Covid-19: what are the four new vaccines expected this fall?

The peak of the 7th wave has largely passed, we are in the middle of the summer trough in August… Everything is in place for the rate of vaccination against Covid-19 to mark time. Only 55,000 doses are administered each day, the vast majority of second booster doses, ie half as many as in mid-July.

The pace could pick up again at the start of the school year. The arrival of a probable 8th wave could encourage a certain number of inhabitants to reach out once again. In addition, the High Authority for Health could recommend a new booster dose for frail people, or even extend the target to adults without comorbidities. Everything will depend in particular on the vaccines available, potentially more effective – especially against infection – than those with messenger RNA (Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna) currently used. Four new products are expected in September or October by the Ministry of Health, the latter indicated on July 20. Here they are.


  • Technology : Recombinant protein vaccine.
  • Variants from which it is made: Alpha and Beta.
  • Efficiency : In a press release published on July 19, the Spanish firm assures that an “increase in neutralizing antibodies against Omicron BA.2, BA.4 and BA.5 was observed 14 days after administration of the vaccine as a booster dose in previously vaccinated participants” with two doses of Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine. We do not yet have more precise efficacy rates, either against infection or against serious forms.
  • Advancement : the European Commission announced on Tuesday that it had signed an agreement allowing it to acquire up to 250,000 doses of the vaccine developed by the Spanish firm. But it will first have to be authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The Hipra vaccine is still subject to a rolling review procedure, ie the available data is analyzed in real time, without waiting for the filing of a marketing authorization.


  • Technology : Recombinant protein vaccine.
  • Variants from which it is made: Original virus strain and Beta variant.
  • Efficiency : In a press release published on June 24, the French group states that a booster dose of its vaccine has proven to be 72% effective (confidence interval between 45.8 and 86.6%) against symptomatic forms with the Omicron variant. In people who have already had Covid and therefore also benefit from so-called “natural” immunity, this protection rose to 93.2% (confidence interval between 73.2% and 99.2%). This study did not focus on the BA.5 sub-lineage of the Omicron variant, which is now the majority in France, but the effectiveness of current vaccines seems similar against each member of the Omicron “family”.
  • Advancement : While its vaccine (developed with the British manufacturer GSK) has been under continuous review since July 2021, more than a year ago, Sanofi has filed a marketing authorization request. the market with the EMA last March.

Pfizer/BioNTech adapted to Omicron

  • Technology : Messenger RNA vaccine.
  • Variants from which it is made: Original virus strain and Omicron variant (BA.1 initially).
  • Efficiency : This so-called “adapted” vaccine resulted in “significantly higher neutralizing antibody responses against Omicron BA.1” than the one currently used, according to a June 25 press release from Pfizer. On the other hand, the impact is less against BA.5 than against BA.1, with antibody titers three times lower. “This shortens the duration of protection compared to what it would be if the virus no longer evolved”, recently deciphered the medical biologist Claude-Alexandre Gustave. The US Federal Drug Agency (FDA) has also asked messenger RNA manufacturers to also develop versions adapted to BA.5 and its “little brother” BA.4, in order to improve performance.
  • Advancement : Pfizer and its partner BioNTech announced on July 19 that they had transmitted their data to the EMA. Three days later, she announced that she had started her assessment.

Moderna adapted to Omicron

  • Technology : Messenger RNA vaccine.
  • Variants from which it is made: Original virus strain and Omicron BA.1 or BA.4/5 variant.
  • Efficiency : Among participants who had never had Covid, the vaccine adapted to Omicron BA.1 “resulted in significantly higher neutralizing titers against BA.4/5 compared to (the one) currently authorized”, Moderna advances in a published press release. July 11. After a month, these were almost twice as high. Moreover, this new vaccine “is generally well tolerated”, without more side effects than the current one. Regarding the other bivalent vaccine candidate, based on the original strain of the virus and on the Omicron BA.5 variant this time, data are not yet available.
  • Advancement : Like that of Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna’s adapted vaccines have been officially under evaluation by the EMA since July 22.

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