Health workers preparing covid vaccine

Photo credit: AFP

European pharmaceutical regulators have recommended the use of two omicron-tailored vaccines developed by the Pfizer-Biontech partnership and Moderna ahead of a new booster program across the continent this fall.

The European Medicines Agency said in a statement Thursday that two shots targeting both the original coronavirus and the BA.1 subvariant could be used as boosters in fully vaccinated people aged 12 and over.

Health authorities around the world are working to strengthen and expand protection for people at high risk of severe illness and death from infection with the Omicron variant. Because the virus mutated, it was able to circumvent pre-existing immunity from early vaccination and infections caused by previous strains.

The EMA said Europe wants a broadly adapted vaccine targeting different variants so that member states “have multiple options to meet their needs when designing vaccination strategies”. I was.

Germany’s Health Minister Karl Lauterbach added that approval of the BA.1 vaccine was a “breakthrough in the fight against the pandemic” and that now is the perfect time to close the vaccine gap for the fall. I was. “We now have a vaccine that works very well against all known virus subspecies.”

A formal approval and recommendation by the European Commission, the European Union’s executive body, is expected later this week.

In a statement, EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said in a statement that the FDA is planning to launch two new drugs in the coming weeks targeting the dominant BA.4 and BA.5 variants offered by Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna. He said he planned to issue an opinion on the vaccine.

The US has already approved two boosters targeting the BA.4 and BA.5 variants. Last month, the UK became the first country in the world to clear an Omicron target.

©2022 Bloomberg LP

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