Pfizer asks FDA to authorize Covid booster shots that target omicron BA.5 for people ages 12 and older
Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech on Monday asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize Covid booster shots that target the omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants for people ages 12 and older. The U.S. is preparing for a fall vaccination campaign using updated vaccines that target the dominant omicron subvariants. The updated vaccines would target the original strain of the virus that first emerged in Wuhan, China in 2019 as well as omicron. Scientists and public health officials hope the new shots will provide broader and more durable protection against infection and mild illness. The currently authorized shots were developed to target the version of Covid that first emerged in China.cnbc.com
Pfizer asks FDA to authorize third dose for children 5 to 11 years old
Dr. Sandra Hughes prepares to administer a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine (COVID-19) to Elise Langevina, 6, in Storrs, Connecticut, U.S., November 3, 2021. Pfizer on Tuesday asked the Food and Drug Administration to authorize a third dose of its Covid vaccine for children ages 5- to 11-years-old. The application comes after Pfizer released clinical trial data earlier this month showing that blood samples from 30 kids in the age group had a 36-fold increase in antibody levels against the omicron variant compared to two doses of the vaccine. This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.cnbc.com
Pfizer delays its application to the FDA to expand its Covid vaccine to kids under 5
The FDA said it's postponing a meeting Tuesday that was scheduled to look at the kids' data. Pfizer and BioNTech asked the FDA last week to expand the authorization for their vaccine to most kids under 5. The FDA had asked the companies to start submitting data for authorization of the first two-doses of the three-dose vaccine for children six months through 4-years-old. Pfizer and BioNTech expect kids under 5 will ultimately need three doses for the highest level of protection against the omicron Covid variant and future strains of the virus. The companies said data on the third dose will be finished and submitted to the FDA in the coming months.cnbc.com
In Greece, taxis help with race to deliver booster shots
Public health authorities in Greece have stepped up a campaign to deliver booster shots to seniors and people with mobility difficulties at home, with some agencies using taxi companies to take healthcare workers to where the vaccinations are needed.
As Brazil agency approves COVID vaccine for kids, Bolsonaro wants to publish regulators' names for public "judgements"
Health agency bosses reported death threats before approving the Pfizer vaccine for young children. Bolsonaro says public should make "their own judgements" on the decisionmakers.cbsnews.com
CDC reports heart inflammation cases among young kids who got Pfizer COVID-19 shot
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday it had received reports of eight cases of myocarditis, a type of heart inflammation, in children aged 5-11 years who received Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine.news.yahoo.com
Israel extends travel restrictions for a further 10 days
The Israeli Prime Minister and Health Minister are extending Israel’s tough travel restrictions including its entry ban on all foreign nationals for a further ten days, in a bid to stop further cases of the omicron variant of coronavirus entering the countrywashingtonpost.com
FDA expands eligibility for Pfizer Covid booster shots to 16- and 17-year-olds
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday expanded eligibility for Pfizer and BioNTech's booster shot to people who are 16 and 17 years old. The FDA's emergency authorization comes after initial data from South African scientists and Pfizer indicate the omicron variant of the virus that causes Covid-19 significantly reduces protection provided by the initial two-dose vaccine series. However, Pfizer's initial lab data indicated a booster shot provides significant protection against omicron, with virus fighting ability comparable to the 95% protection that the two-dose series showed against the original strain of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still needs to authorize boosters for 16- and 17-year-olds before the shots are administered. The CDC cleared booster shots for all adults 18 and over last month.cnbc.com
Georgia waiting for CDC recommendations before releasing COVID-19 booster plan
The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) said Tuesday it will wait on recommendations from the CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) before releasing a plan to administer booster doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in Georgia.
Israel tightens coronavirus restrictions as new cases surge
Israel’s government on Wednesday advanced a raft of new coronavirus restrictions, including sweeping implementation of a digital vaccine passport and tighter restrictions on mass gatherings, as the country struggles with skyrocketing new infections.
Pfizer, BioNTech seek EU's OK to use COVID vaccine on kids
Pfizer and BioNTech have submitted a request to the European drug regulator for the approval of their coronavirus vaccine to be extended to include children aged 12 to 15 years old, in a move that could offer younger and less at-risk populations in Europe access to the shot for the first time.
