(CMR) The Cayman Islands could soon receive the new Moderna COVID-19 booster vaccine, which targets two variants of the coronavirus.
The new Moderna vaccine, known as a “bivalent” vaccine, has been approved for adult booster doses by the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) after it was found to meet the UK Regulator's standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.
In each dose of the booster vaccine, ‘Spikevax bivalent Original/Omicron,' half of the vaccine (25 micrograms) targets the original virus strain from 2020, and the other half (25 micrograms) targets Omicron.
The MHRA's decision is based on data from a clinical trial showing that a booster with the bivalent Moderna vaccine triggers a strong immune response against Omicron (BA.1) and the original 2020 strain. In an exploratory analysis, the bivalent vaccine was also found to generate a good immune response against the Omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5.
Governor Martyn Roper said, “the UK support on COVID-19 has been outstanding, and this is a further signal of the UK's political commitment to Cayman and the OTs. I am grateful that the UK continues to supply these vaccines free of charge.”
He pointed out that while the first generation of COVID-19 vaccines, including Pfizer and AstraZeneca, continue to provide protection, this new vaccine offers a broader immune response than the original vaccines.
The Pfizer vaccine is still recommended for people taking their first and second doses of a COVID vaccine, while the new vaccine is likely for the over 50s and at-risk groups.