The UK has become the first nation to approve a vaccine that attacks both the Covid-19 virus and the new Omicron variant.
The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has said the vaccine will be available to those aged 18 and over as part of the UK's autumn booster programme.
According to Gov UK, Moderna believes 13 million doses of the new vaccine will be available this year, but 26 million people will be eligible for a booster of some form.
Anticipations lie in the the EU approving the dose by September.
The previous vaccines still provide protection against the viruses, but new vaccines are needed to boost immunity against new variants.
Half of the new vaccine will target the original virus strain from 2020, and the other half will target Omicron.
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Chief Executive has announced:
“The first generation of COVID-19 vaccines being used in the UK continue to provide important protection against the disease and save lives. What this bivalent vaccine gives us is a sharpened tool in our armoury to help protect us against this disease as the virus continues to evolve.”
Whilst Steve Barclay, health and social care secretary, has said:
“Vaccines remain our best defence against Covid, and this safe and effective vaccine will broaden immunity and potentially improve protections against some variants as we learn to live with this virus.“
Recent studies have shown that COVID-19 vaccines have prevented up to 20 million deaths in the first year of use, and according to the latest data, 126,504,756 vaccine doses have been administered in the UK.
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