How well do the Omikron vaccinations work? Biontech boss Ugur Sahin has now commented on it – and sees the need for a new vaccine.
Frankfurt – She is the great stranger in the coronavirus pandemic * – and brings with it a lot of new uncertainty. The Omikron variant poses numerous questions to scientists, politicians and health authorities. How infectious is the variant? How difficult are the gradients? How well do the vaccines work against it? A worrying study * was recently shared by the SPD man Karl Lauterbach. Virologist Christian Drosten also expressed concern *. There are also question marks about the effectiveness of the vaccines. Now Ugur Sahin, head of the vaccine manufacturer Biontech, also commented on the cause.
At the “Reuters Next” conference, Sahin spoke about the effectiveness of his company’s vaccine against the Omikron variant, as reported by the Reuters news agency itself. Accordingly, he assumes that a modified vaccine will probably be needed. “I believe that we will need a new vaccine against this new variant from a certain point in time,” he said at the event.
Omikron: Biontech boss Sahin was surprised by the new variant – and speaks of vaccine modification
He apparently also made it clear why he considers this necessary. Sahin believes that Omikron could develop into a so-called antibody escape variant. This would mean that the variant “may be able to infect people who have been vaccinated,” said Sahin, according to Reuters. The same would also apply to those who have recovered. However, the current vaccinations would continue to provide good protection against severe courses, even with the Omikron variant.
At the same time, Sahin also admitted that the appearance of the mutation surprised him. The highly mutated version of the corona virus came earlier than he expected. “I had expected it sometime next year, now it is with us,” said Sahin accordingly. At the time when a modified version of the vaccine would have to be available, however, he did not provide any information.
Video: RKI boss Wieler thinks that Omikron could be more contagious than Delta
Biontech boss Sahin with hopeful news in the fight against Omikron
Nevertheless, he announced another hopeful message: Not only is Omikron still protected against severe disease, Biontech * can adapt its vaccine relatively quickly if necessary, according to Sahin. Sahin went even further, saying that such a procedure would take place in around 100 days and that an initial adjustment was already being made.
Only recently, Stéphane Bancel, head of the vaccine manufacturer Moderna, commented on the effectiveness of the vaccines against the Omikron variant – and sounded rather concerned *. (han)