The Omicron variant of the coronavirus does not have a negative effect on cardiovascular health in young adults who have been vaccinated, a small study suggests. Additionally, women should not delay routine mammograms after receiving a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine, experts now say.

Drugmakers Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE said on May 23 that three doses of their COVID-19 vaccine generated a strong immune response in children under age 5 and was safe and well-tolerated in their clinical trial.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration set June 14-15 as the new meeting date to review Moderna Inc.’s emergency authorization request for the company’s COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 6 months to 5 years and Pfizer Inc.’s vaccine for those aged 6 months through 4 years.

FDA

Ocugen Inc. said on May 23 the U.S. drug regulator has lifted the clinical hold on a mid-to-late stage trial of the COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the company’s Indian partner Bharat Biotech.

Moderna, COVID-19 vaccine

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said on May 22 he expects a U.S. Food and Drug Administration decision on authorizing Moderna’s vaccine for children under age five within the next few weeks.

The U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) on May 19 said reports of heart inflammation linked to the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine have been much lower in 5- to 11-year-old boys than in adolescents and young men, representing only a slightly elevated rate than normal.

There appears to be a rise in COVID-19 illnesses, driven by Omicron subvariants, which may be better able to evade immunity from vaccines and previous infections and lower public health measures by the public such as masking and social distancing.

An advisory panel to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is meeting on May 19 to discuss whether to recommend COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for children ages 5 to 11, a group that is just 29% vaccinated so far.

In a peer-reviewed study published May 17 in PLOS Medicine, scientists found that mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines were superior to adenovirus vector-based ones across major variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Rising COVID-19 cases are driving up the use of therapeutics, with Pfizer Inc.’s oral antiviral treatment Paxlovid seeing a 315 percent jump over the past four weeks, U.S. health officials said on May 17.