Pharmaceutical companies claim to be prepared to adapt their vaccines to the new variants of the coronavirus

The appearance of new variants, the delta plus in October and recently, Omicron, urges pharmaceutical companies to streamline processes to tailor their vaccines.

How do vaccines adapt to new mutations?

From Pfizer they have already confirmed that between the next 10 or 15 days they will be able to know if their vial is effective against the new strain detected in South Africa. If not, it would be possible update it so that it maintains its effectiveness in about 6 weeks. At this time, it would be necessary to add several more weeks to produce and distribute the new doses. However, Pfizer will not be the only pharmaceutical company to adapt its processes.

The company Hipra, which develops the Spanish vaccine against COVID-19, has confirmed that the new solution to deal with the variants would be available in just 4 months. The president of the company, David Nogareda, has clarified that in the first place the impact of the recent strains must be studied, “if it is going to reach Europe and with what force”.

EU calls on laboratories for a coordinated response

The capacity who has a virus to mutate, coupled with the possibility that it is more transmissible or to acquire increased virulence it is what worries the experts the most. For this reason, the president of the European Commission (EC) Ursula von der Leyen has asked European laboratories for speed.

“We know that mutations could lead to the emergence and spread of even more worrisome variants of the virus, which could spread around the world in a few months.”

The same recommendation is the one issued by the European Medicines Agency (EMA): “If it were shown that a new mutated variant evades immunity and spreads rapidly in places where the delta variant now predominates, it would be relevant start activities related with updated vaccines“.

Meanwhile, the EMA continues to keep a constant eye on emerging data. “We are closely monitoring the newly emerged B.1.1.529 variant that exhibits numerous mutations in the spike protein.”

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