(CTN News) – An updated Moderna vaccine targeting both the original and Omicron forms of COVID-19 has been approved by the UK’s drug regulator.
Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved the vaccine for adult booster doses after it was found to meet safety, quality and effectiveness standards.
A “bivalent” COVID-19 vaccine was approved by British regulators for the first time.
As the virus kept evolving, June Raine said it would provide a “sharpened tool in our armoury” as it triggered a “strong immune response” against the original virus and Omicron.
Stephane Bancel, Moderna’s CEO, said the company was “delighted” with the decision, which approved the first bivalent vaccine containing Omicron.
Covid, which first appeared in China in late 2019, has been helped by vaccines, but current vaccines are mostly targeting older strains.
Due to the spread of Omicron subvariants and the lifting of control measures, the World Health Organisation warned in July that the pandemic was far from over.
MHRA said the vaccine also generated a “good response” against two Omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, which have driven a wave of new cases.
The vaccine had the same “typically mild” side effects as the original Moderna.
Its “bivalent” COVID vaccine, called Spikevax, performed better against both Omicron and the original virus in June.
The EU’s medicines watchdog started reviewing the new shot that month.
It has also submitted the vaccine to regulators in Australia and Canada and expects further authorization decisions soon.
In addition, Pfizer/BioNTech has developed a rival adapted vaccine, which may be approved this fall.
Omicron subvariants tend to cause symptoms such as fever, tiredness, and a loss of smell, as they settle less in the lungs and more in the upper nasal passages.
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