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Moderna and Pfizer Vaccine Booster Doses Reach Clinical Trials – Will a Third Dose Be Necessary?

In light of the new and evolving variants of the novel virus, both Moderna and Pfizer are testing a third booster shot to improve the effectiveness of their two-dose vaccine.

Deposit Photos | As the threat of the virus grows, many people are opting to get vaccinated as soon as possible

An Announcement to Make it Official

On 24th February, Moderna announced that the company had begun the first phase of clinical trials after creating a variant-specific third dose of its vaccine. Moderna plans on exploring the effectiveness of this newly formed antidote as a “booster shot” for people who have already received the full vaccine.

As is obvious, this shot will determine whether it can provide immunity against the new strains of the virus. Following suit with their competitor, Pfizer announced a similar plan on 25th February. People who received the first dose of the vaccine 6 months ago are eligible to participate in the study.

Deposit Photos | These new doses are especially directed to combat the highly infectious South African variant

How Do the mRNA Vaccines Work Again?Bothh the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines use mRNA (messenger RNA) technolog in case you’ve forgotteny. Instead of introducing the live virus to your system for it to produce antibodies, these vaccines work differently.

Once the vaccine is injected, a part of the virus that latches onto your cells is encoded to create a protein that highlights the virus in an obvious manner. This elicits an immune system response, causing antibodies to be developed to combat the threat. Eventually, both the protein and the mRNA are eliminated from the body, but the antibodies stick around for future threats.

How Effective Are Both Vaccines?

Both vaccines displayed high levels of effectiveness towards the end of clinical trials. Results from Moderna highlighted 94.1% effectiveness against the virus in people aged 18 or older. The Pfizer vaccine took it a step up by displaying 95% effectiveness in ages 16 and up after the second dose. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that these trials were conducted before much harsher variants, such as the South African one, came to light.

Deposit Photos | No vaccine has exhibited 100% effectiveness up till now

Is the “Booster Shot” Necessary?

At this point, it isn’t easy to give a definite answer since both vaccines are just about to enter the trial phase. However, keeping in mind that neither of the previous shots can protect against the newer and deadlier variants of the virus, having to get an additional shot is a strong possibility. Since both vaccines didn’t exhibit 100% effectiveness, perhaps the latest clinical trials might give them a shot at that.

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