This Thursday, Brazilian officials said that a shot made by a Chinese company named Sinovac was effective against the new variant Omicron.
Officials in Sao Paulo carried out a detailed study of the vaccine made by Sinovac said that it has an efficiency rate of 78%.
According to reports, the vaccine could prevent all participants from developing mild and serious complications from the virus.
The vaccine is named CoronaVac and it is already been shipped around the world in the anticipation of approval. Many countries are already preparing for mass inoculation campaigns.
To date, Sinovac has sold over 300 million doses. But most of the countries importing this vaccine belong to the low and middle-income group.
China is gearing up to supply the vaccine to other countries to become the leader in health diplomacy. Not just that, but it also wants to play a major role in the global vaccine market.
Other Countries on Omicron-Specific Vaccine
On December 11, 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration sanctioned the first Covid-19 vaccine in the country. The Pfizer-BioNTech and vaccines from other countries helped us cope with the fast-spreading coronavirus variants that have evolved since.
But the recent coronavirus mutation called Omicron has induced fear among scientists. The mutations in the new variant have altered the virus so significantly that the existing vaccines may not be as effective as it was before.
Omicron was first detected in late November 2021. As soon as the news got out, companies rushed to test their current vaccines. They wanted to see how good the existing vaccines will hold against Omicron.
Currently, the companies are trying to prepare an Omicron-specific booster that will be ready to be tested and manufactured within the coming few weeks. Experts say that the need to reformulate vaccines is striking. Unlike other stable pathogens, coronavirus evolves quickly. Omicron not only spreads faster, but it can also evade the immunity barrier better than the previous variants.
Omicron Is Wake-Up Call to Develop Vaccines
The arrival of this new variant is a wake-up call for Covid-19 vaccine developers as the world need vaccines that are less susceptible to the fast changes of coronavirus.
First-generation Covid-19 vaccines attack the spike protein in the outer surface of the virus that is responsible for infecting human cells. But the rise of Omicron has caused scientists to worry as it has far more mutations than the other variants. Also, it has more than 30 spike proteins.
Based on research, it has been found that Omicron can evade the immunity barrier from the existing vaccines. Even if the existing vaccines prove to be effective, there is an urgent need for new vaccines to target the parts of the virus that is less prone to mutate.
Since the initial stages of the pandemic, the virus has mutated several times and has become more transmissible than before. It also resulted in Delta, which is a globally dominant variant. Luckily, Covid-19 vaccines maintained their effectiveness in protecting people against severe infection and death.