COVID-19

Medicare to cover all FDA-approved Covid-19 vaccines

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CMS’ interim rule states that Medicare will cover Covid-19 vaccines approved by the FDA, including those receiving emergency use authorization, in a reversal from its usual policy. The vaccine will be made available at no cost to Medicare beneficiaries.

Novartis Signs an Option and License Agreement with Molecular Partners to Develop Two DARPin Therapies for COVID-19

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Shots: Molecular Partners to receive $65.8M as up front, including equity, and will receive $164.7M as an option payment for both MP0420 and MP0423 along with royalties on sales of therapies. Novartis to get an option to in-license global rights of MP0420 and MP0423 During… Read More »Novartis Signs an Option and License Agreement with Molecular Partners to Develop Two DARPin Therapies for COVID-19

Case study: Identifying potential fraud, waste, and abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic

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While the COVID-19 pandemic has challenged providers in significant ways, it unfortunately has also created new opportunities for a small handful of bad actors to take advantage of the outbreak to increase their reimbursement. Here’s how Cotiviti recently worked with MetroPlus Health Plan in New… Read More »Case study: Identifying potential fraud, waste, and abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic

Viruses on Motorcycles

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By ANISH KOKA The most recent fiction dressed up as science about COVID comes to us courtesy of a viral Washington Post article.  “How the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally may have spread coronavirus across the Upper Midwest” screams the headline.   The charge made is that “within… Read More »Viruses on Motorcycles

FDA okays first COVID-19 treatment

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The agency has approved the antiviral drug Veklury (remdesivir), produced by Gilead, for hospitalized patients 12 years and over diagnosed with the virus.

Verily’s COVID Testing Program Halted in San Francisco and Oakland

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OAKLAND, Calif. — Amid fanfare in March, California officials celebrated the launch of a multimillion-dollar contract with Verily — Google’s health-focused sister company — that they said would vastly expand COVID testing among the state’s impoverished and underserved communities. But seven months later, San Francisco… Read More »Verily’s COVID Testing Program Halted in San Francisco and Oakland

COVID Spikes Exacerbate Health Worker Shortages in Rocky Mountains, Great Plains

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COVID-19 cases are surging in rural places across the Mountain States and Midwest, and when it hits health care workers, ready reinforcements aren’t easy to find. In Montana, pandemic-induced staffing shortages have shuttered a clinic in the state’s capital, led a northwestern regional hospital to… Read More »COVID Spikes Exacerbate Health Worker Shortages in Rocky Mountains, Great Plains

Technology can ease pandemic challenges faced by hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers

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To keep critical revenue flowing, hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers need to resume elective surgeries and procedures as quickly as possible and mobile apps can help by giving patients and staff vital information, provide advance symptom screening and help providers reduce elective procedure no-shows through… Read More »Technology can ease pandemic challenges faced by hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers

COVID Spikes Exacerbate Health Worker Shortages in Rocky Mountains, Great Plains

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COVID-19 cases are surging in rural places across the Mountain States and Midwest, and when it hits health care workers, ready reinforcements aren’t easy to find. In Montana, pandemic-induced staffing shortages have shuttered a clinic in the state’s capital, led a northwestern regional hospital to… Read More »COVID Spikes Exacerbate Health Worker Shortages in Rocky Mountains, Great Plains

KHN on the Air This Week

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KHN chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner discussed the impact of the election and the upcoming Supreme Court challenge on the Affordable Care Act with New Hampshire Public Radio’s “The Exchange” and WNYC’s “The Brian Lehrer Show” on Wednesday. Rovner also spoke with Newsy’s “Morning Rush”… Read More »KHN on the Air This Week

BCG – COVID-19 Hackathon Challenge Now Extended Through End of Year

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A renewed interest in whether the BCG vaccine (for tuberculosis) could also have an application for COVID-19 has been on the rise, as evidenced by this recent Cell publication, the University of Exeter’s involvement in the BRACE Trial and ongoing general press coverage. Furthermore, the list of clinical trials focusing… Read More »BCG – COVID-19 Hackathon Challenge Now Extended Through End of Year

