Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for XBB.1.5 subvariant approved in U.K.

Click to play video: 'Should you wait to get a COVID-19 booster? Experts weigh in'
Should you wait to get a COVID-19 booster? Experts weigh in
While COVID-19 cases have decreased or remained stable nationally over the past few months, experts expect the number of cases to rise in the fall and winter. It’s unclear exactly when the new COVID-19 vaccines will be available targeting the most recent variants. Nathaniel Dove speaks to the experts on whether to get a vaccine now – or wait – Sep 3, 2023

The U.K. drug regulator said on Tuesday it has approved an updated COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech that targets only the Omicron XBB.1.5 subvariant.

The vaccine, which like their other COVID shots will also be sold under brand Comirnaty, has been approved for use in individuals aged 6 months and above, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said.

MHRA’s approval for the shot follows the European regulator’s clearance last week.

Click to play video: 'Concerns remain over spread of new COVID-19 variant'
Concerns remain over spread of new COVID-19 variant

Besides Pfizer-BioNTech, other vaccine makers Moderna and Novavax have also created so-called monovalent versions of their shots that target only the XBB.1.5 subvariant of the virus.

Story continues below advertisement

While the U.S. expects to deploy all three vaccines in the fall season, the U.K. plans to deploy the mRNA vaccines by Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna for the autumn immunization campaign.

XBB.1.5 was the most dominant variant globally earlier this year, which led the regulators, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to select it as the target for coronavirus vaccines.

(Reporting by Leroy Leo in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar and Shinjini Ganguli)

Sponsored content