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Omikron: do Biontech & Moderna protect less? Great fear


Do Moderna and Biontech protect less against Omikron?

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Omikron: What is known about the Corona variant

Omikron: What is known about the Corona variant

Researchers around the world are working flat out to find out more about the newly discovered omicron variant of the coronavirus. Initial evidence suggests that the variant may be more easily transferable and vaccines may be less effective.

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The newly discovered Omikron corona variant is alarming science. Biontech and Moderna have started studying the mutant.


  • Omikron, the new Corona variant, is causing concern internationally
  • The vaccination protection may be reduced – but there are no studies on this yet
  • The Biontech boss sees the vaccines well prepared
  • Biontech and Moderna are still preparing for an adjustment

Only a few days ago the Omicron variant from Coronavirus Discovered for the first time in South Africa – and the news is already rolling. Researchers show themselves facing a possible higher Risk of contagion alarmed. It is still unclear whether the previous vaccinations against Omikron are effective. Now the vaccine manufacturer has Modern with working on a possible customized vaccine started against the mutant. And also the Mainz manufacturer Biontech has started initial investigations.

Hundreds of Moderna employees had after the first publications Virus variant directly on the festive day, which is usually celebrated in the USA Thanksgiving started working on a corresponding adaptation of the Corona vaccine to work, said the medical chief of the pharmaceutical company, Paul Burton, in a BBC interview on Sunday. Thanksgiving was celebrated on November 25th this year – last Thursday.

Moderna boss: vaccination protection with Omikron lower than with Delta

The head of the US pharmaceutical company Moderna, Stephane Bancel, reckons that the vaccine protection of the previous corona vaccines against the new Omikron variant should not be as high as against the previously dominant virus variant Delta. He is currently not assuming an effectiveness as with the Delta variant, says Bancel of the “Financial Times”. He speaks of a “significant decrease”. However, data would have to be awaited first. “But all the scientists I’ve spoken to think, ‘This is not going to be good’.”

Bancel also warned that it would be months before pharmaceutical companies could produce new variant-specific vaccines on a large scale. Most experts would have thought that such a strongly mutated variant would only appear in a year or two, added the pharma boss.

Omikron: Do the corona vaccinations work against the variant?

Moderna’s medical director Paul Burton is more optimistic. It will take a few more weeks until we have confirmed findings. Then you could say how much the new variant of the effect of the current vaccines and whether a new vaccine needs to be produced.

If so, he reckons the vaccine could be mass-produced in early 2022. “It’s a seemingly dangerous virus,” said Burton. “But I think we now have a lot of tools in our arsenal to fight it, so I’m optimistic.” Read here: This is how well Moderna and Biontech protect against Omikron.

Biontech boss Şahin: Vaccines also protect against the Omikron variant

It is more optimistic than the Moderna boss Ugur Sahin, the CEO of Biontech. The corona vaccines would also be effective against the new variant, he said on Tuesday evening at an award ceremony.

Sahin told the Wall Street Journal that one shouldn’t lose one’s nerve because of Omikron. It is much more important to give people theirs quickly Booster vaccination to administer. Although the new variant could lead to more infections, the vaccine from Biontech and Pfizer has so far also been used against the others Mutations done its job and protected against severe courses.

Biontech is also investigating the new variant

Biontech In addition to ongoing laboratory tests to investigate the new Corona variant Omikron, is also working on the development of an adapted vaccine – as a preventative measure in the event that it might become necessary. “In order not to lose time, we are tackling these two tasks in parallel until the data are available and we have more information on whether the vaccine should be adjusted or not,” a Biontech spokeswoman told the German press agency on Monday. Also read: Drosten about Omikron: This is how the virologist assesses the situation

It was months ago in cooperation with the US partner Pfizer Preparations have been made to adapt the vaccine within six weeks in the event of a so-called escape variant of the virus and to deliver the first batches within 100 days, Biontech explained. Clinical studies with variant-specific vaccines have been started to collect data on safety and tolerability. In the event of an adjustment, these could be presented to the authorities as sample data. Escape variants are mutants that can partially or completely evade the effects of the available vaccines.

Israel: First signs of high vaccination protection at Biontech

The Israeli health minister Nitzan Horowitz said on Tuesday that there were “first indications” that those who were fully vaccinated and those with a booster vaccination were “protected against Omikron”. Horowitz expects more detailed information in “the next few days.”

The omicron variant (B.1.1.529), which was first detected in southern Africa, was recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “worrying” classified. Like the remedy from Moderna, the vaccine from Biontech is one of the mRNA vaccineswhose adaptation to new variants is considered to be relatively feasible.

(raer / te / dpa / afp)


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