THE HAGUE, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- A vaccine adapted to the Omicron variant of COVID-19 could be available in the Netherlands by the end of April, Dutch Health Minister Ernst Kuipers wrote on Wednesday in a letter to the parliament.
In his letter, Kuipers responded to a question from Democrats 66 Member of Parliament Jan Paternotte regarding whether pharmaceutical companies Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are working on an Omicron-adapted vaccine.
"Both companies are currently working on such an adaptation," Kuipers wrote. "The creation and approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) of such a modified vaccine takes at least 100 days."
The Dutch government reached a contractual agreement with the pharmaceutical companies that they must make every effort to adapt their vaccines to the situation, if it turns out that current vaccines do not provide sufficient protection against Omicron.
"At the moment we are not sure whether the current vaccines, after a booster, are sufficient to protect against this Omicron variant," Kuipers wrote.