Gilead’s Veklury (remdesivir) Receives the US FDA’s Approval as the First Treatment for COVID-19

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Shots: The approval is based on three studies including P-lll ACTT-1 study assessing the efficacy and safety of a 10-day treatment course of Veklury vs PBO in 1063 hospitalized patients with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and mild, moderate or severe COVID-19 receiving the treatment with SOC.… Read More »Gilead’s Veklury (remdesivir) Receives the US FDA’s Approval as the First Treatment for COVID-19

ViiV Healthcare Present Results of Long-Acting Cabotegravir and Rilpivirine at IDWeeK 2020

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Shots: The company reported the positive findings of a pooled analysis of six ongoing clinical studies which includes P-IIb/IIIb LATTE-2, ATLAS, ATLAS-2M, FLAIR, POLAR, and CUSTOMIZE studies evaluating long-acting cabotegravir and rilpivirine regimen in 1,744 patients with HIV-1 infection across 16 countries The positive findings… Read More »ViiV Healthcare Present Results of Long-Acting Cabotegravir and Rilpivirine at IDWeeK 2020

Even With ACA’s Fate in Flux, Open Enrollment Starts Soon. Here’s What’s New.

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Facing a pandemic, record unemployment and unknown future costs for COVID-19 treatments, health insurers selling Affordable Care Act plans to individuals reacted by lowering rates in some areas and, overall, issuing only modest premium increases for 2021. “What’s been fascinating is that carriers in general… Read More »Even With ACA’s Fate in Flux, Open Enrollment Starts Soon. Here’s What’s New.

Samsung Biologics Collaborates with Dinona to Develop DNP-019 for COVID-19

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Shots: The companies collaborate for fast-track development of DNP-019 against COVID-19 The collaboration will expand Samsung’s CDO capabilities to provide a full scope of its development services from cell line development, process development, to non-clinical and clinical material manufacturing Samsung has introduced its proprietary cell-line… Read More »Samsung Biologics Collaborates with Dinona to Develop DNP-019 for COVID-19

Health Care Groups Dive Into Property Tax Ballot Fight, Eyeing Public Health Money

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SACRAMENTO — A November ballot initiative to raise property taxes on big-business owners in California is drawing unconventional political support from health care power players and public health leaders. They see Proposition 15 as a potential savior for chronically underfunded local health departments struggling to… Read More »Health Care Groups Dive Into Property Tax Ballot Fight, Eyeing Public Health Money

Sanofi and Translate Bio to Advance MRT5500 into Clinical Study Against COVID-19

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Shots: The companies reported the preclinical results of MRT5500 demonstrating the potential of the vaccine in neutralizing the Abs against SARS-CoV-2. The two doses of MRT5500 induced neutralizing antibody levels significantly higher than those observed in COVID-19 patients The preclinical data support the advancement of… Read More »Sanofi and Translate Bio to Advance MRT5500 into Clinical Study Against COVID-19

Eli Lilly Pauses Enrollment in ACTIV-3 Clinical Trial Due to Safety Concerns

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Shots:  The independent DSMB recommended pausing the enrollment of the ACTIV-3 clinical trial. The trial is evaluating Lilly’s bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555, 7000mg) + remdesivir as a treatment for COVID-19 in hospitalized patients, and is sponsored by the NIAID Lilly trusts the judgment & supports independent DSMB… Read More »Eli Lilly Pauses Enrollment in ACTIV-3 Clinical Trial Due to Safety Concerns

Lessons learned from Verily’s Covid-19 testing efforts

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Google’s sister company launched a program in California and other states to help route patients to nearby coronavirus testing. Dr. Vivian Lee, president of health platforms for Verily, shared lessons learned from that effort and Verily’s work with schools and businesses.

Cue Health gets $481M to expand production of rapid coronavirus test

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San Diego-based diagnostics startup Cue Health won a $481 million from the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense to produce more coronavirus tests. The company received an emergency use authorization in June for its rapid molecular test.

