Pfizer-BioTech seek coronavirus vaccine OK for children

Pfizer-BioTech seek coronavirus vaccine OK for children

The European Commission has launched legal proceedings against the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker, alleging that it did not respect its contract or have a "reliable" plan to ensure timely deliveries of coronavirus shots.

BioNTech and its partner Pfizer have already applied for authorization for the vaccine for 12 to 15 year-olds in the United States.

There has been scrutiny of the AstraZeneca vaccine on the issue of the very rare clots, with a higher incidence in younger people.

The figure depends upon a mix of the standard, two-dose vaccine administered to adults as well as potentially lower doses of booster shots and pediatric vaccines, should they be authorized, according to the company.

Ruud Dobber, an AstraZeneca executive vice president, said at the time that if the FDA authorizes the vaccine, the company would deliver 30 million doses immediately, followed by another 20 million within the first month.

Moderna on Thursday also unveiled a rosier forecast of its current vaccine supply rate, updating its manufacturing prediction to between 800 million and 1 billion doses this year.

Peter English, a specialist in communicable disease control, said the findings released on Friday confirmed "that the vaccine is not 100% effective" and were consistent with other data showing the overall positive impact of Britain's vaccination programme. By the end of March, AstraZeneca had delivered only a quarter of what it had committed to the EU.

More than 3.1 million people worldwide have died of COVID-19, including more than 572,000 in the U.S. More than half of U.S. adults have received at least one dose of vaccine, and the government expects to have enough supply for the entire population by early summer.

Despite accelerated deliveries and distribution, public health officials say it's "too early to celebrate" and vaccines will do little to help provinces now struggling to stem infections during a tough third wave of the pandemic.

The World Health Organization has listed Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, the agency said on Friday, the fifth to be given the status meant to expedite countries' own approval of shots. AstraZeneca in turn authorizes other companies to produce the shots around the world.

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