COVID-19 live updates: Omicron cases spread to UK, Germany

As concerns grow with the omicron COVID-19 variant, two of the world’s major coronavirus vaccine makers said they’ll be able to develop a vaccine to combat the new variant.

Pfizer/BioNTech said that if a “vaccine-escape variant emerges,” they “expect to be able to develop and produce a tailor-made vaccine against that variant in approximately 100 days, subject to regulatory approval.”

“Pfizer and BioNTech are remaining vigilant, and we are constantly conducting surveillance efforts focused on monitoring for emerging variants that potentially escape protection from our vaccine,” the company said in a statement to ABC News.

Similarly, Moderna’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Burton told the BBC’s Andrew Marr on Sunday that they’ve mobilized hundreds of employees starting on Thanksgiving and expect to know the ability of the current vaccine to provide protection against the new variant “in the next couple of weeks.”

“If we have to make a brand-new vaccine, I think that’s going to be early 2022 before that’s really going to be available in large quantity,” he told the BBC.

-ABC News’ Ahmad Hemingway

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