Though there has been a lot of discussion of whether and to what extent the existing Covid-19 vaccines work against the latest variant, Omicron: a company based in Pune, India, Gennova Biopharmaceuticals, has developed a vaccine specifically targeted at Omicron.
Gennova’s vaccine is an mRNA vaccine. This means it is analogous to the Covid-targeting vaccines of Pfizer and Moderna — aside from the question of its specific Omicron focus — but importantly distinct from the approach taken by Jannsen.
Most of the pharmaceutical companies that have taken the lead in the struggle with Covid, both in vaccines and in remedies, have been headquartered in industrialized countries in Europe or Noth America. Pfizer (New York), Moderna (Cambridge, Mass.), and Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, N.J.) are all U.S. based. J&J’s key subsidiary, Jannsen, is headquartered in Belgium.
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Gennova, though, is a horse of a different color. Much of the developing world has been complaining that the vaccine makers of the developed nation are all too happy to spread their products around in the already-wealthy countries, even offering a third or fourth shot as “boosters” when billions in the developing world are yet to receive their first. In Gennova, such critics have a corporate champion.