CMS promises a plan for Medicare to cover coronavirus vaccine

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Medicare doesn’t currently cover drugs approved under emergency use designations. But  CMS Administrator Seema Verma said the agency was coming up with a plan to make sure Medicare beneficiaries were covered once a coronavirus vaccine is developed.

Digital Therapeutics: Key Concepts and Regulations to Tackle COVID-19 Pandemic

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Digital therapeutics are clinically validated applications / software / online programs that have demonstrated the capability to facilitate positive outcomes when used in the prevention / treatment / management of diseases / clinical conditions. These therapeutics are designed to engage patients in personalized treatment or… Read More »Digital Therapeutics: Key Concepts and Regulations to Tackle COVID-19 Pandemic

KHN on the Air This Week

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KHN reporter Victoria Knight discussed this week’s vice presidential debate with Newsy’s “Morning Rush” on Thursday. Click here to watch Knight on Newsy Read “In Debate, Pence and Harris Offer Conflicting Views of Nation’s Reality,” by the staffs of KHN and PolitiFact KHN chief Washington… Read More »KHN on the Air This Week

As Trump Touts His ‘Great’ COVID Drugs, the Pharma Cash Flows to Biden, Not Him

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Pharmaceutical giants Regeneron and Gilead Sciences got the kind of publicity money can’t buy this week after President Donald Trump took their experimental drugs for his coronavirus infection, left the hospital and pronounced himself fully recovered. “It was, like, unbelievable. I felt good immediately,” Trump… Read More »As Trump Touts His ‘Great’ COVID Drugs, the Pharma Cash Flows to Biden, Not Him

Lilly and Incyte’s Olumiant (baricitinib) Reports Additional Data Demonstrating Reduction in COVID-19 Recovery Time

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Shots: The companies shared the additional efficacy and safety data of the ACTT-2 study demonstrating baricitinib + remdesivir reduced time to recovery and improved clinical outcomes for patients with COVID-19 infection compared with remdesivir as monothx The biggest benefits were observed in patients requiring supplemental… Read More »Lilly and Incyte’s Olumiant (baricitinib) Reports Additional Data Demonstrating Reduction in COVID-19 Recovery Time

In Debate, Pence and Harris Offer Conflicting Views of Nation’s Reality

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The Trump administration’s pandemic response: decisive action that saved lives, or the greatest failure of any presidential administration? During Wednesday’s vice presidential debate, Vice President Mike Pence and the Democratic challenger, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, offered drastically different takes — from behind  plexiglass screens… Read More »In Debate, Pence and Harris Offer Conflicting Views of Nation’s Reality

GSK and Vir expand COVID-19 antibody trial after Trump’s treatment with Regeneron’s rival

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GlaxoSmithKline and partner Vir Biotechnology are to expand a trial of an experimental antibody to treat COVID-19, putting heat on Regeneron’s rival that has been famously used to treat president Donald Trump. GSK and Vir began trials of the antibody on early-stage COVID-19 patients in… Read More »GSK and Vir expand COVID-19 antibody trial after Trump’s treatment with Regeneron’s rival

Lifetime Experiences Help Older Adults Build Resilience to Pandemic Trauma

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Older adults are especially vulnerable physically during the coronavirus pandemic. But they’re also notably resilient psychologically, calling upon a lifetime of experience and perspective to help them through difficult times. New research calls attention to this little-remarked-upon resilience as well as significant challenges for older… Read More »Lifetime Experiences Help Older Adults Build Resilience to Pandemic Trauma

Dr. Emad Rizk: why analytics-driven interoperability is vital in 2020 and beyond

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Provider access to medical history is crucial for patients diagnosed with COVID-19, which often leads to worse outcomes for those with significant comorbidities. But due to lack of interoperability between healthcare IT systems, patient history can be cumbersome to obtain—and this can hamper a physician’s… Read More »Dr. Emad Rizk: why analytics-driven interoperability is vital in 2020 and beyond

How the value of innovation will be redefined in 2021

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While payers and policymakers took a more narrow-minded perspective on innovation value in 2020, the year 2021 will bring an increased focus on a treatment’s societal value, how innovation interacts with digital technologies, and whether new innovations are able to reduce existing health outcome inequalities.

