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Omicron vaccine is all well and good, but real money is on ...

World

Omicron vaccine is all well and good, but real money is on all-in-one jab

Researchers look for alternative strategy as variant-specific vaccines seem doomed to play perpetual catch-up

Lisa Jarvis

Pfizer and Moderna are starting to churn out doses of Omicron-specific vaccines, and they say they could have data on whether the shots are effective as soon as March. But is this the best way to build and maintain protection against Covid-19?

The world is breeding new variants so fast, it may not make sense to chase them one at a time. Global regulators don’t necessarily think it’s the right approach. The World Health Organisation and the US Food and Drug Administration say Omicron-specific vaccines might not be needed, and that public-health agencies around the world — not drug companies — should work together to decide the composition of the next vaccines.

A wiser strategy is one that many vaccine scientists are already working on: the development of pan-coronavirus vaccines, capable of quashing any variant that exists or might emerge...

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