October 18, 2021
Life Sciences
  • The FDA’s vaccine expert panel on Friday unanimously endorsed a booster shot for adult recipients of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after the initial dose. According to J&J, the second dose of its vaccine given 56 days after the first shot provided 94 percent protection against symptomatic COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and 100 percent protection against severe or critical infection. The FDA committee examined NIH data showing that people who received one dose of J&J’s vaccine have a stronger neutralizing antibody response if they receive an mRNA shot instead of a second J&J one, but the committee did not take a vote on the “mix and match” strategy. (Article here, here, here, here, here, and here)
  • With the United Kingdom facing a crush of new COVID-19 cases, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb called for “urgent research” into the delta plus coronavirus strain.K. and German researchers previously said the COVID-19 mutation doesn’t appear to be more harmful than the regular delta variant. However, Gottlieb urged researchers to move quickly to decipher whether delta plus “has partial immune evasion.” (Article here)
  • Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said the FDA could lower the recommended age for booster shots for those who have received the Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE vaccine. Citing data from Israeli scientists, Marks said the third dose could eventually be recommended to adults as young as 40. (Article here)