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EU regulator intends to approve vaccines adapted to new COVID-19 variants to ensure autumn vaccination programs

EU regulator intends to approve vaccines adapted to new COVID-19 variants to ensure autumn vaccination programs

An official from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Thursday that the agency hopes to approve vaccinations against new coronavirus strains by September to ensure autumn vaccination programs.
Speaking at EMA’s news briefing dedicated to the COVID-19 situation, Marco Cavaleri, the director of Biological Health Threats and Vaccines Strategy, said the EU drugs agency’s “priority is to ensure that adaptive vaccines are possibly approved by September at the latest.”

This way, the EU could be “ready for the rollout of new immunization campaigns” in the autumn and manufacturers could also adapt their production, he added.

The EMA has previously approved Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Novavax, and Johnson&Johnson vaccines, but the regulator needs to reassess its scientific opinion if pharma companies change their product to be effective against new strains.

Over 72.6% of the EU population has received their primary vaccination series, while 51.6% were given a booster shot as well, according to the latest figures of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

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