EU backs use of Novavax COVID shot as a booster

This file photo taken on June 11, 2021 shows the entrance of the European Medicines Agency headquarters in Amsterdam. (FRANCOIS WALSCHAERTS / AFP)

LONDON – The European Medicines Agency on Thursday backed the use of Novavax's COVID-19 shot as a booster for adults, ahead of an anticipated rise in infections this winter.

The EMA's recommendation is for people who previously were inoculated with either the Novavax shot, or any other COVID-19 vaccine.

Separately on Thursday, the EMA backed two separate COVID-19 vaccine boosters updated to target the Omicron variant of the virus. 

Developed by Moderna and the team of Pfizer and BioNTech, the new so-called bivalent shots combat the BA.1 version of Omicron.

Novavax's Nuvaxovid made its debut well after first set of COVID-19 shots – including those from Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson – were approved in different parts of the world.

A pamphlet to remind people of anti-virus precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic is seen in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on Oct 22, 2020. (LIANG SEN / XINHUA)


Canada on Thursday authorized Moderna Inc's bivalent COVID-19 shots for adults, adding the first Omicron-adapted vaccine to its arsenal just as falling temperatures are poised to force people indoors where the risk of infection is higher.

"As winter comes and as people get pushed back indoors, there is a real risk of another serious wave of COVID," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

"If we are able to hit that 80-90 percent of Canadians up to date on their vaccinations, we'll have a much better winter with much less need for the kinds of restrictions and rules that were so problematic for everyone over the past years," he said.

In this April 23, 2020 file photo, a sign is seen by the entrance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. (TAMI CHAPPELL / AFP)


The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday recommended the use of redesigned COVID-19 booster shots for people aged 12 years and older to target the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants of the coronavirus.

The green light for the use of redesigned Omicron COVID-19 boosters will enable millions of the retooled shots to roll out by the end of the weekend as part of a nationwide revaccination campaign.

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted 13-to-1 in favor of the updated boosters by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna .

"The updated COVID-19 boosters are formulated to better protect against the most recently circulating COVID-19 variant", CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement.