August 25, 2021
Life Sciences
  • Johnson & Johnson said a second dose of its COVID-19 vaccine generated a strong immune response in a study, with antibody levels ninefold higher among those who got a second shot compared with one month after their first dose. The company said the data makes the case for a booster shot after eight months. It is expected to inform the Biden administration’s strategy as it prepares to roll out extra doses for people who received the Moderna Inc. or Pfizer Inc.-BioNTech SE vaccines. (Articles here, here, and here)
  • NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins said it’s unlikely that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine will be authorized for children 5 to 11 years old before the end of 2021, despite Pfizer’s plans to deliver clinical trial results to regulators next month. Anthony Fauci offered a rosier assessment, saying it’s “reasonable” that the shots could be greenlit “by the mid-late fall and early winter.” (Articles here and here)
  • An updated report by the CDC indicates that the COVID-19 vaccine’s efficacy dropped from 91 percent to 66 percent once the delta variant accounted for the majority of circulating virus. The study includes more than 4,000 health care workers, first responders, and other frontline workers in eight locations across six states, all of whom were tested weekly for COVID-19 infection. More than 4 in 5 were vaccinated, and the vast majority of them received the mRNA vaccines from either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna. (Report here; Articles here and here)