This vaccine formula consists of a so-called ‘bivalent’ booster dose, half targeting the original virus strain and half targeting the Omicron variant.
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Posted on 08/15/2022 13:56 Updated on 08/15/2022 14:25
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A world first, according to Moderna. The UK Medicines Agency (MHRA) announced on Monday 15 August that it had approved a new generation of the American laboratory’s Covid-19 vaccine specific to the Omicron variant. This version of the vaccine consists of what is known as a ‘bivalent’ booster shot, targeting half the original strain of the virus and half the Omicron variant.
This vaccine formulation “elicits a strong immune response” against both strains, including the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, the MHRA said. It “was approved by the MHRA for adult booster doses, which concluded that it met the UK regulator’s safety, quality and efficacy standards,” the Medicines Agency added.
The observed side effects are “typically weak” and similar to the original vaccines, it says. “What this bivalent vaccine gives us is a sharper tool in our toolbox to protect us from this disease as the virus continues to evolve,” said MHRA Director June Raine.
He noted that the UK became the first country to approve a bivalent vaccine partially targeting Omicron, the variant most prevalent in Europe. For its part, the European Commission announced on August 9 that it would reserve 15 million additional doses of this version of the vaccine, subject to its approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). On August 10, the European regulatory authority also announced that it would seek approval for an anti-Covid vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech in the fall that targets the two subvariants BA.4 and BA.5.