London Daily

Focus on the big picture.
Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023

Moderna chief predicts existing vaccines will struggle with Omicron

Moderna chief predicts existing vaccines will struggle with Omicron

The chief executive of Moderna has predicted that existing vaccines will be much less effective at tackling Omicron than earlier strains of coronavirus and warned it would take months before pharmaceutical companies could manufacture new variant-specific jabs at scale.
Stéphane Bancel said the high number of Omicron mutations on the spike protein, which the virus uses to infect human cells, and the rapid spread of the variant in South Africa suggested that the current crop of vaccines may need to be modified next year.

“There is no world, I think, where [the effectiveness] is the same level . . . we had with [the] Delta [variant],” Bancel told the Financial Times in an interview at the company’s headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

He added: “I think it’s going to be a material drop. I just don’t know how much because we need to wait for the data. But all the scientists I’ve talked to . . . are like, ‘This is not going to be good’.”

The Moderna chief executive’s comments come as public health experts and politicians have tried to strike a more upbeat tone about existing vaccines’ capacity to confer protection against Omicron.

On Monday, Scott Gottlieb, a director of Pfizer and former commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration, told CNBC: “There’s a reasonable degree of confidence in vaccine circles that [with] at least three doses . . . the patient is going to have fairly good protection against this variant.”

Joe Biden, US president, subsequently said Omicron was “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic,” adding that the government’s medical experts “believe that the vaccines will continue to provide a degree of protection against severe disease”.

However, Bancel said scientists were worried because 32 of the 50 mutations in the Omicron variant are on the spike protein, which current vaccines focus on to boost the human body’s immune system to combat Covid.

Most experts thought such a highly mutated variant would not emerge for another year or two, Bancel added.

The Moderna chief’s predictions rattled investors in Europe and Asia on Tuesday, with equities and crude prices dropping. The European Stoxx 600 share index fell around 1.3 per cent with the UK’s FTSE 100, Germany’s Dax and France’s Cac 40 all down by around the same margin. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was 2.3 per cent lower.

Mansoor Mohi-uddin, chief economist at the Bank of Singapore, said that while investors were not pricing in a more serious disruption to the global economy from Omicron, it could take weeks for a clearer picture to emerge. “The view is still that it’s going to be a temporary hit, rather like [the Delta variant] turned out to be.”

Moderna and Pfizer have become the vaccine suppliers of choice for most of the developed world due to the high effectiveness of their jabs, which are based on messenger RNA (mRNA) technology.

In August, Moderna announced that people vaccinated with two doses of its jab “maintained antibodies through six months, including against variants of concern such as the Delta variant”.

But studies suggested that the company’s vaccine was less effective at preventing outbreaks of Delta than earlier strains of the virus.

A Stanford University study of a Delta outbreak at a California prison published last month found that Moderna’s jab was 56.6 per cent effective against infection — substantially lower than the level in studies conducted before the emergence of the variant, the researchers said.

Moderna and Pfizer are now working on new vaccines to target the Omicron variant, which the World Health Organization has said poses a “very high risk”.

Bancel said data indicating how existing vaccines performed against the Omicron variant, and whether it caused severe disease, should become available within two weeks.

But he said it would take several months before an Omicron-specific vaccine could be produced at scale, and suggested there might be a case for giving more potent boosters to the elderly or people with compromised immune systems in the meantime.

“[Moderna] and Pfizer cannot get a billion doses next week. The maths doesn’t work. But could we get the billion doses out by the summer? Sure,” said Bancel, who predicted Moderna could make a total of 2bn-3bn doses in 2022.

But he said it would be risky to shift Moderna’s entire production capacity to an Omicron-targeted jab at a time when other variants were still in circulation.

Bancel also hit out at critics who have accused vaccine makers of not doing enough to support rollouts in developing countries such as South Africa, where only a quarter of the population is fully inoculated, according to Johns Hopkins University.

“This was mostly a policy decision by the rich countries. In the US, we were told we had no choice but to give 60 per cent of our output to the US government. That was not a Moderna decision, that was a US government decision,” he said.

Bancel also said there was a surplus of jabs earmarked for Africa and that 70m Moderna vaccines were sitting in warehouses because Covax, an international body tasked with supplying low-income nations, or individual governments had not taken delivery of them.

