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Recent uptake of COVID-19 vaccine booster doses in the European Union has been “rather disappointing,” an official said on Thursday, amid concerns that protection against severe cases of the disease could weaken during the winter.

Sanofi said on Thursday it won European Union approval for its COVID-19 vaccine booster, jointly made with British partner GSK, after a drawn-out development effort that saw the pair fall behind now-dominant vaccine suppliers.

Swiss drugs regulator Swissmedic said on Wednesday it is examining potential risks in connection with bubbles that appeared in vials of COVID-19 vaccine boosters retooled to target the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

With most Americans delaying or skipping new COVID-19 booster shots, analysts and investors are now predicting far fewer will be given each year, pushing the number of shots well below annual flu vaccinations.

The United States government has sent out over 25 million of the updated COVID-19 booster shots, mostly from Pfizer/BioNTech, as production of the Moderna shot continues to ramp up, a federal health agency said on Tuesday.

Demand for booster vaccinations against COVID-19 is low in Germany, the association of general practitioners said on Thursday, with some patients waiting for a booster designed to combat the currently circulating Omicron BA.4/5 subvariants.

People in Europe should take whatever COVID-19 booster is available to them in the coming months, Emer Cooke, Executive Director of the European Medicines Agency (EMA), said in a Reuters Next Newsmaker interview, ahead of an expected autumn rise in infections.

New COVID-19 boosters aimed at fighting currently circulating variants of the coronavirus will be widely available this week, U.S. health officials said on Tuesday, adding that the vaccine is moving closer to an annual jab, as with flu shots.

EU officials on Tuesday recommended that the two Omicron-tailored vaccines recently endorsed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) be first deployed in high-risk individuals.

The United States plans to roll out an updated COVID-19 booster vaccine to include Omicron subvariants of the coronavirus. Regulators are reviewing the shots and could give the go-ahead as soon as next week.