WHO body says COVID-19 vaccines may need to be updated for Omicron

  Broader access  Amid increased Omicron circulation, members have called for “urgent and broad access” to current vaccines globally, both for protection and to mitigate the emergence of new variants of concern, or VOCs.  The 18 experts are developing a framework to analyze the evidence on emerging VOCs “in the context of criteria that would trigger a recommendation to change COVID-19 vaccine strain composition and will advise WHO on updated vaccine compositions, as required.”  They said vaccines that have a high impact on prevention of infection and transmission, in addition to prevention of severe disease and death, are needed and should be developed.  “Until such vaccines are available, and as the SARS-CoV-2 virus evolves, the composition of current COVID-19 vaccines may need to be updated, to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines continue to provide WHO-recommended levels of protection against infection and disease by VOCs, including Omicron and future variants,”  they wrote.  The Technica