The newly-discovered omicron variant of COVID-19 is said to be a heavily-mutated version of the virus. The CEO of Pfizer is now speaking out to say that it could take 100 days to find a version of it the vaccine that can fight the variant.
BioNTech issued a statement saying that the first laboratory results of the omicron variant are expected within the next two weeks.
“We understand the concern of experts and have immediately initiated investigations on variant B.1.1.529,” BioNTech said, according to Reuters. “We expect more data from the laboratory tests in two weeks at the latest. These data will provide more information about whether B.1.1.529 could be an escape variant that may require an adjustment of our vaccine if the variant spreads globally.”
BioNTech went on to say that both it and Pfizer are hoping to redesign their vaccines within the next six weeks before shipping initial batches within 100 days.
The World Health Organization held an emergency meeting on Friday. They named this variant, which it designated as a “Variant of Concern,” omicron, after the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet.
“Based on the evidence presented indicative of a detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology, the TAG-VE has advised WHO that this variant should be designated as a VOC and the WHO has designated B.1.1.529 as a VOC, named Omicron,” WHO said in a statement.
“There was a meeting today, WHO and the technical working group on virus evolution, and it has been agreed to classify this variant as a ‘variant of concern,'” Dr. Mary Stephen, technical officer at the WHO Regional Office for Africa, told CNN.
The ripple effects from the discovery of this variant are already being felt in a variety of ways.
“This news is putting the handbrake on markets,” said Peter Rutter, the head of equities at Royal London Asset Management, according to NPR. “There is a huge range of outcomes that can happen. We could have serious lockdowns, or we get no lockdowns and a booming economy. The very fact we don’t know is what’s concerning the market.”
We reported earlier today that President Joe Biden has announced that travel will be banned from the following African countries: South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi. This is incredibly ironic, given the fact that the left was quick to call Donald Trump’s ban on travel from China at the start of the pandemic last year.
Trump further diminished the U.S. in the eyes of the world by expanding his travel ban. This new “African Ban,” is designed to make it harder for black and brown people to immigrate to the United States. It’s a disgrace, and we cannot let him succeed. https://t.co/oePD5eSAWY
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) February 2, 2020
Red Voice Media would like to make a point of clarification on why we do not refer to any shot related to COVID-19 as a "vaccine." According to the CDC, the definition of a vaccine necessitates that said vaccine have a lasting effect of at least one year in preventing the contraction of the virus or disease it's intended to fight. Because all of the COVID-19 shots thus far available have barely offered six months of protection, and even then not absolute, Red Voice Media has made the decision hereafter to no longer refer to the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson substances as vaccinations.