SWITZERLAND: COVID-19 vaccine maker Moderna does not expect any problems in developing a booster shot to protect against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus and could begin work in a few weeks, Chief Executive Stephane Bancel said in an interview.
Moderna hopes to start clinical trials early next year on a vaccine to protect against the fast-spreading Omicron variant but for now is focussing on a booster dose of its current mRNA-1273 vaccine.
“It only needs minor adjustments for Omicron. I don’t expect any problems,” Bancel said in an interview with the Swiss newspaper TagesAnzeiger published today.
The company was now awaiting important information on the variant to begin development. “That will take another week or two,” Bancel said.
“It will take a few months before we can produce 500 million doses after (regulatory) approval. But our capacities are much higher today than a year ago,” he said.
If approval bodies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Switzerland’s Swissmedic require further studies, that would add at least three months. The company made between 700 million and 800 million COVID-19 vaccine doses this year, and expects to produce a higher number in 2022, boosting production from 100 million doses a month to 150 million. – THE MALAY MAIL