/  01.10.2022

Pfizer is aiming to have a COVID-19 vaccine that protects against the Omicron variant and other mutations by March, the CEO said on Monday (Jan. 10).

“This vaccine will be ready in March,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said during an appearance on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

“We [are] already starting manufacturing some of these quantities at risk,” he added. 

Pfizer has already begun manufacturing the doses and the vaccine will also protect against other COVID-19 variants that are still spreading. However, it’s still unclear whether or not an Omicron-specific vaccine is necessary or how it will be used, Bourla said.

“The hope is that we will achieve something that will have way, way better protection particularly against infections because the protection against the hospitalizations and the severe disease — it is reasonable right now with the current vaccines as long as you are having let’s say the third dose,” he explained.

The company will have doses ready in March since some countries want it as soon as possible, he added. Last month, White House Chief Medical Adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said an Omicron-specific vaccine wouldn’t be necessary.

“Our booster vaccine regimens work against Omicron,” he explained at the time. “At this point there is no need for a variant-specific booster.”

Instead, Fauci recommended getting booster shots for the already available COVID-19 vaccines. 

“The message remains clear: If you are unvaccinated, get vaccinated, and particularly in the arena of Omicron, if you are fully vaccinated, get your booster shot,” he said.

Still, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told CNBC earlier on Monday that their company is also working on a booster shot that would specifically target the Omicron variant to be rolled out this fall. That vaccine will enter clinical trials soon.

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention approved booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for teenagers aged 12 to 15 years old.

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