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CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-Moderna begins testing of new COVID-19 vaccine

(Corrects headline, first paragraph to remove reference to testing as a booster shot, makes clear Moderna is studying a new COVID-19 vaccine)

March 15 (Reuters) - Moderna Inc said on Monday it had dosed the first patients in an early-stage study of a new COVID-19 vaccine candidate for evaluation as a next-generation shot.

The company said its new candidate, mRNA-1283, could potentially be stored in refrigerators instead of freezers, making it easier to distribute, especially in developing countries.

The early-stage study will assess the safety and immunogenicity of mRNA-1283 at three dose levels, and will be given to healthy adults either as a single dose or in two doses 28 days apart, the company said.

Last week, Moderna began dosing the first participants in a study testing its COVID-19 booster vaccine candidates. (Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla and Vishwadha Chander in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Anil D’Silva)

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