By Matthew Roscoe •
Published: 30 Nov 2021 • 13:34
Spain: Janssen testing vaccine effectiveness against Omicron. Credit: Janssen Press Media
JANSSEN’S (Johnson & Johnson) general manager for Spain and Portugal, Luis Díaz-Rubio Amate, has announced that the company is “testing” the effectiveness of its covid-19 vaccine against the new Omicron variant, with the possibility of producing a “specific one, if necessary”.
Speaking at a conference discussing Spain’s vaccination plan, Luis Díaz-Rubio Amate said: “We are currently intensively monitoring new strains, such as Omicron, which has been a cause for concern in recent days.
“It generates variations in the sequence of the spicule [spike] protein so we are testing the effectiveness of our vaccine against this new variant and we are exploring the development of a specific vaccine if necessary,” he said.
According to Johnson & Johnson, the company is “testing blood serum from participants in completed and ongoing booster studies to look for neutralising activity against the Omicron variant.
“In addition, the company is pursuing an Omicron-specific variant vaccine and will progress it as needed.”
Janssen’s Global Head of Research & Development, Mathai Mammen, said: “The new Omicron variant highlights the importance of continued surveillance, testing and vaccination to prevent hospitalisations and deaths from COVID-19.
“We remain confident in the robust humoral and cell-mediated immune responses elicited by the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine demonstrated by the durability and breadth of protection against variants to date in clinical studies,” he said.
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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