Covid-19: Medsafe assessing software for Omicron-specific vaccine

Medsafe’s website shows an application for Pfizer’s Omicron BA.1 vaccine has been made. (File photo)

Sungmi Kim/Stuff

Medsafe’s website online presentations an software for Pfizer’s Omicron BA.1 vaccine has been made. (Document photograph)

An software for an Omicron-specific Covid-19 vaccine is beneath review by way of the drugs’ protection authority.

The Medsafe website online, revised on Monday, confirmed a brand new drugs software have been made for the Pfizer/BioNTech Omicron BA.1 vaccine for the ones elderly 12 and over.

Medsafe was once assessing the vaccine “as a concern”, it showed on Monday. The applying was once gained closing Thursday and is “pending, expecting fee of the bill by way of the applicant”.

Previous in September, Te Whatu Ora Nationwide Immunisation Programme director Astrid Koornneef​ mentioned Medsafe was once operating with Pfizer on its plans to publish information to New Zealand on variant Covid-19 vaccines, however that this was once “anticipated to occur over the approaching months”.

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An software seems to had been made simply 10 days later.

The United Kingdom has authorized a twin Covid vaccine advanced by way of Moderna which goals each the unique Covid virus in addition to the Omicron variant. .

An software for the Comirnaty​ unique/Omicron BA.4/5 vaccine had no longer but been gained, however was once anticipated “when information is to be had”, Medsafe mentioned.

Pfizer has no longer but showed the date it’s going to publish an software for the Comirnaty Authentic/Omicron BA.4/5 vaccine, it advised Stuff.

BA.5 stays the dominant pressure in Aotearoa, making up greater than 86% of all neighborhood instances sequenced prior to now week, consistent with a September 8 document.

On August 15, the UK turned into the primary nation to approve a brand new “bivalent” vaccine booster, in accordance with the Omicron BA.1 lineage and the unique Sars-CoV-2 collection. America took a an identical step on August 31.

College of Auckland affiliate professor and vaccinologist Dr Helen Petousis-Harris​ mentioned the ones bivalent vaccines have been permitted in accordance with information measuring the kind of immune reaction a vaccine generated, as there was once little to no real-world information on their effectiveness.

Associate Professor Helen Petousis-Harris says current Covid-19 vaccines, based on the ancestral Sars-CoV-2, are still providing very good protection against severe disease and death. (File photo)

Chris McKeen/Stuff

Affiliate Professor Helen Petousis-Harris says present Covid-19 vaccines, in accordance with the ancestral Sars-CoV-2, are nonetheless offering superb coverage towards serious illness and dying. (Document photograph)

At this degree, no longer everybody was once satisfied that Omicron-specific vaccines “have numerous added receive advantages over what we have already got”, she mentioned.

Present Covid-19 vaccines, in accordance with the ancestral pressure, had been already “doing in reality neatly at what we got down to do”: protective towards serious illness and dying, she mentioned.

Variant vaccines seemed to supply “diminishing returns” by way of comparability.

Petousis-Harris mentioned she “would not be speeding” to get an Omicron-specific vaccine.

As a substitute, she mentioned it was once extra necessary to focal point booster efforts on those that had to deal with helpful antibodies – those that had been frail, very aged or immune-compromised.

In feedback to the Science Media Centre, College of Otago Professor Peter McIntyre​, scientific consultant to the Immunisation Advisory Centre, mentioned the perfect precedence for New Zealand remained making improvements to booster protection in all adults.

“Easiest imaginable protection of first and 2d boosters is a lot more necessary than any have the benefit of ‘variant-specific’ vaccines.”

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