Europe 1 with AFP 10:08 am, November 30, 2021

Existing vaccines against Covid-19 will be less effective against the Omicron variant and it will take several months to develop a new vaccine, the boss of the American pharmaceutical company Moderna said in an interview published Tuesday in the "Financial Times" .

A reinforced question.

Existing vaccines against Covid-19 will be less effective against the Omicron variant and it will take several months to develop a new vaccine, the boss of the American pharmaceutical company Moderna said in an interview published Tuesday in the

Financial Times

.

Stéphane Bancel believes that there will be a "significant drop" in the effectiveness of vaccines.

"All the scientists I have spoken to (...) say 'this is not going to do it'," he said.

He told the daily that data on the effectiveness of current vaccines will be available in the next two weeks.

Omicron mutations observed in the spike protein, the key to entry of the virus into the body

This warning from Stéphane Bancel comes as the G7 health ministers met urgently to discuss this new variant that is spreading across the planet and that new countries have decided to close their borders again.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that this new variant of the coronavirus presents "a very high risk" at the global level.

Stéphane Bancel explained that the researchers are worried because 32 of the 50 mutations found in the Omicron variant are located in the spike protein, the key to the virus entering the body.

According to him, the current vaccine will not have "the same level of effectiveness as that which we had against the variant Delta".

Moderna has already announced its intention to develop a specific booster dose for this new variant, as has the American laboratory Pfizer.

The laboratory boss estimated that his company is able to provide between 2 and 3 billion doses in 2022, but that it would be dangerous to direct all production towards a vaccine specific to the Omicron variant while other strains of the viruses are still circulating.

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