New Coronavirus Variant May Have Implications For Vaccine Composition
UK Pharma Industry Assessing Impact Of Transport Restrictions
Close monitoring of the effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines will be necessary after a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 was reported to be causing a rapid increase in transmission of the virus in the UK. The pharmaceutical industry says companies are not expecting travel restrictions imposed on the UK to have an impact on the supply of medicines.
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Concerns that new or future mutations of the novel coronavirus may reduce the protection offered by existing COVID-19 vaccines have prompted the European Medicines Agency to develop guidance to help vaccine manufacturers who are planning to alter to their products.
The first COVID-19 vaccine will shortly be available to the EU member states, after the European Commission today approved Pfizer/BioNTech's BNT162b2 just hours after the European Medicines Agency issued a positive opinion on the product. The EMA says that uncertainties remain over the ability of the vaccine to prevent transmission of the coronavirus and whether the new variant strain will render this and other vaccines less effective.
EU passes legislation allowing VAT exemption for coronavirus vaccines to make them more affordable, as two treatments for severe disease and “Long COVID” respectively enter Phase II trials.