05 August 2021

• Moderna issues a press release with information from its Q2 2021 Fiscal Report, including clinical updates on its mRNA vaccine candidates for cytomegalovirus, flu, respiratory syncytial virus and Zika as well as studies of its coronavirus vaccine. The phase III COVE study found that coronavirus vaccine’s 93 percent effective at six months after the second dose. A phase II study of coronavirus vaccine boosters, which has been submitted for publication, found that Moderna’s booster candidates generated robust immune responses against the Beta, Delta and Gamma variants. 

An initial analysis of data from the 3.732-person phase II/III “TeenCOVE” trial in ages 12-17 found that the coronavirus vaccine was 93 percent effective, with most adverse events being mild-to-moderate. The EMA has expanded its emergency use authorization (EUA) to include people ages 12-17. Moderna has filed for an EUA for adolescents with the US FDA as well as other regulatory agencies. Source

• The US is considering whether to require that all foreign visitors be fully vaccinated. Source

• Tokyo reports a record-breaking 5,042 daily coronavirus cases while hosting the Olympic Games. Source 

• Although 61 percent of its population has been vaccinated, the Delta variant has driven coronavirus cases in China to over 500, leading to new restrictions, mass testing and targeted lockdowns.  Qi Jinli, Deputy Director of Beijing’s COVID-19 Taskforce said, “Vaccination is not equal to entering a safe or carrying a talisman. Personal protective measures still cannot be relaxed and vaccination cannot replace containment measures. Let’s hold on until we score the ultimate victory against the outbreak.” Source

• France faces a third weekend of violent protests against the government’s plan to require a vaccine passport to access trains, restaurants and museums; they lead President Emanuel Macron to declare “I won’t give in to their radical violence at all. Their attitude is a threat to democracy… A few tens of thousands of people have lost their minds to such an extent that they are capable of saying we live in a dictatorship.” Source

Endpoints reports a disparity between US sales of coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer/BionTech and Moderna, with Pfizer’s sales reaching at least $33 billion for 2.1 billion doses, and Moderna’s about $20 billion for 800 million to one billion doses. Both companies have also raised prices for their coronavirus vaccines. Pfizer hiked its price per dose from $19.50 to about $24 in the latest 200 million-dose sale to the US government. Moderna is increasing the price from $15 per dose (for the first 100 million doses) to $16.50 (for the next 400 million doses); the company says it considered that the government paid for its phase III trial in their pricing calculations. Ex-US, higher-income countries will pay from $32 to $37 per dose, although they may receive volume-based discounts. Moderna said its vaccine prices for lower- and middle-income countries and COVAX are significantly lower than the US government price although it has not disclosed them. Source

• Pfizer announces that it will require its approximately 29,400 US-based employees to be vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing. Source 

• Novavax announces that ongoing production problems will delay its coronavirus vaccine candidate in the US – where it has not yet been approved – until the end of the year. The company is also working with India’s Serum Institute to obtain emergency use authorization in India, Indonesia and the Philippines. Source 

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