Most of the current COVID-19 vaccines (which were developed to work against past variants) have been found to be effective against the current variants. However, over 30 mutations occurred in the new Omicron variant. The mutation is responsible for bringing about changes in COVID-19’s nature, and that’s why we question whether existing COVID-19 vaccines (which were designed to work against past variants) will be effective against this new variant: Omicron.
The current COVID-19 vaccines have been effective against most variants, but the new Omicron variant has brought about over 30 mutations. These mutations are what give the virus its changes. With this in mind, does the current COVID-19 vaccine work well against this new variant?
Omicron and Covishield
Adar Poonawala, the CEO of Serum Institute of India (maker of Covishield vaccine), said that while they are doing research, it’s too early to tell the severity of the recently discovered Omicron variant. This variant has been designated by the WHO as a “Variant of Concern.
In an interview with NDTV, Dr. Poonawala said that a booster dose is possible for the Omicron variant, but we should be focusing on getting every citizen double vaccinated.
Omicron and Covaxin
Covaxin could be effective against Omicron for two reasons. One, it’s an ‘inactivated whole virus’ of the Omicron variant—a type of SARS-CoV. And two, there is no concrete evidence to refute this.
BioNTech and Pfizer on Omicron
Pfizer, the pharmaceutical company, has announced that they will be releasing a new vaccine against Omicron, a deadly disease that has reportedly killed upwards of five million people across the world. If successful, this vaccine would offer strong protection against any severe symptom of Omicron. BioNTech’s CEO said to Reuters that the Pfizer vaccine would “offer a very high level of protection”.
Pfizer is reportedly updating their jab in response to the development of Omicron. Omicron is said to be ready soon, and Pfizer plans to have supplied three billion doses of their mRNA vaccine by the end of this year. The plan for next year stands at four billion.
Sputnik and Omicron
The Gamaleya Institute has already begun developing the new version of Sputnik, adapted to Omicron. The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) made a statement about it recently, saying that the new vaccine “will be effective at neutralizing the Omicron variant.
Johnson & Johnson and Omicron
The new Omicron variant indicates the importance of continued surveillance, testing, and vaccination in order to prevent hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19. Janssen Research & Development LLC, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, is confident in the durability and breadth of protection against variants to date.
The new Omicron variant highlights the importance of continued surveillance, testing, and vaccination to prevent hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19.
There is a new strain of the COVID virus. It’s called the Omicron variant. As of now, it’s unclear if the existing vaccines will be effective against the Omicron variant. With enough people vaccinated, the virus that is causing this pandemic will have fewer hosts. Fewer hosts mean not only fewer people getting sick, but also fewer opportunities for the virus to evolve and change. We need to be vigilant, but not only due to the Omicron variant.