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Moderna, Pfizer working on omicron-specific vaccines

Drug companies are working on omicron-specific vaccines to battle the latest wave of the coronavirus. Moderna Chief Executive Stéphane Bancel said earlier this week in an interview with CNBC that the reworked vaccine booster shot should be in clinics “soon.” Testing of its current vaccine version found that a booster dose of the vaccine provided protection against the variant, however. At the same time, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla on Monday told CNBC that a vaccine that specifically targets the omicron variant is being manufactured and will be ready in March. The new vaccine dose also will target the other known variants, he said. Both current vaccines protect against serious illness from the coronavirus, however. Bourla also said that it is not clear if a fourth dose of the Pfizer vaccine is neccesary to protect against the virus. Israel currently is offering a fourth dose of the Pfizer vaccine to health care workers, people over 60 and immunocompromised people.

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