The European Comission today authorized the marketing of the vaccine developed by the BioNTech laboratory and the pharmaceutical company Pfizer adapted to the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Ómicron what hours before has been endorsed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
The Health Commissioner of the Community Executive, Stella Kyriakides, confirmed said permission on Twitter after learning that the serum had a positive analysis from the EMA and stressed that the authorization “will ensure that Member States will be able to deploy it quickly” to “protect citizens”.
“We know that covid is still a threat. That is why we have just authorized the booster dose of BioNTech and Pfizer against the current variants”, stressed, for her part, the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
Von der Leyen also stressed that this vaccine will help Europeans “be safe this fall” and pointed out that “Vaccination is still the best way to protect against COVID-19.”
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Monday endorsed a bivalent vaccine from the pharmaceutical company Pfizer adapted to the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Ómicron, in addition to the original variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, an updated dose to prepare for new waves of infections in the fall.
The Amsterdam-based body indicated that the serum adapted “will further expand the arsenal of vaccines available to protect people against COVID-19 as the pandemic continues and new waves of infections are anticipated in the cold season.”
This preparation is intended for people over 12 years of age who have already received at least the primary regimen against the disease, and has the objective of better protecting against the variants of SARS-CoV-2 that are circulating right now, and “It is expected to provide broader protection against different variants,” says the EMA.
On September 1, the EMA supported the use of two other vaccines adapted to new variants of SARS-CoV-2 (aimed at attacking the Omicron BA.1 subvariant and the original variant) developed by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna as a booster for broader protection against COVID-19 in people over 12 years of age.
A few days later, the EMA and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) recommended the use of those updated vaccines as a priority booster in people at higher risk, including those over 60 years of age, immunosuppressed people, pregnant women, patients with underlying diseases that put them at risk, the elderly and nursing home staff, and healthcare professionals.
This vaccine is a new version, and “more effective” according to the EMA, of the Pfizer/BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine. The EMA warned earlier this month that new variants of the coronavirus could appear this winter, although it said that the vaccines will protect the population against severe forms of the disease.
While “new waves of infections are expected during the cold season”, this recommendation “will further expand the arsenal of vaccines available to protect people against covid-19” in the EU, the European regulator welcomed.
The Member States of the European Union continue using the same coronavirus vaccines approved two years ago for use against the original strain of the virus.
They offer some protection against omicron and its sub-variants, less harmful but more contagious than the original strain. But the world awaits more specific and effective vaccines, fearing a new wave this winter.
(With information from EFE and AFP)
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