The novel coronavirus pneumonia (COVID-19) epidemic continues, and a variant virus B.1.1.529 appeared in South Africa and was found in southern Africa, Belgium, Israel, and Hong Kong.
This virus strain, named Omicron by the World Health Organization, may evade the immune system. Therefore, there are concerns about the effectiveness of existing vaccines on Omicron. Among them, Pfizer and BioNTech said on November 26 that pharmaceutical companies are analyzing data and deciding whether or not in a short period of time. Need to produce a new version of the vaccine.
Reuters reported that BioNTech issued a statement saying that it understands the concerns of experts that the company has immediately investigated the Omicron virus strain, and it is expected that more laboratory data will be available within two weeks to determine whether it is necessary to investigate the existing vaccine formulations to deal with Omicron.
BioNTech also stated that the company can design an improved version of the vaccine as quickly as six weeks, and ship the first batch of products within 100 days.
Another pharmaceutical company, Moderna, said that the company is developing a booster vaccine for Omicron, and is also testing the effectiveness of increasing the dose of existing vaccines, and analyzing other vaccine options against multiple variant virus strains.
Both Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca said they are studying the impact of the new variant virus on their own vaccines.
The WHO advisory team recommends that Omicron be listed as a "variants of concern" and that it has multiple variants. Preliminary evidence shows that it has a higher risk of reinfection compared to other variants of concern.
The WHO also mentioned that the number of confirmed cases of Omicron seems to have increased in almost all provinces of South Africa.
It is currently unknown whether the mutant virus strain will cause more serious diseases.
New Coronary Pneumonia｜WHO has listed B.1.1.529 as a variant virus strain worthy of attention and named omicron New Coronary Pneumonia｜The amount of mutation of the Omicron variant virus "throws away" Delta, the more dangerous it is?
Better than Delta?
B.1.1.529 New Coronary Variant Virus Fears the Efficacy of Vaccines