Moderna believes it could update its coronavirus vaccine without a big new trial

Moderna believes it could update its coronavirus vaccine without a big new trial

Companies and regulators are already laying plans for how to keep up with a changing covid-19 virus.

Covid vaccines reprogrammed to aim at emerging new strains of the virus could reach the market quickly, without going through large clinical trials, according to officials at Moderna Therapeutics and the US government.

As researchers identify mutated versions of the coronavirus that causes covid-19, there’s concern that the germ could evade approved vaccines and new shots could be necessary.

But new shots could come to market in just a few months. The reason: no need for big studies to prove they work.

Moderna’s chief medical officer, Tal Zaks, said that “scientifically” it would be possible to formulate a new vaccine and expect it to work without testing it again in tens of thousands of volunteers. He added that bringing a quickly updated shot to market would “depend on regulators.”