Moderna Says It Can Ship Omicron Vaccine In Early 2022 If Necessary
As studies are underway to determine if the Omicron variant is more transmissible or resistant to vaccines, vaccine makers are preparing versions to counteract it.
One of these is Moderna, which is studying the Omicron variant and testing if current vaccines are effective against it.
Moderna chief medical officer Paul Burton noted that if a new vaccine is required, it can be available in early 2022.
In the meantime, he still encourages people to get existing vaccines if they haven’t yet, to protect themselves.
Moderna can make Omicron variant vaccine available in early 2022
According to Bloomberg, Mr Burton said that the current vaccine is being tested for protection against Omicron.
“We should know about the ability of the current vaccine to provide protection in the next couple of weeks, but the remarkable thing about the mRNA vaccines, Moderna platform is that we can move very fast,” he said on the Andrew Marr Show.
He noted that a “brand new vaccine” can be available in early 2022.
After news of Omicron emerged as a variant of concern, Moderna mobilised “hundreds” of workers last Thursday (25 Nov) to study it.
Pfizer and BioNTech also confirm that they can ship a vaccine targeting Omicron in 100 days if necessary.
Current vaccine could still provide protection
Mr Burton said that the vaccines that are currently available could provide protection, but this depends on when they first got jabbed.
He urged unvaccinated or partially vaccinated people to get jabbed, as well as the booster shot if they’re eligible.
This is despite concerns that the numerous mutations in the spike protein that causes Covid-19 may make vaccines less effective.
However, if the Delta variant is any indication, vaccines do lower the risk of severe illness and death.
Additionally, it’ll still be some time before studies conclude the vaccines’ effectiveness against Omicron.
Booster shots or new vaccine may be needed against Omicron
The emergence of Omicron is definitely a global concern that can jeopardise living with Covid-19.
As such, scientists and vaccine makers are studying Omicron closely and hopefully the appropriate actions to mitigate its spread will be taken.
Vaccines will definitely be key in helping us live with Covid-19.
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