EU Authorizes Use of Adapted Pfizer/BioNtech Vaccine for COVID-19 Variant

September 05, 2023

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission has authorised an updated COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer and its German partner BioNtech to be used in EU countries' vaccination campaigns this autumn to target the dominant Omicron XBB.1.5 variant, it said on Friday.

The vaccine, called Comirnaty, is the third adapted shot to be used in the bloc. The Commission authorises its use for adults, children and infants above six months.

The European Medicines Authority (EMA) approved the vaccine earlier this week. EMA and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control recommend a single dose irrespective of vaccination history.

The bloc amended its contract with Pfizer in May that cut the number of doses after a drop in demand, pushed the deadline to 2026 and includes access to adapted vaccines.

(Reporting by Julia Payne; editing by David Evans)