BioNTech is Already Working on Vaccine for the Covid Variant Omicron
BioNTech has begun work on a vaccine specifically for the new variant of the coronavirus Omicron, which was first identified in South Africa.
The development of an adapted vaccine is part of the standard procedure.
The first steps for a possible new vaccine are carried out in parallel with the assessment of whether one will be needed after the advent of Omicron.
BioNTech spokesman said earlier that it would take two weeks to study the level of protection against the new variant provided by the vaccine it produces together with Pfizer.
Moderna CEO Stefan Bancel, meanwhile, said it would take two to six weeks for data to show whether their current coronavirus vaccine is effective against the Omicron variant.
Bancel also noted that it could take months for Omicron-specific vaccines to be produced and available, but was optimistic about the prospects for controlling the coronavirus because of the measures taken by the parties.
Finally, Bancel commented on the dangers of the newly discovered variant, calling it "highly contagious" and reiterating that the company was making progress in studying a candidate for a booster dose targeting the Omicron variant.
Johnson and Johnson also revealed on Monday that they are evaluating the effectiveness of their coronavirus vaccine against the Omicron variant.
The pharmaceutical company noted that it was testing blood serum from participants in various booster trials to look for neutralizing activity against the newly discovered variant. J&J also said it was aiming to produce an Omicron-specific vaccine if needed.
Mathai Mammen, the company's global research manager, commented:
"We remain confident in the strong humoral and cell-mediated immune responses elicited by Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 vaccine, demonstrated by the endurance and breadth of protection against variants in clinical trials to date."
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