Health Ministry invited public to get new Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

Science and Health

More than a year after Israelis last received a shot against the COVID-19 virus, they can from Wednesday receive the new Moderna booster vaccine called Spikevax that has shown a significantly higher antibody response against OMICRON BA.4 /5 sub-variants compared to the booster of the current vaccine.

The vaccines arrived at all the health funds on Tuesday. The ministry said that the new shot improves protection against the potentially deadly virus and helps prevent serious illness. It recommends that the public, especially at-risk populations including the elderly, those with chronic illness, pregnant women and those with weak immune systems get vaccinated. Even in times of emergency like this, it’s important to continue to get necessary medical treatments, the ministry said. 

Make an appointment in advance for the shot via health funds’ websites, apps, in person at your clinic, or by phone:

Clalit Health Services’ call center *2700

Maccabi Health Services call center at *3555

Vials with Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine labels are seen in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION/FILE PHOTO)

Meuhedet Health Services *3833 

Leumit Health Services: *507 or 1700-507507

New adapted vaccine showed more protection against infection

The newly adapted vaccine called mRNA-1273.214 showed much more protection against infection with all variants tested compared to the vaccines currently available – including sub-variants of Omicron BA.1 and BA.4/5, and the original alpha variant that was followed by beta, delta and gamma variants. 

Studies showed that one month after the booster of mRNA-1273.214, participants who had previously received a vaccine and a 50 micrograms booster dose had a significantly higher neutralizing antibody response against the Omicron variants as well as sub-strains BA.4 and BA.5, compared to the current booster vaccine (mRNA-1273 ). 

These findings were demonstrated in all age groups of the study participants – adults over the age of 18, over or under the age of 65 – and whether or not they had been previously exposed to COVID-19. 

Among participants who had not previously had Corona, an Omicron-adjusted two-strain mRNA-1273.214 vaccine showed significantly higher levels of neutralizing antibodies against the BA.4 / 5 variants compared to the currently authorized booster vaccine, with an average antibody level 1.69 times higher. One month after the booster was administered, BA.4 / 5 neutralizing antibody values ​​were for mRNA-1273,214 and 458 for the currently authorized booster vaccine. Consistent results have been demonstrated across subgroups, including those aged 65 and over. 

Temporary adverse reactions reported in some people in clinical trials following administration of the vaccine included pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle aches, joint pains, chills, nausea/vomiting, axillary swelling/tenderness, fever and swelling and redness at the injection site.