8 Dec 2021
Omicron is a Wake-up Call to All Developers of COVID19 Vaccine
The Index Today
Leading virologists and immunologists told Reuters that the arrival of the highly-mutated Omicron variant is a wake-up call to develop vaccines less defenseless against to the rapid changes of the coronavirus.
According to the present data, most first-generation COVID-19 vaccines are only targeting the spike protein on the outer surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virus used to infect human cells. Omicron has prompted alarm among scientists because it has far more mutations than earlier variants, including more than 30 on its spike.
Research to determine whether the previous vaccines are ineffective to Omicron is ongoing right now. Even if current shots remain effective for now, the dramatic evolution of the virus highlights the need for vaccines targeting parts of the virus less prone to mutate.
"One thing that is clear from Omicron is that the virus... is not going to go away," said Dr. Larry Corey, a virologist at Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center who is overseeing U.S. government-backed COVID-19 vaccine trials. "There's a need for better vaccines," he added.