COVID-19 Update | January 21, 2022

COVID-19 News

COVID-19 Update | January 21, 2022

January 21, 2022

The California Biotechnology Foundation is committed to keeping you up to date about COVID-19 testing, treatment and prevention advancements. The following resources track what progress has been made as of January 21, 2022. Notable advancements include:

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could approve Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for children under 5 years old in the next month.
  • Pfizer’s COVID-19 treatment pill Paxlovid appears to be effective against the Omicron variant.
  • Moderna’s vaccine candidate against the Omicron COVID-19 variant will enter clinical development in the next few weeks.

Recent News

  • Fauci says FDA could authorize Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for kids under 5 in the next month
    CNBC – January 19, 2022
    White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said younger children will likely need three vaccine doses. Two shots did not induce an adequate immune response in children 2 to 4 years old in Pfizer’s clinical trials. Pfizer plans to submit data to the Food and Drug Administration in the first half of 2022 if the three-dose study proves successful.
  • Is a universal COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon?
    National Geographic – January 19, 2022
    Last month, vaccine makers talked about tweaking the formula to have an Omicron-specific vaccine handy, if needed. “Since 2020, in preparation for the next deadly COVID-19 outbreak, which experts think is only a matter of time, some scientists started developing vaccines that protect against multiple COVID-19 strains.
  • Researchers testing COVID-19 vaccine patch
    The Hill – January 19, 2022
    Researchers began testing a new COVID-19 vaccine patch this month that they hope will provide long-lasting protection against the virus. Researchers said the vaccine is in an early-study phase, as the technology is much different than the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines, Reuters reported. Instead of producing an antibody response, the vaccine patch focuses on cellular immunity by targeting T-cells that could eliminate COVID-19 and prevent it from spreading in the body.
  • Pfizer says COVID-19 antiviral pill effective against Omicron
    The Hill – January 18, 2022
    Pfizer’s COVID-19 treatment pill Paxlovid appears to be effective against the omicron variant. Pfizer said three separate lab studies showed nirmatrelvir, the pill’s main protease inhibitor, maintains its effectiveness against the Omicron variant of the virus.
  • Seasonal COVID-19 and flu booster vaccines will become the norm after Omicron, say Moderna and Pfizer
    EuroNews – January 18, 2022
    COVID-19 vaccines will be here for the long-term, and could become part of the annual range of booster shots offered, leading vaccine makers predicted. COVID-19 mRNA vaccine manufacturers Moderna and Pfizer are each working on new versions of their vaccines geared towards tackling the Omicron variant.
  • Moderna Plans To Have Combination COVID-19 Booster, Flu Vaccine Ready By Fall 2023
    CBS Boston – January 18, 2022
    Moderna is planning to have a combination COVID-19 and flu vaccine ready for next year. The Cambridge-based company has been developing a shot that’s a flu vaccine and COVID-19 booster in one injection. CEO Stéphane Bancel said the shot should be ready by the fall of 2023, but it will likely only be available in some countries.
  • Merck to Supply Unicef With 3 Million Courses of COVID-19 Therapy
    Bloomberg – January 18, 2022
    Merck & Co. said it will supply the global relief organization Unicef with up to 3 million treatment courses of molnupiravir, the drug for COVID-19 developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics LP. The companies will provide the doses in the first half of the year for distribution to more than 100 low- and middle-income countries following regulatory authorizations.
  • Moderna CEO says data for Omicron-specific shot likely available in March
    Reuters – January 17, 2022
    Moderna Inc’s vaccine candidate against the Omicron COVID-19 variant will enter clinical development in the next few weeks and the company expects to be able to share data with regulators around March, CEO Stephane Bancel said.

Rely on California Biotechnology Foundation to monitor breaking news and provide updates on the latest advancements in COVID-19 diagnostics, vaccines and treatments.

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If you have any questions about informational briefings contact California Biotechnology Foundation Executive Director Patty Cooper at (916)764-2434 or [email protected].