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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.

Moderna Expects to Have COVID-19 Booster Targeting Omicron by Autumn

© REUTERS / MIKE SEGARA healthcare worker holds a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine at a pop-up vaccination site operated by SOMOS Community Care during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 29, 2021.
A healthcare worker holds a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine at a pop-up vaccination site operated by SOMOS Community Care during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., January 29, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.01.2022
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Moderna is developing an updated booster vaccine against COVID-19 set to be released in autumn and to offer protection against Omicron, CEO Stephane Bancel told CNBC.
"We are discussing with public health leaders around the world to decide what we think is the best strategy for the potential booster for the fall of 2022. We believe it will contain omicron," Bancel said.
The Omicron-specific booster shot will soon enter clinical trials as Moderna prepares to supply as many as 2-3 billion booster doses this year alone, according to the report.
The United Kingdom, South Korea, Switzerland have already placed orders for Moderna boosters worth $18.5 billion, the report said.
Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration shortened the interval between receiving the initial COVID-19 vaccine doses produced by Moderna and getting a booster shot from six months to five in American adults 18 and older.
Omicron remains the predominant variant of the coronavirus in the United States and accounts for 95.4% of new infections, according to data compiled by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention during the week ending 1 January.
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