Geneva, Reuters: A technical body of the World Health Organization (WHO) has said that current corona vaccines may need to be reworked to combat Omicron so that they can be effective against it. The technical group, consisting of independent experts, has said that they will consider changes to the vaccination structure in view of Omicron, and insist that the vaccines be more effective.
need to replace existing vaccines
This body, set up to provide technical advice to the WHO, believes that there may be a need to change the composition of current corona vaccines so that they can provide protection against other types of corona of concern (VOCs), including Omicron. The body said that a good booster dose needs to be valid, comprehensive, effective and produce a long-lasting immune response. This vaccine should be such that the need for repeated booster doses is not felt.
More research needed on vaccine
However, this body in its statement did not advocate any specific vaccine for Omicron, saying that it still needs more research in the area. It has urged vaccine manufacturers to share more data. An updated vaccine may be developed targeting a specific variant or a vaccine may be developed that is capable of combating multiple major variants simultaneously, the statement said. However, any recommendation in this regard will be made only when more data is available. However, some vaccine manufacturers are already developing next generation vaccines.
New vaccine will come in March
On Monday, Pfizer Chief Executive Albert Boerla said that the corona vaccine has been redesigned with Omicron in mind. This vaccine can be launched by March. Pfizer’s rival Moderna is also working on developing a vaccine with Omicron in mind, but it could take at least two months to come to fruition. A top WHO official had earlier said that the issue of vaccine composition required global coordination. The decision making on this cannot be left to the manufacturers alone.