|A vial of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. (Photo by= Fred Tanneau/AFP via Getty Images)|
[Asia News = Reporter Reakkana] NEW YORK: Moderna could have a COVID-19 booster shot targeting the Omicron variant tested and ready to file for US authorisation as soon as March, the company's president said on Wednesday (Dec 1), Reuters reported. Moderna President Stephen Hoge said he believes booster shots carrying genes specifically targeting mutations in the newly-discovered Omicron variant would be the quickest way to address any anticipated reductions in vaccine efficacy it may cause.
The company is also working on a multi-valent vaccine that would include up to four different coronavirus variants including Omicron. The United States identified its first COVID-19 case caused by the Omicron variant in California, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday. Omicron dubbed a "variant of concern" by the World Health Organization, is being studied to see if it is more contagious or causes more severe illness than other variants and if it can evade current vaccines.
Given prior guidance from the US Food and Drug Administration, which has required mid-stage clinical testing, Hoge said the process could take three or four months. Moderna would be able to manufacture the vaccine as it was conducting the testing, Hoge said, to have it ready to roll out as soon as possible.