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WHO panel backs use of Omicron-adapted Covid-19 vaccine as booster dose

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Variant-adapted vaccines may benefit those who have already received the primary series of shots, said the WHO panel.

PHOTO: REUTERS

GENEVA (REUTERS) – 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 by the World Health Organisation said on Friday (June 17).

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 authorisation 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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