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

British regulators on Monday approved the country’s first Covid-19 booster vaccine to target two coronavirus strains, the original virus and the omicron variant.

Half of each dose of vaccine, or 25 micrograms, will target the original type and the other half will target the omicron. In clinical trials, the vaccine, an updated version of Moderna’s original Covid vaccine, These two strains elicited a good immune responseAlso BA.4 and BA.5 subtypes in adults, the researchers found.

Chief Executive of Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, Dr. Jun Ren said he was pleased that the new booster vaccine met the regulators’ standards for safety, quality and efficacy. Britain’s independent expert scientific advisory body, the Commission on Human Medicines, supported the decision.

“The first generation of Covid-19 vaccines used in the UK provides significant protection against the disease and saves lives,” Dr. Ren said. “This bivalent vaccine is a sharp tool in our arsenal to help protect us against this disease as the virus evolves.”

The side effects were similar to those seen for the original Moderna booster dose and were generally mild, with no serious safety concerns, British regulators said.

The emergence of highly infectious omicron subvariants this spring appeared to reduce the protection offered against Covid hospitalizations by the Pfizer-Biotech and Moderna vaccines, with people who had been vaccinated hospitalized with Covid during the winter omicron wave. But booster shots increase people’s level of protection, scientists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last month. The CDC recommends that people Receive booster shots as soon as they are eligible.

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