Existing coronavirus vaccines will be less effective against the Omicron variant, the boss of the US pharmaceutical company Moderna said on Tuesday in an interview published in the Financial Times on Tuesday, adding that it will take several months to develop. a new serum.

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.

"A very high risk"

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

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 found in the spike protein, the key to the virus entering the body.

A specific booster dose

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.

Our dossier on the Omicron variant

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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  • Moderna

  • Video

  • Vaccination

  • Covid 19

  • Anti-covid vaccine

  • Coronavirus

  • Omicron variant

  • World

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