Pfizer Says New Vaccine Can Be Ready in 100 Days
As concerns over a new coronavirus variant sent the stock market into a downward spiral Friday, its worst day of 2021 so far, Pfizer and partner Biotech offered a potential sigh of relief, saying that “in the event that a vaccine-escape variant emerges” they can have a new vaccine ready in 100 days.
“We expect more data from the laboratory tests in two weeks at the latest. These data will provide more information about whether B.1.1.529 could be an escape variant that may require an adjustment of our vaccine if the variant spreads globally,” Pfizer said in a statement Friday.
The B.1.1.529 coronavirus variant, first discovered in South Africa and dubbed Omicron by the World Health Organization resulted in various travel restrictions, including the U.S. banning all flights from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.
Omicron has world health officials concerned as initial data shows the variant contains more mutations to the spike protein. These mutations may mean Omicron can be resistant to the current vaccines, which have allowed countries worldwide to end lockdowns and loosen public health restrictions.
“As always, we will continue to follow the science as we examine the best approaches to protecting people against COVID-19,” Pfizer said in a statement to Fox Business. “In the event that vaccine-escape variant emerges, Pfizer and BioNTech expect to be able to develop and produce a tailor-made vaccine against that variant in approximately 100 days, subject to regulatory approval.”
Reuters reported that Moderna Inc also said Friday it is “working to advance a booster candidate tailored to the new variant and has also been testing a higher dose of its existing booster and to study other booster candidates designed to protect against multiple variants.”
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