Moderna says Covid-19 vaccine 93% effective six months after jab

US vaccine group earns €2.34bn on sales of €3.8bn as it plans for booster shots

Moderna said on Thursday that its Covid-19 shot was about 93 per cent effective even six months after the second dose but it still anticipates the need for booster shots. Photograph:  Joseph Prezioso / AFP via Getty Images

Moderna said on Thursday that its Covid-19 shot was about 93 per cent effective even six months after the second dose but it still anticipates the need for booster shots. Photograph: Joseph Prezioso / AFP via Getty Images

 

Moderna said on Thursday that its Covid-19 shot was about 93 per cent effective even six months after the second dose, showing hardly any change from the 94 per cent efficacy reported in its original clinical trial.

However, it said it still expects booster shots to be necessary ahead of the winter season as antibody levels are expected to wane. It and rival Pfizer and BioNTech have been advocating a third shot to maintain a high level of protection against Covid-19.

During a second-quarter earnings call, Moderna chief executive Stephane Bancel said the company would not produce more than the 800 million to one billion doses of the vaccine that it has targeted this year.

“We are now capacity constrained for 2021, and we are not taking any more orders for 2021 delivery,” he said.

Moderna shares were 2.64 per cent weaker on $408 at 10:45am US east coast time, after closing at $419.05 on Wednesday.

Separately, Moderna said its studies of three different booster candidates induced robust antibody responses against variants, including the Gamma, Beta and Delta variants. It said neutralising antibody levels following the boost approached those observed after the second shot.

For this year, Moderna has signed vaccine contracts worth $20 billion in sales. It has agreements for $12 billion in 2022, with options for another roughly $8 billion in sales and expects to produce between two and three billion doses next year.

It posted second-quarter sales of $4.4 billion, slightly above expectations of $4.2 billion drawn from 10 analysts polled by Refinitiv. Its Covid-19 shot is the firm’s first authorized product and sales were just $67 million a year earlier.

Moderna earned $2.78 billion, or $6.46 a share, beating quarterly expectations of $5.96 a share. – Reuters