European Medicines Agency approves Omicron booster vaccine

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The European Medicines Agency has approved two booster vaccines against the Omicron variant of COVID-19 manufactured by drugmakers Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

Following an extraordinary meeting at its headquarters in Amsterdam, the EMA explained that the adapted vaccines “can extend protection against different variants and are therefore expected to help maintain optimal protection” against COVID-19 as the virus evolves.

The vaccines “target the Omicron BA.1 sub-variant in addition to the original strain” of the coronavirus, the Amsterdam-based European Medicines Agency (EMA) said in a statement.

It’s now up to the European Commission to approve the vaccines for the European market.

Globally, coronavirus cases and deaths have been dropping for weeks, but scientists expect a surge of hospitalisations and deaths with the coming onset of winter in the northern hemisphere. 

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