Pfizer, Moderna to be ready with BA.1-specific COVID-19 boosters

Vials with Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine labels are seen in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2021. REUTERS FILE PHOTO

Pfizer Inc and Moderna Inc said on Tuesday they will be ready with COVID-19 vaccines designed to combat the BA.1 Omicron variant that was dominant last winter earlier than those designed to target currently dominant subvariants.

Moderna said it would be ready with a “couple of hundred million” of bivalent vaccines designed to combat BA.1 by September, but it would be late October or early November if the vaccine maker needed to design a vaccine to combat the currently dominant BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants.

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Pfizer said it has a significant amount of BA.1 vaccine produced already and is preparing to produce a large amount of vaccine against BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. It said either vaccine could be ready for an early October rollout.

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