Europe's medicine regulators on Tuesday backed the World Health Organization's recommendation to update the antigen composition of COVID-19 vaccines to target one of the currently dominant XBB variants ahead of the upcoming autumn vaccination campaign.

Advisory groups related to the WHO suggested that, while waiting for more data, the monovalent XBB-containing vaccines could be considered a reasonable choice and individuals at risk of progression to severe disease such as older adults should be given priority, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The WHO in May said that new formulations should aim to produce antibody responses to the XBB.1.5 or XBB.1.16 variants, adding that other formulations or platforms that achieve neutralizing antibody responses against XBB lineages could also be considered.

(Reporting by Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)