The European Medicines Agency (EMA) will announce its conclusion on extending the use of Pfizer to children between the ages of 5 and 11 “by the end of next week”, while urging to expand vaccination in countries with low coverage and to offer the booster dose to those who need it.
Marco Cavaleri, the head of Vaccination Strategy, has regretted that “there is still a large proportion of unvaccinated people” in the European Union, including those over 50 years of age, and has warned that “they are the ones most at risk”, although he recalled that there are already “an excessive number” of serious cases, hospitalizations and admissions to the ICU “especially among those not vaccinated.”
He recalled that “there is no 100% effective vaccine, and vaccines (available) are very effective in protecting us against serious disease”, but if many people get infected, “a few, including vaccinated, will end up in the hospital” .
“As we approach winter, we see the rise in infections and hospitalizations in almost all Member States. And most of the patients in intensive care are not vaccinated. We underline the need to get vaccinated and, for those eligible, to receive one. booster doses, “Cavaleri warned.
He stressed that it is “vital” to expand vaccination coverage, especially in those countries where the percentage of injections is “considerably low.”
Cavaleri explained that “the booster doses will play an important part in the vaccination strategy” and recalled that the Committee for Human Medicines (CHMP) considered that a third dose of Pfizer or Moderna could be administered in those over 18 years at least six months after the second.
The EMA is also studying the need for booster doses for AstraZeneca and Janssen, but “it is still premature to confirm whether the available data are sufficient to support a recommendation” in this regard.
The agency expects to conclude “by the end of November” its analysis of the “mix & match” strategy, the combination of different vaccines, although, Cavaleri noted, “some academic studies that have been published support this strategy from a standpoint. immunological and a protection perspective in real life “.
The EMA is also trying to speed up its analysis of possible treatments. Your executive director, Emer Cooke, has asked the CHMP to “advise” countries on the possible emergency use at national levels of the pill developed by Pfizer and which, according to the pharmaceutical company, reduces the risk of death from covid-19 for those infected by almost 90% with comorbidities. That analysis process will begin tomorrow.
The CHMP is already reviewing the data for the antiviral molnupiravir to “provide recommendations” to help national authorities decide on its possible use early, for example in emergency settings, before authorization.