Pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech have said they plan to begin testing a universal coronavirus vaccine during the second half of 2022.
According to Reuters, the experimental vaccines use new and existing technologies to target the coronavirus and any potential variants that may evolve. In a PowerPoint presentation posted on its website, BioNTech said it uses T-cell enhancing shots to protect against severe disease, and pan-coronavirus shots protect against the coronavirus and its mutations.
The company also said it is working with health officials in the United States and European Union to get authorization for its updated COVID-19 shots that provide better protection of the Omicron variant. BioNTech hopes to roll out the updated booster shots in the fall.
"Based on these data, we believe we have two very strong Omicron-adapted candidates that elicit a substantially higher immune response against Omicron than we've seen to date. We look forward to discussing these data with the scientific community and health authorities so we may rapidly introduce an Omicron-adapted booster as soon as possible if authorized by regulators," Albert Bourla, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pfizer, said in the statement.