The Omicron variant, the latest Covid mutation grabbing international headlines, is already causing a devastating ripple effect throughout the world. Global authorities in the U.K. and the E.U. are tightening their borders in anticipation of another Covid wave.
In the United States, New York’s governor Kathy Hochul has already canceled elective surgeries in the state citing the Omicron variant, even as the transmissibility and deadliness of this latest Covid mutation are unknown. The variant is believed to have originated in Botswana, and may be playing a role in a Covid surge in South Africa. The variant has been identified in Botswana, South Africa, Hong Kong, and Amsterdam in The Netherlands.
Pfizer-BioNTech, fresh off sky-high profits off of its government-mandated ‘vaccines,’ is already mullying a ‘future relaunch‘ of a Covid-19 vaccine to deal with the Omicron variant. It looks like a lesser-known pharmaceutical company, Novavax, however, may beat it to the punch.
Novavax said on Friday it has “started working on a version of its COVID-19 vaccine to target the variant detected in South Africa” and “would have the shot ready for testing and manufacturing in the next few weeks,” Reuters reported.
“The company’s COVID-19 shot contains an actual version of the virus’ spike protein that cannot cause disease but can trigger the immune system,” Reuters noted. “The vaccine developer said it had started developing a spike protein specifically based on the known genetic sequence of the variant, B.1.1.529.”
“The initial work will take a few weeks,” a company spokesperson said. “Shares of the company closed up nearly 9% on Friday.”
The report notes that Novavax’s vaccine received its first emergency use approval earlier this month in Indonesia, followed by the Philippines.
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