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Will we need a new COVID-19 vaccine for the Omicron variant? Experts weigh in

Drugmakers are racing to develop new vaccines intended to target the Omicron variant, a coronavirus strain that has mutations that suggest it could evade immunity provided by vaccination or natural infection.

Moderna Chief Medical Officer Dr Paul Burton said in an interview on NBC News that the company has already started work on a version of its vaccine to address the new variant.

Pfizer and BioNTech said they could develop an Omicron-specific vaccine within six weeks and ship initial batches within 100 days if needed.

AstraZeneca said it was looking to understand the impact the Omicron variant has on its coronavirus vaccine, and was testing its antibody combination therapy against the new variant.

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It’s unclear if a new vaccine will even be needed, however.

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