29 Jun 2022

American Medical Experts Call Omicron-Specific Covid Boosters

A panel of U.S. medical experts on Tuesday requested Omicron-specific boosters this fall, as it is expected that Covid vaccines will be needed at certain times of the year, as is the case with the flu.
The committee, called by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), voted 19 votes in favor and two against a date spent reviewing available data, including speculation about future waves and early results from vaccine manufacturers.

FDA chief scientist Peter Marks summarizes the complexity of the problem before the specialist meeting: making predictions about the future course of a virus that often refuses to predict, and evolves faster than the flu.

"What we are doing today is working in a very challenging environment, because none of us have a crystal ball," he said.

Michael Nelson, professor of medicine at the University of Virginia, said he voted "yes" because he was concerned that a reduction in vaccination would lead to serious consequences for high-risk patients, adding "We need to act sooner rather than later. "

Vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna have previously announced positive details about antibodies aroused by their Omicron-specific vaccines. The two companies made presentations Tuesday about their mRNA vaccines, as did Novavax, about the protein subunit vaccine.

Scientists were not asked to vote on which type of Omicron they would like to see targeted for updated vaccines: BA.1, the original Omicron, or BA.4 and BA.5, which is growing rapidly around the world.

But in their discussion, many experts seem to favor the new "bivalent" film and direct both Wuhan's first version, producing a wider range of body reactions, as well as contradictory BA.4 and BA.5, the latter. Omicron forms.

Neither Moderna nor Pfizer have yet to produce such a high standard, but company representatives say they can move on to production within three months.

In its introduction, Pfizer said the prototype booster built against BA.4 and BA.5 performed well on mice.

When the previous "various types of concerns" such as Alpha and Delta finally came out, Omicron and its subordinates dominated the entire 2022 year, until it covered most of the Covids in the world, FDA official Jerry Weir told the conference. .

This makes it more likely that future outbreaks will occur near the Omicron branch of the Covid family tree. Earlier this month, the World Health Organization also recommended the use of Omicron booster after a series of basic anti-viral reactions, to stimulate a broader immune response.

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