UK becomes first country to approve Omicron vaccine

The UK has become the first country to authorise a Covid-19 vaccine tailored to the Omicron variant. The move will pave the way for an autumn booster campaign using Moderna’s two-strain shot.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority – which was the first in the world to approve an original Covid-19 jab – has granted conditional authorisation to the vaccine, which targets both the original strain of the virus and Omicron BA.1.

The vaccine is authorised for use in people aged 18 and over but, to prepare for an expected rise in cases over the winter, the UK plans to focus its booster programme on the over-fifties and those at higher clinical risk of developing severe Covid.