New COVID variant? No problem, according to biotech firm Pfizer.
As concerns over a new coronavirus variant sent the stock market into a downward spiral Friday, its worst day of 2021 so far, Pfizer and partner Biotech offered a potential sigh of relief, saying that “in the event that a vaccine-escape variant emerges” they can have a new vaccine ready in 100 days.
“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,” Pfizer said in a statement Friday.
The B.1.1.529 coronavirus variant, first discovered in South Africa and dubbed Omicron by the World Health Organization resulted in various travel restrictions, including the U.S. banning all flights from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.
UPDATE: POTUS gets out in front of likely issues with respect to vaccine equity in the face of the omicron variant.