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Seems Effective in Kids

US Food and Drug Administration officials say the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children appears to be highly effective at preventing symptomatic disease, the Associated Press reports.

Pfizer and BioNTech, it adds, had reported that their vaccine was 91 percent effective at preventing symptomatic infections in children between 5 years and 11 years old, noting that the FDA analysis supports the finding. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is already authorized for adolescents between the ages of 12 and 15 years old and approved for people 16 years old and older. CNN adds that the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children is a 10-microgram dose, as compared to the 30-microgram dose given to adolescents and adults, though it is still administered in a two-dose regimen.

The AP adds that an independent FDA panel is to review the data on Tuesday, with an FDA decision coming after that. If it authorizes the vaccine, then the Centers for Disease Control and Preventing will weigh in on who should be eligible for vaccination, it notes, adding that kids could begin to receive vaccinations as early as the first week of November.

Moderna, the New York Times reports, has additionally announced that its SAR-CoV-2 vaccine, also given at a lower dose at two time points, appears to generate an immune response among children aged 6 to 11 years.

The Scan

Looking for Omicron

NPR reports that SARS-CoV-2 testing in the US has gotten better but also that some experts say more needs to be done to better track the Omicron variant.

Holmes Alleges Abuse

The Associated Press reports that Theranos' Elizabeth Holmes has testified at her wire fraud trial that her business and romantic partner abused her.

Bit More Diverse, But More to Do

While Black and Hispanic patients are more likely to participate in cancer clinical trials than previously, they are still underrepresented, according to US News & World Report.

PNAS Papers on Yeast Gene Silencing, Zika Virus Inhibition, Immunoglobulin Hypermutation

In PNAS this week: gene silencing in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, possible neuroprotective role for SHFL in a mouse model of Zika virus infection, and more.