There’s still no certainty whether the existing coronavirus vaccines need to be tweaked specifically to fight the new Omicron strain, the EU’s drug regulator has said, adding, however, that it was prepared for such a possibility.
“There is no answer whether we will need to adapt vaccines,” the head of the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) Emer Cooke told a press briefing on Tuesday.
While the agency has been prepared for the possibility that Covid-19 vaccines may need tweaking, there’s still not enough data to prove that is necessary, the official added. The EMA is still collecting data about vaccine efficacy and Omicron’s transmissibility, along with information on the severity of Omicron-related cases.
Cooke spoke to the Financial Times Monday to warn that data suggests existing Covid vaccinations are less effective than others against Omicron.
“The data coming in … it’s not at all definitive, there are very small numbers, [but] it’s clear that there is a drop in effectiveness,”The official spoke to the newspaper. “How much, we don’t know.”
Scientists first identified the strain in South Africa in November. It has since been found in around 90 countries. Omicron, a highly-mutated strain that is well-adapted for interaction with human cells, raised concerns about the efficacy of existing vaccines.
Omicron’s spread has been described as such by the World Health Organization. “significantly faster”More than just the dominant version, Delta has been associated with a wave of new coronavirus-linked restrictions around the world. Many countries have issued travel bans with many others reimposing strict restrictions.