Could there soon be a vaccine against Omicron?

New York, New York - Is a vaccine that defends against Omicron on the way?

BioNTech and Pfizer have started their first clinical trial to test a coronavirus vaccine tailored to combat the Omicron variant.
BioNTech and Pfizer have started their first clinical trial to test a coronavirus vaccine tailored to combat the Omicron variant.  © IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

It appears that one is already in the works.

Vaccine developer BioNTech and pharmaceutical giant Pfizer have started their first clinical trial to test a coronavirus vaccine tailored to combat the Omicron variant specifically.

The highly infectious variant has superseded Delta to become the dominant strain in many countries across the world.

The trial will involve up to 1,420 people to test the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of the vaccine candidate, the two companies announced on Tuesday.

A first group comprises 600 participants who have already received two vaccine doses of the previous vaccine.

The second group consists of boostered people who will receive another dose of the conventional vaccine or one dose of the new Omicron vaccine.

The third, smaller group of just over 200 subjects is made up of unvaccinated people who have not previously contracted Covid-19, who will then receive three doses of the Omicron vaccine.

"The study is part of our scientific approach to develop a variant-based vaccine that provides protection from Omicron similar to what we have observed with previous variants, but at the same time lasts longer," explained BioNTech boss Ugur Sahin.

The companies announced two weeks ago that they had already started production of a vaccine adapted to Omicron.

BioNTech had said that the two companies would be ready to supply the market by March, subject to the trials and regulatory approvals.

Vaccine producer Moderna is also planning a similar trial.

Cover photo: IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

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