Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

For Quick Updates

The US Food and Drug Administration is looking into enabling companies that have developed SARS-CoV-2 vaccines to quickly update them to cope with new viral variants, Business Insider reports.

Recent studies have indicated that currently authorized vaccines and ones that recently reported late-stage testing results may be less effective against new SARS-CoV-2 strains, particularly the one recently identified in South Africa. Some vaccines developers have said they could, if necessary, update their SARS-CoV-2 vaccines to encompass new viral variants or provide a booster to existing vaccines.

According to Business Insider, Janet Woodcock, the acting head of the US Food and Drug Administration, says the agency will be using the framework it relies on for the flu to develop a guidance for vaccine makers on how to quickly update their SARS-CoV-2 vaccines without having to conduct clinical trials with tens of thousands of people.

She notes, according to the Wall Street Journal, that such vaccine updates don't yet look necessary. "With current vaccines, we feel that, against any variants we have seen, we have a fair amount of confidence they will provide good protection," she said during a press briefing, according to the Journal, but added that "we must prepare for all eventualities. The situation could change, and it could change pretty rapidly."

The Scan

Boosters Chasing Variants

The New York Times reports that an FDA advisory panel is to weigh updated booster vaccines for COVID-19.

Not Yet

The World Health Organization says monkeypox is not yet a global emergency, the Washington Post reports.

More Proposed for Federal Research

Science reports that US House of Representatives panels are seeking to increase federal research funding.

PLOS Papers on Breast Cancer Metastasis, Left-Sided Cardiac Defects, SARS-CoV-2 Monitoring

In PLOS this week: link between breast cancer metastasis and CLIC4, sequencing analysis of left-sided cardiac defects, and more.