Pfizer's shots effective in kids; U.S. to double pharmacies giving doses: 6 updates on the COVID-19 vaccine

Here are six updates on the COVID-19 vaccine over the past week:

1. Pfizer said April 1 that data from a recent phase 3 trial showed its COVID-19 vaccine is effective against the B.1.351 coronavirus variant first detected in South Africa and offers protection for at least six months. 

2. Shipments of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccines to the federal government will be halted while the FDA investigates an error at an Emergent BioSolutions manufacturing plant in Baltimore that ruined about 15 million vaccine doses, according to a March 31 report.

3. Pfizer said March 31 that its COVID-19 vaccine was well tolerated and 100 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in a phase 3 clinical trial involving 2,260 adolescents ages 12 to 15. 

4. COVID-19 mRNA vaccines are extremely effective at protecting pregnant and lactating women against the virus, and likely provide protection for their babies as well, according to a study published March 25 in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

5. Pfizer and BioNtech will soon start testing a freeze-dried version of its COVID-19 vaccine that, if effective, would ease storage and handling requirements and expand access to areas without specialized equipment needed to store the vaccine. 

6. The U.S. will more than double the number of pharmacies administering COVID-19 vaccines, President Joe Biden announced March 29.

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