The EU's medicines watchdog on Monday approved a vaccine specifically targeting the new and infectious types of the Omicron variant amid fears of a new wave of winter infections.
The so-called "bivalent" jab, made by Pfizer/BioNTech, targets the highly infectuous BA.4 and BA.5 types of the variant and is the first of its kind to be approved within the 27-nation bloc.
"This recommendation will further extend the arsenal of available vaccines to protect people against Covid-19 as the pandemic continues and new waves of infections are anticipated in the cold season," the European Medicines Agency said.
The vaccine also targets "the original strain of SARS-CoV-2" and comes 11 days after the Amsterdam-based drug watchdog approved vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna against the original Omicron variant.
The latest shot is aimed at people over 12 and who have already received at least one primary vaccination against the coronavirus, and it is an adaptive version of Pfizer's original Comirnaty vaccine.
European nations have been keen to rush through the new generation of jabs so they can start booster campaigns ahead of a feared Covid surge in the latter part of this year. (AFP)