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WHO Recommends New COVID Booster Shots To Target XBB Variants, Despite Slower Uptake

An advisory group for the World Health Organization said the current crop of shots should be updated to target the currently dominant XBB strains for the upcoming winter season.

The shots currently used in the U.K. and U.S. target the original omicron strain, to which the XBB.1.5 or XBB.1.16 variants are spinoffs.

It comes after the agency said in March that healthy children and teenagers probably do not need a Covid vaccine and amid falling uptake of updated shots.

Related: FDA Gives Green Signal To Second Omicron-Adapted Booster Shots For People At High Risk From Covid.

The group suggested no longer including the original COVID-19 strain in future vaccines. Based on data, the original virus no longer circulates in humans, and shots targeting the strain produce "undetectable or very low levels of neutralizing antibodies" against currently circulating variants.

Reuters reported that COVID-19 vaccine makers like Pfizer Inc (NYSE: PFE)/BioNtech SE (NASDAQ: BNTX), Moderna Inc (NASDAQ: MRNA), and Novavax Inc (NASDAQ: NVAX) are already developing versions of their respective vaccines targeting XBB.1.5 and other currently circulating strains.

In addition, in January 2023, the U.S. Vaccines and Related Biologics Products Advisory Committee announced its intent to provide the industry with strain protocol guidance in Q2 of 2023 for the fall 2023 COVID vaccine season.

Also Read: WHO Ends Global Emergency Status for COVID-19 3 Years After Declaration, CDC Director Resigns

Photo by Johaehn from Pixabay

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This article WHO Recommends New COVID Booster Shots To Target XBB Variants, Despite Slower Uptake originally appeared on Benzinga.com

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