Italy gives green light to new dual-strain Covid vaccines

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Italy gives green light to new dual-strain Covid vaccines
New monkeypox vaccinations are available in Vienna. Photo by Pascal GUYOT / AFP.

Italy has approved two new vaccines adapted to protect against both Omicron and the original strain of the coronavirus, according to medicines regulator Aifa.


The Comirnaty (Pfizer) and Spikevax (Moderna) bivalent vaccines were approved by Aifa's Technical Scientific Commission on Monday, according to an Aifa press release

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) had given its go ahead on Friday, after the US approved both vaccines last Wednesday and the UK approved the Moderna dual-strain vaccine in mid-August.

Studies have shown that the vaccines are more effective against at least three of the Omicron variants than the original monovalent vaccines, Aifa said. 


The vaccines are intended for use as a booster, and can be administered three months after the primary dose or any previous booster dose received.

The agency advises that medically vulnerable people and those over the age of 60 be given first priority, but they are recommended for use in anyone over the age of 12.

Italy began offering fourth dose Covid vaccines to the most vulnerable members of society in April, and to over-60's in July.

While outgoing health minister Roberto Speranza has said a new autumn vaccination drive would begin in September, no firm plans have yet been published.


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