A fresh round of COVID-19 vaccines aimed at the omicron strain of the virus could be right around the corner -- just in time for a for emergency authorization of their updated vaccines, according to a Monday blog post.. Vaccine manufacturer Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech, each submitted an application to the US Food and Drug Administration
The companies have also begun work on a conditional marketing authorization application with the European Medicines Agency for use in the European Union. Both companies expect to complete the application in the coming days.
The mRNA vaccines use encoding of the original SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, along with the encoding of the spike protein present in the newer, to create a vaccine that has shown promise in neutralizing antibody responses against a wide variety of omicron strains, according to the blog post.
A clinical study of the vaccine in people 12 years and older will begin later this month.
"The agility of the mRNA platform, together with extensive clinical experience with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, has allowed us to develop, test and manufacture updated, high-quality vaccines that align to circulating strains with unprecedented speed," Albert Bourla, Pfizer's chairman and CEO, said in the blog post. "Having rapidly scaled up production, we are positioned to immediately begin distribution of the bivalent Omicron BA.4/BA.5 boosters, if authorized, to help protect individuals and families as we prepare for potential fall and winter surges."
It is not yet known when the vaccines will be available to the public.
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