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Thursday, 13 January 2022

Frequent boosters could tire the immune system + Novartis seeks FDA approval for covid antiviral

The Health Ministry reported 948 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 932 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 395,688 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 28 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 22,042.

Frequent covid boosters could adversely affect the immune system, warned the European Medicines Agency (EMA) at a press briefing on Monday (watch, runtime: 45:41). Boosters “can be done once, or maybe twice, but it’s not something that we can think should be repeated constantly," said Marco Cavaleri, the EMA’s head of biological health threats and vaccines. As covid transitions from a pandemic into an endemic phase, governments would be wiser to space out booster campaigns and tie them to the onset of winter, as is done with flu shots, he said.

New covid antiviral on the block: Swiss drugmaker Novartis will seek US regulatory approval for its ensovibep antiviral, which was shown to reduce the risk of covid-related hospitalization or death by 78% in a phase 2 study, the company said in a statement. Unlike antiviral covid pills from the likes of Merck and Pfizer — both of which are set to become available locally soon — the Novartis drug is delivered intravenously.

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