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First COVID-19 vaccine to target Omicron variant approved for use in UK

Half of the bivalent vaccine (25 micrograms) targets the unique virus pressure and the opposite half targets the Omicron variant.

The MHRA stated its resolution to approve the vaccine was primarily based on information from a medical trial which confirmed {that a} booster with the vaccine triggers a powerful immune response in opposition to each strains of the virus.

The vaccine relies on the BA.1 Omicron pressure, however the MHRA stated that it additionally produced a great immune response agains the sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5. BA.5 is presently the dominant variant circulating within the UK.

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The MHRA stated that security monitoring had proven that the unintended effects to the brand new Moderna vaccine have been the identical as these for the unique Moderna booster dose. These have been ‘usually delicate and self-resolving, and no critical security considerations have been recognized’, the company stated.

Autumn COVID-19 boosters

The Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisations (JCVI) has but to advocate which vaccines needs to be used for the autumn booster programme, nevertheless all booster programmes till now have relied on the 2 mRNA vaccines – the unique Moderna jab and the Pfizer vaccine.

It’s unclear what number of doses of this new vaccine can be out there to be used within the UK this yr.

Final month the JCVI widened the COVID-19 autumn booster marketing campaign to incorporate all adults over the age of fifty. It’s thought that round 26.1m individuals in England alone can be eligible for the jab.

The programme will cowl:

  • residents and workers in care houses for older individuals
  • all people aged over 50
  • frontline well being and care employees
  • these in at-risk teams aged 5-49, which incorporates pregnant ladies
  • these aged 5-49 who’re family contacts of individuals with immunosuppression
  • these aged 16-49 who’re carers.

MHRA chief government Dr June Raine stated: ‘The primary era of COVID-19 vaccines getting used within the UK proceed to offer essential safety in opposition to the illness and save lives. What this bivalent vaccine offers us is a sharpened software in our armoury to assist defend us in opposition to this illness because the virus continues to evolve.

‘Now we have in place a complete security surveillance technique for monitoring the security of all UK-approved COVID-19 vaccines and this can embrace the vaccine permitted in the present day.’

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