‘Next Generation’ Moderna coronavirus booster jab approved for use in adults

‘Next Generation’ Moderna coronavirus booster jab approved for use in adults

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has authorised Moderna's bivalent vaccine in the UK, which targets the original Covid strain and the Omicron variant. Known as mRNA-1273.214, the dose is an updated version of the Moderna vaccine which is already in use for first, second and booster doses, and it will be the first vaccine approved which targets two strains of the virus.

Moderna's chief medical officer, Dr Paul Burton, previously said that the new jab can boost a person's antibodies to such high levels that it may only be needed annually, and Stephane Bancel, CEO of Moderna, described it as a "next generation Covid-19 vaccine which will play an important role in protecting people from Covid over the winter”.

Mr Bancel said: "We are delighted with the MHRA's authorisation of Spikevax Bivalent Original/Omicron, our next generation Covid-19 vaccine. This represents the first authorisation of an Omicron-containing bivalent vaccine, further highlighting the dedication and leadership of the UK public health authorities in helping to end the Covid-19 pandemic.”

According to Moderna, the jab has consistently shown superior breadth of immune response over alternatives in clinical trials. The MHRA said that the vaccine's side effects are the same as those seen in the original Moderna booster dose and were typically mild.

Their chief executive, Dr June Raine, said: "I am pleased to announce the approval of the Moderna bivalent booster vaccine, which was found in the clinical trial to provide a strong immune response against the Omicron BA.1 variant as well as the original 2020 strain.”

"The first generation of Covid-19 vaccines continue to provide important protection against the disease and save lives, but what this bivalent vaccine gives us is a sharpened tool in our armory to help protect us against this disease as the virus continues to evolve.”

Moderna said that they have also completed applications for regulatory approval of the booster in Australia, Canada, and the EU.