 identified success cases out of 11,431 people vaccinated between December and March, the company said in a press release, compared to 162 successful cases among 14,746 trial participants who were vaccinated from July through October. 2020.

Hoge said not all success stories are Delta’s fault. He said he suspected that the cases of COVID in those vaccinated were the result of both reduced protection from the vaccine over time and a highly permeable variant.

“The delta variant is not the immune evasion variant,” he said, adding that the variant “only undermines our defense,” at a time when vaccine protection wanes.

“This is probably what led to the results of phase III that we are currently seeing. This led to the real-world difference in efficacy that was reported between vaccines this summer, ”he said.

Hoge said the drugmaker’s latest results, which have yet to be peer reviewed, support widespread use of COVID booster shots.

“This is the reason why we have to go beyond and promote the problem,” he said.

His remarks precede a meeting of the Food and Drug Administration’s Vaccine Advisory Committee on Friday, when a panel of external experts will discuss whether there is enough data for the booster shots to be widely distributed to people. United States.

A group called the agency’s Vaccines and Related Biologics Advisory Committee will debate the third dose of vaccines from Pfizer and BioNTech, as federal health regulators say they need more time to review the vaccine. request for additional doses of Moderna.

How the meeting unfolds could impact Moderna’s recall plans in the future.

The scientific community is currently divided over the need for reminders for the general public.

The Biden administration has said it wants to start offering booster shots to the general public as early as next week, pending FDA clearance. The move is part of President Joe Biden’s broader plan to tackle the high number of Covid cases fueled by the rapidly spreading delta variant.

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