LONDON: The UK's drug regulators said on Monday it had approved an updated Moderna vaccine against the coronaviruses that target the Omicron variant as well as the original form.
The Medicine and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency MHRA said in a statement that it approved the vaccine for adult booster doses after it was found to meet the UK regulators' standards of safety, quality and effectiveness. It was the first bivalent COVID 19 vaccine approved by the British regulators.
The MHRA's chief executive June Raine said that it prompted a strong immune response against the original virus and Omicron and would provide a sharpened tool in our armoury as the virus kept evolving.
While vaccines have helped lower hospitalisations and deaths from COVID 19, which first emerged in China in late 2019, the current jabs are aimed at the earlier strains of the disease.
The World Health Organization warned in July that the pandemic was nowhere near over due to the spread of Omicron subvariants and the lifting of control measures.
Half of the Moderna vaccine, called the Spikevax bivalent Original Omicron, targets the original 2020 virus and half the Omicron variant BA.