Moderna announced that its vaccine remains 93% effective in protecting people against COVID-19 six months after they receive the second dose

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A healthcare Worker hands in surgical gloves pulling COVID-19 vaccine liquid from vial to vaccinate a patient
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Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine remains 93% effective in protecting individuals against the virus six months after the second dose, The New York Times reports. 

The company shared in an earnings call on Thursday that although their vaccine has proven efficacy months after it has been administered, they anticipate that people will need a booster shot this fall.

Because of the rapid spread of the Delta variant, Moderna is planning booster shots and has already tested three options, each of which has demonstrated "robust antibody responses," the company announced, per The Washington Post.

All three potential boosters work to top off immunity and return antibodies to protective levels that are brought on by full vaccination.   

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"We believe a dose three of a booster will likely be necessary to keep us as safe as possible through the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere," said Dr. Stephen Hoge, the president of Moderna.

The Moderna news comes after Pfizer and BioNTech announced last week that their vaccine, which is also created with mRNA technology, was 91% effective six months after the second dose. 

Moderna announced in April that they would make a third booster shot available to Americans this fall. CEO Stéphane Bancel told CNBC at the time that his company was working "really hard to get [the booster] ready before the fall." 

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Despite the development of booster shots, the CDC and FDA announced this fall that fully vaccinated Americans would not need an additional shot, despite the spread of new variants.

"People who are fully vaccinated are protected from severe disease and death, including from the variants currently circulating in the country such as Delta," they said in a statement at the time. "People who are not vaccinated remain at risk. Virtually all COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are among those who are unvaccinated." 

More recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) placed a moratorium on COVID-19 booster shots, calling on countries with minimal access to receive the COVID-19 vaccine before other countries began administering the booster. The moratorium, which was announced on Wednesday, is in effect until September.

"I understand the concern of all governments to protect their people from the Delta variant,"  director-general of WHO Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said yesterday. "But we cannot — and we should not — accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it, while the world's most vulnerable people remain unprotected."

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