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Lisa Jarvis

A Vaccine to Prevent All Covid Is Within Reach. Here’s How to Grab It.

Drugmakers are playing omicron whack-a-mole when the focus should be on a new generation of pan-coronavirus shots.

Just one, please.

Just one, please.

Photographer: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. are starting to churn out doses of omicron-specific vaccines, and they say they could have data on whether the shots are effective as soon as March. But is this the best way to build and maintain protection against Covid-19?

The world is breeding new variants so fast, it may not make sense to chase them one at a time. Global regulators don’t necessarily think it’s the right approach. The World Health Organization and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration say omicron-specific vaccines might not be needed, and that public-health agencies around the world — not drug companies — should work together to decide the composition of the next vaccines.