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Pfizer expects Omicron vaccine to be ready in March

NEW DELHI: Pfizer will have a COVID-19 vaccine that specifically targets the Omicron variant ready by March.
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on Monday said the company has already begun manufacturing a new version of its COVID-19 vaccine that aims to protect recipients against Omicron.

Last week, Omicron made up more than 95% of all new COVID-19 cases in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pfizer also said it is working to improve its existing vaccine formulation, developed jointly with Germany’s BioNTech, based on the vaccine’s reaction to new COVID-19 variants that arise.

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“In the event that a third dose with the current vaccine is not found to protect against the Omicron variant or other future variants, Pfizer expects to be able to develop and produce a tailor-made vaccine against that variant in approximately 100 days, subject to regulatory approval,” A spokesperson added.

The spokesperson confirmed that it has already begun manufacturing doses of the Omicron-specific vaccine, should it be deemed necessary.

White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci in December predicted that Omicron would become the dominant virus strain in the U.S., but he has not said that a new Omicron-specific shot is necessary to maintain immunity. Fauci instead urged Americans to get booster shots, which studies have shown provide greater protection against Omicron.

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