The Latest: Wyoming governor sticks with ending mask mandate
— Wyoming’s governor is rejecting a call by President Joe Biden for states to reimpose mask orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Coronavirus cases nationwide are on the rise, but infections in Wyoming have fallen off sharply since December. Tribal health officials said that the United Kingdom strain was confirmed in a sample obtained in the western part of the reservation. State health officials on Monday announced more than 1 million people in the state, about 17% of Wisconsin’s population, have completed their vaccination cycles. AdThe COVID-related hospitalizations dropped to 549 on Monday, far below the pandemic record of 5,082 on Jan. 11, according to the state’s pandemic dashboard.
Syria to send Lebanon emergency oxygen supply for hospitals
(AP Photo/Hussein Malla)BEIRUT – The government of war-torn Syria said Wednesday it will send emergency oxygen supplies to neighboring Lebanon, which has experienced shortages amid a surge of coronavirus infections in both countries. Lebanon Health Minister Hamad Hassan told Lebanon’s al-Manar TV the oxygen was a “direct gift” from Syrian President Bashar Assad, who responded to Lebanon's humanitarian request for the oxygen. The amount going to Lebanon, reported to be 75 tons by Syrian media, won't impact needs in Syria, he said. A vaccination campaign began in Lebanon last month, with over 970,000 people registered to be vaccinated and some 156,000 doses already administered. Syria said it has received some vaccines but it has yet to launch a national vaccination campaign.
Hong Kong halts use of Pfizer vaccine, cites defective lids
People queue up outside a vaccination center for BioNTech in Hong Kong Wednesday, March 24, 2021. Hong Kong suspended vaccinations using Pfizer shots - known as BioNTech shots in the city - on Wednesday after they were informed by its distributor Fosun that one batch had defective bottle lids. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)HONG KONG – Hong Kong suspended use of the Pfizer vaccine Wednesday after its Chinese distributor informed the city that one batch had defective bottle lids. The semi-autonomous territory of Macao also said Wednesday that its residents will not receive the Pfizer shots from the same batch. The two vaccines are the only ones that were offered to residents in Hong Kong.
Over 60% of vaccine supply available at federal, state sites in Jacksonville administered Monday
It was also the first time in a week all five federal- and state-supported vaccination sites in Duval County administered more than 60% of their total vaccine supply. The day before the vaccine age requirement dropped to 50 and over, the federal vaccination site at Gateway Mall administered shots to 500 people. In addition to retail pharmacies and federally-supported and state-run vaccination sites in Jacksonville, a pop-up vaccination clinic near Jacksonville’s historic Springfield neighborhood was set up Tuesday. The clinic offered 250 shots of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine without appointments. Shelton said she is medically vulnerable and came to the pop-up vaccination clinic specifically to get a shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Scientist behind coronavirus shot says next target is cancer
Ozlem Tureci founder of the BioNTech company speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Berlin, Germany, Thursday, March 18, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)BERLIN – The scientist who won the race to deliver the first widely used coronavirus vaccine says people can rest assured the shots are safe, and the technology behind it will soon be used to fight another global scourge — cancer. “There is a very rigid process in place and the process does not stop after a vaccine has been approved,” she said. “We have several different cancer vaccines based on mRNA," said Tureci, who is BioNTech's chief medical officer. “You began with a drug to treat cancer in a single individual,” Steinmeier told the couple.
First doses help nursing home residents, report shows
Partial vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was 63% effective in preventing new infections in residents at two nursing facilities, a report released Monday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows. The findings are similar to other first-dose effectiveness estimates for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for the broader adult population in non-congregate settings. Another 154,255 people in Florida long-term care facilities are fully vaccinated due to the program. Meanwhile, according to the latest state data, 3,478 nursing-home and long-term care residents are COVID-19 positive. At least 10,860 long-term care residents and staff members have died of COVID-19, according to the state.
