The United Kingdom has reportedly become the first country to approve a dual vaccine for coronavirus, which can offer protection against the recent Omicron variant and the original SARS COV 2 strain.
The latest vaccine named Spikevax has been developed by Moderna and is called a bivalent vaccine due to its capability to target two forms of Covid.
Reportedly, the Ministers have confirmed that the jab will be a part of the autumn booster campaign, with health officials adding that people can opt for any of the booster doses offered as all of them will provide protection.
With the Covid-19 virus having mutated substantially since it first emerged in December 2019, biopharma firms are making changes in their original vaccines to match better with the evolving strains.
Spikevax will target the original strain along with the BA.1 subvariant of Omicron, which emerged last year.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency has taken the evidence into consideration and approved the vaccine for use in adults.
Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, stated that the approval represents the first authorization of bivalent vaccines containing Omicron. With winter soon approaching, it will play an significant role in protecting people in the country.
UK Health ministers have also given the green light for bivalent vaccines.
Steve Barclay, Health Secretary in England, considered this a good news for the people in the UK and stated that those eligible for the jab will be contacted from September onwards.
The updated vaccine was tested on 437 people. The results depicted that it was safe and provided better immune protection from newer variants.
However, it did not give any indication about providing protection against serious illness.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) has advised that some form of booster doses should be administered to specific people in autumn.
These include health and social care staff, those above the age of 50, people at greater health risk, those sharing a house with someone having a weak immunity system, and carers above the age of 16, should be offered booster doses in autumn.
The booster campaign will focus on ensuring that those at higher risk do not fall seriously ill.
Source credit: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-62548336