Omicron-specific vaccine testing underway: Moderna chairman responds to first omicron variant detected in US
'We need to get the maximum protection possible,' Afeyan says
Moderna chairman Noubar Afeyan joined FOX Business' "The Claman Countdown" Wednesday shortly after the first case of the omicron variant was reportedly detected in the U.S. to express concern for the nature of the new strain.
Afeyan confirmed advanced testing for "omicron-specific" vaccinations are in the works, including higher booster doses and implementing previous variants.
"We’re doing it all," he told host Liz Claman. "And the expectation is over the next couple of weeks as the data pans out, we can work with the authorities to make whatever decision that is felt to be the most protected."
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Even though Moderna is in the early stages of gathering significant data on the variant, Afeyan shared the pharmaceutical company’s intention is to be "increasingly vigilant" in order to handle any outcome. The most effective method of prevention, he pressed, is wearing an "internal mask" – better known as the vaccine.
"We really do need to up the level of immunity against the virus," he said. "That can best be done through vaccine and through getting boosters against this new threat as well as delta… We need to get the maximum protection possible."
Afeyan indicated a high likelihood that the omicron variant has gone undetected in the U.S. as well as other areas of the world, and said case no. 1 should not come as a surprise.
"The threat is out there mutating, trying to counteract everything we do and we need to be extra vigilant," he warned.