The UK has given approval for the use of an updated version of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine booster. This announcement makes the UK the first to give the green light for the booster that targets Omicron and the original coronavirus from 2020, CNN reports.
Discover our latest podcast
Stamp of approval
In a statement Monday announcing the decision to use the Moderna vaccine as the fourth booster, the UK government said the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, MHRA – its independent expert scientific advisory body – has endorsed the move after a careful review of the evidence.
An updated version of the COVID-19 vaccine made by Moderna that targets two coronavirus variants (known as a "bivalent" vaccine) has today been approved for adult booster doses by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) after it was found to meet the UK regulator's standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.
The approval was given after results of a clinical trial which corroborated Moderna’s claim that the booster showed a stronger immune response against the Omicron variant.
‘No serious safety concerns’
The UK's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization (JCVI) will advise on the vaccine's rollout to determine who will be eligible for the booster and when. However, according to the MHRA, extensive tests have shown the vaccine’s side effects to be the same as the original Moderna booster dose. It was found to be ‘typically mild and self-resolving’ with the government adding that 'No serious safety concerns were identified'.
MHRA Chief Executive Dr. June Raine said that the new Moderna booster will help keep communities protected.
The first generation of COVID-19 vaccines being used in the UK continue to provide important protection against the disease and save lives. 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.