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.

AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca moved to bolster the company’s COVID-19 portfolio of antibodies on May 17 with a $157 million licensing deal for experimental therapies developed by newly launched biotech RQ Bio.

The United States will share technologies used to make COVID-19 vaccines through the World Health Organization and is working to expand rapid testing and antiviral treatments for hard-to-reach populations, President Joe Biden said on May 12.

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, pulmonologist Joseph Varon offered an opinion that made headlines around the world and went viral on social media. Varon was fighting two wars, he said: one against COVID and one against stupidity.

COVID-19 vaccine makers are shifting gears and planning for a smaller, more competitive booster shot market after delivering as many doses as fast as they could over the last 18 months.

AstraZeneca, flag

AstraZeneca topped off a very busy week with the company’s first-quarter 2022 financial report, citing a total of $11.39 billion in revenue, a whopping increase of 60 percent. That performance was driven by the acquisition of Alexion and several contracts for Vaxzevria, AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine developed with the University of Oxford.

AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine still has market potential despite an expected global oversupply of shots and delays in the vaccine’s approval in the United States, the company’s chief executive Pascal Soriot said on April 29.

The global vaccine alliance Gavi has secured $4.8 billion in funding pledges for the vaccine-sharing scheme COVAX, an official said on Friday, falling just shy of its target.

Although people who recover from COVID-19 usually gain some immune defenses against reinfection, they get additional protection from vaccines, especially against severe disease, according to two studies published on March 31 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases. Additionally, two gold-standard trials published in The New England Journal of Medicine on March 30 help settle questions about two controversial therapies touted by many early in the pandemic with decidedly mixed results – failure for the antiparasite drug ivermectin and success for antibody-rich blood plasma from COVID-19 survivors.