As Australia enters an “eighth wave” of COVID-19, 2 up to date vaccines might quickly be obtainable to the general public.
In early October the Therapeutic Items Administration (TGA) approved two up to date COVID-19 vaccines: the Spikevax XBB.1.5 (andusomeran) by Moderna, and Pfizer’s Comirnaty Omicron XBB.15 (raxtozinameran).
These are monovalent vaccines, every containing one part that corresponds to a single variant of SARS-CoV-2 – the virus that causes COVID-19.
These two up to date vaccines particularly goal a subvariant of Omicron known as XBB.1.5, also referred to as Kraken, that’s a part of the XBB* sub-lineage whose variants are presently dominating infections in Australia.
A spokesperson for the Division of Well being and Aged Care informed Cosmos that: “Within the 28-day interval between 9 October 2023 – 5 November 2023, the Australian genomic surveillance system AusTrakka reported that recombinant variants proceed to be the predominant sub-lineages being sequenced.”
“Of all uploaded sequences within the reporting interval, 84% of recombinant sequences belonged to the XBB* sub-lineage.”
Of these, one specifically, EG.5.1, also known as ‘Eris’, is the principle sub-lineage recognized.
Recombinant variants emerge when the genomes of two SARS-CoV-2 virus mix to kind a brand new variant that’s completely different from each mum or dad lineages. This could occur when an individual is contaminated with two variants on the identical time.
“The presently obtainable vaccine formulations proceed to supply robust safety towards critical illness and proceed to be broadly obtainable throughout the nation,” mentioned the spokesperson.
“As anticipated, every technology of vaccines has been outdated by newer vaccines focusing on the strains of the virus now circulating.
“Monovalent XBB vaccines are anticipated to supply modestly enhanced safety from extreme illness in comparison with older vaccines.”
Nevertheless, earlier than they are often rolled-out the Australian Technical Advisory Group (ATAGI) should assess them additional.
ATAGI is predicted to supply recommendation to the minister for well being and aged care on the potential use of XBB vaccines in coming weeks.
Drug producers don’t all the time search regulatory approval on the identical time worldwide which ends up in completely different approval and rollout instances globally.
Official recommendation for these questioning if they need to get the prevailing vaccine booster or await the brand new one is to not wait.
“ATAGI continues to encourage all adults who had been really useful to have a COVID-19 vaccine dose in 2023 who haven’t but had one, to obtain a vaccine dose as quickly as attainable.
“Vaccines containing the unique/ancestral pressure have demonstrated safety towards extreme illness from a broad vary of SARS-CoV-2 variants, together with Omicron and its subvariants,” the Division says.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation’s (ATAGI) recommends all adults aged 75 or older ought to obtain a 2023 COVID-19 vaccine dose if 6 months or extra have handed since their final dose.
ATAGI additionally advises that individuals aged 65 to 74 years, and adults 18 to 64 years with extreme immunocompromise, ought to think about an extra dose if 6 months have handed since their final vaccination, and talk about it with their healthcare supplier.