UK first to approve Covid vaccine targeting original and Omicron strain – MHRA approval

Omicron: GP explains ‘overwhelming’ science behind vaccines

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In a major win for Britain, the UK medicines regulator (MHRA) has approved the so-called bivalent vaccine made by US drug company Moderna as a jab for adults. It is the first country to green light the boost jab, which targets both the original strain and the Omicron variant. The Moderna jab was found to meet MHRA’s exacting standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.

The agency’s decision was based on clinical trial data that showed the booster triggered “a strong immune response” against both Omicron (BA.1) and the original 2020 virus, it said.

The MHRA also cited an exploratory analysis in which the shot was also found to generate a good immune response against the currently dominant Omicron offshoots BA.4 and BA.5.

“The first generation of COVID-19 vaccines being used in the UK continue to provide important protection against the disease and save lives,” MHRA Chief Executive June Raine said in a statement.

“What this bivalent vaccine gives us is a sharpened tool in our armoury to help protect us against this disease as the virus continues to evolve.”

The government’s independent science advisory body the Commission on Human Medicines also approved the jab.

Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, Chair of the Commission on Human Medicines said: “The Commission on Human Medicines and its COVID-19 Vaccines Expert Working Group has independently reviewed the data on safety, quality and effectiveness and agrees with the MHRA’s decision.

The booster dose, also known as “Spikevax bivalent Original/Omicron”, contains 25 micrograms of Omicron vaccine and 25 micrograms of original coronavirus vaccine.

A vaccine that works for two infections is known as bivalent.

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