Race against the clock to adapt Covid vaccines over new Omicron variant

The variant was first discovered in South Africa

11/27/2021 1:00:00 PM

The variant was first discovered in South Africa

‘This is not the last time another variant will emerge,' one scientific expert said.

Health SecretarySajid Javidsaid there was ‘huge international concern’ over the strain, which could make existing vaccines less effective.The variant, known as B.1.1.529, could also adversely impact one of nation’s Covid treatments, a drug called Ronapreve.

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Omicron was originally discovered in South Africa and has since been detected in Botswana, Hong Kong, Israel and Belgium, the first EU country where the strain has been identified.The UK has now banned flights from South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe and Namibia in a bid to stop the spread – as the EU, US and Canada all followed suit to impose travel restrictions on people arriving from southern African regions.

Discussions are ongoing over adding further countries to the red list – although South African officials suggested the flight ban ‘seems to have been rushed’.But Mr Javid told the Commons the Government would not ‘hesitate to act if we need to do so.’ headtopics.com

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser thatsupports HTML5 videoSage advisor Professor John Edmunds warned Omicron could create a ‘very, very, very difficult situation’, branding the new strain a ‘huge worry’.

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‘All the data suggests’ it could evade current immunity, Professor Edmunds told BBC Radio 4’s PM show.And he urged ministers to prepare a plan to deal with Omicron as he warned: ‘at some point we’re going to get this variant here in the UK’.However, Professor Brendan Wren, of the London School of Hygeine and Tropical Medicine, said it was ‘vital to stay calm and not overreact’ – because scientists can ‘easily modify vaccines to meet new variants’.

European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen said it is important that Europe acts ‘swiftly and decisively’ in the face of the new mutation (Picture: Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)Professor Wren wrote in the Daily Mail: ‘In the arms race against the virus, humanity is winning – and we are well prepared.

‘This is not the last time another variant will emerge,’ he added.Pfizer and BioNTech said they could ‘develop and produce a tailor-made vaccine’ in around 100 days, subject to regulatory approval, if a variant was shown to evade vaccines.Meanwhile AstraZeneca said it has developed, in close collaboration with Oxford University, ‘a vaccine platform that enables us to respond quickly to new variants that may emerge’. headtopics.com

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Pfizer and BioNTech say they could ‘develop and produce a tailor-made vaccine’ in around 100 days, (Picture: JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images)The firms are ‘already conducting research in locations where the variant has been identified’ and testing an antibody combination drug against the new variant, with scientists ‘hopeful’ it ‘will retain efficacy.’

Moderna added: ‘Since early 2021, Moderna has advanced a comprehensive strategy to anticipate new variants of concern.’Novavax said it has ‘already initiated development of a new recombinant spike protein based on the known genetic sequence of B.1.1.529’.

Testing and manufacturing will begin within the next few weeks.

Read more: Metro »

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Omicron Covid variant: Greg Hunt backflips as Australia shuts border to southern AfricaAustralians attempting to return home from southern Africa will be allowed into the country, but ordered into mandatory hotel quarantine nice WEF reported this EXACT same “variant”—B.1.1.529, out of South Africa—way back in July'21...shocker, what a coincidence 🤔 TheSentinelNews dannybakewellsr LaNAACPYouth Georgia_NAACP BostonNAACP1911 nhbureau naacp NAACPmpls NAACP_LDF ncnaacp DerrickNAACP BETNews tylerperry tarajiphenson violadavis kerrywashington chrisrock chrisbrown TheRock Ludacris drdre WhoopiGoldberg sunny

US to restrict travel from southern Africa over Omicron Covid variant fearsWHO names variant found in Belgium and Israel Omicron while White House adviser Fauci says no indication it is in US Anyone who thinks Omicron isn't already on U.S. soil is deluded. The news of Omicron (not so named then) broke several days ago, which has given that time for it to travel to the U.S. Ex: The NY parade festivities was the perfect place for it to spread. Now, it's a waiting game. Was Omnicron the baddie in the Transformer Movie?

Covid news live: Omicron variant spreads to Europe; countries rush to impose travel bans on southern AfricaThe first European case of the B.1.1.529 variant has been identified in Belgium; the US, UK, Australia, Canada and parts of Europe impose travel bans targeting countries across southern Africa nice Masks on, USA. (of course the 3 injections ;-) Africa travel van but not Belgium? Seems a bit short sighted..

COVID-19: New vaccines 'ready in 100 days' if Omicron variant is resistant to current jabs, Pfizer saysNovavax added it has already started creating a COVID-19 vaccine based on the known genetic sequence of B.1.1.529 'and will have it ready to begin testing and manufacturing within the next few weeks'. Start now Pfizer. Wow remarkable development, only if cancer treatment was so quick More money for riches!

UK warned 'be ready for restrictions' over new Covid variantThe UK should ‘be ready for the possibility of a change in the restrictions’ due to a new Covid variant, an expert has warned. The UK or England please enlighten. Bulllllllllshhhiiiittttttt!

The new variant is worrying – but it doesn’t change how we tackle Covid | Kit YatesThe only way to stop B.1.1.529 and other mutations is through testing, masks, and getting vaccines to everyone in the world, says the University of Bath’s Kit Yates