US Defense Secretary Tests COVID-positive; UK Approved Moderna ‘bivalent’ Vaccine Dose

Austin, the US Defense Secretary, said he tested positive for Coronavirus on Monday morning.

US Defense Secretary Tests COVID-positive

Lloyd Austin, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, said he tested positive for Coronavirus on Monday morning, the second time in 2022 to have contracted the lethal virus. Mr. Austin said in a statement that he was experiencing ‘mild symptoms’ and will remain in quarantine for the coming 5-days in line with the recent guidelines from the U.S. CDC. He previously tested positive for the fatal disease.

Pentagon Chief said he’d retain all authorities and plan to continue with everyday work but be doing it virtually. Austin, 69, added he last met with Joe Biden, the US President, on 29th July. The President had first contracted COVID-19 on 21st July and stopped quarantine following negative Coronavirus test results on 27th July. But unfortunately, President Biden again tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 on 30th July.

Britain Become First to Authorize Omicron-targeted Moderna Dose

According to UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Britain became the first state to authorize a COVID-19 vaccine booster manufactured by Moderna that target both the original and the highly contagious Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.

The United Kingdom medicines regulator said in an official release on Monday that a modified version of the Moderna’s Coronavirus jab that targets two infectious variants – known as a bivalent jab – has recently been authorized for adult boosters by MHRA after it was discovered to meet the Britain health regulator’s safety and quality standards.

In addition, the move to permit the use of the bivalent vaccine in Britain was endorsed by the CHM (Commission on Human Medicines), a committee of MHRA, after meticulously reviewing the outcomes. The statement added that in each Spikevax bivalent Original/Omicron-based dose, half of the vaccine dose (25-mcg) targets the Omicron variant, and the other half targets the original strain from 2020.

US Defense Secretary Tests COVID-positive
US Defense Secretary Tests COVID-positive
Source: Web

According to the UK health officials, the decision by MHRA is based on evidence from a trial which found that a booster shot with the bivalent Moderna jab boosts robust protection against the original 2020 variant of SARS-CoV-2 and BA.1 Omicron variant. Furthermore, in an exploratory study, Moderna-developed bivalent booster dose showed a robust immune response against BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of Omicron.

According to Moderna official, messenger-RNA-1273.214 is a bivalent vaccine which contains messenger-RNA-1273 and a jab candidate targeting BA.1 variant. CEO of Moderna Therapeutics, Stephane Bancel, said that the vaccine endorsement represents the first approval of an Omicron-based ‘bivalent’ jab. And this dose has a vital role to play in shielding UK people from Coronavirus disease as they enter the cold season.

Read Also: Pfizer Begins Mid-Stage Study for COVID-19 Jab Against Omicron Sub-lineage