Current COVID-19 vaccines likely won’t work as well against Omicron variant, Moderna CEO says – .

Current COVID-19 vaccines likely won’t work as well against Omicron variant, Moderna CEO says – .

Existant coronavirus The vaccines will likely be less effective against the emerging variant of Omicron, Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel predicted on Tuesday.
“There are no people, I think, where [the effectiveness] it’s the same level … we had with [the] Delta [variant] He told the Financial Times, noting that the drugmaker is still testing its vaccine on Omicron.

“I think it will be a significant drop,” added Bancel. “I just don’t know how much because we have to wait for the data. But all the scientists I’ve talked to… tell me, “It’s not going to be good. “”

As more cases of Omicron emerge in Asia, Europe and North America, the race is on for drugmakers to produce vaccines that can fight the Omicron variant. Officials from Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer said last week they started testing of their Omicron vaccines, although results will likely take weeks.

Health authorities to say Omicron carries an “unprecedented number” of mutations, even compared to the fast-spreading Delta variant, which currently accounts for virtually all cases in the United States. Some of these mutations could make the Omicron variant more transmissible, as well as resistant to vaccines, according to health officials. The World Health Organization, or WHO, has designated Omicron as a “Variant of concern” last week, noting in a statement that the first evidence “suggests an increased risk of reinfection.”

Although scientists are working as fast as possible, it will take months for Moderna to produce and ship a new vaccine formulation to the public, Bancel told CNBC on Monday.

Dr Francis Collins on the Omicron variant


Despite the warning from Moderna’s executive, epidemiologists warn that it is too early to say how dangerous Omicron could be. To that end, the CEO of another vaccine maker said on Tuesday that infections caused by the new variant are unlikely to cause serious illness in those vaccinated.

“Our message is: don’t panic, the plan remains the same: speed up the administration of a third booster,” said BioNTech co-founder Ugur Sahin, who helped invent Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. , at the Wall Street Journal.

Dutch health authorities said on Tuesday they had found the Omicron variant in cases dating back 11 days, saying it was already spreading in western Europe before the first cases were identified in southern Africa. Since then, cases have been detected in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Israel, Italy, Japan, Sweden and other countries.

Biden calls for caution on Omicron variant


No case of Omicron has been confirmed in the United States, but Dr Scott Gottlieb, former head of the Food and Drug Administration, said Sunday in an interview with « Face the Nation » de CBS News that the new variant is “almost definitely” already there.

Dr Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, also said on Saturday he wouldn’t be surprised if Omicron has already arrived in the United States Mr Biden urged Americans this week not to panic about Omicron as researchers seek to learn more about the new variant.

“Sooner or later we’re going to see cases of this new variant here in the United States,” the president said on Monday. “We will have to face this new threat, just as we have faced the ones that came before it. “


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