UK approves new Pfizer vaccine against Omicron

The British Medicines Regulator announced on Saturday that it has approved a new generation of Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine that targets a variant of Omicron.

This version of the vaccine consists of a so-called “bivalent” booster dose that targets half the original strain of the virus and half the Omicron (BA.1) variant, the MHRA said in a press release.

“The vaccine has been approved for adult booster doses by the MHRA, which has concluded that it meets the UK regulatory authority’s safety, quality and efficacy standards,” the Medicines Agency said, indicating that the vaccine is approved for adults. .

In mid-August, the UK became the first country to allow a similar vaccine developed by the Moderna lab, which also targets Omicron, the most common variant in Europe.

The announcement comes as the country prepares to offer a booster dose of the Covid vaccine from Monday to millions of Britons in England and Scotland, including those over 50, with priority given to people living in nursing homes.

“I am pleased to announce that we now have a second vaccine approved for the booster program this fall,” said MHRA director June Rein.

The new Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been approved in recent days by the United States and the European Medicines Agency. They also target two sub-variants of the rapidly spreading Omicron strain, BA.4 and BA.5.

The UK is one of the countries hardest hit by the pandemic in Europe, with almost 180,000 people dead since the start of 2020. Although deaths have dropped dramatically thanks to vaccinations, the country regularly faces large waves of infections but was one of the first countries in Europe to lift all restrictions last winter.

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