Moderna could take months to ship Omicron-specific vaccine, CEO Bancel

The Omicron variant carries a very high global risk of surges, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned on Monday, as more countries reported cases

Representative image. Credit: AFP Photo

Moderna Inc could take months to begin shipping a Covid-19 vaccine that works specifically against the Omicron variant, its chief executive officer, Stéphane Bancel, told CNBC on Monday.

The Omicron variant carries a very high global risk of surges, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned on Monday, as more countries reported cases.

Bancel told CNBC in an interview that the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines against the variant was currently not known, and that there should be more clarity in about two weeks.

Also Read | Omicron Covid-19 variant: How does it differ from Delta?

Moderna said on Friday it was working to advance a booster candidate tailored to the new variant and has also been testing a higher dose of its existing booster and to study other booster candidates designed to protect against multiple variants.

Separately, rivals Pfizer and BioNTech, and Johnson & Johnson have also said they have begun testing their vaccines against the new variant.

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