Pfizer’s Omicron vaccine to begin human trials late January

pharmafile | January 11, 2022 | News story | Manufacturing and Production  

Albert Bourla, the CEO of Pfizer, said a COVID-19 vaccine specifically targeting the Omicron variant of the virus, alongside other existing variants, will begin human trials in late January, and will be available in March.

Bourla shared that the company has already begun manufacturing a new version of its existing COVID-19 vaccine, aiming to protect recipients against Omicron.

“We already have begun work on a DNA template tailored to the sequence of Omicron, a critical step in the process of advancing a variant version of our vaccine if in fact we find one is needed. And also manufacturing the variant vaccine at risk, as we did for Beta and Delta before,” a spokesperson shared to FOX TV Stations.

Over 95% of all new COVID-19 cases in the US were of the Omicron variant during the 3-9 January, according to the CDC. Pfizer is comparing clinical trials done on the Omicron-specific vaccine against those of current vaccines.

“In the event that a third dose with the current vaccine is not found to protect against the Omicron variant or other future variants, Pfizer expects to be able to develop and produce a tailor-made vaccine against that variant in approximately 100 days, subject to regulatory approval,” a spokesperson shared in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch.

As of 10 January, 142,224 new positive cases of COVID-19 were reported in the UK, with 1,330 weekly deaths, a mortality increase of 49.8%. 2,332 patients were admitted to hospitals daily for COVID-19.

White House chief medical adviser, Dr Anthony Fauci, predicted in December that Omicron would become the dominant coronavirus strain in the US, and has urged for booster vaccinations. 90.4% of the UK population aged 12 years and older have received their first vaccination dose. 83% have received their second, and 62% their booster vaccine.

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