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UK Becomes First Country To Approve Dual-Strain Vaccines

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UK Becomes First Country To Approve Dual-Strain Vaccines

CTN NEWS:  The UK has become the first country to approve a dual vaccine that tackles both the original Covid virus and the newer Omicron variant. Ministers say the vaccine will now form part of the autumn booster campaign.

Moderna thinks 13 million doses of its new vaccine will be available this year, but 26 million people are eligible for some form of the booster. Health officials say people should take whichever booster they are offered as all jabs provide protection.

Original vaccines were used to fight the first form of the virus

The original vaccines used in the pandemic were designed to train the body to fight the first form of the virus which emerged in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019.

The Covid virus has since mutated substantially, with a stream of new variants emerging that can dodge some of our immune defenses. They have caused large surges in cases around the world.

The original vaccines still provide strong protection against becoming severely ill or dying, but companies are tweaking them to match the virus as it evolves.

Cases of coronavirus are currently falling in the UK. In mid-to-late July, around 2.5 million people tested positive for coronavirus.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which advises governments in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland, has confirmed the following groups should be offered some form of booster in the autumn:

  • health and social care staff
  • everyone aged 50 and over
  • carers who are over the age of 16
  • people over five whose health puts them at greater risk, this includes pregnant women
  • people over five who share a house with somebody with a weakened immune system

Prof Wei Shen Lim, from the JCVI, said: “It is important that everyone who is eligible takes up a booster this autumn, whichever vaccine is on offer.”

However, most people under 50 will not be boosted in the coming months. The focus remains on preventing those most at risk from becoming seriously ill, rather than stopping the young from passing the virus on to older relatives.

Published on CTN on August 16, 2022

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