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Push Toward Approval

The US Food and Drug Administration is under pressure to grant full approval to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines as the Delta variant spreads, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The three SARS-CoV-2 vaccines in use the US are available under Emergency Use Authorizations, though both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna have submitted paperwork for full approval. The Journal notes that only Pfizer has completed that process. It adds that a spate of government agencies, schools, and businesses have announced they will be requiring vaccination against COVID-19, though others are holding back to wait for approval.

FDA advisors and former FDA officials tell the Journal that approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is expected in September or October.

Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research tells the Washington Post that the agency is moving at a "sprint" to accelerate the approval process. "We are going to move with all due diligence to get the review done with our usual high quality, as rapidly as we can," he adds at the Post. "We know how important it is for people to be able to get vaccinated."

The Scan

Booster for At-Risk

The New York Times reports that the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for people over 65 or at increased risk.

Preprints OK to Mention Again

Nature News reports the Australian Research Council has changed its new policy and now allows preprints to be cited in grant applications.

Hundreds of Millions More to Share

The US plans to purchase and donate 500 million additional SARS-CoV-2 vaccine doses, according to the Washington Post.

Nature Papers Examine Molecular Program Differences Influencing Neural Cells, Population History of Polynesia

In Nature this week: changes in molecular program during embryonic development leads to different neural cell types, and more.