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BioNtech to determine vaccine’s effectiveness against Omicron in 2 weeks

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Moderna to develop booster shot for new COVID variant

A spokesperson for medical company BioNTech, which developed a coronavirus vaccine together with Pfizer, said Friday that the firm would need two more weeks to determine its inoculation’s effectiveness against the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

“We expect more data from the laboratory tests in two weeks at the latest. This data will provide more information about whether B.1.1.529 could be an escape variant that may require an adjustment of our vaccine if the variant spreads globally,” a BioNTech spokesperson said, using the previous name for the strain.

The German company’s spokeswoman said it has already begun testing samples of the new variant and noted that it “differs significantly from previously observed variants.”

The spokeswoman also said that Pfizer and BioNTech already have plans in place to be able to adapt their vaccine in just six weeks and to ship it out within 100 days, as new variants sprout up.

Moderna, which also produces a vaccine based on mRNA technology, said it would “rapidly advance” an Omicron-specific booster candidate.

Meanwhile, US pharmaceutical company Moderna said Friday it will develop a booster shot against the new Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

It is one of three strategies the company is working to address the new threat, including a higher dose of its existing vaccine, Moderna said.

“The mutations in the Omicron variant are concerning and for several days, we have been moving as fast as possible to execute our strategy to address this variant,” said Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel.


Monday, November 29, 2021 – 01:00

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