Pfizer CEO to Public: Just Trust Us on the COVID Booster

Kaiser Health News reported:

“We are confident in this vaccine and the third dose, but you have to remember the vaccine efficacy study is still going on, so we need all the evidence to back up that,” Jerica Pitts, Pfizer’s director of global media relations, said Monday.

The financial stakes are enormous: Pfizer announced in July that it expects $33.5 billion in COVID-19 vaccine revenue this year.

Meanwhile, Pfizer recently said that if a third dose couldn’t combat the Delta or other variants, the drugmaker is poised to come up with a “tailor-made” vaccine within 100 days.

All of this has sown a sense of confusion about what exactly will work, and when.

Pfzer, Moderna COVID Vaccines Face New Safety Probe in Europe Over Possible Link to Skin Condition, 2 Kidney Disorder

FiercePharma reported:

Compared to the problems encountered by makers of adenovirus COVID-19 vaccines, it’s been a relative cakewalk for the overwhelmingly successful mRNA vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

But on Wednesday, Europe’s drug regulator revealed that it is investigating a possible link between mRNA vaccines and new conditions reported by a few recipients of the shots.

The European Medicines Agency is trying to determine if the mRNA shots can trigger an allergic skin reaction called erythema multiforme or two kidney disorders. It has requested additional data from Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna.

Pfizer, Moderna Seen Reaping Billions From COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Market

Reuters reported:

Drugmakers Pfizer Inc, BioNTech and Moderna Inc are expected to reap billions of dollars from COVID-19 booster shots in a market that could rival the $6 billion in annual sales for flu vaccines for years to come, analysts and healthcare investors say.

For several months, the companies have said they expect that fully inoculated people will need an extra dose of their vaccines to maintain protection over time and to fend off new coronavirus variants.

Now a growing list of governments, including Chile, Germany and Israel, have decided to offer booster doses to older citizens or people with weak immune systems in the face of the fast-spreading Delta variant.

Pfzer, Moderna COVID Vaccines Face New Safety Probe in Europe Over Possible Link to Skin Condition, 2 Kidney Disorders

FiercePharma reported:

Compared to the problems encountered by makers of adenovirus COVID-19 vaccines, it’s been a relative cakewalk for the overwhelmingly successful mRNA vaccines produced by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

But on Wednesday, Europe’s drug regulator revealed that it is investigating a possible link between mRNA vaccines and new conditions reported by a few recipients of the shots.

The European Medicines Agency is trying to determine if the mRNA shots can trigger an allergic skin reaction called erythema multiforme or two kidney disorders. It has requested additional data from Pfizer, BioNTech and Moderna.

Mayo Clinic: COVID Breakthrough Risk May Be Much Lower With Moderna Than

CNBC reported:

The risk of suffering a breakthrough COVID-19 infection with the Delta variant after being fully vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine may be much lower than the risk for those who received the Pfizer vaccine, according to a new Mayo Clinic study that is awaiting a full review.

The study found that in July in Florida, where COVID cases are at an all-time high and the Delta variant is prevalent, the risk of a breakthrough case was 60% lower for Moderna recipients as compared to Pfizer recipients.

Similarly, in Minnesota last month, the authors found that the Moderna vaccine (also known as mRNA-1273) was 76% effective at preventing infection, but the Pfizer vaccine (known as BNT162b2) was 42% effective.

Deadly Lambda Variant Could Be Neutralizing Vaccines, New Study Says

New York Post reported:

In a July 28 report appearing on bioRxiv, where the study awaits peer review prior to getting published, researchers in Japan are sounding the alarm on the C.37 variant, dubbed Lambda. And it’s proven just as virulent as Delta thanks to a similar mutation making them even more contagious.

The strain has been contained in 26 countries, including substantial outbreaks in Chile, Peru, Argentina and Ecuador.

“Notably, the vaccination rate in Chile is relatively high; the percentage of the people who received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine was [about] 60%,” the authors write.

Moderna Is Ready to Spend Billions in COVID-19 Cash, and the Famed Biotech Has Sights Set on Gene Editing

FiercePharma reported:

Moderna has found a direction to volley their mountain of COVID-19 vaccine cash: gene editing.

Executives revealed during a second-quarter earnings call Thursday that Moderna is ready to “expand our horizons” with external technologies or products. Read: They’re ready to start buying.

Plenty of speculation has built up around Moderna’s dealmaking strategy as the biotech pulled in billions with its COVID-19 vaccine. The shot, which the company now aims to market as Spikevax, is expected to bring in about $20 billion this year based on existing orders.

Moderna is interested in new opportunities in nucleic acid technologies, gene therapy, gene editing and mRNA, CEO Stéphane Bancel said during the conference call. The company — which literally trades under the symbol MRNA — is also interested in new delivery technologies that could expand its existing mRNA work.

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