Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech on Tuesday offered updated COVID vaccine data supporting efficacy in children 6 months to 4 years old.
said updated analysis of 34 cases occurring at least seven days after a three-dose regimen showed a vaccine efficacy of 73.2% in children in this age group. Vaccine efficacy remained consistently above 70% in children aged 6 months to 23 months and in those aged 2 to 4 years.
Sequencing of cases confirmed that most were caused by omicron BA.2, suggesting broader protection between variants.
The US Food and Drug Administration authorized the vaccine for very young children on June 17, and it is currently being reviewed by the European regulator.
“While these results confirm that three 3 [milligram] doses of our COVID-19 vaccine offer young children a high level of protection at a time when the Omicron BA.2 strain was widespread with a favorable safety profile, we are also developing an adapted Omicron BA.4/BA.5 vaccine bivalent in this age group to address these sub-lines,” said Uğur Şahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech.
The news comes a day after Pfizer and BioNTech said they had formally filed an application asking the Food and Drug Administration to authorize their experimental bivalent COVID-19 booster for those 12 years of age or older.
The new vaccine also targets the original strain of the virus and strains BA.4 and BA.5, the latter of which is now the dominant strain of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in the United States.
The news comes as known COVID cases in the United States continue to decline, although the true tally is likely higher given the number of people testing at home, where data is not collected.
Cases are increasing in Georgia, Michigan, South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Missouri and Maine. They are down in all other states.
The daily average of new cases stood at 92,602 on Monday, according to a New York Times tracker, down 16% from two weeks ago to the lowest level seen since mid-May. Average daily hospitalizations fell 8% to 39,963, while average daily deaths fell 5% to 459.
Other COVID-19 news you should know:
• A study conducted by Peking University and Tsinghua University in Beijing found that the incubation period of COVID decreases with each new variant. The study was published in the JAMA Network Open review on Monday. The researchers analyzed data from 141 studies to find that the incubation period went from an average of five days with the alpha strain to 3.43 days with the omicron, which is now world-dominant. “The results of this study suggest that SARS-CoV-2 evolved and mutated continuously throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, producing variants with different enhanced transmission and virulence,” the authors wrote. “Identifying the incubation period of different variants is a key factor in determining the isolation period.”
• A West Virginia hospital will receive $313,700 in pandemic relief funds through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Program, the Associated Press reported. Potomac Valley Hospital in Mineral County received the funds to help purchase new medical equipment and reimburse labor expenses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin said , a conservative Democrat who represents the state, in a press release Monday.
• Anti-mandate protesters are converging on New Zealand’s parliament again, but there has been no repeat of the occupation six months ago in which protesters camped out on the grounds of the parliament for more than three weeks, the AP reported separately. About 2,000 protesters upset with the government’s response to the pandemic gathered on Tuesday but said they had no intention of staying. The previous protest caused major disruption in the capital and ended in chaos as retreating protesters set fire to tents and threw rocks at police.
• Zoom Video Communications Inc.
an early pandemic success story, shows momentum with some new business areas, but the teleconferencing company’s shares fell in early trading on Tuesday after the company indicated challenges in its core business, MarketWatch’s Emily Bary reported. While Zoom’s chief financial officer, Kelly Steckelberg, called the company’s corporate business “strong growth,” she also noted pressure from the strong US dollar and growing subscriptions in the channel. online Zoom, which is made up of non-engaging customers. with Zoom’s direct sales team or business partners. “We have put in place initiatives focused on creating new online subscriptions, which showed promise at the start, but were not enough to overcome the macroeconomic dynamics of the quarter,” she said during the interview. company’s earnings call on Monday afternoon.
Here’s what the numbers say
The global tally of confirmed COVID-19 cases topped 596.9 million on Tuesday, while the death toll topped 6.45 million, according to data aggregated by Johns Hopkins University.
The United States leads the world with 93.6 million cases and 1,040,924 deaths.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tracker shows that 223.7 million people living in the United States are fully immunized, or 67.4% of the total population. But only 108.2 million had a first booster, or 48.4% of the vaccinated population.
Only 21.4 million people aged 50 and over eligible for a second booster had one, or 33.2% of those who had a first booster.