EMA announces important vaccine updates

Poll results: Should health workers be made to get the vaccine? Credit: Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

EMA announces important vaccine updates.

AT a press conference on Thursday, February 17, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announces some important vaccine updates, including further discussions about booster vaccines for teenagers and mixing & matching vaccines.
During the live press conference, the panel made up of Marco Cavaleri (Head of Biological Health Threats and Vaccines Strategy), Fergus Sweeney (Head of Clinical Studies and Manufacturing Task Force) and Georgy Genov (Head of Pharmacovigilance) said that the EMA had started evaluating an application for a booster dose of BioNTech/Pfizer’s Covid vaccine in adolescents aged 12 to 15 years.
While the panel noted that an application in 16 to 17 years old is also ongoing.
However, calls for a second booster for all age ranges have been dismissed due to “insufficient evidence”. According to the panel, “we first need to see the effectiveness of the current COVID-19 vaccines over time and how the Omicron wave continues to unfold.”
Also discussed by the panel was the ‘mix-and-match’ vaccine approach, something that has been under scrutiny for some time.
The EMA panel said: “Findings confirm that a vaccination strategy, where different vaccines are used for the primary vaccination and the booster, is safe and effective.
“We are reviewing data to add the ‘mix-and-match’ approach as an indication for Comirnaty and Spikevax,” it was announced.
“We are considering updating the interval between the primary series and the #booster dose when two different vaccines are administered. This interval can be shortened to 3 months.”
Another thing on the agenda was the discussion about the Omicron subvariant BA.2 and how it can be treated.
According to the EMA, data is being assessed on the effectiveness of Covid vaccines and treatments against the highly transmissible subvariant and “for now, vaccines appear to protect against this subvariant as they do against Omicron,” the panel confirmed.
“We are encouraging the collection of additional evidence on the effectiveness of the approved COVID-19 treatments during the #micron wave and in patients with different vaccination statuses,” the EMA panel said.
The potential expansion of the approval of Spikevax in children 6-11 years of age will apparently be discussed at the next meeting.
For more EU news, please click the link here.

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]