EU watchdog backs Sanofi Covid booster jab

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The EU on Thursday approved a Covid booster vaccine by French drug maker Sanofi and Britain’s GSK after it gave positive results against the Omicron variant in trials.

The approval of the “next generation” jab by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is a shot in the arm for Sanofi and GSK, which have lagged behind rivals in offering a vaccine.

“A booster dose of VidPrevtyn Beta is expected to be at least as effective as Comirnaty (Pfizer’s vaccine) at restoring protection against Covid-19,” the Amsterdam-based EMA said.

A second study restored immunity in 627 adults who received other vaccines for their first course of jabs.

“Today’s approval validates our research in developing a novel solution for the Covid-19 pandemic,” Thomas Triomphe, Sanofi executive vice president for vaccines, said.

– End of a long road –

The approval marks the end of a long journey for Sanofi to bring a Covid vaccine to market. The French pharma giant, considered to be a world leader on vaccines, has come under huge scrutiny at home for failing to roll out a Covid jab earlier.

While it struggled, Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna brought their vaccines to market at a pace never before seen in history. Both vaccines were approved nearly two full years before Sanofi’s breakthrough on Thursday.

While Sanofi has finally managed to get a Covid vaccine approved, the question remains about how much demand remains in an already crowded market. 

Moderna meanwhile slashed the sales forecast for its own vaccine by $2-$3 billion dollars due to shipment delays.

Valneva became the first French firm to get a Covid vaccine approved by the EMA in June. It suspended production a month later, however, after the EU slashed its initial order of 60 million doses to just 1.25 million.

Originally published as EU watchdog backs Sanofi Covid booster jab


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