EU Drug Regulator to Announce Results of Moderna Booster Review Next Week

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -
A health-care worker holds a vial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. (REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo)

The European Union drug regulator expects to announce the results of its review of Moderna’s COVID-19 booster vaccine and start a rolling review of Merck’s antiviral drug molnupiravir next week, a senior official said on Thursday.

Marco Cavaleri, head of biological health threats and vaccines strategy for the European Medicines Agency (EMA), said in a briefing that the results of the Moderna booster shot would be announced on Oct. 25.

He said it was not clear if Russia would submit an application for its one-dose COVID vaccine called Sputnik Light in addition to the one for its two-dose Sputnik V shot.

On Oct. 4, the watchdog gave the go-ahead for the use of Pfizer-BioNTech boosters and recommended people with weakened immune systems should get a third dose of a shot from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.

It left it to member states to decide if the wider population should have a booster.

Merck’s experimental antiviral pill could halve the chances of dying or being hospitalized for those most at risk of contracting severe COVID-19, interim data showed this month.