ViewPoints Article: Digital Healthcare in India – Current Trends & Future

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Digital healthcare means using communications and information technologies in medicine to diagnose, predict, treat, and monitor diseases. It is also widely used for prognosis, rehabilitation, behavioral health, and public health.  Indians have witnessed a surge of smartphone and internet use since the last decade. This… Read More »ViewPoints Article: Digital Healthcare in India – Current Trends & Future

The COVID-19 Effect: How Pharma Can Adapt to the Evolving Patient Experience

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Patient experiences are evolving. How can pharma keep up?By listening to the people who are navigating this new landscape everyday. Integrating personal experiences and patient-reported data, this one-day virtual event features real-time conversations between people living with chronic conditions and Health Union industry experts. Tune in to any… Read More »The COVID-19 Effect: How Pharma Can Adapt to the Evolving Patient Experience

HHS renews $10.2M TeleTracking contract for Covid-19 data collection

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HHS will renew its contract with TeleTracking Technologies for another $10.2 million. Earlier this year, HHS controversially shifted Covid-19 data collection to the company from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which would normally handle data collection.

Trump and COVID-19: treatments to date

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With the virus reaching the Oval Office, the presidential diagnosis is shining a spotlight on some of the drugs reportedly administered to the POTUS.

J&J Vaccine Data

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We have more data on the J&J/Janssen coronavirus vaccine, which those keeping score at home will remember is an adenovirus vector candidate. It uses an obscure member of that virus family (Ad26) that very few people have ever been exposed to, as opposed to the… Read More »J&J Vaccine Data

The Vaccine Protocols

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We now have the official clinical trial designs for the three biggest and most advanced coronavirus vaccine trials: Moderna, Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca. Now, as for you, J&J, Novavax, Merck, and all the others that are pushing into efficacy trials as fast as possible – don’t… Read More »The Vaccine Protocols

Video: Cotiviti CEO Emad Rizk, M.D., on the current state of interoperability

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The healthcare industry’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic would likely have benefitted from fully interoperable systems, particularly regarding contact tracing and the integration of public health data with clinical care. In a recent panel discussion with Healthcare IT Today, Cotiviti CEO Emad Rizk, M.D., discussed… Read More »Video: Cotiviti CEO Emad Rizk, M.D., on the current state of interoperability

Monoclonal Antibody Data

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We have a bit of human clinical data from the Eli Lilly/Abcellera collaboration to make a monoclonal antibody therapy against the coronavirus. A full paper is coming soon, the press release says, but for now it looks like this is all we have to go… Read More »Monoclonal Antibody Data

Vaccine Transparency

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I’ve been emphasizing for some time that our efforts to find and deploy a coronavirus vaccine have to be as transparent as possible to increase the chances for success. Recent events make that more clear than ever – and not in a good way. Update:… Read More »Vaccine Transparency

BCG-COVID 19 Hackathon: Task 1 winners announced, Task 2 – data scientists – we need you!

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We’ve seen the scientific community come together time and again throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and we’re thrilled to have been part of a hackathon bringing together data scientists, epidemiologists and partner organizations focusing on analysing the hypothesis of whether the tuberculosis (TB) vaccine – BCG… Read More »BCG-COVID 19 Hackathon: Task 1 winners announced, Task 2 – data scientists – we need you!

Modeling Coronavirus – Cytokine Storm

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Figure 1. Classification of COVID-19 Disease States.Adapted from Sidiqi, H.K. and M.R. Mehra, COVID-19 Illness in Native and Immunosuppressed States: A Clinical-Therapeutic Staging Proposal. J Heart Lung Transplant, 2020. [1] (This piece was co-authored by Prof. Gordon Broderick, Clinical Systems Biology at Rochester General Hospital.) The thing… Read More »Modeling Coronavirus – Cytokine Storm

COVID-19 is Bringing Data Privacy into the Spotlight – This is How Healthcare Companies Should Respond

