Britain gets new COVID-19 vaccine
On Monday, British drug regulators became the first to authorize a combination, or “bivalent,” COVID-19 vaccine—one that combats both the initial coronavirus strain and the omicron BA.1 variant. The vaccine, which is an update to the Moderna shot, will be offered to individuals over the age of 50 in the fall. Side effects to the updated vaccine have been deemed “mild and self-resolving,” according to the British drug regulators.
Why adopt another new vaccine? Dr. June Raine, the head of Britain’s healthcare and medicines regulator, said that Moderna’s new vaccine gives the world another tool in its armory against the virus, even as it continues to evolve. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said last month that it plans to take a similar strategy—instead of emphasizing booster shots, it will instead focus on updated vaccines that combat more recent variations of the virus such as omicron BA.4 and BA.5.
Dig deeper: Read the March update in WORLD magazine on different pandemic responses from countries around the world.
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