Two different dosing regimens demonstrated efficacy with one showing a better profile. No hospitalisations or severe cases of COVID-19 in participants treated with AZD1222. Positive high-level results from an interim analysis of clinical trials of AZD1222 in the UK and Brazil showed the vaccine was highly effective in preventing COVID-19, the primary endpoint, and no hospitalisations or severe cases of the disease were reported in participants receiving the vaccine. There were a total of 131 COVID-19 cases in the interim analysis.
People who have contracted the coronavirus are “highly unlikely” to contract the disease again for at least six months, according to a new Oxford study. Researchers say the findings are “exciting” because they represent an important step in understanding how Covid-19 immunity may work.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has scheduled a meeting of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) on Dec. 10 to discuss the request for emergency use authorization (EUA) of a COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer, Inc. in partnership with BioNTech Manufacturing GmbH.
Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, knowledge gaps remain about how fomites contribute to SARS-CoV-2 transmission, a researcher said. A systematic review of research on SARS-CoV-2 on surfaces found 78 articles, the majority of which centered around healthcare settings, but there remains an inability to align what is known about surfaces contaminated by the virus with survivability of SARS-CoV-2 on those surfaces, reported Gabrielle String, PhD, of Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.
During August 7–16, 2020, a motorcycle rally was held in western South Dakota that attracted approximately 460,000 persons from across the United States to numerous indoor and outdoor events over a 10-day period. During August–September 2020, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) investigated a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak associated with the rally in Minnesota residents. Fifty-one primary event-associated cases were identified, and 35 secondary or tertiary cases occurred among household, social, and workplace contacts, for a total of 86 cases; four patients were hospitalized, and one died. Approximately one third (34%) of 87 counties in Minnesota had at least one primary, secondary, or tertiary case associated with this rally. Genomic sequencing supported the associations with the motorcycle rally. These findings support current recommendations for mask use, physical distancing, reducing the number of attendees at gatherings, isolation for patients with COVID-19, and quarantine for close contacts to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2 (1). Furthermore, although these findings did not capture the impact of the motorcycle rally on residents of other states, they demonstrate the rationale for consistent mitigation measures across states.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the “people at airports” who ignore federal guidance to avoid travel “are going to get us into even more trouble than we’re in right now.”
As the global coronavirus pandemic continues, scientists are not only trying to find vaccines and drugs to combat it, but also to continuously learn more about the virus itself. “By now we can expect the coronavirus to become seasonal,” explains Ralf Bartenschlager, professor in the Department of Infectious Diseases, Molecular Virology, at Heidelberg University. “Thus, there is an urgent need to develop and implement both prophylactic and therapeutic strategies against this virus.” In a new study, Bartenschlager, assisted by the Schwab team at EMBL Heidelberg and using EMBL’s Electron Microscopy Core Facility, performed a detailed imaging analysis to determine how the virus reprograms infected cells.
Preliminary data suggest that the immunization was more effective in trial participants who received a lower dose. A highly anticipated COVID-19 vaccine has delivered some encouraging — but head-scratching — results. The vaccine developed by the University of Oxford, UK, and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca was found to be, on average, 70% effective in a preliminary analysis of phase III trial data, the developers announced in a press release on 23 November.
Official Reporting for November 24, 2020
World Health Organization
Confirmed Cases: 58 425 681
Deaths: 1 385 218
Confirmed Cases: 58 767 143
Deaths: 1 388 661
Confirmed Cases: 59,106,877
Total cases: 12,175,921 (+147,840 New Cases)
Total deaths: 255,958 (+882 New Deaths)
It’s not just the Midwest: The U.S. outbreak is accelerating all over the map – New York Times
Minnesota: ‘No beds anywhere’: hospitals strained to limit by COVID-19 – Star Tribune
Pakistan: Pauses in-person learning until January 2021 – New York Times
South Korea: Faces New, Challenging Rise In Coronavirus Infections – NPR
Science and Tech
The viruses, both found in bats stored in laboratory freezers, are the first SARS-CoV-2 relatives to be found outside China.
The FDA authorized use of Regeneron’s REGN-COV2 intravenous monoclonal antibody cocktail — now sporting the generic names casirivimab and imdevimab — for treating mild to moderate COVID-19 in patients at high risk of progressing to severe disease, the agency said late Saturday.
That could be Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ reaction to Saturday’s news about their product REGEN-CoV2, the antibody cocktail that U.S. President Donald Trump received at Walter Reed Medical Center when he recently had Covid-19. This combination of casirivimab and imdevimab has now received an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat mild to moderate Covid-19. In order to receive the treatment, patients should be at least 12 years old and 40 kg in weight. Forty kilograms is about 88 pounds or four-fifths the weight of an octopus just in case you are wondering.
The drugmaker AstraZeneca announced on Monday that an early analysis of some of its late-stage clinical trials, conducted in the United Kingdom and Brazil, showed that its coronavirus vaccine was 70.4 percent effective in preventing Covid-19, suggesting that the world could eventually have at least three working vaccines — and more supply — to help curb the pandemic.
Pfizer will apply for emergency permission to distribute its covid-19 vaccine in the US and is ready to start shipping the shots within “hours” of getting a government green light, the firm said today. It is the first such application from any of the makers of covid-19 vaccines that are currently in development.
An expert committee charged with deciding which Americans should be first in line for a coronavirus vaccine met on Monday afternoon to discuss a number of questions before it votes — likely by mid-December — on final recommendations for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is working with more than 350 partners, including major airlines, shipping lines and logistics associations from around the world, to deliver COVID-19 vaccines to over 92 countries, as soon as doses become available, the agency said on Monday.
Psychological and Sociological Impact
This year might have forever changed shopping for American consumers, store workers and retailers. More of us are getting goods delivered, and we’re buying more cars, exercise equipment and ham and spending less on plane tickets and restaurant meals.
11 vital coronavirus research findings you should know about – AMA
Comprehensive health assessment three months after recovery from acute COVID-19 – Clinical Infectious Diseases
Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories
Since the summer, Moscow has conducted a global disinformation campaign aimed at both undermining vaccines produced in the West and promoting its own rival product, particularly to countries across the developing world, according to interviews with four national and European Union disinformation experts and a review of Kremlin-backed media outlets by POLITICO.