BioNTech, Moderna and J&J explore omicron versions of covid-19 shots

BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are working to adapt their Covid-19 vaccines to address the omicron variant, with the German partner of Pfizer saying it could have a new version ready within 100 days if necessary.

Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccines at a senior living facility in Worcester, Pennsylvania, on Aug. 25, 2021. Foto: Bloomberg photo by Hannah Beier

BioNTech said Monday that it has started development in order to move as quickly as possible. The first steps of developing a new vaccine overlap with the research necessary in order to evaluate whether the shot will be needed - a process that both it and Moderna began last Thursday as news of the new variant began to spread around the world.

Drugmakers have been preparing for months for the possibility of needing to tweak their vaccines to deal with a new variant. BioNTech, Pfizer and Moderna will be able to move at unprecedented speed: Both vaccines use messenger RNA technology, which shortens the timeline for a new shot to only a few months...

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