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By DAN LINTON Privacy concerns across the country continue to increase, and consumers expect their healthcare information to be private. Headline-making data sales, skepticism of Silicon Valley privacy practices, and COVID-19 contact tracing concerns compounded with a general lack of consumer awareness have continued to generate an… Read More »COVID-19 is Bringing Data Privacy into the Spotlight – This is How Healthcare Companies Should Respond

Republican Convention, Day 4: Fireworks … and Shining a Light on Trump’s Claims

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President Donald Trump accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for president in a 70-minute speech from the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday night. Speaking to a friendly crowd that didn’t appear to be observing social distancing conventions, and with few participants wearing masks,… Read More »Republican Convention, Day 4: Fireworks … and Shining a Light on Trump’s Claims

COVID-19’s lasting impact on digital communication in healthcare

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The ongoing digital transformation of the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries has been greatly accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic. In The Medscape Professional Networks’ latest white paper, Healthcare’s New Normal: COVID Speeds Shift to Digital Communications, key opinion leaders and industry experts agree that in the… Read More »COVID-19’s lasting impact on digital communication in healthcare

CMS to penalize hospitals, labs that don’t report Covid-19 data

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New rules by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services would penalize hospitals and laboratories that report Covid-19 data. Hospitals would be required to report the number of confirmed or suspected Covid-19 patient, occupied beds, and availability of ventilators and other critical supplies.

BeiGene Signs an Exclusive License Agreement with Singlomics for Neutralizing COVID-19 Antibodies

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Shots: Singlomics to receive upfront and is eligible to receive regulatory & commercial milestones along with royalties on sales of products. BeiGene get an exclusive global right (Ex-China) to develop & commercialize its preclinical assets (DXP-593 and DXP-604), as well as for a series of… Read More »BeiGene Signs an Exclusive License Agreement with Singlomics for Neutralizing COVID-19 Antibodies

Report: Hospital margins down 96% since the start of 2020

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A report by Kaufman Hall showed that while hospitals’ operating margins improved in July, they were down 96% since the start of the year. Including funding allocated through the CARES Act. Without CARES Act funding, hospital margins were still down 28%.

Dealing with a Rare Eye Disease in the Midst of COVID19

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Dealing with a Rare Eye Disease in the Midst of COVID19 After being diagnosed with a rare eye disease, a doctor learns the best treatment is immunosuppression-a risky choice in the midst of COVID19 The Doctor Weighs In

Thriving in COVID Times

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By KIM BELLARD These are, no question, hard times, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  In the U.S., we’re closing in on 180,000 deaths in the U.S.  Some 40 million workers lost their jobs, and over 30 million are still receiving unemployment benefits.  Hundreds of thousands,… Read More »Thriving in COVID Times

FDA’s emergency authorization for convalescent plasma in Covid-19 sparks controversy

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While the emergency use authorization granted Sunday was not seen as scientifically unwarranted, it drew concerns from some experts that it could hinder enrollment in clinical trials, while the timing and circumstances of the FDA’s move fueled suspicions that political pressure – rather than science… Read More »FDA’s emergency authorization for convalescent plasma in Covid-19 sparks controversy

Trump Is Sending Fast, Cheap COVID Tests to Nursing Homes — But There’s a Hitch

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The Trump administration’s latest effort to use COVID-19 rapid tests — touted by one senior official as a “turning point” in arresting the coronavirus’s spread within nursing homes — is running into roadblocks likely to limit how widely they’ll be used. Federal officials are distributing… Read More »Trump Is Sending Fast, Cheap COVID Tests to Nursing Homes — But There’s a Hitch

Pfizer and BioNTech Plan for Regulatory Review of its COVID-19 Vaccine in October 2020

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Shots: The companies have shared additional P-I safety and immunogenicity data from their ongoing US study of the BNT162b2 against SARS-CoV-2, which has advanced into P-II/III evaluation. Across all populations, BNT162b2 was well tolerated with mild to moderate fever in fewer than 20% of the… Read More »Pfizer and BioNTech Plan for Regulatory Review of its COVID-19 Vaccine in October 2020