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December 6, 2021

Coronavirus company news summary – Canada signs agreements with Merck and Pfizer for Covid-19 treatments – Australia green lights Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine for 5-11 age group

By Darcy Jimenez

The Government of Canada has signed agreements to purchase Covid-19 oral antiviral treatments from Merck and Pfizer. Under the deal, Merck will deliver 500,000 courses of molnupiravir to Canada with options for up to 500,000 additional courses, subject to Health Canada approval. Meanwhile, Pfizer will deliver an initial quantity of 1 million courses of its Covid-19 oral antiviral treatment, subject to Health Canada authorisation. Earlier this week, Pfizer submitted a rolling submission with Health Canada for its oral pill.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), the medicine regulator in Australia, has approved Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine COMIRNATY for children aged between 5 and 11. The vaccine should be administered in two doses at least three weeks apart. However, a lower dose of 10 micrograms using a different orange-capped vial will be given to children within the age group. TGA approved the COMIRNATY vaccine for 12 years and older on 22 July 2021. Subsequently, it green lighted a booster dose for adults above 18 years of age.

Bavarian Nordic has reported positive topline results from the Phase II clinical trial of its non-adjuvanted Covid-19 vaccine candidate ABNCoV2. An assessment found that a booster shot of the vaccine candidate increased existing SARS-CoV-2 neutralising antibodies in participating individuals. The increase was based on the initial levels of antibodies in the individuals. The study, which enrolled 103 adult subjects, observed no adverse events.

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