Pfizer asked the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday to authorize emergency use of the experimental pill, which has been shown to significantly cut the rate of hospitalizations and deaths among people with coronavirus infections.
The Biden administration is making billions of dollars available to drugmakers to expand domestic production of COVID-19 vaccines in the hopes of building capacity to produce an additional 1 billion shots per year to share with the world.
The selection could be good news for those challenging the administration’s vaccine requirement, which includes officials in 27 Republican-led states, employers and several conservative and business organizations.
Pfizer asked U.S. regulators last week to allow boosters of its COVID-19 vaccine for anyone 18 or older. The Food and Drug Administration is expected to sign off on Pfizer’s application.
The Indiana State Department of Health on Tuesday reported 42 more COVID-19 deaths in the state, raising the total to 16,577.
Pfizer reported earlier this month that its pill cut hospitalizations and deaths by 89% among high-risk adults who had early symptoms of COVID-19.
The slow climb in the vaccination rate coincides with recent increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
The debate comes at a critical time for the Biden administration, with top advisers growing increasingly fearful the country could slide backward into a fifth pandemic wave amid colder weather and declining vaccine protection.
Statewide hospitalizations due to COVID-19 decreased from 1,328 on Tuesday to 1,298 on Wednesday after rising for four straight days.
To enforce President Joe Biden’s forthcoming COVID-19 mandate, the U.S. Labor Department is going to rely on employees concerned enough to turn in their own employers if their co-workers go unvaccinated or fail to undergo weekly tests to show they’re virus-free.
Pfizer asked U.S. regulators Tuesday to allow boosters of its COVID-19 vaccine for anyone 18 or older, a step that comes amid concern about increased spread of the coronavirus with holiday travel and gatherings.
The pandemic-related restrictions have closed the United States to millions of people for 20 months.
The Biden administration framed its vaccine mandate for larger private employers in life-and-death terms Monday in a legal filing that sought to get the requirement back on track after it was halted by a federal court.
Tens of thousands of holdouts have requested exemptions on religious grounds, complicating President Joe Biden’s sweeping mandate to get the country’s largest employer back to normal operations.
Statewide hospitalizations due to COVID-19 decreased from 1,312 on Wednesday to 1,269 on Thursday.
Shares of Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co., which makes an antibody treatment for COVID-19 that requires infusions, were down 2.7% in late-morning trading Friday, to $263.76 each.
Republican governors or attorneys general in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and South Dakota said Thursday they would file lawsuits against the mandate.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb issued a statement Thursday, saying he would challenge the federal order.