Georgia to vaccinate adults over 55, those with conditions
(AP Photo/John Bazemore)ATLANTA – Georgia will expand COVID-19 vaccine criteria starting Monday to everyone 55 and older, plus younger adults who are overweight or have serious health conditions, making more than two-thirds of Georgians who are 16 and older eligible for vaccination. The same data show Georgia has administered the lowest share of doses delivered among states, with more than one-third of doses still awaiting injection. At the rate shots were given in Georgia last week according to state numbers, that’s more than three weeks of supply. That’s where we are,” said Amber Schmidtke, an epidemiologist who writes a daily report about COVID-19 in Georgia. Adults younger than 55 who will qualify include those who have asthma, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or kidney disease.
Teachers, others now eligible for COVID-19 shots in Georgia are pleased, relieved
BRUNSWICK, Ga. – Georgia teachers and other school and child care employees gained access to the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, per the latest executive order from Gov. Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and parents of children with complex medical conditions are now also able to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Georgia under new guidelines issued last week. Blackstone said his teachers are relieved and excited to sign up for their shots. He said he will wait until his teachers and staff get vaccinated before he gets a shot himself. “In addition to becoming eligible for vaccines through the Health Department, Southeast Georgia Health System, and local retail providers, our employees have been given the opportunity to register for a vaccine clinic next weekend,” Tucker said.
Asia Today: S. Korea allows workers to squeeze extra doses
(Jerome Favre/Pool Photo via AP)HONG KONG – South Korea’s Disease Control and Prevention Agency has allowed health workers to squeeze extra doses from vials of coronavirus vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and Pfizer. However, she said the KDCA isn’t allowing health workers from combining vaccines left in different bottles to create more doses. South Korea, which launched its public vaccination campaign on Friday, is administering the AstraZeneca shots to residents and workers at long-term care facilities and the Pfizer ones to front-line medical workers. Registration details for those wishing to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech shots haven't been announced yet. Sri Lankan began its inoculation drive in January starting with health workers.
'Don't worry, come forward': Asian nations get 1st shots
(Malaysia Health Ministry via AP)Many nations in the Asia-Pacific region are rolling out the first shots for COVID-19 this week. AUSTRALIATwo elderly people have been administered with higher-than-prescribed doses of the Pfizer vaccine, Australia’s health minister said Wednesday. Thai officials have said they had secured an additional deal with AstraZeneca for a total of 61 million doses. More than half a million health care and front-line workers will be given priority in the first phase. CHINAChinese regulators are looking at two more potential COVID-19 vaccines, one from state-owned company Sinopharm and another from a private company, CanSino.
World Bank threatens to suspend vaccine funding to Lebanon
(AP Photo/Hussein Malla)BEIRUT – The World Bank threatened Tuesday to suspend financing for coronavirus vaccines in Lebanon as it investigated suspected favoritism amid accusations that lawmakers were inoculated in parliament without prior approval. The World Bank is a major financier of Lebanon’s coronavirus campaign and has approved $34 million to pay for vaccines for 2 million people. The vaccination campaign began Feb. 14 and Lebanon has so far received nearly 60,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The World Bank and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have signed an agreement for independent monitoring of the coronavirus vaccination campaign in Lebanon. The World Bank “may suspend financing for vaccines and support for COVID19 response across Lebanon!
Dubai's Emirates seeks key role in global vaccine delivery
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to clobber the aviation industry, Emirates Airlines, the Middle Easts biggest airline is seeking to play a vital role in the global vaccine delivery effort. The arrival was part of an effort by the Middle East's biggest airline to pivot from shuttling people to shipping cargo — and grabbing a central role in the global vaccine delivery race. The key transit hub, previously used for the global shipment of pharmaceuticals, is now at the center of a growing vaccine supply network based in the United Arab Emirates. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, reported as being 95% effective, must be preserved at the frigid temperature of negative 70 Celsius (minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit). On the one hand, the federation of seven emirates is accelerating efforts to import vaccines despite supply lags.
Georgia adds over 2,400 new COVID-19 cases
SAVANNAH, GA - DECEMBER 15: A nurse shows off a vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine outside of the Chatham County Health Department on December 15, 2020 in Savannah, Georgia. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)The Georgia Department of Public Health on Saturday reported 2,422 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19. As of Saturday, a total of 803,349 confirmed cases had been reported by the state Department of Public Health. Ad(Note: There are variations in the day-to-day data reported by the Georgia Department of Public Health. At times, cases and deaths are removed from the overall running total reported by the Department of Public Health.)