2022 RT Banner.gif

China Daily

News> World> Content
Published: 12:23, December 07, 2022
EU regulator backs new COVID shots for primary vaccination
By Agencies
Published:12:23, December 07, 2022 By Agencies

European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Sept 28, 2022. (YVES HERMAN / REUTERS)

MOSCOW / LONDON / LOS ANGELES – The European Medicines Agency said on Tuesday its emergency task force has concluded that messenger RNA bivalent COVID-19 vaccines, targeting the original strain and the Omicron BA.4-5 subvariants, may be used in previously unvaccinated children and adults.

The recommendation is based on data which shows that primary vaccination with the adapted bivalent vaccines should give rise to a broad immune response in people who have not yet been exposed to or vaccinated against COVID-19, the agency added.

The safety profile of the adapted vaccines when used as boosters is comparable to that of the original messenger RNA vaccines

The EMA said it also studied the immune response in unvaccinated people after natural infection with Omicron BA.4/5 strains of the virus.

The safety profile of the adapted vaccines when used as boosters is comparable to that of the original messenger RNA vaccines.

Pfizer, BioNTech

Pfizer Inc and Clear Creek Bio Inc on Tuesday announced a collaboration to identify a potential drug candidate and develop a new class of oral treatment against COVID-19, as Pfizer seeks to expand its anti-infective pipeline.

ALSO READ: COVID hits HIV detection in Europe, risking eradication goal

Charlotte Allerton, Pfizer's chief scientific officer, said COVID-19 has "the potential to remain a global health concern for years to come".

Pfizer already has a COVID antiviral pill Paxlovid, which the drugmaker expects to generate about $22 billion in revenue this year.

Meanwhile, Pfizer Inc and its German partner, BioNTech SE fired back at Moderna Inc on Monday in a patent lawsuit over their rival COVID-19 vaccines, seeking dismissal of the lawsuit in Boston federal court and an order that Moderna's patents are invalid and not infringed.

Moderna first sued Pfizer in August, accusing the company of violating its rights in three patents related to innovations that Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Moderna said it pioneered before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Moderna has also filed a related lawsuit against Pfizer and BioNTech in Germany. All three companies are also embroiled in US patent disputes with other companies over the vaccines.

A Pfizer spokesperson said the company and BioNTech are confident in their intellectual property and will "vigorously defend" against Moderna's claims.

Moderna did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Monday filing.

In its lawsuit, Moderna asked for an undisclosed amount of money damages from Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines sold since March. Pfizer's vaccine made over $26.4 billion for the New York-based company in the first nine months of 2022, while Moderna sold over $13.5 billion worth of its vaccine over the same period, according to company filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

READ MORE: France: Mask mandate in transports hinges on COVID situation


Russia registered 5,561 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide tally to 21,628,829, the official monitoring and response center said Tuesday.

The nationwide death toll increased by 59 to 392,342, while the number of recoveries grew by 6,690 to 21,030,317, it said.

Nurse Christina McCavana prepares the vials of the Pfizer coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine for use at a pop-up vaccination clinic in the Central Fire Station in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Dec 4, 2021. (CLODAGH KILCOYNE / FILE PHOTO / REUTERS)

United Kingdom

Britain's health regulator on Tuesday authorized a COVID-19 vaccine for infants as young as six months, opening the door for vaccinating the country's youngest children once the UK's Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) agrees.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) authorised the vaccine – made by Pfizer and BioNTech – for children aged six months to four years old, after it was deemed safe and effective based on an ongoing clinical trial involving 4,526 participants.

Whether the vaccine is eventually deployed in this age group depends on a recommendation from the JCVI, which advises UK health departments on which shots should be used as part of the national vaccination programme.

The vaccine is tailored for use in this age group - it is a lower dose version than the one used in children aged five to 11 years. It is given as three injections in the upper arm, with the first two doses given three weeks apart, followed by a third dose administered at least two months after the second dose.

ALSO READ: People-first should be guide for any adjustment of COVID policy

United States

Los Angeles County in the US West Coast is experiencing another COVID-19 surge, with cases rising by 75 percent in the last week.

LA County reported an average of 3,721 daily coronavirus cases in the seven-day period ending Monday, up from 2,128 the prior week.

The latest case rate doubled what it was just before Thanksgiving, and tripled the rate recorded in the first week of November, according to the Los Angeles Times.

COVID-19 deaths have also started to increase. LA County recorded 76 COVID-19 deaths for the week ending Monday, up from 53 deaths reported in the prior week.

Officials have urged the public to get COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to prevent severe illnesses. Fatality rates are highest among those who either have not been vaccinated or are not up to date on their booster shot, according to health officials. 

Over 15 million children in the United States have tested positive for COVID-19 since the onset of the pandemic, according to the latest report by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Children's Hospital Association.

About 114,000 of these cases have been added in the past 4 weeks.

READ MORE: WHO: Drop in COVID alertness could create deadly new variant

A total of 28,600 child COVID-19 cases were reported in the latest week ending Dec 1, stated the report, adding that reported cases are likely a substantial undercount of COVID-19 cases among children.

There is a need to collect more age-specific data to assess the severity of illness related to new variants as well as potential longer-term effects, stated the report.

Share this story

Please click in the upper right corner to open it in your browser !