Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) aims to have an omicron-specific version of its vaccine available by March. However, it still isn’t sure if the tweaked version will be necessary, said CEO Dr. Albert Bourla in an interview with CNBC’s Squawk Box.
The “new version” of its COVID-19 vaccine, which it developed jointly with BioNTech (NSDQ:BNTX), should hopefully offer better protection against infections from the omicron variant. Three doses of the current BNT162b2 vaccine provide “reasonable” protection against hospitalization and severe disease associated with the omicron variant.
Moderna (NSDQ:MRNA) plans on launching clinical trials for its updated vaccine soon. The company said its omicron-specific vaccine would likely be available by autumn.
Moderna has agreements with several countries, including the UK, South Korea and Switzerland, to provide additional vaccine doses by the fall.
Bourla took a swipe at its rival, asking why Moderna had seemingly decided that the “future is clearly predictable right now?”
Bourla added that he was uncertain whether an omicron booster would be needed.
“If there is a need for the vaccine, then we will have some immediately because there are a lot of governors that would like to see it immediately,” Bourla said.
Pfizer is also working on ramping up manufacturing of its COVID-19 pill Paxlovid, which recently won authorization from the FDA.
Filed Under: clinical trials, Drug Discovery, Infectious Disease