Certainly they are! Say whatever is necessary to the cameras, but can anybody test for the particular strains? People are being tested for COVID but how many people know what strain they got if they’re positive? The news is just putting a fresh face on for every new “strain” unless we can test for variants. Big Pharma is of course happy for what appears to be wealth beyond their wildest dreams.
Big Pharma can throw together another vaccine
A couple news outlets reported this could be done. Journalist Charles Gasparino tweeted out, “BREAKING: Medical professionals tell FoxBusiness sources inside big pharma are confident they can make a vax specifically for Omicron Variant and can produce it fairly quickly. They are first waiting on data about its virulence and whether it evades current vaxs. Developing…”
Reuters chimed in, “BioNTech SE said on Friday it expects more data on a worrying new coronavirus variant detected in South Africa within two weeks to help determine whether its vaccine produced with partner Pfizer Inc would have to be reworked. Pfizer and BioNTech said that if necessary they expect to be able to ship a new vaccine tailored to the emerging variant in approximately 100 days.”
Big Pharma can save the world
That might not need to be saved. Be careful, last year’s health care heroes are now zeroes if they refused vaccination. Phizer-BioNTech noted the Omicron variant is supposedly super deadly and spreading throughout Africa, which by the way has low COVID incidence and low vaccinations. Wait, what?
Doesn’t matter. Investigations have been launched. BioNTech is on it. “We understand the concern of experts and have immediately initiated investigations on variant B.1.1.529. We expect more data from the laboratory tests in two weeks at the latest. These data will provide more information about whether B.1.1.529 could be an escape variant that may require an adjustment of our vaccine if the variant spreads globally.”
Big Pharma sees annual boosters
As annual dollar signs. Pharma companies are seeing their shares go through the roof. BioNTech ADR is up 14.2%, Pfizer shares are up 6.1% and Moderna is up 20.6%. Moderna came straight out and said they’re looking at annual boosters. “Moderna Inc said in a statement it is working to advance a booster candidate tailored to the new variant and has also been testing a higher dose of its existing booster and to study other booster candidates designed to protect against multiple variants.” Moderna continued, “A booster dose of an authorized vaccine represents the only currently available strategy for boosting waning immunity.” Waning immunity. The immunizations we received as children were killed viruses that don’t need regular boosters like this.
A new company, Novavax is joining the panic. It has “started working on a version of its COVID-19 vaccine to target the variant detected in South Africa” and “would have the shot ready for testing and manufacturing in the next few weeks. The company’s COVID-19 shot contains an actual version of the virus’ spike protein that cannot cause disease but can trigger the immune system. The vaccine developer said it had started developing a spike protein specifically based on the known genetic sequence of the variant, B.1.1.529.”
Pharma shares up here too
A Novavax spokesperson said, “The initial work will take a few weeks. Shares of the company closed up nearly 9% on Friday.” Reuters reported that “The company has said it is on track to file for U.S. approval by the end of the year. It has also filed for approvals with the European Medicines Agency as well as in Canada. German drugmaker BioNTech SE and Johnson & Johnson have also said they were testing the effectiveness of their respective COVID-19 vaccines against the new variant.”
Can you imagine a problem in reporting the Omicron variant being mild? The sky isn’t falling? That’s what reports have said. CNBC noted, “Covid symptoms linked to the new omicron variant have been described as ‘extremely mild’ by the South African doctor who first raised the alarm over the new strain. Dr. Angelique Coetzee, chair of the South African Medical Association, told the BBC on Sunday that she started seeing patients around Nov.18 presenting with ‘unusual symptoms’ that differed slightly from those associated with the delta variant, which is the most virulent strain of the virus to date and globally dominant. It actually started with a male patient who’s around the age of 33 … and he said to me that he’s just [been] extremely tired for the past few days and he’s got these body aches and pains with a bit of a headache. The patient didn’t have a sore throat, she said, but more of a ‘scratchy throat’ but no cough or loss of taste or smell — symptoms that have been associated with previous strains of the coronavirus.”
But the vaccines aren’t stopping the spread as promised. Is there going to be a point where we don’t pay attention to Chicken Little?