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Moderna Says Its COVID-19 Vaccine Is 93% Effective 6 Months After Second Dose

CAMBRIDGE (CBS) - Moderna says its COVID-19 vaccine is 93-percent effective against the coronavirus six months after people get the second dose.

The results released Thursday are based on a recent clinical trial involving 30,000 volunteers in the U.S., but the Cambridge-based company said the highly contagious Delta variant was not prevalent at that time of the study.

"We are pleased that our COVID-19 vaccine is showing durable efficacy of 93% through six months, but recognize that the Delta variant is a significant new threat so we must remain vigilant." Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in a statement.

"The vaccines are unbelievable, so obviously when you combine all the data out to 6 months out and you still get 93 percent that's fantastic information," Tufts Medical Center Epidemiologist Dr. Shira Doron told WBZ-TV.

Last week, Pfizer said their COVID-19 vaccine efficacy fell to 84-percent after six months. Dr. Doron said Moderna's new data should make people feel even better about the Pfizer vaccine.

"The fact that the Moderna, which is identical technology, numbers are higher suggests Pfizer data may actually be an underrepresentation of the true effectiveness of the vaccine," she said.

Moderna company said tests on its booster shots against variants, like Delta, have produced "robust antibody responses" so far.

Moderna also said Thursday a third booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine will likely be necessary this fall because of the rapid spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus.

The company expects to complete its submission for full FDA approval of its COVID-19 vaccine sometime this month. It's currently approved for just emergency use.

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