“We are running out of space,” he said. “It’s because either they don’t have customs documents, or they don’t have fridge space, or because the ability to get doses in arms is a challenge.”
Newsletter

Related Articles

London Daily
Close
0:00
0:00
WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - US Memphis Police murdering innocent Tyre Nichols
You're Beautiful - James Blunt (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Almost 30% of professionals say they've tried ChatGPT at work
You Are So Beautiful
Interpol seeks woman who ran elaborate exam cheating scam in Singapore
Postmodern Jukebox European Tour Version
What is ChatGPT?
An old French tune (by Georges Brassens) Pomplamoose ft. John Schroeder
Bill Gates is ‘very optimistic’ about the future: ‘Better to be born 20 years from now...than any time in the past’
Sattahip Motor Show 20
China is opening up for foreign investors.
SONATE AU CLAIR DE LUNE - Moonlight sonata
Tesla reported record profits and record revenues for 2022
A kiss to build a dream on
Germany confirms it will provide Ukraine with Leopard 2 tanks
Wiz Khalifa - See You Again ft. Charlie Puth, Furious
Prince Andrew and Virginia Giuffre Photo Is Fake: Ghislaine Maxwell
Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Opinion | Israel’s Supreme Court Claims a Veto on Democracy
Mean Blues
Moonwalker Buzz Aldrin Gets Married On His 93rd Birthday
La Chansonnette
Who’s Threatening Israeli Democracy?
Pattaya Addicts
Federal Reserve Probes Goldman’s Consumer Business
Franz Liszt - Liebestraum - Love Dream
China's first population drop in six decades
Dream a little dream of me
Microsoft is finalising plans to become the latest technology giant to reduce its workforce during a global economic slowdown
Tu Vuo' Fa' L'Americano - Hetty & the Jazzato Band
Israelis rally in three cities against Netanyahu legal reforms
Unchained Melody sung like you've NEVER heard!
China's foreign ministry branch in Hong Kong urges British gov't to stop the biased and double standards Hong Kong report
Dave Brubeck - Take Five
Tesla slashes prices globally by as much as 20 percent
Édith Piaf - Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (Sofie)
Japan prosecutors indict man for ex-PM Shinzo Abe murder
Rondo Alla Turca
1.4 Million Copies Of Prince Harry's Memoir 'Spare' Sold On 1st Day In UK
Kiss of fire
After Failing To Pay Office Rent, Twitter May Sell User Names
Ed Sheeran - Perfect (Amadeus violin cover instrumental)
Lisa Marie Presley, singer and daughter of Elvis, dies aged 54
Tom Jones - I´ll Never Fall In Love Again 1967, 1989, 2001
FIFA president questioned by prosecutors
Israel Cachao López - Guajira Clásica
Britain's Sunak breaks silence and admits using private healthcare
Edward Maya - Stereo Love (feat. Vika Jigulina) (Extended Mix)
Dirty bomb fears as URANIUM is found in cargo at Heathrow
Strauss - Radetzky March - Karajan
Hype and backlash as Harry's memoir goes on sale. Unnamed royal source says prince 'kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy and Meghan'
La vie en rose
Saudi Arabia set to overtake India as fastest-growing major economy this year 
Despacito (Piano Cover) - Peter Bence
Google and Facebook’s dominance in digital ads challenged by rapid ascent of Amazon and TikTok
The Temptations - My Girl (Smokey Robinson Tribute) 2006 Kennedy Cent
FTX fraud investigators are digging deeper into Sam Bankman-Fried's inner circle – and reportedly have ex-engineer Nishad Singh in their sights
Orlando Cachaito Lopez Redencion
TikTok CEO Plans to Meet European Union Regulators
Edith Piaf - NON, JE NE REGRETTE RIEN
UK chaos: Hong Kong emigrants duped by false prospectus
RADETZKY MARCH-2008-Wien, New Year Concert
France has banned the online sale of paracetamol until February, citing ongoing supply issues
Only you (And you alone)
Japan reportedly to give families 1 million yen per child to move out of Tokyo
Beautiful in White x Canon in D (Piano Cover by Riyandi Kusuma)
