BioNTech, a German COVID-19 vaccine producer, said it collaborated with British artificial intelligence startup InstaDeep Ltd to develop a mechanism to swiftly identify whether a novel viral variation is a cause for concern.

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BioNTech and its partner claimed in a joint statement on Tuesday that the new computer method can analyse genetic sequencing data of new coronavirus mutations detected in infected persons and estimate the risk they pose in days, if not minutes.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer on Monday announced they are anticipating a COVID-19 vaccine targeting the omicron type of coronavirus to be ready in March.

According to CNBC, Pfizer Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla revealed that Pfizer has already started producing dosages as numerous governments expressed interest to obtain vaccine doses against the omicron form. Countries all across the world are attempting to halt the spread of the variation by administering booster doses to a large number of people.

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Bourla told the network, “This vaccine will be ready in March. I don’t know if we will need it. I don’t know if and how it will be used.”

He further stated that a booster shot given after two doses of COVID-19 vaccination will provide “reasonable” protection against major omicron health problems.

Also speaking to CNBC, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said on Monday, “We are discussing with public health leaders around the world to decide what we think is the best strategy for the potential booster for the fall of 2022. We believe it will contain omicron.”

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According to Bancel, clinical studies for the omicron-specific booster will begin soon, and Moderna is debating whether the shot should include any other components to combat the virus.

“We need to be careful to try to stay ahead of a virus and not behind the virus,” he said.

With the United Kingdom, South Korea, and Switzerland just purchasing shots for this fall, Moderna has inked advanced purchase agreements with upfront payments totaling $18.5 billion. This year, Bancel estimates that the company will be able to offer 2 billion to 3 billion booster doses.