US authorizes new version of vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna targeting Omicron

US clears new version of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines targeting Omicron

UPDATE DAY

U.S. health officials on Wednesday cleared the new version of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna specifically targeting the Omicron variant, in an effort to quickly begin a new recall campaign. 

The two updated vaccines are authorized for a booster dose, from the age of 12 for that of Pfizer, and from the age of 18 for that of Moderna, said the American Medicines Agency (FDA) in a press release.

This new generation of anti-Covid vaccine targets both the original strain of the coronavirus and the BA.4 and BA.5 lineages of the Omicron variant.

These vaccines must “provide increased protection against the Omicron variant currently in circulation,” the FDA wrote.

Earlier this summer, the US Department of Health announced that it had purchased 105 million doses to Pfizer, and 66 million to Moderna, for use during the fall and winter.

The vaccines have yet to be recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

An independent panel of experts is to be convened by the CDC to discuss them as early as Thursday. Then the director of this agency, Rochelle Walensky, will be responsible for giving its final green.

This new version of the vaccines could thus potentially be available as early as next week in the country.

The vaccines currently in circulation were for the moment based on the initial strain of the virus which appeared in Wuhan, China, but they have gradually proven to be less effective against the variants which have appeared over time, due to the rapid evolution of the virus. .

Unlike the Alpha and Delta variants, which eventually declined, Omicron and its sub-variants gradually dominated contaminations during the year 2022 worldwide.

< p>Pfizer and Moderna have also submitted an authorization request for this updated version of their vaccine to the European Medicines Agency (EMA).