Read more of this story at Slashdot.
While the Omicron mutation might "impact" the effectiveness of our current vaccines, they're "super unlikely" to render them useless, according to Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University's School of Public Health. And USA Today reports that vaccine makers are already getting ready to fight the variant: Health experts have said it will likely be weeks before the world has good data about how omicron may reduce the effectiveness of current vaccines, but Moderna has already announced a three-point strategy to combat the new variant... Moderna's strategy involves three options for boosting COVID-19 vaccination, should omicron prove problematic for current vaccines. The three options, according to a Friday release from the company: A higher dose booster, shots currently being studied that are designed to "anticipate mutations such as those that have emerged in the Omicron variant" and an omicron-specific booster — which is already in the works. Andy Slavitt, who previously served as President Joe Biden's White House senior adviser for COVID response, said in a tweet that both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have estimated a vaccine to combat a new variant could be developed in about 3 months, with some regulatory and logistical hurtles to follow. "If we start in early December, new vaccines could be available by summer in much of the world," Slavitt tweeted. Multiple media organizations on Friday reported Pfizer-BioNTech is studying the new variant and expects data within weeks. If warranted, a targeted vaccine could be developed within 6 weeks and ship within 100 days, the reports say. Johnson & Johnson is also testing its current vaccine against omicron, according to CNBC.