Commission authorised adapted COVID-19 vaccine for autumn vaccination in the EU

The European Commission has authorised on Thursday the Comirnaty XBB.1.5-adapted COVID-19 vaccine, developed by BioNTech-Pfizer, as a respond to new COVID-19 variants. The vaccine is authorised for adults, children and infants above 6 months, Commission notes in an announcement.

The authorisation comes after a stringent evaluation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), under the accelerated assessment mechanism, the Commission adds. It also notes that the adapted vaccine was authorised "under an expedited procedure to allow Member States to prepare in time for their autumn-winter vaccination campaigns."

In line with previous recommendations by the EMA and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), adults and children from 5 years of age who require vaccination should have a single dose, irrespective of their COVID-19 vaccination history.

Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, welcomed in a statement "this very timely authorisation of the updated COVID vaccine, which will target emerging and spreading variants." She added that "COVID-19 will circulate in parallel to seasonal influenza during the upcoming autumn and winter season, and we need to be ready".

She warned that "this potential double threat will put vulnerable people at increased risk and place further pressure on hospitals and healthcare workers" and underlined that "vaccination is our most effective tool against both viruses, and therefore I encourage everyone eligible, especially the most vulnerable, to follow the scientific recommendations and get vaccinated as soon as possible."

Source: Cyprus News Agency