Approval has today been granted by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) for an adapted Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine that targets the Omicron XBB 1.5 subvariant, after it was found to meet the UK regulator’s standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.

The vaccine has been approved for use in individuals from 6 months of age.

The adapted vaccine works in the same way as the original vaccine by causing the immune system (the body’s natural defences) to produce antibodies and blood cells that work against the virus, so giving protection against COVID-19. All approved adapted COVID-19 vaccines help to improve the protection obtained from earlier doses of the vaccine and help give longer-term protection against getting seriously ill from COVID-19.