+++ Corona News +++: Before important Uniper talks: Habeck infected with Corona – EU authorities recommend further booster vaccinations
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) is still aiming for the approval of updated Covid-19 vaccines by autumn. The EMA is working on the possible approval of adapted vaccines in September, EMA’s head of vaccine strategy, Marco Cavaleri, said at a press conference held by the agency on Thursday. The EMA is open to various next-generation Covid vaccines and willing to consider those adapted to the currently predominant omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5. However, these vaccines could come too late for the planned autumn vaccination campaigns of the EU member states. The EMA therefore indicated a preference for vaccines developed based on the omicron variant BA.1, which had led to a massive increase in infections last winter.
While the existing corona vaccines continue to offer good protection against hospitalization and death, the effectiveness of the vaccines has decreased as the virus has evolved. Vaccines against the newer subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, which are currently causing a spike in infections worldwide, have only recently entered clinical development. It is therefore also a matter of time how quickly such a vaccine can be made available, said Cavaleri. “For the time being, we still think that it is very good to keep all options open and not to exclude any of these candidates from a possible approval.” Because it is impossible to predict which variant will dominate in autumn.