Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
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Fauci says Omicron-specific version of Covid-19 vaccines may not be necessary
Anthony Fauci isn’t convinced Covid-19 vaccine manufacturers are going to need to produce an Omicron-specific version of their vaccines.
Rather, the long-time director of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases suggested to STAT in an interview Thursday, it’s possible the current vaccines will provide enough protection against the new variant for most vaccinated and boosted individuals.
Fauci stressed that he was hypothesizing, based on how the vaccines have held up against other SARS-CoV-2 variants. Studies will need to be done, he insisted. And manufacturers are working on and will test versions of their vaccines based on the mutation-studded Omicron spike protein. That’s prudent, he said.
“The companies are going to be making variant specific boosters,” Fauci told STAT. But “what I think is something that we need to keep our eye on [is] it could be that things turn out better than we expected.”