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CDC Panel Recommends Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine for Kids as Young as 12

USA TODAY reported:

Adolescents ages 12 to 15 should get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and they can get their other routine vaccinations along with it, a federal advisory committee said Wednesday.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s panel met to discuss the safety, immune response and effectiveness of the vaccine in this age group, after the Food and Drug Administration signed off Monday on the shots.

McDonald’s to Promote Vaccine Information on Coffee Cups While Uber and Lyft to Give Free Rides to Vaccine Sites

The Guardian reported:

Incentivizing the vaccine-hesitant in America has reached the fast food and ride-share industries.

Burger chain McDonald’s has announced it is partnering with the White House to promote vaccination information on its coffee cups.

Separately, Joe Biden announced on Tuesday a new program with Lyft and Uber which will offer free rides to anyone going to a vaccination site to get vaccinated.

17-Year-Old in Prince George’s County Mistakenly Given the Moderna Vaccine

WSUA9 CBS News reported:

A 17-year-old in Prince George’s County said she was mistakenly given the Moderna shot and has since struggled to get her second dose.

Ozioma Ahaghotu jumped at the chance to sign up for her COVID shot when Maryland opened vaccinations to teens.

Yankees Coach Phil Nevin Tests Positive For COVID-19 in ‘Breakthrough’ Case

New York Post reported:

Yankees third base coach Phil Nevin has tested positive for COVID-19, the team announced before Tuesday’s game against the Rays, calling it a “breakthrough positive” since Nevin had been fully vaccinated.

Manager Aaron Boone said there are other staff members and coaches “still pending,’’ and some staff members had been sent home. Nevin was under quarantine in Tampa.

Brazil Suspends AstraZeneca Vaccine After Pregnant Woman Dies, New Study Links Vaccine to Blood Clots, More Countries Hit Pause

The Defender reported:

More countries are restricting AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine as reports of blood clots mount, and a new study published in The BMJ linked the vaccine to a higher-than-expected risk of blood clots.

Brazil’s federal government on Tuesday suspended AstraZeneca’s vaccine for pregnant women after an expectant mother in Rio de Janeiro died from a stroke possibly related to the vaccine, Reuters reported. The 35-year-old woman, who was 23 weeks pregnant, died of a hemorrhagic stroke on Monday after checking into a hospital five days earlier.

As COVID Vaccines Drive Record Profits, CEOs Get Ultra Rich Off Massive Pay Packages, Questionable Stock Sales

The Defender reported:

As pharmaceutical companies make billions from COVID vaccines and reassure investors that plans are underway for boosters and annual shots, CEOs of Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson (J&J) are pocketing millions with massive compensation packages and questionable stock sales.

In his weekly notes to investors last month, Bernstein analyst Ronny Gal offered shocking revenue estimates for Pfizer and Moderna’s mRNA vaccines — $24 billion in revenue for Pfizer compared with $14 billion for Moderna.

By the fourth quarter, Gal and his team project industrywide COVID vaccine revenues reaching more than $18 billion per quarter. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna shots will account for roughly $11 billion of that amount with the remaining revenue split equally between J&J, AstraZeneca and Novavax, Fierce Pharma reported.

WHO Stands by Vaccines as It Sounds Alarm on India COVID Variant, Scientist Warns Mass Vaccination May Cause More Infectious Strains

The Defender reported:

The World Health Organization (WHO) Monday elevated India’s COVID variant B.1.617 from a “variant of interest” to a “variant of global concern.” The variant, which was first isolated in India, is believed to be driving the country’s brutal second wave.

In a follow-up statement today, the WHO said the B.1.6.1.7 variant has since spread throughout India and at least “44 countries in all six WHO regions.”

Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead for COVID, said during Monday’s press conference new data under peer review shows B.1.617 is more transmissible than earlier strains of the virus.

Astrazeneca Runs Into ‘Meaningful’ Investor Revolt Over Pay

Reuters reported:

 AstraZeneca said a “meaningful proportion” of its shareholders voted against CEO Pascal Soriot’s improved pay package on Tuesday, exposing a rift as the drugmaker deals with problems surrounding its COVID-19 vaccine.

At its annual investor meeting, 60.19% of votes cast were in favor, AstraZeneca said, adding that it would “engage and listen to ensure investors’ concerns regarding the approach to executive remuneration are understood.”

Large corporations typically win about 90% support for their pay in annual advisory votes, compensation consultants say, making narrow-win results such as AstraZeneca’s effectively a call to review the program and talk to shareholders.

Pharma Industry’s Reputation Hits Plateau Amid Spike in Vaccine Hesitancy

FiercePharma reported:

Pharma’s hockey-stick improvement in reputation is flattening out. The good news is the industry is still the biggest gainer amid the pandemic, according to The Harris Poll’s most recent survey.

Sixty percent of Americans rate the pharma industry positively, down slightly from a 62% high in February. But that’s still an increase of 28 percentage points since January 2020, before the pandemic began.

The less-good news, though, is that pharma’s stall comes as other industries continue to polish their reputations. Retail grocery, technology and consumer products were the highest-rated industries in the early May poll and are on the upswing.

Pfizer, Regeneron CEOs See Extended Need for COVID-19 Vaccines, Treatments as Pandemic Enters Next Phase

FiercePharma reported:

Pharma companies with COVID-19 vaccines and drugs have reeled in big sales in recent months, but even as vaccines promise to eventually tackle the pandemic, eye-popping revenue figures will continue for quite some time, execs project.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has flagged the likely need for vaccine boosters as the pandemic continues to evolve. On a recent conference call with analysts, he said that “basically all governments of the world are now discussing with us about procurement agreements” for 2022, 2023 and 2024. In fact, Europe just signed a massive agreement for up to 1.8 billion doses from Pfizer and BioNTech through 2023.

Patients are “likely” to need a third dose of Pfizer and BioNTech’s shot once the period of initial protection wanes, CEO Albert Bourla said in a recent interview with CVS Health Live. The comments came shortly after Pfizer posted data showing Comirnaty was 91.3% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 for up to six months in patients who’d received their second dose.