BARRIE — As researchers continue to study the new COVID-19 variant Omicron stoking fears around the world, vaccine manufacturers are issuing guidance on the effectiveness of their shots.

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Here’s a look at what vaccine makers have to say so far.



Moderna’s CEO says the company’s COVID-19 SpikeVax vaccine is unlikely to be as effective against the Omicron variant as it is against others.

talking to financial TimesModerna CEO Stephen Bansell said he thinks there will be a “material decline”.

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“I just don’t know how much because we need to wait for the data,” he said. “But the scientists I’ve talked to…they’re like, ‘It’s not going to be good.’

Bansel said existing vaccines would need to be modified because of the high number of mutations in the spike protein in the Omicron variant.

What’s more, on Monday, Bancel told CNBC That it could be “months” before the company develops and ships a vaccine that specifically targets the Omicron variant.

He told the outlet that it would take at least two weeks to determine how much of the oomicron mutation affected the vaccine’s efficacy.


Meanwhile, BioNTech’s chief executive told Reuters that the company’s COVID-19 vaccine manufactured with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer will likely offer stronger protection against the Omicron variant.

Ugur Sahin told the outlet that “it’s likely that people will have adequate protection against serious illness caused by Omicron.”

He said, over the next two weeks, laboratory tests will analyze the blood of people who have received two or three doses of the comirnetti vaccine to determine whether new vaccines are needed.

He said BioNTech is working to upgrade the vaccine, but he isn’t sure it will be necessary.

Sahin said he does not think there is any reason to be “particularly concerned”.

“The only thing that worries me at the moment is that there are people who haven’t been vaccinated at all,” he told Reuters.


In a statement on Tuesday, the University of Oxford, which developed the Vaxzevoria COVID-19 vaccine with AstraZeneca, said there is no evidence the shot will not prevent severe disease from the Omicron variant.

The university said it has “the necessary equipment and procedures” for “rapid development of an updated COVID-19 vaccine” if needed.

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one in Statement Released on Monday, Johnson & Johnson said it is “closely monitoring newly emerging COVID-19 variants” and “evaluating the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine in various forms,” ​​including Omicron.

“The company is testing blood serum from participants in complete and ongoing booster studies to determine neutralizing activity against the Omicron variant,” the release said.

Johnson & Johnson said the company is also “pursuing” an Omicron-specific vaccine and “will advance it as needed.”

an ‘unusual’ version

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam said at a news conference on Friday that the omicron variant is “unusual” because it has a high number of mutations in two key regions of the virus’s spike protein.

“One region of mutation is in the spike receptor binding domain,” she said. “Where the virus attaches itself and invades our cells.”

She said this could indicate a “probability of the virus progressing”.

The second region of mutation is in the antigenic supersite, Tam said, “because it is a target for our body’s defensive or neutralizing antibodies.”

“Due to the increased transmittance potential and the potential for increased resistance to vaccine-induced protection, we are concerned about this new variant and are closely monitoring the evolving situation,” she told reporters.

The variant was first reported in South Africa. Canada imposed a travel ban on Friday banning foreign travelers from seven countries in southern Africa to prevent omicron cases.

Two days later, on Sunday, the first cases of the Omicron variant were detected in Ontario.

With files from Reuters