Two weeks to see if a new vaccine is needed

n almost two weeks, EU scientists will have an idea of whether a new adapted vaccine will be required to face the Omicron variant. [ HangermanCnx_Thailand/SHUTTERSTOCK]

In almost two weeks, EU scientists will have an idea of whether a new adapted vaccine will be required to face the Omicron variant, which is expected to dominate Europe by mid-January, EURACTIV has learned. But are boosters offering enough protection?

“For now, it seems they are,” a source close to the matter said, adding that this protection could be up to 70%, but still, these are preliminary figures.

The same source added that if a new adapted vaccine is needed, the pharma industry will need approximately 100 days to produce it, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will need to approve it in a fast-track process, and then it must be distributed to the EU countries.

Timewise, a new vaccine could be on the market next spring, but everything will depend on whether the new vaccine will be just adapted based on previous COVID-19 vaccine technology or it will be something completely new.

“Even if we need a new adapted vaccine, we have contracts and once ready, we will immediately push the button,” the source added.

The same applies to the new treatments and drugs against COVID, as it is not yet certain whether they are effective against the Omicron variant.

(Sarantis Michalopoulos | EURACTIV.com)

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