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And Adolescents

Pfizer and BioNTech have announced that their SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is highly effective at preventing COVID-19 in adolescents, NPR reports.

In a statement, the companies say in their Phase 3 trial of 2,260 individuals between the ages of 12 and 15, their vaccine exhibited 100 percent efficacy in preventing COVID-19. During the trial, 18 individuals — all in the placebo group — developed COVID-19.

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla says they plan to submit this additional data to the US Food and Drug Administration to amend their current Emergency Use Authorization to include this age group with the hope of enabling vaccinations before the start of the next school year. "It is very important to enable them to get back to everyday school life and to meet friends and family while protecting them and their loved ones," Ugur Sahin, CEO and co-founder of BioNTech, adds in a statement.

NPR notes that Pfizer and BioNTech are further testing their vaccine in even younger children and that Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are also conducting clinical trials of their vaccines in children and adolescents.

The Scan

Study Points to Tuberculosis Protection by Gaucher Disease Mutation

A mutation linked to Gaucher disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish population appears to boost Mycobacterium tuberculosis resistance in a zebrafish model of the lysosomal storage condition, a new PNAS study finds.

SpliceVault Portal Provides Look at RNA Splicing Changes Linked to Genetic Variants

The portal, described in Nature Genetics, houses variant-related messenger RNA splicing insights drawn from RNA sequencing data in nearly 335,700 samples — a set known as the 300K-RNA resource.

Automated Sequencing Pipeline Appears to Allow Rapid SARS-CoV-2 Lineage Detection in Nevada Study

Researchers in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describe and assess a Clear Labs Dx automated workflow, sequencing, and bioinformatic analysis method for quickly identifying SARS-CoV-2 lineages.

UK Team Presents Genetic, Epigenetic Sequencing Method

Using enzymatic DNA preparation steps, researchers in Nature Biotechnology develop a strategy for sequencing DNA, along with 5-methylcytosine and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, on existing sequencers.