Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson develop vaccines against “Omicron”

Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson announced Monday that, like their competitor Moderna, they have begun work on a new version of their COVID-19 vaccine that targets the Omicron mutant if their vaccines are not effective in protecting against this new one. version of the virus.

“There is still a lot of uncertainty” about the new mutation detected in South Africa, which the World Health Organization described as worrying, Albert Borla, president of Pfizer, told CNBC.

He added: “We will know the most important thing we need to know within a few weeks,” noting that experiments need to be conducted to test the effectiveness of the current vaccine developed by his company. in collaboration with the Biontech company.

He explained: “If it turns out that the (current) vaccine is less effective and we need to develop a new one, we started working on it on Friday. We made the first DNA model and it will be the first phase. in development of a new vaccine “.

Pfizer previously created two new versions of its vaccine against delta and beta mutants, but they have not been used. Borla pointed out that, in if necessary, “we will have a serious vaccine within 95 days”.

He pointed out that his company has the capacity, when needed, to produce four billion doses next year.

On Friday, Moderna announced plans to develop a booster dose of the vaccine designed to protect against the Omicron mutant.

In turn, Johnson & Johnson announced that it was “in in the process of evaluating the efficacy of its Covid-19 vaccine against mutant mutants “, including Omicron.

The company added in a statement that is concurrently working on manufacturing “a vaccine that specifically targets Omicron and will develop it as appropriate.”

The statement quotes Mathai Mamen, research manager at Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen company that developed the Covid-19 vaccine, as saying the company “remains confident” that its current single-dose vaccine can provide an immune response against the various variants. .

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