Follow-up Phase III trial data has indicated that the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is highly effective in individuals between 12 and 15 years of age. The analysis noted that a two-dose vaccine series offered 100% protection against Covid-19 over four months after the second dose. The data will be used to make additional submissions to the US FDA and pursue regulatory approvals in other countries. Currently, the vaccine is available for the 12-15 age group under FDA’s Emergency Use Authorisation.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), the drug regulator in the EU, has said that it is expected to take a decision on a booster shot of Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) single-dose Covid-19 vaccine soon. The decision is expected ‘within weeks’, Reuters reported, quoting EMA. J&J’s vaccine Janssen’s booster shot is expected to be administered in adult individuals at least two months after the first dose.

Simcere Pharmaceutical Group in China has partnered with the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, to develop Covid-19 antiviral drugs. This comes after some compound candidates demonstrated strong inhibitory effects on multiple SARS-CoV-2 strains, including the Delta variant, in preclinical studies. The collaboration will provide Simcere with the exclusive right to develop and commercialise the novel antiviral drug SIM0417 globally. This antiviral agent targets the 3C-like protease, which supports replication of coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2.