UK approves use of ‘next generation’ Covid vaccine that targets original strain and Omicron variants

image of the Moderna headquarters entrance in America. image: moderna

The UK has become the first country to approve the use of Moderna’s new vaccine that targets both the original and Omicron variants of Covid.

 

Moderna’s new Covid vaccine was today, Monday, August 15, judged to meet the UK regulator’s standards of safety, quality and effectiveness. It was subsequently approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), who released a statement confirming it.

Today’s decision means that Britain is the first country to approve the use of this bivalent vaccine that in tests has proved effective against both the original strain plus the Omicron variant

The ‘Spikevax bivalent Original/Omicron’ booster dose is expected to be given the green light in September by the EU as well. Medical authorities in Canada and Australia have also submitted requests.

How this new jab will be rolled out will now be left for the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation to advise.

“I am pleased to announce the approval of the Moderna bivalent booster vaccine, which was found in the clinical trial to provide a strong immune response against the Omicron BA.1 variant as well as the original 2020 strain”, said Dr June Raine, chief executive of the MHRA.

She added: “The first generation of Covid-19 vaccines being used in the UK continues to provide important protection against the disease and save lives. What this bivalent vaccine gives us is a sharpened tool in our armoury to help protect us against this disease as the virus continues to evolve”.

This latest vaccine was described as a “next generation Covid-19 vaccine” by Stephane Bancel, chief executive of Moderna. “It will play an important role in protecting people in the UK from Covid-19 over the winter. We are delighted with the MHRA’s authorisation of Spikevax Bivalent Original/Omicron, our next generation Covid-19 vaccine”.

Mr Bancel continued: “This represents the first authorisation of an Omicron-containing bivalent vaccine, further highlighting the dedication and leadership of the UK public health authorities in helping to end the COVID-19 pandemic”.

“This bivalent vaccine has an important role to play in protecting people in the UK from COVID-19 as we enter the winter months”. The Moderna CEO added that during clinical trials, the new jab had: “Consistently shown a superior breadth of immune response”, over its competitors.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he 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]

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