Next Covid-19 Booster To Fight Omicron

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The new Covid-19 Vaccines this fall will be based on the Omicron variant rather than the original strain says Reuters.

  • Research going on about making Omicron-based booster dose.
  • The approval of these vaccines will be done by WHO
  • Scientists are still not sure about giving yet another booster shot.

Subvariant booster shots

Some experts suggest that this would only lead to an advantage for elderly people. Moderna, Pfizer and Novavax, have been testing vaccines based on the first BA.1 Omicron variant that became dominant last winter, driving a massive surge in infections.  On Wednesday Moderna said that its updated vaccine was working pretty well against the latest Omicron subvariants and that next, it will be moving forward for the regulator’s approval. Vaccines that bridge the gap between the original strain and the variant of Coronavirus will be far better off.

Assessment

WHO as well as certain other health regulators such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration plan on assessing the effectiveness of these new Omicron-based Vaccines. Regulators have ordered the companies to provide clinical trial results to prove that their new vaccine will work well. All of this puts billions of dollars at stake. Moderna has already signed deals with certain countries and also begun with the manufacturing process. 

Challenges

“The challenge we have is the virus continues to evolve really quickly,” Moderna President Stephen Hoge said in an interview, noting that millions of doses of the updated vaccine could be ready in August. If the drugmaker needs to twist the vaccine further and restart manufacturing then the new shots might not be available until the fourth quarter. 

Working Companies

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech are testing variant-adapted COVID-19 vaccines but have not yet released any date. Novavax, whose vaccine is not yet authorized for U.S. use, launched a trial of its own Omicron-based vaccines late in May.

Experts advice

Dr Jesse Goodman, a professor at Georgetown School of Medicine and a former top FDA scientist, said that the regulators are not yet experienced enough with COVID Vaccines to match them with the circulating strains. 

“We see that with people that have hybrid immunity from vaccination plus infection,”  says Dr Burio, former acting chief scientist of the FDA, The immune response that is generated is very rich.” Still, scientists including Borio are not convinced for everyone to be vaccinated again “There’s no evidence that a healthy 27-year-old person needs to be revaccinated,” Borio said.

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Source: Reuters

 

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