European Union regulators have recommended the approval of the updated vaccine against a dominant subvariant of the Coronavirus Omicron variant of US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and its German partner Biontech.
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This would become the two companies' third EU-approved vaccine. It is designed to prevent COVID-19 disease of adults and children, with the dosage depending on previous vaccinations.
The European Medicines Agency said its Commission on Medicines for Humans had recommended the updated vaccine for use in children aged 6 months to 4 years as part of a primary series of three-dose vaccinations and depending on previous vaccinations. It could also be administered as a single dose to children with a completed primary vaccination course against COVID-19 or who have had the disease, the commission added. The Commission recommends single-dose vaccination of the renewed vaccine for all adults and children over 5 years of age, regardless of previous vaccinations.
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Other vaccine manufacturers, including Modern and Novavax, have also created new versions of their vaccines. Pfizer and Beyntech have applied to approve their renewed vaccine and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and are awaiting its decision in the coming days.
The recommendation of the European Medicines Agency will be officially approved by the European Commission.
"This season's vaccine is ready for shipment as soon as the regulator makes a decision so that people across Europe can better protect themselves from COVID-19," Pfizer CEO Albert Burla said in a statement.
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The coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19)
Omicron - the new coronavirus variant