What We’re Reading: FDA to Decide on Pediatric COVID-19 Vaccine; WHO Endorses Malaria Vaccine; Texas Abortion Law Blocked

Pfizer and BioNTech ask FDA to authorize their COVID-19 vaccine in children; the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended widespread use of the world’s first malaria vaccine; a US judge blocks Texas’ strict abortion law.

Pfizer, BioNTech Ask FDA for EUA for COVID-19 Vaccine for Children

Pfizer and BioNTech said Thursday they are asking the FDA to approve their COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11, The New York Times reported. An emergency use authorization (EUA) is expected between Halloween and Thanksgiving. The companies are proposing to give pediatric patients one-third of the adult dose. The delta variant was responsible for hospitalizing 30,000 children in August alone.

WHO Greenlights First Malaria Vaccine

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it is greenlighting the world’s first and only vaccine against malaria among children in sub-Saharan Africa and other regions where there is a moderate to high risk of contracting malaria, according to a report from CNN. The recommendation is based on preliminary results from an ongoing pilot program on vaccinations in child health clinics across Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi. The vaccine was found to be safe, cost-effective, feasible to deliver and significantly reduced deadly severe malaria by about 30%, according to the WHO.

US Judge Blocks Texas Abortion Law

A federal judge issued a temporary block on Texas’ strict abortion law, which bans abortions for pregnant people after 6 weeks, in response to the Biden administration challenging the law, Reuters reported. The block comes after the Supreme Court voted in a 5-4 decision to allow the law to go into effect last month. Shortly after, Texas notified the court that it intends to appeal the ruling to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is currently conservative leaning. The block sets up the next phase of the legal battle on abortion rights, especially as other states are attempting to implement similar laws.