Covid-19 roundup: CDC advisory committee to discuss Pfizer/BioNTech boosters for all adults; US buys up $1B in GSK/Vir mAbs
About a week after Pfizer asked regulators to expand its Covid-19 booster shot EUA to include all adults, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has scheduled a meeting to discuss the idea.
Pfizer and BioNTech’s booster shot is currently authorized for those 65 years and older, or at high-risk of a Covid infection, including health care workers and others with occupational hazards. Before deciding on those limitations, the FDA’s advisory committee on Vaccines and Related Biological Products (VRBPAC) roundly rejected Pfizer/BioNTech booster shots for all individuals older than 16 by a 16-2 vote.
Pfizer says its new submission is based on the results from a Phase III trial showing a relative vaccine efficacy of 95% for those who received a booster compared to those who did not. That study was conducted with 10,000 volunteers in the US, Brazil and South Africa when the Delta variant was the prevalent strain.
Though Moderna’s booster dose is currently limited to the same population as Pfizer’s, the FDA has authorized “mix-and-match” booster doses for those who are eligible. People who received the J&J vaccine are eligible to receive a booster of any type after two months.
Some states aren’t waiting for the government to authorize booster shots for all adults. States like Arkansas, Colorado and New Mexico have opened up mRNA booster vaccine eligibility for all adults, CBS News reported recently. — Nicole DeFeudis
US buys $1B worth of GSK and Vir’s monoclonal antibody treatment
The US government has now contracted to purchase approximately $1 billion worth of GlaxoSmithKline and Vir’s monoclonal antibody treatment for early Covid-19, the companies said Wednesday.
The latest government contract is worth $651.1 million and covers around 300,000 doses, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The government has now distributed more than 175,000 doses nationwide, and GSK/Vir say including the contracts announced today, GSK and Vir have received binding agreements for the sale of more than 750,000 doses of sotrovimab worldwide. Distribution of the treatment, known as sotrovimab, was recently handed over to the US government too. — Zachary Brennan