XBB.1.5 strain of covid

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The US Food and Drug Administration on Friday recommended that vaccine manufacturers are making single-strain Covid shots for fall that target Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5, dominant strain virus nationwide.

“Based on the totality of the evidence, the FDA has advised manufacturers who will update their COVID-19 vaccines, that they should develop vaccines with a monovalent XBB 1.5 formulation,” the agency said in a statement. launchreferring to pharmaceutical companies PfizerAnd accident And novafax.

Monovalent means the shot is designed to protect against one type of COVID.

XBB.1.5 is a descendant of the omicron variant, which caused cases in the United States to rise to record levels early last year. It is also one of the most immune-evasive strains to date.

XBB.1.5 accounted for nearly 40% of all Covid cases in the US in early June, according to data From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This percentage is slowly decreasing, while the incidence of the related variants XBB.1.16 and XBB.2.3 is rising.

The FDA’s decision is consistent with what was recommended by an advisory panel to the agency on Thursday.

That committee voted unanimously that the new punches should be monovalent and target a member of the XBB family. The advisors also generally agreed that targeting XBB.1.5 would be the most ideal option.

The FDA’s selection is also good news for Pfizer, Moderna, and Novavax.

The three companies are already developing updated versions of their shots targeting XBB.1.5. Preliminary data provided by each company Thursday indicates that those punches produce strong immune responses against all XBB variants.

“Novavax is encouraged by today’s FDA announcement, and the company’s XBB 1.5 COVID vaccine candidate is being manufactured on a commercial scale with the intent to be on the market for the fall vaccination campaign,” a Novavax spokesperson said in a statement to CNBC.

Pfizer said it will be able to offer a monovalent shot targeting XBB.1.5 by July. Moderna and Novavax have not provided specific delivery timelines.

Dr. Peter Marks, chief of the FDA’s vaccine division, suggested Thursday that updated vaccines could be available to the public as early as September.


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