Saudi Arabia’s female ambassadors: Who are the five women representing the Kingdom?
Strangers In The Night
Will Canada ever become a real democracy?
Charles Aznavour - La Boheme
Hong Kong property brokerages slash payrolls in choppy market
Summer time
U.S. Moves to Seize Robinhood Shares, Silvergate Accounts Tied to FTX
Sting and Stevie Wonder - Fragile (from Sting's 60th birthday concert)
Effect of EU sanctions on Moscow is ‘less than zero’ – Belgian MEP
Aux Champs Elysees
Coinbase to Pay $100 Million in Settlement With New York Regulator
Stand By Me - Ben E. King (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
FTX assets worth $3.5bn held by Bahamas securities regulator
La Mer (Beyond the Sea) – Avalon Jazz Band
A Republican congressman-elect is under investigation in New York after he admitted he lied about his education and work experience.
She
Brazilian football legend Pele, arguably the greatest player ever, has died at the age of 82.
Nathalie Song by Enzo Petrachi Stjepan Hauser Cello
Hong Kong to scrap almost all its Covid rules
Shape of My Heart - Sting (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
EU calls screening of travellers from China unjustified
Radiohead - Creep
US imposes Covid testing for visitors from China
Quizás,Quizás,Quizás - Andrea Bocelli - Jennifer Lopez
Clashes erupt in central Paris after shooting at a Kurdish cultural center
Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps - Multi-Couples
Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy Addresses Joint Session of Congress - FULL SPEECH
Pentatonix Havana
If a country is denied the right to independence by another, it is not in a union. It is in a dictatorship.
Paula Cole - Autumn Leaves
Where is Rishi? Chancellor Jeremy Hunt's excuses about the UK's economic challenges just don't make sense
Oscar Benton Bensonhurst Blues
Former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried finally arrested in Bahamas after U.S. files charges
OH NANANA vs ABUSADAMENTE
Nina Simone - ”I Put A Spell On You”. Vezi aici cum cântă Jeremy Ragsd
NIGHTWISH - The Phantom Of The Opera
Motorshow 2016 Tanjay Negros Oriental
Monica Bellucci - Ti Amo
Michael Jackson - Billie Jean Milena The Voice France 2018
Michael Buble (Help Me Make It Through The Night) feat Loren Allred
Memories Canon In D - Maroon 5 (Boyce Avenue piano acoustic cover)
Matteo Simoni - Marina
Maroon 5 - One More Night
Maroon 5 - Memories
Mark Knopfler - Brothers In Arms (Berlin 2007 Live)
Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris - Romeo And Juliet (Real Live Roadrunni
Marina, Marina - The LUCKY DUCKIES intimist live concert at Guimarães
Major Lazer & DJ Snake – Lean On Mauranne The Voice France 2016
Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet - Joslin - Henri Mancini, Nino Rota
LoLa & Hauser - Love Story
Linkin Park Jay-Z - Numb Encore (Live 8 2005)
Hallelujah Mennel Ibtissem, The Voice France Leonard Cohen
Leonard Cohen - Dance Me to the End of Love
Leonard Cohen & Natasha Rostova - Dance me to the end of love
La casa de papel - Bella Ciao
La Camisa Negra
L'italiano (Toto Cutugno) - The Gypsy Queens
Juanes - La Camisa Negra
Jonathan and Charlotte - Britain's Got Talent 2012 Live Semi Final - U
John Powell - Assassin's Tango
Joe Cocker - You Can Leave Your Hat On (LIVE in Dortmund)
Joe Cocker - Unchain My Heart 2002 Live
Joe Cocker - A Whiter Shade Of Pale
Jay Z & Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind LIVE
Jason Mraz - Im Yours (live)
Jarrod Radnich - Bohemian Rhapsody - Virtuosic Piano Solo
James Blunt - You're Beautiful
James Blunt - You're Beautiful & Bonfire Heart (Live at The Nobel Peac)
If You Go Away - Helen Merrill & Stan Getz (Tribute to Virna Lisi)
I'LL BE MISSING YOU
I Say a Little Prayer
Hotel California ( Eagles ) 1994 Live
Historia de un amor - Luz Casal. Vezi interpretarea Biancăi Sumanariu
Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover) on Spot
