Moderna says an omicron variant vaccine could be ready in early 2022

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  • Moderna’s chief medical officer Paul Burton said on Sunday that the vaccine maker could develop an improved vaccine against the Omicron coronavirus virus as early as next year.
  • It is not clear whether the new formulation will be needed, or if the current COVID vaccination will provide protection against the new variant that has begun to pop up around the world.
  • Last week, Omicron was classified as having a “type of concern” by the WHO.

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Moderna’s chief medical officer Paul Burton said on Sunday that the vaccine maker could develop an improved vaccine against the Omicron coronavirus virus as early as next year.

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It is not clear whether the new formulation will be needed, or if the current COVID vaccination will provide protection against the new variant that has begun to spread around the world.

Burton said on the BBC: “We should be aware of the ability of existing vaccines to provide protection in the next few weeks, but what’s remarkable about the mRNA vaccine, Moderna Platform, is that we can move very quickly.” “Andrew Marr Show,

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“If we have to make a new vaccine, I think it will be early 2022, before it’s really available in large quantities,” the Moderna chief said.

Omicron is classified by the World Health Organization as having an “anxiety type”, meaning it is more infectious, more virulent, or more efficient at evading public health measures, vaccines, and therapeutics. The variant contains 30 mutations in the spike protein that allow the virus to enter the body. Officials have warned that many of these mutations can lead to increased antibody resistance and transmittance, which could limit the effectiveness of existing COVID vaccines.

The vaccine maker mobilized “hundreds” of workers to begin studying the new version on Thanksgiving Thursday, the company said in a statement.

Burton said current vaccines may provide some protection, depending on how long ago a person was injected. Still, he said unvaccinated people should get vaccinated or get their booster shots if eligible.

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