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October 18, 2021

Coronavirus company news summary – FDA committee recommends J&J booster shot – Bayer ends vaccine manufacturing partnership with CureVac

By Chris Lo

The US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) has unanimously recommended for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) Covid-19 vaccine booster shot. The committee backed the follow-up shot in adults at least two months after the first dose. The recommendation was based on the positive results of two trials including the global Phase III ENSEMBLE 2 study. The FDA is expected to announce its decision in the coming days.

Bayer has ended a vaccine manufacturing partnership with CureVac, a company spokesperson told German newspaper Rheinische Post. The partnership would have required Bayer to produce 160 million doses of CureVac’s Covid-19 vaccine next year. The step comes after CureVac announced that it will not pursue the development of its first-generation Covid-19 vaccine. CureVac has said it will shift its focus on partnering with GSK to develop improved mRNA vaccine technology.

The Philippines has commenced Covid-19 vaccination of minors aged between 12 and 17 years. According to a Reuters report, the move is aligned with the government’s plans to reopen schools, which remained closed for the entirety of the pandemic. The Southeast Asian nation has approved two vaccines – the mRNA jabs developed by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna – for the younger population. The programme will prioritise vaccinating adolescents with existing health conditions.

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