The vaccine makers claim that COVID shots against JN.1 variant will neutralize the newer strains.

(Reuters) – COVID-19 manufacturers said that data from animal studies showed that their 2024-25 vaccines targeting the JN.1 subvariant, which was dominant in the first half of this year, could neutralize the newer subvariants like KP.2 better than older shots.

The companies made this disclosure in their presentations ahead of Wednesday’s meeting of advisers from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA panel will vote on whether companies should focus their updates of vaccines in 2024-25 on the JN.1 version.

Pfizer, along with its BioNTech partner, will be ready to provide the updated vaccines as soon as they are approved, while Moderna, and Novavax have forecasted a timeline of August.

The focus will be whether advisors will recommend JN.1 or KP.2, the dominant strain now in the United States.

Pfizer, Moderna and other companies are prepared to provide vaccines against either JN.1 (or KP.2) or JN.1. Novavax said that it could offer a vaccine to the United States in this fall if the regulators approve the shot they started producing to target the JN.1 variation.

Novavax produces a traditional protein-based vaccine that is more difficult to produce, while vaccines developed using messenger RNA (mRNA), such as those from Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech, can be produced more quickly.

Pfizer claimed that it could produce the shots within 100 days.

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