Covid-19 roundup: Pfizer/BioNTech add on vaccine data for young children; Mexico says it's missing vaccine doses from UN
A three-dose vaccine series was 73.2% effective in preventing Covid-19 for children between 6 months and 4 years old, Pfizer and BioNTech said Tuesday morning.
The efficacy update comes after Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine was authorized for emergency use in the youngest age group in June. That authorization was supported by interim data that suggested the vaccine series was 80% effective, with 10 symptomatic Covid cases in the vaccine cohort.
The final efficacy results came after 21 cases of symptomatic infection. The data, however, came with a wide confidence interval of 43.8% to 87.6% efficacy.
Pfizer and BioNTech noted that the trial was conducted when Omicron BA.2 was dominant and when BA.4 and BA.5 were still emerging, so the efficacy results against the latter two strains were inconclusive.
Mexico to file complaint to UN over missing Covid shots
In a press conference Monday, Mexican President Andres Manuel López Obrador said his government would file a complaint to the UN for not delivering Covid-19 vaccines it paid for upfront.
López Obrador said the UN still owes Mexico $75 million in vaccines. Mexico had ordered vaccines through a UN and WHO initiative known as COVAX, which was created to accelerate equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.
According to a UN COVAX tracker, Mexico is owed over 26 million doses and has received 24.6 million.
Russian research institute announces new version of Sputnik V adapted to Delta and Omicron
Following the footsteps of other vaccine developers, the Gamaleya Research Institute — a Russian medical research center — and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) have created a new Sputnik V vaccine that is adapted to Delta and Omicron.
The original Sputnik vaccine was the first to be approved by any country, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine likely quashed any future for that vaccine, as the US and EU sanctioned RDIF. According to a World Trade Organization tracker, Sputnik V has made up a mere 2% of the global vaccine market as of May.
Moderna and Pfizer are both working on bivalent vaccines that target Omicron. Moderna’s bivalent vaccine nabbed EU authorization last week, and Pfizer said it has submitted an EUA for its bivalent vaccine, with a submission to European authorities to follow in the coming days.