COVID-19 Update | April 1, 2022
April 1, 2022
The California Biotechnology Foundation is committed to keeping you up to date about COVID-19 testing, treatment and prevention advancements. The following resources track what progress has been made as of April 1, 2022. Notable advancements include:
- The Food and Drug Administration has authorized a fourth dose of Pfizer and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for everyone age 50 and older.
- Pfizer and Moderna boosters help protect Americans who received the single dose J&J vaccine according to new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.
- New research shows that certain drugs used to treat HIV may have a role in preventing COVID-19 infections.
- A New Federal Website Aims to Solve a Key COVID-19 Problem: Where to Get Antiviral PillsKQED – March 31, 2022 The search for COVID-19 vaccines, tests and treatments could get easier with the White House launch of COVID.gov, a website meant to be a one-stop-shop for everything from free high quality masks to antiviral pills. With the website launch, the White House is following through on a promise President Biden made in his State of the Union address. In that speech, he announced a test-to-treat program “so people can get tested at a pharmacy, and if they’re positive, receive antiviral pills on the spot at no cost.”
- Moderna ‘happy’ with results from its kids vaccine trial, but is it enough for the FDA?Politico – March 30, 2022 Moderna says it has gathered enough data in support of its COVID-19 vaccine for the youngest children. But it may not be enough for regulators to greenlight the shot for kids. Public health officials, pediatricians and infectious disease experts are split over whether the company’s trial results are sufficient for the Food and Drug Administration and its independent advisers, or whether they will want to see data on a third dose as they did with Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine for children under 5.
- CDC data suggests mRNA booster for J&J vaccine recipientsThe Hill – March 29, 2022 People who received the single-shot Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine are at higher risk of serious illness and hospitalization than those who received an mRNA vaccine, so they should seriously consider getting a booster dose of either Pfizer’s or Moderna’s shot, according to new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data. Health officials first allowed people to mix and match booster shots last fall, but there’s been very little data on the real-world effectiveness of different strategies.
- FDA authorizes fourth Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses for people age 50 and olderCNBC – March 29, 2022 The Food and Drug Administration has authorized fourth Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccine doses for everyone age 50 and older, amid uncertainty over whether an even more contagious version of Omicron will cause another wave of infection in the U.S. as it has in Europe and China. The FDA authorized a second Pfizer booster shot for people age 12 and older who have compromised immune systems, and a second Moderna booster for adults ages 18 and older with compromised immune systems. All of the new boosters are to be administered at least fourth months after the last shot.
- It’s not too late for new COVID-19 treatments to change the pandemicVox – March 28, 2022 In January, New York City launched a program to provide COVID-19 treatments to residents at high risk of being hospitalized or killed by the virus — delivered free, to their door. It was a potentially revolutionary moment in the pandemic’s trajectory, possible only because, at the close of 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration granted emergency authorization to the first two oral antiviral treatments people can take, at home upon COVID-19 diagnosis, before they get sick enough to be hospitalized. Paxlovid and molnupiravir, two therapeutic antivirals shown in studies to have varying levels of effectiveness in stunting COVID-19’s dangers for those most at risk, represent a new weapon against a devastating virus that not only spreads with unnerving ease, but also has proven so difficult to treat.
- New COVID-19 Spit Tests May Be More Accurate and Easier Than Nasal SwabsScientific American – March 28, 2022 COVID-19 testing has advanced rapidly since early in the pandemic when people had to get deep “brain tickling” nasal swabs at a doctor’s office and wait days for results. The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign (UIUC), Yale University, Rockefeller University and others have now independently developed an array of saliva-based tests.* These tests are less invasive, can be processed faster and, in some cases, are more sensitive than nasal-based assays.
- HIV drugs may lower COVID-19 risk; COVID-19 and flu co-infection raises risk of severe illness, deathReuters – March 28, 2022 The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to corroborate the findings and has yet to be certified by peer review. HIV drugs may curb COVID-19 risk. According to preliminary data, certain drugs used to treat HIV may have a role in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infections, which may help explain why people living with the condition have not appeared to be at higher risk for serious COVID-19 despite being generally more vulnerable to infections.
- COVID-19, flu an especially dangerous pairUniversity of Minnesota – March 28, 2022 Adult COVID-19 patients also infected with the flu are four times more likely to require mechanical ventilation and 2.4 times more likely to die than if they had COVID-19 alone, finds a UK study published late last week in The Lancet. In the largest study of patients with both COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses thus far, a team led by University of Edinburgh researchers studied the clinical outcomes of 583 adult COVID-19 patients also infected with flu viruses, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), or adenoviruses who were hospitalized.
- Drugmakers, scientists begin the hunt for long COVID treatments Reuters – March 25, 2022 After producing vaccines and treatments for acute COVID-19 in record time, researchers and drugmakers are turning to finding a cure for long COVID, a more elusive target marked by hundreds of different symptoms afflicting millions of people. Leading drugmakers, including those who have launched antiviral pills and monoclonal antibodies for COVID-19, are having early discussions with researchers about how to target the disease, five scientists in the United States and UK told Reuters.
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