The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is open to different next generation Covid vaccines, an official said on Thursday, amid a rise in cases due to circulating Omicron offshoots.
While the existing coronavirus vaccines continue to provide good protection against hospitalisation and death, vaccine effectiveness has taken a hit as the virus has evolved.
Vaccines designed to target the newer BA.4 and BA.5 strains of Omicron, currently driving a surge in new infections globally, have only recently entered clinical development, so how quickly any such vaccine could be made available is also a consideration, said Marco Cavaleri, EMA’s head of health threats and vaccines strategy.
“That’s why for the time being we still think that it’s very good to keep all options open and to not exclude any of these candidates from any potential approval.”
In contrast to the EMA position, the U.S. health regulator last month said that it would seek the inclusion specifically of the newer BA.4 and BA.5 strains of Omicron, currently driving a surge in new infections globally, in any new shots for use domestically.