Moderna & Pfizer will have Omicron-targeted boosters available this year

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A few days ago, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel explained how the company was preparing to develop and provide a second Covid booster shot – and a fourth shot overall – to come out this fall. As in, when people are getting their annual flu shots this fall, we could get the newly developed Covid booster shot around the same time. Here’s more:

Moderna is working on a booster shot that will target the omicron variant of Covid for this fall as nations around the world prepare to distribute annual vaccinations against the virus.

“We are discussing with public health leaders around the world to decide what we think is the best strategy for the potential booster for the fall of 2022. We believe it will contain omicron,” CEO Stephane Bancel told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Monday.

Bancel said the omicron-specific booster will enter clinical trials soon, and Moderna is discussing whether the shot needs to contain any other components to fight the virus.

“We need to be careful to try to stay ahead of a virus and not behind the virus,” he said. Moderna has signed advanced purchase agreements with upfront payments worth $18.5 billion with the United Kingdom, South Korea and Switzerland recently ordering shots for this fall. Bancel said the company can supply 2 billion to 3 billion booster doses this year.

“There are discussions ongoing on a daily basis. We want to be ready with the best product possible for the fall of ’22,” Bancel said.

[From CNBC]

Which is good! But I also think that by the fall, we’ll probably be dealing with a hellish new variant, plus Delta and Omicron. But I appreciate that Moderna is trying. Anyway, I was happy enough with that news, but now Pfizer’s CEO says that they will probably have an Omicron-specific booster shot available in March!!!

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on Monday said that his company is aiming to have a vaccine that targets the omicron variant as well as other COVID-19 variants ready in March.

“This vaccine will be ready in March,” Bourla said in an appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

“We [are] already starting manufacturing some of these quantities at risk,” he added.

Pfizer will produce the doses to be ready in case countries want the shots, but Bourla noted that it was unclear if a vaccine targeting variants was necessary or how exactly it would be used.

“The hope is that we will achieve something that will have way, way better protection particularly against infections, because the protection against the hospitalizations and the severe disease — it is reasonable right now with the current vaccines as long as you are having let’s say the third dose,” Bourla said.

[From The Hill]

I’ve said this on Twitter a few times, but I would get a booster shot every month if they let me. My booster shot last November didn’t even knock me out that much – I was just sort of vaguely tired and out-of-it for a few days and that was it. If I get a fourth shot or a fifth shot, maybe I’ll start floating. Maybe I’ll never get sick again. Anyway, if Pfizer is updating their vaccine so it’s more effective against Omicron, does that mean people will be able to get their second booster shots this spring with Pfizer’s new formula? It sounds like it. Your move, Moderna!!

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