Pfizer-BioNTech will begin testing a booster shot to combat COVID-19 variants, the companies said Thursday.
The announcement came one day after the publication of new research results in the New England Journal of Medicine Suggests that two doses of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine reduced symptomatic COVID-19 cases by 94% in all age groups.
Now the two-company collaboration has asked 144 volunteers who participated in the earliest phase of their clinical vaccine trials last year to re-volunteer to receive the booster. more infectious variants that have been circulating in recent months.
Pfizer-BioNTech would also like to study another vaccine specifically targeting variant B.1.351 originally observed in South Africa. The US Food and Drug Administration would have to approve any modification of the vaccine or its dispensing.
The message follows an announcement Wednesday afternoon from ModernaThe other company, which makes one of the two approved COVID-19 vaccines, is starting a clinical trial with a new vaccine to combat the B.1.351 variant. Other vaccine manufacturers, including Novavax, have also stated that they are developing alternative versions of their vaccines to address possible variants.
It is not yet clear whether a new vaccine or booster will be needed to address the known variants. However, companies want to be prepared if studies show that a new vaccine is needed.
“Although we have seen no evidence that the circulating variants are causing our vaccine to lose protection, we are taking several steps to act decisively and be ready should a strain become resistant to the protection of the vaccine,” said Albert Bourla, Pfizer Chairman and CEO said in a prepared statement.
– Karen Weintraub
Also in the news:
►Washington, DC, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that her sister Mercia Bowser, 64, died Wednesday of pneumonia she developed as a complication of COVID-19. Mercia Bowser’s death came the day the city topped 1,000 deaths from COVID-19. The mayor declared a day of remembrance for the deceased.
► Rural music star Trisha Yearwood is “taking the greatest care” At home, after contracting the virus, her husband Garth Brooks said in a statement. The press release stated that Yearwood was experiencing unspecified symptoms but “is fine so far”.
► About a quarter of the 1 million students in the nation’s largest school district will be back in the classroom Thursday when New York City reopens public middle schools. The move will allow an additional 62,000 students whose parents have opted out of distance learning education to study in the classroom.
► President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will mark 50 million vaccination shots in a ceremony held in the White House Thursday. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 66 million shots fired in total.
►Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy has tested positive for COVID-19 and has mild symptoms, his office said Wednesday. Dunleavy, a 59-year-old Republican, developed symptoms Tuesday night and was tested Wednesday morning.
►More than 150,000 Americans have been reported dead of COVID-19 in less than two months of this year, according to a USA TODAY analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. The U.S. recorded its first 150,000th COVID death on July 28, five months after the country’s first reported death and six months after the first reported case.
📈 Today’s numbers: The US has more than 28.3 million confirmed coronavirus cases and 505,800 deaths. according to the Johns Hopkins University. The global total: more than 112.5 million cases and 2.49 million deaths. In the United States, more than 88.6 million vaccine doses have been distributed and about 66.4 million administered. according to CDC.
📘 What we read: Surgery for a child, car loan, utility bills: we asked Americans how they would spend $ 1,400 on stimulus checks. That’s what they said.
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Less than 14% of the US population have received the vaccine, and preliminary data suggests that people of color are vaccinated at lower rates than white Americans.
Chelsea White, executive director of the Dallas Bethlehem Center, historically said that Community did not trust the government or outside of groups, especially when it comes to health care.
“COVID is bad enough for everyone, but when you have this type of crisis in this neighborhood, it’s just catastrophic and will affect that neighborhood for years,” White said. “They’ll promise too much, deliver too little, and then leave.” Read more here.
The Ad Council $ 500 million campaign to promote COVID-19 vaccines Start on Thursday for 40% of Americans who have not yet made up their mind to get vaccinated. It will slowly change as the landscape changes who is eligible for vaccines and what questions they have.
“We’re dealing with the biggest problems of our lives,” said Lisa Sherman, President and CEO of the Ad Council. “We realized pretty quickly that people who couldn’t learn more about the vaccine and educate themselves might not be taking it. And then we would be no better off next year than this year. “
The ads, which appear on TV, radio, and online, feature images of people holding hands, families on a child’s birthday, people going to church together, or friends sharing pizza side by side, reminding them how much they are Changed things in a year.
The slogan for everyone is “It’s up to you.” Not to get vaccinated, but to be informed, Sherman said.
– Elizabeth way
Detailed information on a Johnson & Johnson vaccine candidate for COVID-19 increases No security concernsAccording to a report released early Wednesday. An advisory committee to the Food and Drug Administration is holding a full-day session Friday to review the data and is likely to give the vaccine a thumbs up. This could lead to FDA approval for the vaccine in the next few days. Richard Nettles, vice president of J&J, said the company will have 20 million doses of the vaccine available by the end of March.
The J&J vaccine differs from the two already approved vaccines in that only one shot is recommended instead of two and does not need to be kept in a freezer.
The FDA advisory committee known as the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) is expected to sign off the vaccine as it appears to have met all of the approval criteria set by the FDA last year.
– Karen Weintraub
Contributor: The Associated Press