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December 17, 2021updated 07 Jan 2022 6:08am

Coronavirus company news summary – Brazil authorises Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine for children – Merck’s antiviral pill for Covid-19 gains approval in Denmark

By Kezia Parkins

Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency Anvisa has authorised the use of Pfizer‘s Covid-19 vaccine in children aged between five and 11 years as new variant Omicron spreads across the globe, reported Reuters. The regulatory agency has recommended reducing the dosage for these children by two-thirds. However, it is immediately not clear when the vaccine will be rolled out for this age group. Recently, Pfizer secured New Zealand’s provisional approval for it’s COVID-19 vaccine to be used in children aged 5 to 11 years old. 

Merck’s antiviral pill for Covid-19, molnupiravir, has secured approval for restricted use in Denmark. According to a Reuters report, the oral pill can be used in at-risk Covid-19 patients. Currently, molnupiravir is being reviewed by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Merck developed the pill jointly with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. Last month, the treatment was approved by the UK. 

US-based biotechnology company Vaxart is set to test cross-reactivity of its oral Covid-19 tablet vaccine candidate against the emerging Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant. The initiative will involve conducting two studies slated to begin next month. It will include assessing samples from clinical participants in a Phase II study and another animal challenge study. According to the company, the vaccine candidate’s immunogenicity profile indicates that it may offer cross-protection against different variants including Omicron.

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