China accelerates study of COVID-19 shots aimed at state media Omicron | WSAU News / Talk 550 AM · 99.9 FM

BEIJING (Reuters) – China is speeding up research and development of a COVID-19 vaccine targeting the Omicron variant, a health official said on Thursday, amid concerns global scientists that it can spread faster than other strains.

Mainland China has not detected any Omicron cases.

Zheng Zhongwei, head of a team responsible for developing a COVID-19 vaccine in China, told CCTV broadcaster: “We are rapidly accelerating the research and development of specific vaccines. Omicron is based on different technologies.

A potential vaccine against Omicron, which the World Health Organization calls a “worrying variant,” may not end up being used, but China needs to be prepared, Zheng said.

There is still no firm evidence whether Omicron wards off vaccine-induced immunity, but most of the shots currently available are still expected to help reduce severe illness and death, he added.

Chinese vaccine maker Sinovac Biotech said it was assessing whether its vaccine would work against Omicron or the company needed to develop a new vaccine.

Shenzhen Kangtai Biological Products (BioKangtai) is looking to collaborate with other institutions on Omicron-related vaccine research.

BioNTech SE hopes to have more data on the Omicron variant within two weeks to help determine whether its vaccine made with partner Pfizer Inc must be reworked, company executives said. know on Tuesday.

China has yet to approve a COVID-19 vaccine developed overseas and uses several home-grown vaccines for its vaccination program.

(Reporting by Roxanne Liu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise) China accelerates study of COVID-19 shots aimed at state media Omicron | WSAU News / Talk 550 AM · 99.9 FM

Dais Johnston

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