Pfizer Says Omicron-Specific Vaccine Ready by March

Tuesday, January 11, 2022 – Pfizer Inc. said. On Tuesday, a COVID-19 vaccine that specifically targets the Omicron variant will be ready by March.

Albert Burla, CEO of Pfizer, said the company has already started making the new version of the vaccine CNBCSquawk Box for “Squawk Box” CBS News mentioned.

Omicron now accounts for more than 98% of all new COVID-19 cases in the United States, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A company spokesperson said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch.

“In the event that a third dose of the current vaccine is not found to protect against the Omicron variant or other future variants, Pfizer expects to be able to develop and produce a customized vaccine against this variant in approximately 100 days, subject to regulatory approval.”

Also on Monday, Moderna said in a statement that it is also developing a vaccine specific to Omicron, CBS News mentioned.

“Given the long-term threat presented by Omicron immune escape, Moderna will continue to develop an Omicron-specific variant vaccine that it expects to advance in clinical trials in early 2022,” the company stated.

Meanwhile, experts said, boosted shots remain the best defense against Omicron.

In December, White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted that Omicron would become the dominant virus strain in the United States, but he did not say that a new injection of Omicron was necessary to maintain immunity. Instead, he urged Americans to get booster doses, which studies are beginning to show offers the best protection against Omicron.

A recent study from the UK’s Health Security Agency found booster injections to be up to 75% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 infections caused by Omicron.

Resources

  • Moderna Corporation, press release, January 10, 2022
  • CBS News

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