Around 4 million Americans received the updated COVID-19 shots in September, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), even as some people have found it difficult to book vaccination appointments or find the vaccines at no cost.
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Hungarian scientist Katalin Kariko and U.S. colleague Drew Weissman, who met in line for a photocopier before making mRNA molecule discoveries that paved the way for COVID-19 vaccines, won the 2023 Nobel Prize for Medicine on Monday.
The Duesseldorf regional court said it needed further clarification and suspended the case, brought by BioNTech competitor CureVac, pending a decision by the federal patent court on a lawsuit filed by BioNTech.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted a need for local production of vaccines. Now, German pharma company BioNTech has said it will start manufacturing vaccines in Africa.
CEPI will provide funding of up to $90 million to support the development of vaccine candidates which is based on BioNTech’s mRNA technology.
The agency did not choose to target the shots at specific high-risk populations as some experts have suggested, and other countries have recommended. The shots are part of a push by public health officials to align the next COVID vaccines more closely with the actual circulating variant of the virus, much as annual flu shots are designed.
A U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory panel is due on Tuesday to recommend whether the updated COVID-19 shots formulated by vaccine manufacturers should be given broadly or just to specific populations at higher risk during this fall’s vaccination campaign.
Pfizer and Moderna said their updated vaccines, which target the XBB.1.5 subvariant of the virus, were expected to be available for most people in the United States in the coming days. The FDA approved those shots for people ages 12 and above, and authorized them for emergency use in children ages 6 months through 11 years.
The UK drug regulator said on Tuesday it has approved an updated COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech that targets only the Omicron XBB.1.5 subvariant.
BioNTech’s licensed antibody-drug conjugate is moving on to Phase III testing in a potential effort to challenge AstraZeneca and Daiichi Sankyo’s blockbuster Enhertu in a heavily treated breast cancer subpopulation. DualityBio, BioNTech’s partner and the ADC’s creator, posted the trial plans Wednesday.