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ST. LOUIS — Moderna has started its mid-stage study on its new booster that specifically targets the omicron variant, and St. Louis is part of that study.

The Washington University School of Medicine is participating in the Phase 2 clinical trial of the new booster. The trial started Wednesday and is enrolling 20 to 30 people who are 18 and older.

Those people must have already received two to three doses of the Moderna vaccine. Each participant will receive the new omicron booster and see if it gives them a stronger immune response.

Dr. Rachael Presti is Washington University’s infectious disease physician at Barnes-Jewish Hospital. She’s also leading the trial. She said people should participate to be part of medical innovation.

“The idea behind this is if you can get a booster that broadens the immune response so that it covers omicron better. And hopefully, even if omicron goes away future variants of the virus are going to be building mutations on the current omicron variant, not on the original variant.”

Washington University will follow participants for a year, but Moderna is hoping to have enough information that the variant booster might be available in around three months.