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16.08.2022 | 06:51:10

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Covid: UK first country to approve dual-strain vaccine

Moderna's latest vaccine - called Spikevax - targets both the original strain and the first Omicron variant (BA.1), which emerged last winter. It is known as a bivalent vaccine as it takes aim at two forms of Covid...

Levels of antibodies that were able to stick to and disable Omicron (BA.1) were 1.7 times higher in people given the new vaccine. Tests against more recent Omicron variants (BA.4 and BA.5), which are causing the UK's current wave, also showed higher levels of protection with the updated vaccine.

However, it is far from clear what that means in terms of preventing someone from becoming seriously ill.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), which advises governments in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, has confirmed the following groups should be offered some form of booster in the autumn:

health and social care staff
everyone aged 50 and over
carers who are over the age of 16
people over five whose health puts them at greater risk, this includes pregnant women
people over five who share a house with somebody with a weakened immune system
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