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    EMA updates COVID-19 vaccine risk management plans to reflect variant safety

    The European Medicines Agency (EMA) wants companies to provide safety information on additional strains or variants in an update to its guidance on risk management plans (RMPs) for COVID-19 vaccines. In the update, EMA also discourages sponsors from using passive surveillance to evaluate vaccine safety due to a lack of robustness in these methods.   The plan should be read in conjunction with EMA guidance on good pharmacovigilance practices, including GVP Module V, Mod...
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    FDA panel split on approach to COVID-19 vaccines for younger children

    Members of the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) disagreed as to whether the agency should grant emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for COVID-19 vaccines for children at a 10 June meeting.   Some said that EUAs were necessary to get the pediatric population vaccinated quickly to achieve herd immunity as the country emerges from the pandemic and that these vaccines should be available soon as th...
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    FDA may decline new COVID vaccine EUA requests

    The US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) updated emergency use authorization (EUA) for COVID-19 vaccines says the agency may decline EUA requests from developers that have not yet met with the agency to discuss their vaccines.   This announcement was made by the agency in a 25 May tweet from the account of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER). The revised guidance supersedes versions issued on 22 February 2021 and October 2020. All versions ...
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    EC advances amendment to speed adapted COVID vaccines

    The European Commission on Wednesday advanced a delegated regulation that would give the European Medicines Agency (EMA) the authority to more quickly authorize COVID-19 vaccines that have been adapted to address variants of the virus.   “We are enabling EMA to fast-track regulatory approval of updated vaccines to tackle new variants. Faster approval means more vaccines in circulation and more Europeans protected from the virus,” said European Commission President Ursu...
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    Updated: FDA issues EUA for J&J's one-shot COVID vaccine

    The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an emergency use authorization for the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Janssen, a division of Johnson & Johnson. “The authorization of this vaccine expands the availability of vaccines, the best medical prevention method for COVID-19, to help us in the fight against this pandemic, which has claimed over half a million lives in the United States,” said Acting FDA Commissioner Janet Woodcock, MD in a statement announcing ...
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    EU plan to tackle COVID variants features flu vaccine-like pathway

    The European Union’s plan to take on new and emerging COVID-19 variants came into focus Wednesday with the European Commission’s announcement of a new incubator tasked with scanning for and assessing variants, speeding regulatory approvals and boosting EU production of vaccines.   The incubator is said to lay the groundwork for the recently proposed European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), which the Commission has billed as a “central eleme...
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    Cyberattack: EMA says leaked documents ‘manipulated’

    Documents related to COVID-19 vaccines that were unlawfully accessed in a cyberattack against the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and subsequently leaked online were intentionally manipulated, the agency said on Friday.   EMA first disclosed the hack in December and said at the time it had launched a full investigation in cooperation with law enforcement and other authorities. Since then, vaccine frontrunners Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna have released statements ack...
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    Asia-Pacific Roundup: Japan’s PMDA shares principles for evaluation of COVID-19 vaccines

    Japan’s Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices Agency (PMDA) has published principles for evaluating COVID-19 vaccines. The principles echo guidelines published in other parts of the world, for example by recommending that studies are designed to show vaccines prevent COVID-19.   PMDA, like its peers, is against the use of surrogate measures given the lack of evidence linking them to the key endpoint of COVID-19 prevention. Clinical trials to assess the preventive effect ...
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    FDA issues COVID-19 vaccine EUA guidance after clash with White House

    Amid reports that the White House had blocked stricter guidance from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for COVID-19 vaccines, the agency on Tuesday issued guidance hours after disclosing some of its advice to vaccine makers in briefing documents for an upcoming advisory committee meeting.   Last month, agency officials, including FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) Director...
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    Hahn insists FDA will stick to guidelines for COVID-19 vaccine decisions

    Speaking at the Financial Times ’ US Pharma and Biotech Summit on Tuesday, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn said the agency will stick to the standards and criteria it has laid out to approve or authorize applications for vaccines to prevent coronavirus disease (COVID-19).   In recent weeks, Hahn has made numerous statements asserting that the agency will not approve or authorize a vaccine that does not meet the agency’s “rigorous expect...
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    Experts call on Hahn to shield FDA from political influence

    More than 30 leading experts and academics in regulatory science and medicine have signed an open letter calling on US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn to protect the agency from political interference.   The letter comes days after President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly claimed that a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine could be authorized before the November election and accused FDA staff of being part of “the deep state,” said ...
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    Hahn pledges no politics in COVID vaccine decisions

    Testifying before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Wednesday, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Stephen Hahn said that politics will not play a part in the decision to approve or authorize a vaccine for coronavirus disease (COVID-19).   Hahn stressed that he supports science and has “100% confidence” in his staff, and said that, “FDA will not authorize or approve any COVID-19 vaccine before it has met the agency’s rigorous ...