The general director of Janssen in Spain and Portugal, Luis Díaz-Rubio Amate, has announced that his company is “testing” the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine against the new omicron variant, with the possibility of producing a “specific one if necessary”.
“We are currently intensively monitoring the new strains, such as omicron, which is causing so much concern in recent days. It generates variations in the spicule protein sequence. We are testing the effectiveness of our vaccine against this new variant and we are exploring the development of a specific vaccine if necessary”, he advanced during his speech before the Commission of investigation related to the management of vaccines and the Vaccination Plan of the Congress of Deputies.
In this regard, the Janssen leader added that they are “working together with the World Health Organization, the academic world and different institutions” to clarify what the impact of omicron could be on already approved vaccines.
Vaccines for the world
In any case, Díaz-Rubio Amate has defended that Janssen “continues to believe in the benefit” of its vaccine, which is provided non-profit for the duration of the pandemic, “to millions of people around the world. We are committed to remaining non-profit for the duration of the pandemic and initially at a single price worldwide,” he stressed.
The leader of Janssen has recognized that it is “complex” to maket the transfer of vaccine technology so that it can be carried out by other centers around the world. “It is complex due to the needs of equipment, raw materials … Technology transfer is a complex project that requires qualified personnel with great experience,” he explained.
Despite this, he has argued that “having access to vaccines that save lives should not depend on where you live or purchasing power.” “We are especially proud of our work to facilitate equitable access.”
He has valued COVAX as “an essential mechanism so that the most disadvantaged nations are not left behind.” In fact, he recalled that Janssen will supply up to 900 million doses of its vaccine to this instrument and to the African Union over the next year.
“By the end of this year, we estimate that 60 percent of our production will have been made available to less wealthy nations and we will continue next year,” he added.