Half of Britons to get Covid ‘super-booster’ vaccine designed to protect against Omicron as sub-strain cases rise

It is reported that COVID super-booster vaccines will be given the green light for millions of Britons from the fall.

About 30 million people over 50 are expected to be supplemented with the jab, specifically designed to protect against the Omicron strain.

Reportedly, about 30 million over-50s will be supplemented with Moderna's 'super jab' from the fall

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Reportedly, about 30 million over-50s will be supplemented with Moderna’s ‘super jab’ from the fallCredit: AFP

Moderna’s so-called super booster is said to be five times better than the original vaccine and is expected to be approved by drug regulators within weeks, the Mail on Sunday reports.

It is unofficially called 214 and uses mRNA molecules to program the immune system to protect against two types of Covid – the original Wuhan strain and Omicron.

It comes as Omicron cases are on the rise again, with infection levels rising nearly a third last week.

However, they still remain below the March peak numbers.

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Last Friday, the influential European Medicines Agency (EMA) said it believes Moderna’s new vaccine may provide “some benefits in broadening the immune response” in recipients.

And it said “bivalent vaccines could be considered…for use as boosters”.

Meanwhile, the company is said to have already held talks with British health chiefs about distributing the 214 shot.

dr. Paul Burton, chief medical officer at Moderna, said there is “clear interest” from the UK in buying its new vaccine, the Telegraph reports.

Last month, Moderna published positive results showing that the so-called super jab offered strong protection against Omicron BA4 and BA5 – the two sub-variants driving the current wave of infection.

dr. Burton said: “I think the conclusions are that a boost by 214 could really be a turning point in our fight against the SARS-Cov-2 virus.”

It comes after survivors of the Omicron Covid wave were warned that they cannot resist new species of the circulating bug.

A study by Imperial College London found that those who had previous Omicron disease were not immune to getting it again, including the older BA.1 and BA.2 versions and newer BA.4 and BA.5 -tribes.

That’s despite the fact that they had an immune boost against previous strains, such as Delta and Alpha.

Professor Danny Altmann, from Imperial’s Department of Immunology and Inflammation, said: “Not only can it break the defenses of vaccines, it seems to leave little of the characteristics we would expect on the immune system.

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“It’s more inconspicuous than previous variants and flies under the radar, so the immune system can’t remember it.”

However, he stressed that vaccines are still protective against serious illness and death.

Moderna is said to have already held talks with British health chiefs about handing out the 214 jab

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Moderna is said to have already held talks with British health chiefs about handing out the 214 jabCredit: AFP

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