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Will we need a new vaccine just to fight the omicron variant?

This vaccine would just be a modified version of the one they already have, tweaked to combat omicron's specific mutations.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Moderna says it could have a vaccine specially designed to fight omicron ready in a matter of months. So how could they get it done so fast? 

Let's connect the dots. 

Moderna is mobilizing hundreds of workers to start researching the omicron variant of COVID-19.

They say if needed, a reformulated version of their vaccine could be ready for rollout in early 2022. That's a quick turnaround because researchers are no longer working from scratch. 

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This vaccine would just be a modified version of the one they already have. tweaked to combat omicron's specific mutations. 

And it's still not a guarantee we need a special shot at all.

Researchers are still trying to figure out how effective our current vaccine is against the new variant. They say it's highly likely the vaccine already offers at least some protection from omicron.  Dr. Christopher Ohl, an infectious disease expert with Atrium Health said it's still too early to know how severely the new variant affects people

“The people hospitalized with omicron in South Africa so far seem to be mostly unvaccinated people, which is a little encouraging," Ohl said.

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