The UK Medicines Agency has given the green light to Moderna’s Corona vaccine adapted to the omicron variant. The MHRA announced Monday that the U.S. biotechnology company’s vaccine has been approved to stimulate adults. A clinical study showed that the vaccine triggers a “strong immune response” against both the original strain of the virus and the omicron variant. The test is still ongoing in the EU.
First vaccine to target omicron
It is the first so-called bivalent corona vaccine to be approved in Great Britain. Vaccines available to date have helped to reduce the number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations and deaths. However, they mainly target earlier strains of the coronavirus.
The Moderna vaccine, dubbed the Bivalent Original/Omicron Spikevax, targets both the original coronavirus strain, which first appeared in 2020, and the Omicron BA.1 variant. “Good” results were also achieved for the BA.4 and BA.5 subtypes of the omicron variant, the MHRA announced.
The adapted Moderna vaccine is also being scrutinized by the EU drug agency EMA. At the same time, the EMA is examining an adapted vaccine from Biontech/Pfizer. Its approval is scheduled for the fall. Against the backdrop of rapidly spreading omicron subtypes, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned in July that the pandemic was “anything but over”. (aw, oh)