UK approves Pfizer bivalent COVID-19 vaccine ahead of booster drive

LONDON: The UK’s drug regulator said Saturday (Sep 3) it had approved an updated COVID-19 jab by Pfizer-BioNTech targeting the original virus and a subvariant ahead of an autumn booster drive.

The so-called “bivalent” jabs work for both the original virus that emerged in the Chinese city of Wuhan in 2019 and the BA.1 subvariant of Omicron.

The UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved the Pfizer jab as a booster for those aged 12 and over after a “careful review of the evidence”.

The UK regulator last month okayed a similar bivalent vaccine by Moderna, becoming the first country to do so.

MHRA chief executive June Raine said: “I am pleased to announce that we now have a second approved vaccine for the UK Autumn booster programme.”