Pfizer’s Omicron vax may be too late with case surge: WHO exec

The release of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine which especially targets the Omicron variant may be “too late” for countries with an ongoing surge of cases, World Health Organization (WHO) country representative Dr. Rabindra Abeyasinghe said on Wednesday.

This, after Pfizer Inc. Chief Executive Albert Bourla announced on Monday their redesigned Omicron-targeted Covid-19 jab may be ready for launching in March.

“If you are talking about managing the spread of the [Omicron] variant in countries that are already seeing a surge, it may be too late,” Abeyasinghe said during a televised public briefing.

He noted that the existing jabs under the WHO Emergency Use Listing can prevent severe disease and death from Covid-19.

“So, the new type of vaccine, what we are looking for is a vaccine that can prevent people from getting infected with mild symptoms,” he said. “We are not quite sure whether Omicron specific vaccine will be useful for new future variants”.

The Philippines has a total of 43 Omicron variant cases as of Tuesday – 21 local cases while the other 22 came from international travelers.

On Wednesday, the Department of Health said the country’s overall tally of Covid-19 cases reached 3,058,634 with 208,164 active cases of which 197,091 are mild, 2,872 are moderate, 6,435 are asymptomatic, 1,468 are severe, and 298 are critical.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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