Coronavirus Update: Pfizer to Supply 30 Million Vaccine Doses to U.K.

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Good morning, it’s Monday, July 20. Here’s your daily coronavirus update.

There are 14.5 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 606,000 deaths.

The U.S. has over 3.7 million cases with over 140,000 deaths.

There’s a new study out from South Korea which offers some answers to the questions around kids returning back to school and what could happen. The study found that children under 10 transmit the virus at nearly half the rate that adults do. However, children aged 10 to 19 can spread the virus at the same rate as adults.

This is one the largest studies of its kind and overall suggests that kids going back to school could lead to clusters of outbreaks in communities in both children and adults.

Delta Air Lines announced that passengers unable to wear face masks due to health conditions will face a medical clearance at the airport before boarding the plane.

This policy comes after Delta airlines asked passengers to wear face masks during the flight, at check-in and while boarding at the gate.

In an update on its website, Delta says, “Customers with health conditions or disabilities that explicitly prevent the wearing of a face covering or mask are strongly encouraged to reconsider travel or should be prepared to complete a ‘Clearance-to-Fly’ process prior to departure at the airport.”

It notes that this process could take over an hour.

Pfizer, which is working on two candidates from its mRNA-based vaccine program in collaboration with Germany's BioNTech, will supply 30 million doses to the U.K.--at an undisclosed price--once approved by regulators.

But on Monday, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that it would be an “exaggeration" to suggest that a vaccine would be available by "this year or next ... We're not there yet".

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said, “This agreement is a testament to our shared goal to have millions of doses of a vaccine against COVID-19 available before the end of the year...We would like to thank the U.K. government for its commitment and support in helping to protect the people of the United Kingdom from this deadly virus.”

Last week, Pfizer received 'fast track' designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its vaccine candidates based on preliminary data from Phase 1 and Phase 2 studies earlier this month. Early data from the German trials are expected to be released in July, Pfizer said at the time.

Earlier this month, Pfizer said preliminary results of its coronavirus vaccine study that it said triggered a 'strong immune response' in human trials, and unveiled plans to to test the most promising of its four vaccine candidates on up to 30,000 participants in trials set for the United States and Europe.

You can follow Katherine Ross on Twitter at @byKatherineRoss.

Read more from Katherine Ross here.

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