UK approves second Covid vaccine targeting Omicron variant

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The Guardian

A second “bivalent” coronavirus vaccine has been approved by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for individuals aged 12 and over.

The regulator confirmed on Saturday that Pfizer/BioNTech’s vaccine had met its standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.

The vaccine targets the original variant of coronavirus and the Omicron variant that emerged at the end of 2021, and follows a similar booster from Moderna, which was approved in August.

Dr June Raine, MHRA chief executive, said: “I am pleased to announce that we now have a second approved vaccine for the UK autumn booster programme. The clinical trial of the Pfizer/BioNTech bivalent vaccine showed a strong immune response against the Omicron BA.1 variant as well as the original strain.

“Bivalent vaccines are helping us to meet the challenge of an ever-evolving virus, to help protect people against Covid-19 variants.”

Pfizer’s UK country president, Susan Rienow, said: “We are delighted with today’s approval by the MHRA of Pfizer/BioNTech’s Omicron BA.1-adapted bivalent Covid-19 vaccine.

“We have been following the science since the beginning of the pandemic and are pleased to be able to provide the National Health Service with another tool in the armoury.

“We have been manufacturing the new vaccine at risk (ahead of approval being granted), and doses will be shipped immediately for use in the autumn booster programme to help protect people in the UK this winter season.”

September 3, 2022 at 05:59PM PA Media

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