First omicron vaccine ready in March

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Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla says the new Omicron vaccine is ready. It could be delivered starting in March, he said, but questions remain.

Shortly after the new coronavirus variant became known, pharmaceutical companies BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca began preparing for possible adaptation of their vaccines. Now there appear to be early results. “The Omicron vaccine will be ready to see in March,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla announced on CNBC. He also said the U.S. company has already begun manufacturing the doses.

The vaccine will also target the other variants in circulation, the Pfizer CEO said. At the same time, he said, it is not even clear yet whether a separate Omicron vaccine would be needed.

Protection against hospitalization and severe courses is already provided with current vaccines, he said, as long as people get three shots.

“The hope is that we can achieve something that provides much better protection, particularly against infection,” Bourla said. According to a recent British study, a booster increases vaccine protection by 65 to 75 percent after two to four weeks. Studies will now show whether a fourth vaccination is therefore necessary at all, he said.

Stephane Bancel, chief executive of Moderna, told CNBC on Monday that the company is working on a booster vaccine for this fall that targets Omicron and will soon be tested in clinical trials.

  • source: heute.at/picture: pixabay.com
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