EU regulator starts reviewing Spanish COVID vaccine booster

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The European Union’s drug regulator says it has begun an accelerated review process for an experimental coronavirus vaccine booster made by the Spanish company Hipra

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The European Medicines Agency said in a statement that its evaluation is based on preliminary data from laboratory studies and research in adults that compared Hipra’s booster shot to the vaccine made by Pfizer-BioNTech. It said early results suggest the immune response achieved with Hipra “may be effective” against COVID-19, including the hugely infectious omicron variant.

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Hipra is a protein-based vaccine and is made using similar technology as the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, which was authorized by the EMA and other agencies in December. It contains two versions of the coronavirus’ spike protein that were made in a lab, which are intended to prompt an immune response when a person is immunized.

Hipra is intended to be a booster shot in people who have been fully vaccinated with a messenger RNA vaccine or a vector-based vaccine, like the ones made by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. Until now, Hipra has mainly focused on making vaccines for animals.

Scientists believe using different types of vaccines can increase the body’s immune response and numerous countries have adopted a “mix-and-match” strategy for COVID-19 vaccination.

Hipra has reportedly sold tens of millions of its vaccine to Vietnam and has estimated it could make about 600 million doses this year.

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Credit: abcnews.go.com /

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