The European Medicines Agency has recommended approval for the use of two vaccines, manufactured by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, adapted to the Omicron BA.1 strain.
This is reported in press release EMA. The bivalent versions of the vaccines are adapted from the original ones previously approved for use in the European Union. These drugs will provide the best protection against new variants of the coronavirus. They are designed to maintain an optimal level of protection against COVID-19 as new variants develop.
Studies reviewed by the agency found a strong immune response after Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to the Omicron BA.1 variant and the original SARS-CoV-2 variant in previously vaccinated people.
Side effects after the introduction of drugs are similar to those observed in the case of the use of original vaccines. They are short, which allowed the medical regulator to talk about the safety of vaccines. The EMA is currently reviewing the efficacy and safety of vaccines that are adapted to options BA.4 and BA.5.
The decision of the European regulator is only a recommendation. Based on it, the national regulators of member countries can authorize the use of new vaccines.
Stella Kyriakides, the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, warned earlier that European countries will face another wave of COVID-19 in the winter. She called for speeding up the vaccination of vulnerable populations.