▲ Rochelle Wallensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Wallensky said U.S. health officials are discussing ways to streamline the approval of vaccines specific to the new mutant omicron for COVID-19.
Director Wallensky appeared on ABC on the 5th (local time) and asked whether the Omicron-specific vaccine could be approved faster than the existing vaccine. “We are already discussing simplifying the approval of the vaccine.”
“Many of those vaccines are in part virtually exactly the same, so all that needs to be changed is the mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) code,” he said. will,” he said.
In the United States, it is spreading rapidly, with confirmed cases of Omicron infection in at least 15 states, including California, Colorado, and New York.
Earlier, the Wall Street Journal reported on the 3rd, citing a source, that the FDA would quickly review a vaccine and treatment for Omicron if necessary.
Regarding the development of a vaccine for Omicron, it is expected that it will take about three months for pharmaceutical companies to study only the immune response of hundreds of people instead of a large-scale long-term clinical trial.
Pfizer announced that it would take about 100 days to develop a vaccine for omicron mutation, and Moderna said it would take 60 to 90 days to start clinical trials for the new vaccine.
Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock recently said, “Obtaining the genetic information and patient samples for the mutation and performing the tests necessary to evaluate its impact will take time,” said Acting FDA Director Janet Woodcock. do,” he said.
Meanwhile, U.S. Chief Medical Officer Vivek Mercy appeared on Fox News and emphasized that there is no need to panic, although we should be more vigilant in light of the fact that the Omicron mutation has landed in the United States.
“There are measures in place to protect yourself from the spread of the coronavirus, such as wearing a mask indoors and staying in a well-ventilated area,” Mercy said.
He said the extent of protection of existing vaccines against Omicron is currently unknown, he said, but the data continue to show protection against serious illness, hospitalization and death.
When asked if Omicron is likely to exacerbate the pandemic, he said: “I’m concerned about the potential for it to spread more easily than any other mutation we’ve seen so far. said.
Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), told CNN that we are watching more and more information about Omicron on a daily basis. .
The United States announced on the 26th of last month a measure banning the entry of non-citizens from eight African countries, including South Africa.
In this regard, the World Health Organization (WHO) has expressed concern that such measures are excessive.
Fauci said the U.S. travel ban was implemented to buy time to figure out what was happening in the early days of the Omicron outbreak.
(Photo = Getty Images Korea)