Lifestyle Health Moderna Booster Shot Found to Increase Antibody Levels Against Omicron Variant of COVID The company is also creating an omicron-specific booster shot By Ally Mauch Published on December 20, 2021 09:07 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Moderna has announced that its booster shot increases antibody levels against the new omicron variant of COVID-19. In a Monday press release, the pharmaceutical giant cited preliminary data from the shot, noting that the currently approved 50-microgram booster increased antibody levels against the variant about 37-fold, compared to levels seen in fully vaccinated people who do not receive a booster. A full dose, 100-microgram booster was found to be even more effective, increasing antibody levels approximately 83-fold. "The dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases from the Omicron variant is concerning to all. However, these data showing that the currently authorized Moderna COVID-19 booster can boost neutralizing antibody levels 37-fold higher than pre-boost levels are reassuring," CEO Stéphane Bancel said in the release. Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Omicron Is Moving Fast — but a Booster Shot Offers Significant Protection from Infection He went on to note that the company will continue working on an omicron-specific booster "in case it becomes necessary in the future." "We will also continue to generate and share data across our booster strategies with public health authorities to help them make evidence-based decisions on the best vaccination strategies against SARS-CoV-2," the statement said. Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. The new omicron variant of COVID-19 is the most contagious yet, has more mutations than any before it, and seems to evade the previously-effective two-dose vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. As it spreads, there has been a spike in cases around the country but particularly in New York State, which reported that a record 21,027 people tested positive for the virus on Thursday. However, multiple studies and reports have found that the booster shots are effective in preventing COVID-19 infections even with omicron. COVID-19 vaccine. APU GOMES/AFP via Getty Final Jingle Ball Stop in Miami Canceled Last Minute amid Spread of Omicron COVID-19 Variant One study from the U.K. found that while omicron reduces the two-dose vaccine series from Pfizer to just 34% effectiveness in preventing infection, getting a booster dose brings that protection back up to 75%. Though the vaccines are less effective in preventing infection with omicron, they are still extremely protective against severe illness that could lead to hospitalization or death. Cases of omicron in vaccinated people have been mild or asymptomatic, with patients recovering within three days, according to a large study from South Africa. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, said last week that a booster shot will protect against infection from omicron, and that Pfizer and Moderna do not need to formulate an omicron-specific booster shot. "Our booster vaccine regimens work against omicron," Fauci said, according to The New York Times. "At this point, there is no need for a very specific booster. And so the message remains clear: If you are unvaccinated get vaccinated, and particularly in the arena of omicron if you are fully vaccinated, get your booster shot." As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the CDC, WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.