As the summer draws to a close and people return to their everyday lives, a concerning new strain of Covid-19, known as Eris, is wreaking havoc across the globe. This variant of interest, recognized by the World Health Organization, has already been detected in more than 50 countries since early August, including China, the U.S., Korea, Japan, and Canada.
Fortunately, the WHO has deemed the public health risk associated with this new variant to be low on a global scale. However, it is important to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions to prevent its further spread.
The Rise of Eris
Eris is responsible for approximately 17% of Covid-19 cases in the U.S., according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While hospitalizations are increasing, they are still relatively low compared to previous waves. Notably, Covid-19 is no longer considered a federal public health emergency since May.
Updated Vaccines on the Horizon
In response to the emergence of new strains like Eris, leading pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer (PFE), Moderna (MRNA), and Novavax (NVAX) are gearing up to release updated versions of their Covid-19 vaccines this autumn. These vaccines will target recent variants, although not specifically the Eris variant. It is worth noting that all these variants share a common origin.
This upcoming vaccine campaign carries a significant change compared to previous efforts: instead of the government purchasing and distributing the doses, pharmaceutical companies will be making them available directly to pharmacies and medical offices through the commercial market.
Vaccine manufacturers anticipate a surge in demand as the respiratory vaccine demand increases in preparation for the winter flu season. Pfizer's CEO, Albert Bourla, stated in August that they expect to launch their updated Covid vaccine for commercial use in September, pending regulatory approvals that are expected to be obtained this month.
However, the level of demand for these vaccines remains uncertain. According to Bourla, factors such as the severity of the disease and people's willingness to receive treatment will play a role in determining the demand.
It is crucial to stay updated on the latest developments and follow recommended guidelines to protect ourselves and our communities during this challenging time.
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