While many are focused on the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, pharmaceutical giants Moderna and Pfizer are developing a second “booster” shot; a fourth dose of the COVID-19 vaccine injection, that the big pharma companies are hoping will be available to the public in the fall.
This new injection, if Pfizer and Moderna are successful in their lobbying efforts, will contain a different mRNA formula than the last vaccines.
The vaccine developers note that the new formula would be designed to tackle the Omicron coronavirus variant, which infected many Americans despite them having received a whopping three prior injections. The Omicron variant is characterized by extremely mild symptoms.
Despite hundreds of millions of Americans having received at least two injections of the COVID-19 vaccines, U.S. health officials say that coronavirus cases could pick up again in the colder months this later year.
Moderna Chief Medical Officer Dr. Paul Burton recently told NBC News that, like computer software, people are “going to need an updated Covid vaccine this fall, one that’s ‘tuned to the right combination of variants.'”
“Delta is still there and Omicron is going to continue to be there as well,” Burton said. “These variants are now going to go into the Southern Hemisphere, where they’ll either continue to proliferate or they may mutate again.”
The news comes after both Israeli health experts and European Union regulators warned against a fourth COVID-19 vaccine injection for their populations, citing what was described as “immune system fatigue,” which could “compromise” the body’s ability to fight coronavirus and ostensibly other diseases.
In may 2021, Pfizer had been conducting clinical trials on thier COVID-19 vaccine injections on babies and children as young as 6 months old up to age 4.
In February, the corporation sought FDA approval to inject the young children and babies, but has since extended their “rolling submission” process to “wait” for more data before asking the FDA to approve the first two shots.
Data on the third dose for babies and young children will be available in the coming months, according to Pfizer. Thus, completing what will be a three dose series for the youngest age group in America to date.
In the meantime, Pfizer announced on Wednesday it has launched a clinical trial to study the effectiveness of its COVID-19 antiviral pill, Paxlovid, in young children ages 6 and older.
From ABC News:
“The pill is made up of two medications: ritonavir, commonly used to treat HIV and AIDS, and nirmatrelvir, an antiviral that Pfizer developed to boost the strength of the first drug.
Together, they prevent an enzyme the virus uses to make copies of itself inside human cells and spread throughout the body.
Paxlovid is currently given as three pills twice daily over the course of five days.”