Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine development partner BioNTech said that if the Omicron strain evades the immune system, it can update the vaccine within six weeks.
“Pfizer and BioNTech took action a few months ago to be able to customize mRNA vaccines within six weeks and ship the first shipment within 100 days if there are mutations that escape the immune system,” the German company BioNTech said in an announcement on the 11th . 26.
BioNTech added that it is testing whether the Covid-19 vaccine it co-developed with the US pharmaceutical company Pfizer is effective against the Omicron variant. It is expected that the conclusion will be reached within two weeks.
B.1.1.529 is a new nCoV strain, first discovered in Botswana in November 11, named Omicron by the World Health Organization (WHO), and classified as a worrying variant with severity is the most important. Omicron has as many as 32 mutations in the spike protein, which affect the ability of the virus to infect and spread, and make it more difficult for immune cells to attack pathogens.
American pharmaceutical company Moderna said that it is also testing three candidate booster vaccines, with the goal of developing a new booster vaccine specifically targeting Omicron strains.
“We said from the beginning that when we hope to defeat the pandemic, we must be proactive with the development of the virus. The mutation of the Omicron variant has attracted attention. We are taking action as soon as possible. This response can be implemented. Strategy Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said.
Johnson & Johnson also confirmed that it is testing the effectiveness of its Covid-19 vaccine against new strains to assess whether it needs to be updated. At the same time, AstraZeneca is conducting research in Botswana and Eswatini, two southern African countries where the Omicron strain was discovered, to collect actual data on the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine against the new strain.
The fear of Omicron’s mutation has prompted a series of countries to impose travel restrictions on southern African countries. However, the South African Ministry of Health called the rush to implement the travel ban “stern”.
luster (follow guardian)