By a 19-2 vote, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) approved plans to rollout newly formulated vaccines this fall – citing the vaccine resistant traits of the Omicron variant.
Dr Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) top regulatory body for vaccines, said Tuesday morning he hoped to make the new shots available as early as this October.
The move opens the door for fourth vaccine shots for the general American population and fifth shots for the immunocompromised and for people over 50.
All currently available versions of the COVID-19 vaccines are formulated to the original Wuhan strain that emerged two years ago.
While they are still effective at preventing severe infection or death in a majority of cases, the Omicron variant has mutated in a way to avoid front end protection from infection.
This change allows for both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna to begin distribution of newly formulated shots that should be able to prevent infection from the Omicron variant – along with previous versions of the virus.
The FDA is expected to follow the lead of its advisors and issue emergency use authorization to the new jabs at some point this week.
After the FDA, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will also likely authorize the shots.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk