The logo of Valneva SE Group is pictured at the company's headquarters in Saint-Herblain, near Nantes, western France, on July 30, 2020. (JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER / AFP)
PARIS / MOSCOW – France's Haute Autorite de Sante public health body advised the government not to use Valneva's VLA2001 COVID-19 vaccine as part of its wider vaccination strategy, although two rival products should be included as booster shots.
The HAS body recommended Sanofi and GSK's VidPrevtyn Beta and Novavax's Nuvaxovid shots to boost the vaccination of people who can not be given bivalent mRNA vaccines which shall remain the first choice, it said.
"However, the HAS does not include the use of Valneva's VLA2001 vaccine in the current primary vaccination strategy", it added.
Valneva, whose shares have been volatile in recent months, has won regulatory approval in the European Union and some other countries for its first-generation COVID-19 vaccine, but was recently forced to cut its financial guidance and slash jobs in light of low order levels.
"There are no clinical efficacy or immunological data about the current variants. Therefore, it has not been retained for the time being," Elisabeth Bouvet, president of the HAS' vaccination department, told a news conference.
Russia has registered 7,430 new COVID-19 cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide tally to 21,643,194, the official monitoring and response center said Thursday.
The nationwide death toll increased by 54 to 392,454, while the number of recoveries grew by 6,315 to 21,043,426, it said.
Meanwhile, Moscow reported 1,697 new cases, taking its total to 3,267,061.
This photo, provided by Office of the Governor of New York, shows Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the Boriken Neighborhood Health Center, in New York on Sept 7, 2022. (DON POLLARD / OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK VIA AP)
The US health regulator has authorized COVID-19 shots from Moderna and Pfizer and its partner BioNTech that target both the original coronavirus and Omicron sub-variants for use in children as young as 6 months of age.
The amended authorization on Thursday from the Food and Drug Administration allows use of Moderna's bivalent shot as a booster in children 6 months through 5 years of age, two months after their initial vaccination.
Pfizer/BioNTech's updated shot can now be given as a third dose to those aged 6 months through 4 years, who have not completed their primary vaccination series or are yet to receive the third dose.
Children who have completed their initial three-dose vaccination with Pfizer's original shot are not yet eligible to receive the bivalent booster, the agency said.
The regulator added that data supporting use of Pfizer/BioNTech's bivalent shot as a booster in this age group is expected in January.
Shots for youngest children in the United States were only approved in June this year, making them the last group to become eligible for vaccination.
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Government data shows that only 2.7 percent children under the age of two and less than 5 percent of children aged two to four years who are eligible have completed their primary vaccination series as of Nov 30, representing a slow uptake of the initial vaccine doses in young children.
Moderna's vaccine for children under 6 is a two-dose, 25 microgram vaccine, with the shots given about four weeks apart. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for the youngest children is a lower dose, 3-shot regimen given over at least 11 weeks.
Overall, 39.7 million people in United States have received a bivalent booster as of Nov 30, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed.