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Coronavirus vaccines tweaked to include the Omicron variant strain can improve protection when used as a booster, the European Medicines Agency and other global health regulators said on Friday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday recommended booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines be modified beginning this fall to include components tailored to combat the currently dominant Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants of the coronavirus.

Germany’s BioNTech, Pfizer’s partner in COVID-19 vaccines, said the two companies would start tests on humans of next-generation shots that protect against a wide variety of coronaviruses in the second half of the year.

The fast-spreading BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of Omicron are estimated to make up a combined 52% of the coronavirus cases in the United States as of June 25, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Tuesday.

COVID-19 vaccines this fall are likely to be based on the Omicron variant of the coronavirus rather than the original strain, although some experts suggest they may only offer significant benefits for older and immunocompromised people.

Moderna Inc. said on Wednesday that an updated version of its COVID-19 vaccine designed to target the Omicron variant also generated a strong immune response against the fast-spreading Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, which have gained a foothold in the U.S. in recent weeks.

COVID-19 vaccines that specifically target the Omicron and other variants are under development, Pfizer Inc.’s chief executive said on Wednesday, adding that the company will be able to quickly adapt shots as the novel coronavirus mutates.

People infected with the earliest version of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, first identified in South Africa in November, may be vulnerable to reinfection with later versions of Omicron even if they have been vaccinated and boosted, new findings suggest.

On Friday, the World Trade Organization approved vaccine patent waivers to increase the availability of COVID-19 vaccines to lower-income countries.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) started a rolling review on Friday of a variant-adapted COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna, as coronavirus cases linked to Omicron sub-variants see an uptick in the region.