COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19 vaccine makers start work on Omicron-tailored shots

Reuters
COVID-19 vaccine makers start work on Omicron-tailored shots

FILE PHOTO: Syringes with needles are seen in front of a displayed stock graph and words "Omicron SARS-CoV-2" in this illustration taken, November 27, 2021.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

'We have begun work to design and develop a new vaccine against Omicron and will rapidly progress it into clinical studies if needed,' says the global head of research for J&J's pharmaceuticals unit

BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are working on vaccines that specifically target Omicron in case their existing shots are not effective against the new coronavirus variant, the companies said on Monday, November 29.

The variant’s emergence has triggered a strong global response as countries worried that it could spread fast even in vaccinated populations impose travel curbs and other restrictions.

BioNTech SE said it had started work on a vaccine tailored to Omicron, along with partner Pfizer.

Must Read

WHO flags global risk from Omicron; countries tighten curbs

WHO flags global risk from Omicron; countries tighten curbs

Meanwhile, Moderna Inc said it could take months to begin shipping such a vaccine, Chief Executive Officer Stéphane Bancel told CNBC.

Bancel said the effectiveness of existing COVID-19 vaccines against the variant was currently not known, adding there should be more clarity in about two weeks.

Johnson & Johnson is also evaluating the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine against Omicron, while also pursuing a vaccine specific to the variant.

“We have begun work to design and develop a new vaccine against Omicron and will rapidly progress it into clinical studies if needed,” said Mathai Mammen, global head of research for J&J’s pharmaceuticals unit.

A top South African infectious disease expert said Omicron appears to be more transmissible than previous variants, including to people with immunity from vaccination or prior infection.

Must Read

[ANALYSIS] Handa na ba ang Pilipinas sa Omicron variant?

[ANALYSIS] Handa na ba ang Pilipinas sa Omicron variant?

– Rappler.com