On Monday, the quadruple-vaccinated CEO of Pfizer, Albert Bourla, said that he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was experiencing very mild symptoms.
According to his post on Twitter, he had started a course of the company’s oral COVID-19 antiviral treatment, Paxlovid, and was isolating and following all public health precautions.
The Paxlovid pill is authorized for emergency use by the FDA to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in high-risk patients over the age of twelve and was recently also used to treat US President Biden.
Bourla has received four doses of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech.
“We have come so far in our efforts to battle this disease that I am confident I will have a speedy recovery,” he added in a new post on Monday.
In March, Bourla told a CBS interview that a fourth booster shot against COVID-19 is “necessary” although earlier he had argued that annual vaccines would be a better approach to fighting the virus.
UK approves first bivalent COVID-19 vaccine
In more COVID-related news, the U.K. has become the first country to approve the first dual-strain vaccine designed to tackle both the original virus and the newer Omicron variant.
The adapted COVID-19 vaccine is produced by Moderna and its use is approved for adult booster doses after it was found to meet the U.K. regulator’s standards of safety, quality, and effectiveness, the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said in a press release on Monday.
“The decision to grant approval for this booster vaccine in the U.K. was endorsed by the government’s independent expert scientific advisory body, the Commission on Human Medicines, after carefully reviewing the evidence,” it was added.
The MHRA’s decision is based on data from a clinical trial which showed that a booster with the bivalent Moderna vaccine triggers a strong immune response against both Omicron (BA.1) and the original 2020 strain. In an exploratory analysis, the bivalent vaccine was also found to generate a good immune response against the Omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5.
“This novel bivalent vaccine represents the next step in the development of vaccines to combat the virus, with its ability to lead to a broader immune response than the original vaccine,” Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, Chair of the Commission on Human Medicines, concluded.