COVID-19 tracker: Pfizer, BioNTech plan to apply for booster approval for 16- and 17-year-olds – Community News

COVID-19 tracker: Pfizer, BioNTech plan to apply for booster approval for 16- and 17-year-olds

The eligibility of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine could soon be extended to 16- and 17-year-olds.

An FDA advisory committee is meeting today to discuss whether Merck’s oral antiviral drug COVID-19 should be approved.

The global number of cases exceeded 262.4 million Tuesday morning, with more than 5.2 million reported deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 dashboard.

Read the latest updates below. Daily listings of COVID-19 trackers from April 29 to November 29 can be found here. Daily entries from November 2, 2020 to April 28, can be found here.

UPDATED: Tuesday, November 30 at 10 a.m.

Pfizer and BioNTech are expected to ask the FDA to approve an additional shot of the vaccine for 16- and 17-year-olds. The approval could come as early as next week, Barron reports.

An FDA advisory committee meets to review Merck and his partner Ridgeback’s antiviral, molnupiravir, reports The Wall Street Journal. The panel, called the Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee, is expected to vote on whether or not to recommend the FDA approve the antiviral drug for emergency use. Approval of the pill could mean FDA approval before the end of the year. If the FDA approves the antiviral drug, Merck has agreed to give the US 3.1 million courses of the drug.

COVAX has assigned 4.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to North Korea, one of the few countries not yet vaccinated, Reuters reports.

UPDATED: Monday, November 29 at 4pm

Producers of the world’s best COVID-19 vaccines, including Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer, say they are acting quickly to test their shots against the new ommicron variant. They are also developing shots tailored to the new species. Moderna said it has a three-pronged strategy for dealing with the threat. Story

Amid news of the new variant, President Joe Biden downplayed the need for new lockdowns as the World Health Organization seeks more answers about the variant’s impact. Story

Pfizer is increasing production capacity and now expects to make 80 million courses of its oral COVID-19 drug Paxlovid by the end of 2022, said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla. The drug is awaiting approval for emergency use from the FDA. Story

As regards Merck‘s COVID-19 pill, molnupiravir, an FDA advisory group will vote Tuesday on whether or not to recommend the FDA grant emergency use approval, NBC reports. The company recently reported that the risk reduction in hospitalization and death from the antiviral drug Ridgeback Therapeutics partnered with fell from 50% to 30% in the final analysis.

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