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 - Sputnik International, 1920
Omicron COVID Strain
The new COVID variant was initially detected in South Africa and Botswana and sparked major concerns due to its high number of mutations (32). The WHO dubbed the strain Omicron and warned it may prove to be more transmissible and dangerous than other coronavirus variants.

Pfizer Unsure if Omicron Evades Its Vaccine, Can Launch New One in 100 Days

© REUTERS / DADO RUVICSyringe and vial labelled "coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine" and small toy figures are seen front of displayed new Pfizer logo in this illustration taken, June 24, 2021.
Syringe and vial labelled coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine and small toy figures are seen front of displayed new Pfizer logo in this illustration taken, June 24, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 26.11.2021
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech issued a statement that they are not sure whether the new coronavirus variant Omicron is able to escape their vaccine but promise to develop a new vaccine against the variant in about 100 days.
Earlier in the day, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced it identified a new COVID-19 strain, the B.1.1.529 that was initially found on southern Africa. WHO named the variant with the Greek letter Omicron.
“In the event that vaccine-escape variant emerges, Pfizer and BioNTech expect to be able to develop and produce a tailor-made vaccine against that variant in approximately 100 days, subject to regulatory approval," the statement,  excerpts from which were published by Fox Business, said on Friday.
Pfizer and BioNTech said they expect more data on Omicron within the next two weeks and noted the variant significantly differs from previously observed ones, according to the statement.
The pharmaceutical companies underscored that they started working on making their vaccine adaptable to new possible variants months ago, adding that their vaccine is currently able to adjust itself within six weeks and ship initial batches within 100 days, the statement said.
According to WHO, the new variant is more transmissible than the previous strains and has abnormally many mutations.
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