Moderna could be ready to develop Omicron booster in weeks: CEO
ZURICH: COVID-19 vaccine maker Moderna does not expect any problems in developing a booster shot to protect against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus and could begin work in a few weeks, Chief Executive Stephane Bancel said in an interview.
Moderna hopes to start clinical trials early next year on a vaccine to protect against the fast-spreading Omicron variant but for now is focusing on a booster dose vaccine.
“It only needs minor adjustments for Omicron. I don’t expect any problems,” Bancel said in an interview with the Swiss newspaper TagesAnzeiger published on Tuesday (Dec 21).
The company was now awaiting important information on the variant to begin development.
“That will take another week or two,” Bancel said.
“It will take a few months before we can produce 500 million doses after (regulatory) approval. But our capacities are much higher today than a year ago,” he said.
If approval bodies such as the US Food and Drug Administration and Switzerland’s Swissmedic require further studies, that would add at least three months.
“Some authorities want a study, others are still undecided. In my opinion, it depends very much on how severely the disease progresses,” he said.
Following delivery delays and lags in production in early 2021, Moderna is now able to keep up with production targets and deliver orders on time.