Pfizer/BioNTech seeking data on new COVID variant

BioNTech said Friday it's expecting more data in the coming weeks on a worrying new COVID-19 variant first detected in South Africa, that will help determine whether the company needs to rework its vaccine.

The Omicron variant has raised global alarm.

Countries around the world have tightened border controls because of it, and scientists are scrambling to see if vaccines currently in use against the coronavirus still work.

Pfizer and BioNTech said that if necessary they expect to be able to ship a new vaccine targeting the variant in approximately 100 days.

Moderna said in a statement it's working to advance a booster candidate tailored to the new variant, testing a higher dose of its existing booster and studying other booster candidates.

Meanwhile Johnson and Johnson said it is also closely monitoring emerging variants and testing the effectiveness of its shot against them.

Pfizer and BioNTech have already created versions of their established mRNA-based vaccine to target the so-called Alpha and Delta variants, with clinical trials ongoing.

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