COVID-19 vaccine for teenagers below 5 delayed as Pfizer extends trial

In a sudden turnabout, Pfizer and BioNTech right this moment introduced they had been delaying the appliance course of for an emergency use authorization (EUA) for his or her vaccine for kids ages 6 months to 4 years previous, and gathering extra info on two and three doses of the vaccine.

The announcement comes simply days earlier than the Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) was set to think about the appliance, and a day after the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) had instructed pediatric vaccine suppliers to prepared themselves for a Feb 21 supply date of the mRNA vaccine.

“As a part of its rolling submission, the corporate just lately notified the company of extra findings from its ongoing medical trial,” the FDA mentioned in a statement. “Primarily based on the company’s preliminary evaluation, and to permit extra time to guage extra knowledge, we imagine extra info relating to the continuing analysis of a 3rd dose ought to be thought-about as a part of our decision-making for potential authorization.”

In December, Pfizer launched knowledge on two 3-microgram doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in kids 6 months to 4 years. In kids 2 years and older, the lowered doses didn’t elicit a major immune response, and the corporate instructed a 3rd dose could also be wanted.

At the moment in a press release Pfizer mentioned an ongoing research of a 3rd dose of vaccine administered 2 months after the first sequence is “advancing at a fast tempo,” and the businesses will look ahead to the three-dose knowledge, which they expect to have by early April, earlier than making use of for the EUA.

The FDA assembly scheduled for Feb 15 has been delayed till additional discover.

Knowledge: Safety drops 4 months after third dose

At the moment in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, scientists current new analysis exhibiting that safety towards Omicron hospitalizations and emergency division visits drops considerably by 4 months after a 3rd booster dose however is total nonetheless excessive.

Using data from a multistate evaluation of 241,204 emergency division encounters and 93,408 hospitalizations for COVID-19 from Aug 26, 2021, to Jan 22, 2022, the authors discovered vaccine effectiveness (VE) through the Omicron-predominant interval was 87% towards emergency division or pressing care (ED/UC) visits and 91% towards hospitalization through the 2 months following a booster dose of vaccine.

VE dropped to 66% and 78% towards COVID-19–related ED/UC visits and hospitalizations, respectively, at 4 months after a booster dose. The authors mentioned the information mirror what has been seen in Israel.

The CDC COVID Data Tracker reveals that 64.3% of People are absolutely vaccinated towards COVID-19, 75.8% have obtained no less than one dose of vaccine, and 42.6% of absolutely vaccinated People have obtained a booster dose.

In associated information, the FDA right this moment granted an EUA to bebtelovimab, Eli Lilly’s monoclonal antibody, for the therapy of delicate to average COVID-19 in adults and pediatric sufferers. Pediatric sufferers have to be no less than 12 years of age.

Bebtelovimab is efficient towards infections brought on by the Omicron variant, nevertheless it have to be administered intravenously. Eli Lilly mentioned yesterday that 600,000 courses of the treatment, value $720 million, have already been made obtainable for the federal authorities to distribute.

Deaths improve in South

America reported 147,416 new COVID-19 instances yesterday and three,179 deaths, in accordance with the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 tracker.

The 7-day common of recent day by day instances is 218,688, with 2,613 day by day deaths, in accordance with the Washington Submit tracker.

Two-week COVID-19 demise counts have greater than doubled in Florida, Hawaii, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Virginia, in accordance with an NBC News evaluation of federal knowledge. Twenty-three states have seen a larger than 25% improve in COVID-19 deaths over the previous 2 weeks.

UK notes rise in subvariant instances

In the meantime, in its newest update on SARS-CoV-2 variants right this moment, the UK’s Well being Safety Company (HAS) mentioned the proportion of BA.2 subvariant instances is rising in comparison with the unique Omicron variant. The rise is happening towards the backdrop of an total lower in instances.

As of Feb 6, the proportion of BA.2 instances, as indicated by S-gene goal positivity on PCR assessments, in England is eighteen.7%, in contrast with 5.1% Jan 24, which HAS mentioned suggests the expansion fee is substantial.

Primarily based on restricted sequences sampled, there aren’t any confirmed BA.2 reinfections in these contaminated with the guardian Omicron variant. And make contact with tracing knowledge counsel the common time from symptom onset from a main case to contacts is a few half day shorter for BA.2 than BA.1, which the HSA mentioned could be contributing to BA.2’s elevated progress fee.

In different world COVID-19 information:

  • Hong Kong once more right this moment reported a file excessive for instances, with 1,323 extra reported. Talks are below manner with officers in mainland China about methods it may assist Hong Kong’s overburdened well being system through the surge, in accordance with Reuters.
  • Germany’s chancellor mentioned right this moment that the nation is nearing the peak of its Omicron surge and that officers will start lifting some restrictions subsequent week, with a watch towards easing all of them within the spring.
  • Australia’s high officers yesterday accepted a advice from vaccine advisers that individuals have to obtain booster doses to be thought-about fully vaccinated. Nonetheless, it’ll think about worldwide vacationers to be absolutely vaccinated with a two-dose sequence.
  • The World Well being Group (WHO) right this moment announced that it has certified its first monoclonal antibody, tocilizumab, an intravenous drug designed to inhibit the inflammatory response recognized to be excessive in critically sick COVID-19 sufferers. The drug is already licensed to deal with arthritis in about 120 nations. The drug is dear and provides are quick, however the WHO mentioned extra producers are coming into the market, with talks below manner with Roche about easing entry for low- and middle-income nations.
  • The worldwide whole right this moment climbed to 407,446,539 instances, and 5,785,805 folks have died from their infections, in accordance with the Johns Hopkins online dashboard.

CIDRAP Information Editor Lisa Schnirring contributed to this story.

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