Pharmaceuticals giant Moderna on Thursday announced a series of new projects, including the development of a booster shot to provide additional protection against COVID-19 and the flu in a single dose.
A timeline for the development was not released, but CEO Stéphane Bancel said the shot would be the first step in Moderna’s novel respiratory vaccine programme.
It comes as the US is launching a plan to offer booster shots to fully vaccinated Moderna and Pfizer recipients this month, although Moderna’s new vaccine will not have received regulatory approval by then, according to the US Food and Drug Administration.
At the same time, amidst dramatic vaccine disparity between richer and poorer regions, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has this week called on rich countries with large supplies of the vaccines to refrain from offering booster shots till the end of the year, instead making doses available for poorer countries.
In Malta, a booster shot drive was launched this week, with the first residents of elderly persons’ homes being offered a third shot from Monday.
According to official statistics released on Thursday, a total of 1,320 booster doses of a vaccine have been administered.
Discussions around the need for a booster shot of the vaccine have been aggravated by the continued prevalence of the Delta strain of COVID-19, which spreads more easily, and that the vaccine seems less effective against.
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