Pfizer working on Omicron vaccine, expects it to be ready by March

Moderna is also working on a booster targeting the Omicron variant.

Alicia Ang

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Published: 12 January 2022, 12:18 PM

Pfizer is working on a vaccine specifically for the Omicron variant, and is already manufacturing the doses.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said on Jan 10 that this was due to demand from multiple governments for such a vaccine. 

“The hope is that we will achieve something that will have way, way better protection particularly against infections, because the protection against the hospitalisations and the severe disease is reasonable right now with the current vaccines, as long as you are having the third dose,” Bourla said.

Moderna’s CEO Stephane Bancel also announced that Moderna was working on an Omicron-specific booster shot.

This comes after data showing that the efficacy of the vaccines plummet with time, with both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines only being 10 per cent effective after 20 weeks.

Vaccines and boosters targeting the Omicron variant will likely combat the strain’s highly contagious nature.

While Pfizer’s new vaccine will be rolled out in March, Moderna’s booster is likely to be released in September.

Bancel said: “We are discussing with public health leaders around the world to decide what we think is the best strategy for a potential booster for the fall of 2022. We need to be careful to try to stay ahead of a virus and not behind the virus.” 

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