Covid: Vaccine for Omicron might be ready in early 2022, says Moderna

The Omicron variant, first detected in southern Africa, has a higher number of mutations and has been spreading very quickly. The variant has prompted several countries to shut down their borders and renew Covid-19 restrictions.
Burton pointed out on Sunday that current vaccines should protect against the variant, adding that all unvaccinated people should take the jab.(via AP)
Burton pointed out on Sunday that current vaccines should protect against the variant, adding that all unvaccinated people should take the jab.(via AP)
Published on Nov 29, 2021 08:25 AM IST
Copy Link
Written by Harshit Sabarwal | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi

American pharmaceutical firm Moderna, one of the biggest makers of vaccines against the coronavirus disease (Covid-19), said on Sunday that it could reformulate the vaccine against the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in early 2022.

“We should know about the ability of the current vaccine to provide protection in the next couple of weeks,” Paul Burton, the chief medical officer of Moderna said during an appearance on a BBC show.

“If we have to make a brand new vaccine, I think that’s going to be early 2022 before that’s really going to be available in large quantities,” Burton added.

His comments come as the vaccine maker mobilised hundreds of its staff last Thursday after the Omicron variant made global headlines.

Burton pointed out on Sunday that current vaccines should protect against the variant, adding that all unvaccinated people should take the jab.

“If people are on the fence, and you haven’t been vaccinated, get vaccinated,” he said. This is a dangerous-looking virus, but I think we have many tools in our armamentarium now to fight it,” Moderna's top executive said during his interaction with the BBC.

The Omicron variant, first detected in southern Africa, has a higher number of mutations and has been spreading very quickly. The variant has prompted several countries to shut down their borders and renew Covid-19 restrictions.

Health experts in South Africa, including the doctor who first sounded the alarm about Omicron, have said that the symptoms linked to the variant have been mild till now.

However, the World Health Organization (WHO), has urged caution and said that the initial cases of the variant symptoms, adding, younger patients tend to have milder symptoms.

The WHO said that it will take days to several weeks to understand the level of severity of the variant. "There is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with omicron are different from those from other variants,” the WHO added.

(With agency inputs)

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • A view shows Azovstal steel mill during Ukraine-Russia conflict in the southern port city of Mariupol.

    Mariupol steelworks 'totally liberated,' claims Russia

    The Russian army on Friday said it had "totally liberated" the Azovstal steelworks in the strategic port city of Mariupol in southeast Ukraine after the last Ukrainian soldiers inside surrendered. "Since May 16, 2,439 Nazis from the Azov (regiment) and Ukrainian troops blocked in the factory have surrendered," defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said. "Today, May 20, the last group of 531 fighters gave themselves up."

  • People light candles during a vigil in memory of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed during an Israeli raid, outside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

    US lawmakers seek FBI probe into Palestinian journalist's death

    More than 50 US lawmakers on Friday called on the FBI to investigate the killing in the West Bank of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, despite Israeli promises of a probe. The 57 House members, largely left-leaning Democrats and led by Representative Andre Carson, noted that Abu Akleh held US citizenship and pointed to divergent accounts on how she died on May 11.

  • A US Border Patrol directs a migrant after he crossed into the US from Mexico through a gap in the border wall separating Algodones, Mexico, from Yuma.

    Covid restrictions for migrants at US border can not end yet, judge rules

    A federal judge in Louisiana on Friday blocked US authorities from lifting Covid-19 restrictions that empower agents at the US-Mexico border to turn back migrants without giving them a chance to seek asylum. Health authorities at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said at the time it was needed to curb the spread of the coronavirus in crowded border facilities.

  • US Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, Democrat of California, speaks during her weekly press briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

    US House Speaker Pelosi barred from Catholic communion over abortion stance

    US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi can no longer take communion because she supports abortion rights and also publicly invokes her Catholic faith, the archbishop of San Francisco said in a letter released on Friday. Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone decision comes after the leak earlier this month of a draft Supreme Court opinion indicating the top court would strike down the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide.

  • Indian ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhi with US Congressman Jerry McNerney at the India House in WashingtonC

    When Indian mangoes returned to the United States

    For a city used to evening salons marked by wine and cheese, laced with intense discussions on the latest geopolitical twist, an air of informality, replete with optimism and laughter, marked the mood at the India House — the official residence of the Indian ambassador to the United States (US) — on Thursday. The occasion: Indian mangoes returned to America for the first time since the pandemic.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, May 21, 2022