Posted: Mon 15th Aug 2022

A ‘next generation’ Covid vaccine that targets two strains of the virus approved for use in UK

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Aug 15th, 2022

Britain has become the first country to approve a ‘next generation’ COVID-19 vaccine that targets both the original and Omicron variant of the virus

The adapted COVID-19 vaccine made by Moderna targets two different coronavirus variants – the original virus from 2020 and the Omicron variant.

The vaccine has been approved for use as adult booster doses by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The decision to grant approval for the booster vaccine in the UK was endorsed by the government’s independent expert scientific advisory body, the Commission on Human Medicines, after “carefully reviewing the evidence.”

In each dose of the booster vaccine, ‘Spikevax bivalent Original/Omicron’, half of the vaccine (25 micrograms) targets the original virus strain from 2020 and the other half (25 micrograms) targets Omicron.

The MHRA’s decision is based on data from a clinical trial which showed that a  booster with the bivalent  Moderna vaccine triggers a strong immune response against both Omicron (BA.1) and the original 2020 strain.

In an exploratory analysis the bivalent vaccine was also found to generate a good immune response against the Omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5.

“Safety monitoring showed that the  side effects observed were the same as those seen for the original Moderna booster dose and were typically mild and self-resolving, and no serious safety concerns were identified.” The MHRA said.

Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna said the MHRA’s authorisation of the “next-generation COVID-19 vaccine” further highlights “the dedication and leadership of the UK public health authorities in helping to end the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Dr June Raine, MHRA Chief Executive said:v“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.

“The first generation of COVID-19 vaccines being used in the UK continue 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.

“We have in place a comprehensive safety surveillance strategy for monitoring the safety of all UK-approved COVID-19 vaccines and this will include the vaccine approved today.”

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) will advise at a later date on how this vaccine should be offered as part of the deployment programme.

 

 

 

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