CDC director: FDA in talks to streamline approval of omicron-specific vaccine

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the "FDA will move swiftly, and CDC will move swiftly right thereafter."

Updated: December 5, 2021 - 9:22pm

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky confirmed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is "already in conversations" to streamline authorization of a new COVID-19 vaccine specifically for the new omicron variant.

The Hill reports that ABC's Martha Raddatz asked Walensky on Sunday, "Is there any world where you can see that moving much faster given we've already been through this?"

The CDC director responded: "Much of that I would have to defer to the FDA, but they're already in conversations about streamlining the authorization of this, of an omicron-specific vaccine, partially because much of the vaccine is actually exactly the same, and, really, it would just be that mRNA code that would have to change.

"FDA will move swiftly, and CDC will move swiftly right thereafter,” she said.

Omicron was listed as a "variant of concern" by the World Health Organization shortly after Thanksgiving. Symptoms of omicron have been described as "extremely mild" by a South African doctor who helped discover the variant.

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