What will it take for new vaccines against Covid variants to be manufactured and distributed? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Why aren’t Covid vaccines, especially mRNA vaccines, being produced against variants such as Omicron as they emerge? Anna Durbin, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins, says this is what the technology promises.

Durbin: I do think we have to be more forward thinking and also working with regulators because if we could get very fast approval of second, third generation, which we should be able to based on the way we get approval for influenza vaccines and the way this technology works. It’s not a difference in manufacturing it’s just a difference in the genetic sequence of the vaccine. I think that would be very helpful but I think eventually we’re going to have to move to a different sequence of vaccine particularly if we’re seeing more divergence even beyond Omicron.  :32

Durbin and other vaccine experts agree that modification of vaccines is very likely to be ongoing as new variants are also likely to continue to emerge. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.