Pfizer Considers Updating Its Vaccine if the New Omicron Variant of COVID (B.1.1.529) Can Bypass It

Pfizer Considers Updating Its Vaccine if the New Omicron Variant of COVID (B.1.1.529) Can Bypass It
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The SARS-CoV-2 virus has been through another mutation, as a new variant known as Omicron (B.1.1.529) has emerged. Pfizer officials are worried that this new strain could even be resistant against their well-known vaccine. Therefore, they’re considering updating the vaccine in order to tackle the new variant of the coronavirus, according to Insider.

The same source tells us that such an initiative might take a significant amount of time. Pfizer said that it needs less than 100 days to update its vaccine if the Omicron variant proves to be resistant against it.

The next two weeks will be crucial

Pfizer officials will find out in less than two weeks if the Omicron strain is capable of evading their vaccine for COVID. Here’s what BioNTech declared, as quoted by Reuters:

We understand the concern of experts and have immediately initiated investigations on variant B.1.1.529.

It also added, as cited by the same source:

We expect more data from the laboratory tests in two weeks at the latest. These data will provide more information about whether B.1.1.529 could be an escape variant that may require an adjustment of our vaccine if the variant spreads globally.

The new Omicron variant of the coronavirus was first found in South Africa. It has later arrived in European countries as well, and experts are now worried that it can spread even faster than the new Delta variant.

Another relevant statement quoted by The Guardian says:

Pfizer and BioNTech have taken actions months ago to be able to adapt the mRNA vaccine within six weeks and ship initial batches within 100 days in the event of an escape variant.

Therefore, we should have faith in Pfizer if it will have to update its existing vaccines. Also, we must be optimistic that science will find more ways of tackling the Omicron variant of COVID.

 


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Cristian Antonescu

Even since he was a child, Cristian was staring curiously at the stars, wondering about the Universe and our place in it. Today he's seeing his dream come true by writing about the latest news in astronomy. Cristian is also glad to be covering health and other science topics, having significant experience in writing about such fields.

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