AstraZeneca is working with Oxford University in the UK to make a vaccine for the rapidly spreading Omicron variant of Covid-19. An AstraZeneca spokesperson was quoted by Reuters as saying that the parties have already taken initial steps to start producing the vaccine. Last week, a laboratory study inferred that AstraZeneca’s antibody combination Evusheld triggered neutralising activity against the Omicron variant. Several other companies are also working to make Omicron-specific Covid-19 vaccines.
Israel is set to allow elderly people above 60 years of age to get a fourth dose of the Covid-19 vaccine amid rising concerns over the Omicron variant. This comes after the fourth jab was recommended by a health ministry expert panel. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has also welcomed the move, reported Reuters. The decision is still subject to formal approval by senior health officials. To date, Israel has reported 340 known cases of Omicron in the country.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has granted an emergency use listing (EUL) for Nuvaxovid Covid-19 vaccine. The move comes after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) green-lighted the vaccine. Nuvaxovid is developed by Novavax and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI). The two-shot product is the tenth vaccine to receive a EUL from WHO.