Moderna Boss Warns Against Omicron Vaccine Struggle
London, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 30th Nov, 2021 ) :Existing Covid-19 inoculations will struggle against the fast-spreading Omicron variant, the head of vaccine manufacturer Moderna warned Tuesday, as countries ramp up vaccination programmes and impose further restrictions in an effort to curb growing concern.
First reported to the World Health Organization in South Africa less than a week ago, the new strain has rapidly spread from Africa to the Pacific, and from Europe to North America as dozens of countries have announced travel restrictions.
While no deaths have yet been reported from Omicron, and it could take weeks to know how infectious and how resistant the strain may prove to vaccines, its emergence underscores how besieged the world remains by Covid-19, nearly two years after the first cases were recorded.
Stephane Bancel, the head of US vaccine manufacturer Moderna, told the Financial Times in an interview published Tuesday that data would be available on the effectiveness of vaccines in the two weeks' time, but that scientists were pessimistic.
"All the scientists I've talked to ... are like 'this is not going to be good'," Bancel said, warning against a "material drop" in the effectiveness of current jabs against Omicron.
Scientists in South Africa said they had detected the new variant with at least 10 mutations, compared with three for Beta or two for Delta -- the strain that hit the global recovery and sent millions worldwide back into lockdown.
China warned that the fast-spreading Omicron variant would cause challenges in hosting next February's Winter Olympics in Beijing, with thousands of athletes, media and participants arriving from overseas required to enter a strict "closed-loop" bubble.