Israel’s Sheba Medical Center is poised to begin a study that will examine the effectiveness of Moderna’s bivalent Omicron-containing Covid-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273.214.

This vaccine contains mRNA-1273 (Spikevax) targeting the original SARS-CoV-2 strain and a vaccine candidate targeting the Omicron variant of concern (BA.1).

It will be tested on volunteers aged 21 and over who received three vaccine doses previously and have not been infected with SARS-CoV-2 so far.

According to Dr. Gili Regev-Yochay, the research leader and director of the Infection Prevention and Control Unit at Sheba Medical Center, the volunteers will be divided into three groups.

One group will receive mRNA-1273.214 at the start of the trial and again after two months. The second group will receive mRNA-1273.214 at the start and a placebo after two months. The third group will get the current Moderna Spikevax and after two months a placebo.

The administration of the second dose two months later is intended to examine the duration of immunity and the effectiveness of the immune system.

“The whole world is still managing the corona waves, and the significant challenge we face is to find vaccines and drugs that will address the various variants and enable safe life alongside the virus,” said Regev Yochay.

“At Sheba Medical Center, a cohort of vaccines is being compiled with data relating to both the safety of vaccines and their efficacy and impact.”

Paul Burton, Moderna’s Chief Medical Officer, noted that Sheba “has been a pioneer in Covid-19 research throughout the pandemic” and said that Moderna is pleased to partner with Sheba “to gain further data on the effectiveness, durability, and safety of our Covid-19 bivalent vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273.214.”

Volunteers living in Israel who are interested in participating in the study can receive more details by phone: 03-530-2030.