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COVID-19: Pfizer Urges Expansion of Booster EUA; FEMA Funding Extended

Pfizer and BioNTech on Nov. 9 requested the Food and Drug Administration amend its emergency use authorization (EUA) for a booster dose of their COVID-19 vaccine to include all individuals ages 18 and older.

The existing EUA covers people ages 65 and older, along with people ages 18–64 who are at high risk of severe COVID-19 or who have frequent occupational or institutional exposure to SARS-CoV-2.

Data from a phase-three trial of 10,000 participants show a 30-microgram booster dose given to participants who previously received the Pfizer-BioNTech primary two-dose vaccine restored protection against COVID-19 to the high levels achieved after the second dose. The booster dose demonstrated a relative vaccine efficacy of 95 percent compared with those who did not receive a booster dose.

FEMA to Continue Funding COVID-19 Response Initiatives

President Joe Biden announced Nov. 9 that Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding for COVID-19 recovery and vaccine initiatives will continue through April 1, 2022. This funding, initially set to expire Dec. 31, is available to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments, along with select nonprofit organizations.

FEMA will continue to provide 100 percent of federal funding for National Guard response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Guard will assist with vaccine, food, and personal protective equipment distribution, as well as testing and tracing.

JAMA Review Analyzes Socioeconomic Contributors to COVID-19 Disparities

A systematic review and meta-analysis of 4.3 million patients from 68 studies in the Journal of the American Medical Association analyzes racial disparities in COVID-19 outcomes.

Black, Hispanic, and Asian American individuals had a higher risk of COVID-19 positivity and intensive care unit admission but lower mortality rates than white individuals. The analysis accounts for social determinants of health and socioeconomic factors by adjusting data for the area deprivation index, which accounts for a region’s income, education, employment, and housing quality; and the urban core opportunity index, which measures a region’s urbanicity as indicated by factors like the number of renters and residents without a car.

Researchers concluded that socioeconomic determinants could account for racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 outcomes in some populations.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the pandemic.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Emily Schweich is a communications manager at America's Essential Hospitals.

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