Expert questions whether omicron-specific booster will be manufactured

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Now that Omicron is the dominant COVID-19 variant in the U.S, there have been talks about adjusting current vaccines to combat it.

Many people have asked if a booster that focuses specifically on the new variant is needed. Dr. Paul Cook, East Carolina University infectious diseases division chief, learned that one vaccine manufacturer may be working on one.

“I don’t know for sure, but I heard that Moderna could be pursuing an omicron vaccine,” Cook said.

If Moderna is in fact working on an omicron-specific booster, Cook believes it could take 3-4 months for the vaccine distributor to achieve the feat. He also thinks that with the effectiveness of Moderna and Pfizer’s current booster, another vaccine isn’t very likely.

Though breakthrough cases can happen, Cook says boosters and vaccines are keeping a majority of people with COVID out of the hospital.

He foresees the current omicron surge hitting its peak in late January or early February based on the variant’s track record in other countries.

“Because we got that experience from South Africa,” Cook said.

Cook also goes on to say that cloth facemasks are not as effective when it comes to protecting yourself from the coronavirus. N95 and 3-layer facemasks are highly recommended.

You’re eligible to get your booster shot six months after you become fully vaccinated with the Pfizer or Moderna shots or two months after you received the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

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