Coronavirus Updates: Vaccine Makers Prepare In Case Adjustments Are Needed Due To Omicron Variant

NEW YORK (WABC) – Pfizer and BioNTech say that if a variant that escapes the vaccine emerges, they would be ready to produce a bespoke vaccine against that new variant within about 100 days.

The companies released a statement to ABC News in response to growing concerns about the omicron variant.

Meanwhile, Moderna says they have mobilized hundreds of employees starting on Thanksgiving Day and expect to hear about the current vaccine’s ability to provide protection against the new variant “over the next two weeks.”

“If we have to make a brand new vaccine, I think it will be early 2022 before it really becomes available in large quantities,” Moderna chief medical officer Paul Burton told the BBC.

Any newly developed vaccine would be subject to regulatory approval.

Also, it should be noted that companies prepare for the scenario, just in case.

The omicron variant was only recently discovered and although the scientific community suspects that it could potentially escape current vaccines due to its mutations, more research is needed.

Here are other headlines of today’s COVID-19:

Canada confirms first 2 cases of omicron variant in Ontario

Canadian authorities confirmed on Sunday that two cases of the omicron variant have been found in Ontario. “Today, the province of Ontario confirmed two cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Ottawa, both of which have been reported in people who have recently traveled from Nigeria. Ottawa Public Health is handling cases and contacts and patients are isolated, ”said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Dr. Kieran Moore, Chief Medical Officer of Health, in a statement.

Hochul imposes booster doses on all New York nursing homes
New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Sunday demanded that all nursing homes and adult care facilities make booster doses available to all of their residents.

Fauci says omicron variant will ‘inevitably’ arrive in US
While the new omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus has yet to be detected in the United States, it will “inevitably” arrive, Dr Anthony Fauci said on Sunday. “We all know that when you have a virus that has already spread to multiple countries, it will inevitably be here,” Fauci told ABC “This Week” presenter George Stephanopoulos. “The question is, will we be prepared for this?” Fauci’s comments came a day before the United States planned to impose a travel ban on most travelers from eight southern African countries.

The Netherlands confirms 13 cases of the omicron variant; Australia reports 2
The Netherlands confirmed 13 cases of the novel omicron variant of the coronavirus on Sunday and Australia found two, as countries halfway around the world became the last to detect it in travelers arriving from southern Africa . A slew of restrictions imposed by nations around the world as they work to slow the spread of the variant has also increased, with Israel deciding on Sunday to ban entry to foreign nationals to the most difficult extent to this. day.

Vaccine inequity, hesitation made omicron more likely: scientists
Many of the world’s wealthiest countries have spent the past year hoarding coronavirus vaccines, purchasing enough doses to vaccinate their populations multiple times, and breaking their promises to share doses with the developing world. . The World Health Organization has said the approach is “self-defeating” and “immoral”. It may be starting to bite. A new, potentially more transmissible variant of the virus has likely emerged from an area with low vaccination rates.

Data shows increase in Connecticut nursing home deaths
A dozen nursing home residents have died from COVID-19 in Connecticut in a recent two-week period, the highest number since mid-August, new data showed on Friday. There were 125 positive cases of COVID-19 among residents between November 10 and 23, with 12 deaths, according to data from the state Department of Health. Sixty-seven staff members also tested positive during the same period. Five of those deaths occurred at Candlewood Valley Health and Rehabilitation Center in New Milford, which has reported 36 positive cases among its 105 residents and eight positive cases among its staff. The last time there were more than a dozen nursing deaths reported in a two-week period was between August 18 and August 31. At that time, there were 16 deaths from COVID-19 among residents of nursing homes, 111 positive cases among residents and 94 cases among staff.

New York Islanders games postponed due to possible COVID cases
The NHL announced on Saturday that all New York Islanders games have been postponed until at least Tuesday, November 30. They say the decision is the result of “another New York Islanders player entering COVID protocol this morning, and up to eight players potentially unavailable to play due to COVID protocol.”

What is omicron What you need to know about the new COVID variant
What is this new variant of COVID-19? And what do we know and don’t know about omicron? Scientists know that omicron is genetically distinct from previous variants, including beta and delta variants, but aren’t sure if these genetic changes make it more heritable or dangerous. So far, there is no indication that the variant causes more serious disease.

2 cases of omicron variant identified in Great Britain
Britain confirmed two related cases of the new omicron variant on Saturday while Germany said it had one probable case. Dutch authorities are also researching the new variant after 61 passengers on two flights from South Africa tested positive for COVID-19. UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said two people had tested positive with the omicron variant in the south-east town of Chelmsford and in the central county of Nottinghamshire. He said the cases were linked and linked to travel from southern Africa.
Clinic organized for LI children who participated in the vax trial
On Long Island today, a special COVID-19 vaccination clinic was held for young people participating in a clinical trial in Suffolk County. Children aged 5 to 11 who received a placebo in a clinical trial at Stony Brook Medicine have received their second injection of Pfizer, which means they will soon be fully immunized. The children who attended all played a role in ensuring the vaccine’s efficacy and safety. Friday’s clinic was held at Stony Brook Advanced Specialty Care in Commack.

Long Island hospital reopens after nursing shortage forces closure
The emergency department at a Nassau County hospital has reopened after a temporary closure due to a nursing shortage. The shortage was the result of New York’s vaccine mandate. Officials at Mount Sinai South Nassau said Monday that all other options were exhausted before the decision was made to close the emergency room. Patients requiring emergency care were referred to the hospital’s main campus in Oceanside.

Connecticut to host nursing home recall clinics
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced that the state is stepping up efforts to vaccinate older residents with a COVID-19 booster by bringing special clinics to nursing homes. The move comes as the state recorded its highest infection rates since early September. Lamont encourages all who are eligible to receive a booster injection. While 84% of residents 18 and older are considered fully vaccinated, only 18% have received a booster.
De Blasio calls on Governor Hochul to institute vax mandate for MTA workers
Mayor Bill de Blasio calls on New York Governor Kathy Hochul to implement a vaccination requirement for MTA workers.

“Here is an opportunity to do something that will really help New York City,” the mayor said Tuesday morning, speaking publicly to Hochul during his daily briefing at city hall. “Put a mandate in place for MTA employees. It’s time to do it.”
Currently, unvaccinated MTA workers can undergo regular testing. Tony Utano, president of Local 100 of the Transport Workers Union, wasted no time in responding.

“The unionized MTA workforce and millions of transit riders are thankful this Thanksgiving that Mayor de Blasio is not running the metro and bus system – and is finally heading for the door.” , Utano said. “The current system in which transit workers have the choice of getting vaccinated or being tested regularly works while we continue to educate and urge members to get vaccinated.”
Erie County institutes indoor mask warrant
With the increase in positivity rates, Erie County has implemented a mask warrant for all indoor public places starting at 6 a.m. on Tuesday. The Indoor Mask Mandate is the first phase of a four phase plan. Erie County hopes it does not have to implement the other phases, which include vaccinations, capacity restrictions and closures.
Governor Kathy Hochul praised the Erie County executive for taking strong local action, calling it “an example of the leadership we need to see at the local level to fight this deadly virus.”


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