Novavax is working on vaccine to combat the Omicron variant

The biotechnology company Novavax is working on a vaccine to fight the new Omicron coronavirus variant, which was first discovered in South Africa.

Public health officials in the United States and abroad are concerned that the Omicron variant may be more transmissible and resistant to current vaccines due to the 30 mutations in the nail protein. This protein is the region that interacts with human cells before entry.

Novavax said its vaccine would contain the mutated tip protein in the Omicron variant, allowing individuals to develop an immune response, a spokesman for the company, Reuters reported.

The test and manufacture of the shot is likely to “take a few weeks,” the spokesman added.

The company’s vaccine received emergency use approval in Indonesia earlier this month and was later approved for emergency use by the Philippines. The company has not yet filed for approval in the United States

Other vaccine developers said they have already begun evaluating how effective their vaccines are on the new variant. BioNtech said Friday that the company wants to know how effective its vaccine, which it developed with Pfizer, is against the Omicron variant.

“We expect more data from the laboratory tests no later than in two weeks. These data will provide more information on whether B.1.1.529 may be an escape variant that may require an adjustment of our vaccine if the variant spreads globally,” a It says a spokesman for BioNTech told Reuters.

The Omicron tribe has sparked a worldwide battle to curb the spread, with many countries restricting flights from several African countries a day after the variant was announced.

The new variant was first found in South Africa and has been confirmed to have spread to the United Kingdom, Israel, Hong Kong, Belgium and Botswana.

New York Gov. Kathy HochulThe Kathy HochulOversight panel sees excessive bail, jail-ridden in New York City NY mogul with ties to lt. gov. faces accusations of campaign fraud Williams launches governor bid in New York MORE (D) has already declared a state of emergency in preparation for an increase in cases in the state, although no confirmed cases have been reported in the United States

The Hill has contacted Novavax for further comments.

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