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Study shows Moderna vaccine offers 6 months protection, but with delta data may lack relevancy

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Some good news for those who got the Moderna jab: The biotechnology company announced on Thursday its shot is 93% effective six months after vaccination. However, this study began six months ago. The delta variant hadn’t been circulating yet. So how relevant are these results given today’s COVID-19 climate?

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According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the delta variant accounted for approximately 10% of all coronavirus cases back in June. Now that number is up to 83% nationwide. It’s also responsible for 90% of all breakthroughs.

The first delta case was identified in December 2020. The variant soon became the predominant strain of the virus in India and then the U.K. Scientists can’t pinpoint exactly when delta landed in the U.S., but it’s unlikely any of the study participants had the variant that is accelerating the pandemic.

Is the data from the study rendered useless? According to Dr. Christopher Doehring, vice president of medical affairs at Franciscan Health, the answer is no. Doehring says while we are in a different, more concerning stage of the outbreak, these results are encouraging and by no means should be dismissed.

“This is still really strong, positive data,” Doehring told News 8. “Now with the variants that are out there with the longer period of time and literally the tens of thousands of people who have received the vaccine, going forward I’m sure they will have additional data to speak to the efficacy of the delta variant. Overall, the evidence is very strong over that six-month period.”

Moderna’s chief executive officer said in a statement, “I am proud of the progress our teams at Moderna have made in the past quarter in advancing our development pipeline while addressing a global pandemic and quickly establishing manufacturing and commercial organizations.”

While the vaccine is showing durability with 93% protection after six months, Moderna does recognize delta as a significant threat. The company says it will continue to remain vigilant as they move forward with their research.