The race has begun among vaccine manufacturers Pfizer, Moderna, Astrazeneca and J&J. Pharmaceutical companies are rushing to modernize coronavirus drugs to eradicate the new Omicron mutation, which is of great concern around the world.
Pharmaceutical companies have already announced that they will develop a special vaccine. At the end of November, the world’s leading manufacturers of vaccines against coronavirus announced that they are urgently conducting research on the new Omicron mutation and, if necessary, adapting their vaccines. It should be noted that it is too early to draw conclusions about the transmissibility of the new strain.
Moderna announced tonight that it intends to develop a booster dose of its Covid-19 vaccine specifically targeting a new variant of the Omicron coronavirus found in South Africa and described by the World Health Organization as “of concern.” “The booster dose of an approved vaccine is the only immunity-boosting strategy currently available,” the statement said.
Pfizer and BioNTech
The concern announced that it is researching the Omicron strain and, if necessary, can quickly adapt its vaccine. “We understand the concerns of the experts and immediately began to study option B.1.1.529,” a company spokesman said.
Both companies also said they expect more data from lab tests within two weeks. “These data will provide additional information on whether B.1.1.529 can avoid protection (after vaccine administration) and whether the drug may need to be adapted,” the experts noted.
The management of Pfizer and BioNTech estimate that the companies can reshape (amplify) the mRNA vaccine within six weeks and begin shipments within 100 days.
The company is researching the resistance of the Omicron mutation to the coronavirus vaccine and the antibody drug, hoping its formulations will remain effective.
“As with all new options, we are studying B.1.1.529 to learn more about it and the effects of the vaccine on it,” the company said in a statement. As noted, the company’s scientists are conducting research in Botswana and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) to collect data.
“We are also studying a drug with AZD7442 antibodies against this variant and we hope that it will remain effective because it contains two strong elements, with different and complementary actions against the virus.”
According to the company, the vaccine platform, developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford, allows you to quickly respond to new mutations as they appear. “AstraZeneca is also already conducting research in locations where the variant has been found, such as Botswana and Eswatini,” the company said.
Johnson and Johnson
Johnson & Johnson announced Friday that it is already testing its new vaccine with the Omicron strain. “We are closely monitoring emerging strains of the virus with variants in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and are already testing the efficacy of our vaccine against a new and rapidly spreading variant first identified in South Africa,” said J&J.
British Guardian Edition
The British Guardian posted a series of questions and answers about the Botswana or Omicron mutation now and how it spread to countries in South Africa, as well as explaining the reasons for the global concern.
When was the mutation first discovered?
This variant was identified on Tuesday and described as causing concern due to its high number of mutations that could bypass immunity.
An increase in cases of this variant was initially found in the Gauteng province of South Africa, an urban area that includes Pretoria and Johannesburg. And in the last 2 weeks, the strain has quickly spread throughout the countries of the world.
This has drawn the attention of the international scientific community to Omicron: the chief medical adviser to the British Health and Safety Service on Friday called it “the most worrisome we have seen.”