The European drug regulator on Thursday said it hopes to have vaccines adapted to address coronavirus variants, such as Omicron, approved by September.

"Our priority is to ensure that adaptive vaccines are possibly approved by September at the latest to be ready for the rollout of new immunisation campaigns in the EU in the autumn," said Marco Cavaleri, head of biological health threats and vaccines strategy at the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

"This would allow manufacturers to adjust their production lines accordingly."

The mRNA vaccines, made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, are the furthest along, and clinical trials are ongoing.

It remains unclear whether the vaccines will be targeting one variant or two in one shot, Cavaleri added.

(Reporting by Natalie Grover and Ludwig Burger; Editing by Toby Chopra)