U.S. FDA clears Pfizer’s COVID booster shot for young children
May 17, 2022, 10:34 AM EDT (Updated 10:51 AM EDT)
(Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of a booster shot of Pfizer (PFE.N) and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5 to 11, the regulator said on Tuesday.
The authorization makes everyone in the United States aged five and above eligible for booster doses of the vaccine, although the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still needs to sign off on the shots.
“While it has largely been the case that COVID-19 tends to be less severe in children than adults, the Omicron wave has seen more kids getting sick with the disease and being hospitalized,” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf said in a statement.
Califf said the authorization would help provide continued protection against COVID-19 in that age group. Data has shown that vaccine effectiveness starts to wane over time.
The U.S. government has been urging Americans to get boosters, and for the unvaccinated who are at much higher risk of severe COVID-19 and death to be inoculated.
But it is unclear how much many parents of children aged 5 to 11 will opt for a third dose. Just 28.8% of children in that age group are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.
Children below the age of five are not yet eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in the United States.
Pfizer/BioNTech’s new pediatric COVID-19 vaccine vials are seen in this undated handout photo. Pfizer/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo
Roughly 66% of the U.S. population, or 220.6 million people, have received the full vaccination schedule so far, according to federal data. Of those, 102.3 million people have received one booster dose, and 11.7 million have received a second booster.
The CDC has scheduled a meeting of outside advisers to discuss vaccine boosters on Thursday. The agency’s director has the final say on the administration of vaccines.
Reporting by Manas Mishra in Bengaluru and Michael Erman in New Jersey; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Arun Koyyur
Tesla's rivals are not even coming close to producing and delivering EVs at the same rate as the Austin, Texas-based market leader.
Electric vehicle makers have been struggling over the last two years to produce and deliver cars, trucks and SUVs despite obstacles such as supply chain disruptions, semiconductor shortages and factory shutdowns caused by the covid pandemic.
The industry's leading EV manufacturer Tesla (TSLA) - Get Tesla Inc. Report on July 2 said that plant closures at its Shanghai gigafactory in April and May and supply chain disruptions led to a smaller number of deliveries than expected in its second quarter ending June 30 with 254,695, which was 26.7% higher than the same period in 2021, but 17.7% lower than its record of 310,048 delivered in the first quarter of 2021. Analysts were originally expecting about 295,000 deliveries.
Tesla's production declined to 258,580 vehicles in the second quarter compared to 305,407 in the first quarter. It had produced 305,840 vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Tesla's rivals are not even coming close to producing and delivering EVs at the same rate as the Austin, Texas-based market leader. But they keep trying.
Tesla Rivals Struggle to Produce and Deliver Volume of EVs
NIO on June 15 rolled out its ES7, a new mid-large five-seat smart electric SUV, which is the first SUV product based on NIO's latest technology platform Technology 2.0. NIO also launched the 2022 ES8, ES6 and EC6 equipped with the upgraded digital cockpit domain controller and sensing suite, enhancing the computing and perception capabilities as well as digital experience of the vehicles. The company expects to start deliveries of the ES7 and the ES8, ES6 and EC6 in August.
The Guangzhou, China-based company said in August it will begin accepting orders for its new G9 SUV with an official launch in September.
Beijing-based Li Auto (LI) - Get Li Auto Inc. Report on July 1 said it delivered 13,024 EVs in June, a 68.9% increase year-over-year and 28,687 in the second quarter ending June 30 for a 63.2% increase year-over-year. The company on June 21 began taking orders for its Li L9 SUV and recorded 30,000 orders as of June 24, according to a statement. Test drives will begin July 16 with deliveries beginning by the end of August.
Tesla delivered 254,695 electric vehicles globally in the second quarter, a nearly 18% drop from the previous period as supply chain constraints, China’s extended COVID-19 lockdown and challenges around opening factories in Berlin and Austin took their toll on the company.
This is the first time in two years that Tesla deliveries, which were 310,048 in the first period this year, have fallen quarter over quarter. Tesla deliveries were up 26.5% from the second quarter last year.
The quarter-over-quarter reduction is in line with a broader supply chain problem in the industry. It also illustrates the importance of Tesla’s Shanghai factory to its business. Tesla shuttered its Shanghai factory multiple times in March due to rising COVID-19 cases that prompted a government shutdown.
Image Credits: Tesla/screenshot
The company said Saturday it produced 258,580 EVs, a 15% reduction from the previous quarter when it made 305,407 vehicles.
Like in other quarters over the past two years, most of the produced and delivered vehicles were Model 3 and Model Ys. Only 16,411 of the produced vehicles were the older Model S and Model X vehicles.
Tesla said in its released that June 2022 was the highest vehicle production month in Tesla’s history. Despite that milestone, the EV maker as well as other companies in the industry, have struggled to keep apace with demand as supply chain problems persist.
According to the latest edition of the United Nations World Drug Report, 284 million people used illegal drugs in the last year, while around 21 million of them used cocaine.
The use of the drug has risen in the past decade, according to the report, but slowed somewhat in the Covid-19 pandemic. However, as Statista's Katharina Buchholz details below, with global cocaine production reaching new highs, cocaine supply chains to Europe have been diversifying, which is driving prices down and pushing quality up, potentially increasing the level of harm caused by use of the drug in the region.
In the United Kingdom, for example, cocaine prices fell from the equivalent of $178 to $103 between 2019 and 2020. The country continues to have a high cocaine retail street price in a global comparison, however, with prices lower in most European countries.
In developed economies outside of Europe, a higher premium is usually charged for cocaine, like in Hong Kong ($145 per gram), Japan ($188 per gram), Israel ($205 per gram) or Australia ($242 per gram). For the United States, no 2020 numbers were reported, but in 2019, the price for a gram of cocaine stood at $200 per gram.
Prices were even higher in Arab countries, which have strict laws forbidding drug use and trade.
A gram of cocaine can be found for a fraction of its price on the Persian Gulf in some parts of Europe, such as in the Netherlands and Portugal where UNODC states it has a retail street price of $58 and $38 per gram, respectively. The later country has recently radically decriminalized the use of even class A drugs.
Uruguay, one of the few Latin American countries for which data was available, came in at the very bottom of the list.
Cocaine is expensive in the only African country on the list, Algeria. India was included in the report for the first time this year, with the price of cocaine set at an average $67 per gram. While this is rather low by international standards, attainability is likely lower than in Europe due to the differences in purchasing power in the country.