Pfizer is working on a hybrid vaccine that will cover coronavirus variants, including Omicron, with plans to seek regulatory approval by March if needed, said Albert Boerla, the pharmaceutical giant’s chief executive officer.
Borla made the remarks Monday afternoon at an annual JPMorgan Healthcare conference, where he discussed the company’s plans and challenges around the highly permeable Omicron version. An edited transcript of comments. was provided on Pfizer’s website,
“Omicron is a much more challenging target. So two doses, they’re not enough for Omicron. The third dose of the current vaccine is providing pretty good protection against deaths and good protection from hospitalization. That’s why most people Those being hospitalized have not received the Omicron vaccine. They are not people that they had the vaccine,” Pfizer PFE said.
He said the main question is how long protection will last with the third dose, with recommendations for immunocompromised people in the US getting a fourth shot. He added that manufacturing capacity is already progressing to make the latest version of the vaccine which includes both older and newer variants, including Omicron.
Baurla also said that Pfizer will be able to manufacture 120 million Paxlovid treatments, or 3.6 billion tablets, this year. The ramp-up comes as several governments have expressed interest in stockpiling, which works for PaxLovid because it has a shelf life of two to three years.
The CEO also shared his thoughts on the progress of the virus and where the world currently stands.
“I think we’re in a better place now than we were a year ago. First, we have vaccines that they work, and we have manufacturing
The potential that has now peaked,” he said, but added that the ever-changing virus and its variants that have spread globally are “very difficult to eradicate.”