MADRID (AP) – The European Union medicines agency announced on Tuesday that it has initiated an accelerated review process for an experimental coronavirus vaccine booster being manufactured by Spanish company Hipra.
The European Medicines Agency said in a statement that its assessment was based on preliminary data from laboratory studies and studies in adults comparing Hipra’s booster vaccine with Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine. Early results suggest that the immune response generated by Hipra could be “effective” against COVID-19, including the highly contagious Omicron variant.
Hipra is a protein-based vaccine and is made using similar technology to the COVID-19 vaccine Novavax, which was approved by the EMA and other authorities in December. It contains two versions of the coronavirus spike protein, made in a lab and designed to trigger an immune response when a person becomes immunized.
Hipra is intended to be a booster shot in people who have been fully vaccinated with a messenger RNA vaccine or a vector-based vaccine, such as those made by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.
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Scientists believe that using different types of vaccines can boost the body’s immune response, and numerous countries have adopted a “mix-and-match” strategy for COVID-19 vaccination.
Hipra has reportedly sold tens of millions of its vaccine to Vietnam and estimates it could manufacture about 600 million doses this year.
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