International – COVID-19 vaccines against Omicron may be fast-tracked

With cases of Omicron appearing across the world, it is clear that travel bans will not be enough to prevent the spread of the new SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern.

Attention is turning to the vaccines that most developed countries are relying on to control the COVID-19 pandemic, asking two key questions: will the existing vaccines work against Omicron and, iIf not, how quickly can manufacturers ‘tweak’ them to boost their efficacy?

In the last few days, Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson have all announced that they have begun work on Omicron-specific versions of their existing vaccines.

Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, caused ripples when he predicted that existing vaccines would be much less effective at tackling Omicron than earlier strains of coronavirus…