Moderna Boss Warns Vaccines Will Struggle Against Omicron Variant

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RFI:– The head of vaccine manufacturer Moderna has warned that existing Covid-19 inoculations will struggle against the fast-spreading Omicron variant.
This comes as countries ramp up vaccination programmes and impose further restrictions in an effort to curb growing concern.

First reported to the World Health Organization in South Africa less than a week ago, the new strain has rapidly spread from Africa to the Pacific, and from Europe to North America as dozens of countries have announced travel restrictions.

While no deaths have yet been reported from Omicron, and it could take weeks to know how infectious and how resistant the strain may prove to vaccines, its emergence underscores how besieged the world remains by Covid-19, nearly two years after the first cases were recorded.

Stephane Bancel, the head of US vaccine manufacturer Moderna, told the Financial Times in an interview published Tuesday that data would be available on the effectiveness of vaccines in the two weeks’ time, but that scientists were pessimistic.

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“All the scientists I’ve talked to … are like ‘this is not going to be good’,” Bancel said, warning against a “material drop” in the effectiveness of current jabs against Omicron.

Updating vaccines

Moderna, US drug maker Pfizer and the backers of Russian vaccine Sputnik V have all announced that they are already working on an Omicron-specific vaccine.

Scientists in South Africa said they had detected the new variant with at least 10 mutations, compared with three for Beta or two for Delta — the strain that hit the global recovery and sent millions worldwide back into lockdown.

China has warned that the Omicron variant would cause challenges in hosting next February’s Winter Olympics in Beijing, with thousands of athletes, media and participants arriving from overseas required to enter a strict “closed-loop” bubble.

Urgent action required

On Monday, US President Joe Biden said the strain was “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic,” stressing that he does not foresee new lockdowns or extending travel restrictions for now.

G7 health ministers called for “urgent action” to combat the Omicron variant.

The WHO said the overall risk from Omicron was “very high” and warned that any major surge would put pressure on health systems and cause more deaths.

Governments, particularly in western Europe, had already struggled with rapid rises in case numbers and have reintroduced mandatory mask-wearing, social-distancing measures, curfews or lockdowns — leaving businesses fearing another grim Christmas.

Meanwhile, Germany’s constitutional court has ruled that sweeping restrictions such as curfews, school closures and contact restrictions were lawful, and likely to pave the way for further curbs with hospitals, already over capacity, long sounding the alarm.
Compulsory vaccinations?

This Tuesday, Greece said coronavirus vaccines would be compulsory for over 60s, a day after Britain said all adults would be now eligible for a third Covid jab.

Also on Tuesday, Norway said it would offer a booster shot to all adults before Easter, as preferable to lockdown.

France opened up its vaccination booster to everyone over the age of 18 on Saturday.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

7 COMMENTS

  1. IO liked it better when all you ignorant stupid Nig’jers, just shut up and did as you were told. God I miss the 60’s.

  2. Oh well, Seems Bill Gates making his puppet demons work overtime to have those “luciferase quantum dotted tattoos” rolled out…
    Brace yourselves for the real mark soon come.

  3. And so it continues. More jabs for the pin cushions. If y’all don’t see anything wrong with what’s going on then y’all are indeed sleeping. If you said yes for the first vaccines don’t think you can opt out of all the others to come.
    Fauci is the evil Grinch who is trying to steal your life and liberty.

    What a mad mad world we are living in.

  4. so you know what that means? yeah boy roll up yall sleeves for another jab. Lool so now they going to force us to take one for corona and then another for omicron. Honestly speaking i know these viruses mutate but the way i see it its like someone is deliberately playing god. for some reason i believe these mutations are made by man because the first didnt work out as planned so they releasing another stronger one on different continents. cause before you never even heard of this type of corona so how did it just come about? how can a virus just appear out of thin air just like that and cause havock, honestly speaking people wont say the truth but this thing had to have been experimented on in a lab and maybe something went wrong and then boom

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