WHO panel backs use of Omicron-adapted vaccine as booster dose

By Reuters   June 17, 2022 | 04:47 pm PT
WHO panel backs use of Omicron-adapted vaccine as booster dose
A healthcare worker holds a vial of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine at a pop-up vaccination site in Manhattan in New York City, U.S., January 29, 2021. Photo by Reuters/Mike Segar
A modified coronavirus vaccine that targets the Omicron variant can be administered as a booster dose to broaden immunity, a technical advisory group set up the World Health Organization said on Friday.

Such a variant-adapted vaccine may benefit those who have already received the primary series of shots, the agency's panel on Covid-19 Vaccine Composition said, citing available data.

The vaccines could be considered for use globally by the agency once they get emergency use authorization or an approval by a stringent national regulatory authority.

Vaccine makers including Moderna and Pfizer Inc are developing a potential next generation booster targeted at both the Omicron variant as well as the original strain of the coronavirus.

Moderna last week said a new version of its vaccine produced a better immune response against Omicron than the original shot, while the European Medicines Agency this week began rolling reviews of the variant-adapted COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer.

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