If one of the vaccine manufacturers tailors its corona vaccine to the new Omikron variant, the European Union can allow it in three to four months. “We are ready for that,” says the European Medicines Agency (EMA) boss.
The new mutant of the coronavirus seems much more contagious than the Delta variant, which is already causing major problems for many EU countries.
Moreover, according to experts, there are indications that the available vaccines have less influence on them. But that does not mean that the world is back to square one; EMA head Emer Cooke soothed in the European Parliament on Tuesday morning.
If the vaccines are indeed less able to cope with the new variant, it will be up to the manufacturers to adjust their formulas, says Cooke. Thanks to the more flexible rules introduced last year, and the EMA needs less time to assess such a modified vaccine than the original product.
“We think we may be able to have them approved within three to four months from when they are modified,” Cooke said. “I want to assure you that this is something we have prepared for.”