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AstraZeneca says EU regulator approves COVID shot as booster

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Drugmaker AstraZeneca (AZN.L) said on Monday its COVID-19 vaccine, Vaxzevria, has been approved in the European Union by the bloc’s drugs regulator as a third-dose booster in adults following a committee endorsement last week.

The vaccine can now be used as a booster following the two-dose Vaxzevria schedule or by those who have been previously vaccinated by an mRNA vaccine, such as the ones made by Pfizer (PFE.N) and BioNTech (22UAy.DE) or Moderna (MRNA.O).

“Ensuring a longer duration of immune protection is essential to the long-term management of COVID-19 globally, and boosters can address the waning of protection over time that has been seen with all primary vaccine schedules to date,” Mene Pangalos, executive vice president of biopharmaceuticals R&D at AstraZeneca, said in a statement.

A committee of the European Medicines Agency had endorsed Vaxzevria as a booster last Thursday, just weeks after the regulator backed the use of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Comirnaty as a booster for adults previously inoculated with other vaccines.

Several vaccine makers have indicated that most vaccinations this year will be booster shots, or first inoculations for children that are still gaining regulatory approvals globally.

Typically the final say on products’ use in the European Union is decided by the European Commission.

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