LONDON (AFP) – The United Kingdom’s drug regulator said yesterday it had approved an updated Moderna vaccine against Covid-19 that targets the Omicron variant as well as its original form.
The Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said it had approved the vaccine for adult booster doses “after it was found to meet the UK regulator’s standards of safety, quality and effectiveness”.
It was the first such “bivalent” COVID-19 vaccine to be approved by the British regulator.
The MHRA’s chief executive June Raine said data from a clinical trial had shown 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.
Moderna’s CEO Stephane Bancel said in a statement that the US biotech company was “delighted” by the decision, “the first authorisation of an Omicron-containing bivalent vaccine”.