U.K. Approves Covid Booster Vaccine That Targets Two Variants

UK regulators on Monday approved the country’s first Covid-19 booster vaccine, which targets two coronavirus variants, the original virus and the Omicron variant.

Half of each dose of the vaccine, or 25 micrograms, targets the original mutant and the other half targets the omicron. In clinical trials, the vaccine, an updated version of Moderna’s original Covid vaccine, generated good immune responses against these two variantsand adult BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants were found.

Dr June Lane, Chief Executive of the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, said she was pleased that the new booster vaccine had met the regulator’s standards for safety, quality and efficacy. The decision was endorsed by the Human Medicines Committee, an independent professional scientific advisory body in the UK.

“The first-generation Covid-19 vaccine in use in the UK continues to provide important protection and save lives against this disease,” said Dr Raine. “This bivalent vaccine gives us a sharp tool in our arsenal to help protect us from this disease as the virus continues to evolve.”

According to UK regulators, side effects were the same as those seen with the original Moderna Booster dose, were generally mild, and did not pose any serious safety concerns.

With the emergence of a highly contagious Omicron variant this spring, the protection against Covid hospitalization offered by vaccines from Pfizer, Biontech and Moderna appears to have diminished, more so than during the winter Omicron wave. of vaccinated people were hospitalized with Covid. But scientists with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last month that booster injections have improved people’s level of protection.

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