The United Kingdom has become the first country in the world to approve a vaccine specifically targeting the Omicron strain of COVID-19.
Britain's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency announced Monday its approval for an updated vaccine from Moderna that offers protection against both Omicron and the original strain as a booster for adults.
The decision was based on clinical trial data that showed a strong immune response against both variants.
The agency added no safety concerns were identified.
Later Monday, the UK's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation backed the use of the shot in a national booster campaign that will start in September.
Moderna also expects further approval for the new vaccine in Australia, Canada, and the EU in the coming weeks.