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Sunday, November 27, 2022

The United Kingdom is the first country to approve a vaccine against the Omicron variant

The UK has granted the world’s first approval for a variant-targeted COVID-19 vaccine to accelerate its response to the ever-evolving coronavirus.

Country’s Medicines and Health Care Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) authorized Moderna Inc.’s Bivalent mRNA Booster Vaccine for AdultsAccording to a statement released on Monday, as a move that paves the way for its potentially becoming part of Britain’s autumn booster campaign.

Moderna’s bivalent vaccine targets two variants: half the dose works against the original version of the coronavirus, while the other half dose is an early version of the BA.1, Omicron version, that caused new Covid infections to spread last winter . The current vaccines currently in use around the world have been developed based on the original wild-type coronavirus that emerged in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.

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“What this bivalent vaccine gives us is a fast tool in our arsenal to help protect us from this disease as the virus continues to evolve.” Told June Raine, Executive Director of MHRAWhich was also the first regulator in the world to approve a vaccine against Kovid.

The MHRA said clinical trial data showed that a booster with Moderna’s bivalent vaccine produced a strong immune response against Omicron ba.1 and the original 2020 variant. It added that an exploratory analysis showed that the updated vaccine also produced a stronger immune response. Immune response against the latest subvariants of omicron BA.4 and BA.5, which have emerged as dominant variants in several countries.

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Countries around the world have launched booster shots to increase protection against omicrons since earlier this year. As the virus has mutated, it has been able to evade the immunity generated by existing vaccines and cause more infections, although most result in only mild illness.

Manufacturers of some of the world’s most widely used COVID vaccines, including Pfizer Inc. And Moderna to China’s Sinovac Biotech Ltd. and Sinopharma have begun developing new vaccines targeting Omicron.

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The UK is planning another round of booster shots for anyone aged 50 and over and those with weakened immune systems to boost protection against the latest circulating forms among vulnerable groups. The country’s Joint Committee on Immunization and Immunization will advise on any possible launch of a bivalent vaccine, the MHRA said.

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Moderna CEO Stephen Bansell, who recently announced a partnership with the UK government to build a research and manufacturing center in the country, said the bivalent vaccine will play an important role in protecting people from Covid this winter.

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Britain’s approval comes after the European Commission amended its contract with Moderna earlier this month to change the dosage of its original Moderna COVID vaccine.Which is known by its brand name Spikevax, ordered 15 million more doses for the latest Omicron-targeted vaccine.

Moderna has applied for this bivalent booster to go ahead with regulators in the European Union, Australia and Canada.

In the US, the government signed a deal with Moderna to secure 66 million doses of another bivalent booster, focused on the BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants. An expert panel advising the US Food and Drug Administration in June recommended the addition of an omicron-specific element to existing COVID vaccines to help prepare the country against a potential surge later this year.

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