Vaccines specifically designed to combat the Omicron variant… The European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced on Wednesday the start of the trial of a modified version of Pfizer’s vaccine against Covid-19. The latter offers better protection against certain variants of the virus, notably Omicron.
“As the company progresses with the development of its suitable vaccine, the EMA will receive further data, including data on the immune response to the vaccine as well as data on its effectiveness against the subvariants of Omicron,” the EMA said in a press release.
Step before a marketing request
“By launching an ongoing review, EMA will be able to assess the data as soon as it becomes available,” the Amsterdam-based agency said. However, the European regulator emphasized that details on the appropriate vaccine, “for example, whether it specifically targets one or more variants of Covid, have not yet been defined”.
The ongoing review by EMA will continue until there is enough data for a formal application to market the medicine within the EU, EMA said.
The shadow of the variants
Concerns about the return of coronavirus, particularly the BA.4 and BA.5 variants, are growing, including in the UK and the Netherlands, where infection numbers have risen to their highest levels in three months.
To date, the EMA has approved the use of five vaccines within the European Union: messenger RNA vaccines from the American groups Pfizer and Moderna, those from the Swedish-British laboratory AstraZeneca and its American competitor Johnson & Johnson, which use a viral vector, and the Novavax vaccine.