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Coronavirus company news summary – Novavax developing Covid-19 shot targeting Omicron variant

Novavax is developing a version of its Covid-19 vaccine that acts on the new variant, Omicron (B.1.1.529), first identified in South Africa. Reuters reported that the vaccine will be ready for testing and production in the coming weeks. The company is claimed to be developing a spike protein specially based on the known genetic sequence of the variant.

Switzerland’s medicine regulator Swissmedic has granted marketing authorisation for a booster dose of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine for all adults aged 18 years and above. The booster shot is indicated for administration six months after the preliminary vaccine regimen. Furthermore, people at increased risk can receive the booster dose from the age of 12 years. The initial dosing regimen of Spikevax comprises two doses of 0.5ml given at a gap of one month, while the booster is 0.25ml.

Pfizer has said it could develop a Covid-19 vaccine for the novel SARS-CoV-2 strain Omicron, first detected in South Africa, in “nearly 100 days” on obtaining regulatory approval, CBS MoneyWatch reported. The company’s scientists are carrying out tests to assess the effectiveness of its current vaccine against the variant. If not sufficiently effective, Pfizer intends to “produce a tailor-made vaccine against that variant” in partnership with German company BioNTech. Reuters reported that the results from the tests on the Omicron variant are anticipated in two weeks.

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