The Executive Director of the European Medicines Regulatory Authority (EMA) said on Tuesday that within three to four months the European Medicines Agency (EMA) could authorize COVID-19 vaccines adapted to target the new Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, stressing that It already exists. Vaccines will continue to provide protection.
During a hearing before the European Parliament, Eimer Kok explained that with the current state of knowledge about this variant discovered last week in South Africa, it was not yet possible to determine whether pharmaceutical companies would need to adapt their vaccines to offer greater protection against it. This alternative.
However, AEM is preparing for this possibility, it stressed, to ensure that currently authorized vaccines continue to provide protection even if the Omicron variant spreads.
“Even if this new species spreads widely, the vaccines we have will continue to provide protection.”She said.
Stefan Bancel, CEO of the American biotech company Moderna that developed one of its mRNA vaccines against COVID-19, raised concerns about the development of the pandemic by declaring in an interview with the Financial Times that it was unlikely that currently available vaccines would prove effective against the Omicron variant compared to with previous strains of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
According to Dan Stanner, Vice President of Moderna, it could be “six to seven months” before US biotech can provide a specific vaccine that directly targets the Omicron variant.
Speaking on Franceinfo on Tuesday, he nonetheless specified that a polyvalent vaccine targeting the Beta and Delta variants (with which the Omicron variant shares a certain number of mutations and can therefore be sensitive to) could “take about three months to come.” .
Moderna has also launched tests to assess the effectiveness of its current vaccine, in various strengths, against this new alternative.
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