Moderna has come up with a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose tailored specifically for the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron and the company is currently waiting for authorisation from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. The company said that the application was based on data from clinical trials on all variants of COVID-19 and if sanctioned, they will deliver the doses by September.
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The BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of Omicron have been the main reasons behind the latest surge of COVID-19 cases around the world. However, the fatality rate has gone down drastically and last week, Pfizer Inc and German partner BioNTech also sought US authorisation for their booster shot for the subvariants.
While Moderna’s booster shot will be available for emergency use among people who are 18 years old or above, Pfizer said that their product can be used by people above 12 years.
The booster shot designed by Moderna to combat the BA.1 Omicron variant has already been approved in the United Kingdom and it was also a part of their application to the FDA. The company told Reuters that they are looking to release both drugs at the same time in the US after the approval arrives.
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The race among the companies to produce the new booster shots was sparked by the announcement of renewed vaccination drives by countries like the US and UK in the next few months.
While the number of cases is currently under control, most countries are trying to safeguard themselves from future surges. The FDA had earlier said that human testing is not mandatory for new shots.
(With inputs from agencies)
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