US FDA says Next Covid Boosters should target Omicron Subvariants

WASHINGTON:  The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended vaccine producers to provide booster doses that target the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 forms of Covid-19.

While currently available vaccines have helped reduce hospitalisation and death caused by Covid-19, results from many observational studies have proved that the efficacy of primary vaccination wanes over time against certain variants, including Omicron.

The Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants are known to resist vaccine-induced immunity, and they are currently driving for the recent wave of Covid cases across the globe.

The Covid-19 vaccinations that would be used for boosters in the US starting in September are based on the opinion of independent experts who served on the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee and voted in favour of including a SARS-CoV-2 Omicron component in them.

According to Peter Marks, Director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, "as we move into the fall and winter, it is critical that we have safe and effective vaccine boosters that can provide protection against circulating and emerging variants to prevent the most severe consequences of Covid-19."

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