Questions remain over US supplies of Pfizer and Merck pills as the UK expands; Israel to opt for fourth dose for over 60s – Endpoints News

As the FDA moves to approve new Pfizer and Merck pills to treat people with Covid-19 who have not been hospitalized, Bloomberg reports that the United States will initially have only a limited supply of each pill.

US officials have said Americans should have nearly 400,000 pill courses from Merck upon approval and 65,000 pill courses from Pfizer. By the end of January, the government expects 3 million Merck courses – the entire order – and 250,000 Pfizer courses. Merck’s pill was found to be less effective in early trials than Pfizer’s, although Merck did not test its pill face-to-face against Pfizer.

The Biden administration also apparently offered Pfizer the support of the US government in the event of a production problem, including the use of the Defense Production Act, but Pfizer “did not need any intervention.” , citing Bloomberg’s “long and intensive manufacturing process” of the pill.

Meanwhile, the UK on Wednesday bought an additional 2.5 million pill treatments (in addition to the 250,000 previously purchased) of the pill from Pfizer and 1.75 million pill treatments from Merck.

Israel wants 4th dose of Pfizer vaccine for those over 60

Israel announced on Wednesday that it would administer a fourth dose of the coronavirus vaccine to people over 60 and medical staff, becoming the first country in the world to do so, according to Bloomberg.

People eligible for the fourth dose can receive it as long as at least four months have passed since the third dose, the country’s prime minister’s office said, according to CNN. In Israel, almost all vaccinated citizens have received the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine.

AstraZeneca to manufacture vaccine specific to Omicron

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford have teamed up to make a vaccine specific to the Omicron variant, joining Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna to do so.

The news comes following a study in The Lancet that the protection offered by the AstraZeneca vaccine decreases three months after vaccination, while other evidence suggests that a two-dose injection provides fewer antibodies against Omicron and a third injection of mRNA may increase the number of ‘antibody. AstraZeneca shot is based on adenovirus.

“As with many previous variants of concern, and with our partners AstraZeneca, we have taken preliminary steps to produce an updated vaccine in case it is needed,” said Sandy Douglas, head of the Oxford research group. Financial Time.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine has not been approved in the United States, although it was used throughout the United Kingdom and Europe before access was restricted due to rare but fatal blood clots linked as side effect.

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