(Recasts, new throughout)
Jan 25 (Reuters) - Moderna said on Monday it plans
to start clinical trials of an altered booster version of its
COVID-19 vaccine aimed at the South African variant after tests
showed its authorised vaccine may produce a diminished antibody
It will also test an additional booster shot of its
authorised vaccine in trials to see if it boosts antibody
reaction against the South Africa variant. The current regimen
is for two shots four weeks apart.
The company said in a press release that it was being
cautious and that the two-dose regimen of the vaccine was still
expected to be protective against the South African and other
variants detected to date.
The company said the vaccine did not see any impact from the
U.K. variant - which has been shown to be more transmissible -
in the tests.
The company said it plans to publish data from its tests
against the South African and U.K. variants on the website
(Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru and Caroline Humer in
New York; Editing by Maju Samuel and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)