Heart - Stairway to Heaven Led Zeppelin - Kennedy Center Honors
HAVANA by Camila Cabello Zumba Pre Cooldown TML Crew Kramer Pastra
HAUSER and Señorita - I Will Always Love You
HAUSER - Waka Waka
HAUSER - Sway
HAUSER - Lambada
HAUSER - Historia de un Amor
HAUSER - Despacito
Great Pretender
Georgia May Foote & Giovanni Pernice Samba to 'Volare' - Strictly Come
Gary Moore - Still Got The Blues
GIPSY KINGS VOLARE Penelope Cruz
Fugees - Killing Me Softly With His Song
French Latino - Historia de un Amor
For A Few Dollars More The Danish National Symphony Orchestra (Live)
Flashdance • What a Feeling • Irene Cara
Filip Rudan - “Someone You Loved” Audicija 4 The Voice Hrvatska Sez
Eric Clapton - Wonderful Tonight
Enya - Only Time
Enrique Iglesias - Bailando (English Version) ft. Sean Paul
Enrique Iglesias - Bailamos
Elena Yerevan Historia de un amor
Ed Sheeran - Shape of You (Official Music Video)
Ed Sheeran - Perfect Symphony [with Andrea Bocelli]
Ed Sheeran - Perfect (Official Music Video)
Easy On Me - Adele (Boyce Avenue 90’s style piano acoustic cover) on S
ERA - Ameno
ELENA YEREVAN- Cancion Del Mariachi-IN STUDIO-2017 DPR
Dust In The Wind - Kansas (Boyce Avenue acoustic cover)
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Despacito x Shape Of You - Pentatonix
Deep Purple - Child In Time - Live (1970)
David Foster When A Man Loves A WomanIt's A Mans World (SealMichael Bo
Dance me to the end of Love ( Pi-Air Design )
Coolio - Gangsta's Paradise (feat. L.V.) [Official Music Video]
Conquest Of Paradise (Vangelis), played on Böhm Emporio organ
Cielito Lindo
Chico & The Gypsies - Bamboleo
Canción Del Mariachi - Antonio Banderas, Los Lobos • Desperado
Camila Cabello - Havana (Audio) ft. Young Thug
Camila Cabello - Havana ( cover by J.Fla )
California Dreamin' - The Mamas & The Papas José Feliciano (Boyce Ave
Buster Benton - Money Is The Name of The Game
Hallelujah Pentatonix
Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy (Official Music Video)
Bob Dylan - Knockin' On Heaven's Door Emilia The Voice Kids France
Besame Mucho - Cesaria Evora
Ben E. King - Stand by Me Sax Cover Alexandra Ilieva Thomann
Bella Ciao
Bella Ciao - INSTRUMENTAL
Beautiful in White x Canon in D (Piano Cover by Riyandi Kusuma)
Bad Romance - Vintage 1920's Gatsby Style Lady Gaga Cover ft. Ariana Savalas & Sarah Reich(1)
BELLA CIAO 2020 - KARAOKE ITALIANO
BAMBOLEO - Gipsy Kings • Antonio Banderas, Katya Virshilas
BAILANDO (original)
Awesome Ukrainian yodeler - SOFIA SHKIDCHENKO (with English subtitles)
Avicii - The Nights
Atom - The Great Gig in the Sky
Aretha Franklin - (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (Official Ly
Antonio Banderas - Cancion del Mariachi (Desperado)
André Rieu - Zorba's Dance (Sirtaki)
André Rieu - Can't Help Falling In Love
André Rieu & Mirusia - Ave Maria
Andrew Reyes Elton John - Don't Let The Sun Go Down The Voice 2020 (
Andreas Kümmert Whiter Shade Of Pale The Voice of Germany 2013 Showd
And I Love You So
All About That Bass - Postmodern Jukebox European Tour Version
Alan Walker - Faded (Piano Cover)
Ain't No Sunshine -- Bill Withers (cover by Canen 12 y.o.)
African music
Adriana Vidović - “Creep” Audicija 4 The Voice Hrvatska Sezona 3
Adriana Vidović - “Believer” Nokaut 3 The Voice Hrvatska Sezona 3
A Fistful of Dollars - The Danish National Symphony Orchestra and Tuva
4 Beautiful Soundtracks Relaxing Piano [10min]
2CELLOS - Whole Lotta Love vs. Beethoven 5th Symphony [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
2CELLOS - Smooth Criminal (Live at Suntory Hall, Tokyo)
2CELLOS - Smells Like Teen Spirit [Live at Sydney Opera House]
2CELLOS - Despacito [OFFICIAL VIDEO]
13 Year Old Girl Playing Il Silenzio (The Silence) - André Rieu
094.All About That Bass
00 - SADNESS PART 1
(Ghost) Riders In the Sky (American Outlaws Live at Nassau Coliseum, 1
(Everything I Do) I Do It For You - Bryan Adams (Boyce Avenue ft. Conn
What a wonderful world
Moon river
×