Vaccine booster trials underway

WASHINGTON, D.C. (NBC) – The makers of the two authorized coronavirus vaccines in the US are now testing to see if a third shot would protect against the emerging variants.

Pfizer and BioNTech say their study will include 144 people who received the vaccine’s two doses in the phase 1 trial. They would get the booster shot between 6 and 12 months after their earlier doses. The trial will evaluate its safety and tolerability.

The companies are currently in talks with the FDA about testing a vaccine modified to protect specifically against the variant first identified from South Africa.

Moderna has also announced that it has shipped to the NIH doses of a modified vaccine designed to provide better protection against that same variant.

Moderna says that vaccine is now ready to be tested in an early-stage clinical trial.

Earlier this week, the FDA issued guidance saying that vaccine manufacturers do not have to undergo lengthy clinical trials to prove safety and effectiveness.

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