Since late last year, messenger RNA for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines, including its recently reformulated Omicron booster, has been exclusively manufactured by a little known company with significant ties to US intelligence.
Earlier this week, the United Kingdom became the first country to approve Moderna’s reformulated version of its COVID-19 vaccine, which claims to provide protection against both the original form of the virus and the significantly less lethal but more transmissible Omicron variant. The product was approved by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) with the support of the UK government’s Commission on Human Medicines.
Described by UK officials as a “sharpened tool” in the nation’s continued vaccination campaign, the reformulated vaccine combines the previously approved COVID-19 vaccine with a “vaccine candidate” targeting the Omicron variant BA.1. That vaccine candidate has never been previously approved and has not been the subject of independent study. The MHRA approved the vaccine based on a single, incomplete human trial currently being conducted by Moderna. The company promoted incomplete data from that trial in company press releases in June and July. The study has yet to be published in a medical journal or peer reviewed. No concerns have been raised by any regulatory agency, including the MHRA, regarding Moderna’s past history of engaging in suspect and likely illegal activity in past product trials, including for its original COVID-19 vaccine.
The approval comes shortly before several Western countries, including the UK, plan to conduct a massive COVID-19 booster vaccination campaign this fall. Moderna has also noted that approval for its Omicron booster vaccine are pending in the US, EU, Australia and Canada – all of which are also planning fall vaccination campaigns focused on COVID-19. The company’s CEO, Stéphane Bancel, has called the reformulated vaccine “our lead candidate for a Fall 2022 booster.”