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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

Genetic Risk Factors for Hypertension Can Help Identify Those at Risk for Cardiovascular Disease

Genetically predicted high blood pressure risk is also associated with increased cardiovascular disease risk, a new JAMA Cardiology study says.

Circulating Tumor DNA Linked to Post-Treatment Relapse in Breast Cancer

Post-treatment detection of circulating tumor DNA may identify breast cancer patients who are more likely to relapse, a new JCO Precision Oncology study finds.

Genetics Influence Level of Depression Tied to Trauma Exposure, Study Finds

Researchers examine the interplay of trauma, genetics, and major depressive disorder in JAMA Psychiatry.

UCLA Team Reports Cost-Effective Liquid Biopsy Approach for Cancer Detection

The researchers report in Nature Communications that their liquid biopsy approach has high specificity in detecting all- and early-stage cancers.