October 27, 2021

Wednesday, October 27, 2021: Life Sciences

Jordana Choucair

Jordana Choucair

  • An FDA advisory committee endorsed a two-dose series of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5- to 11-years-old. The committee found that the benefits of the shot outweighed the risks, voting 17-0 in favor with one abstention. If the FDA follows the panel’s advice, and the CDC agrees, shots could be rolled out to younger children as early as next week. (Articles here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here)
  • The CDC updated guidelines that some immunocompromised people may get a fourth mRNA COVID-19 shot. The CDC authorized a third dose for certain immunocompromised people 18 and older in August. It said a third dose, rather than a booster, was necessary because the immunocompromised may not have had a complete immune response from the first two doses. Per the CDC, eligible individuals may receive the fourth dose at least six months after their third Pfizer or Moderna dose. (Articles here and here)
  • Merck & Co. granted a royalty-free license for its COVID-19 antiviral pill to the Medicines Patent Pool, a United Nations-backed nonprofit. The deal will allow companies to manufacture and cheaply sell the experimental treatment, called molnupiravir, in 105 primarily African and Asian countries, where vaccines have been scarce. More than 50 companies have already approached the nonprofit about getting a sublicense for the pill, according to Charles Gore, the group’s director, who said the move could keep people out of the hospital and curb deaths in lower-income countries. (Article here)