COVID-19 Update | April 9, 2021

COVID-19 News

COVID-19 Update | April 9, 2021

April 9, 2021

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 9, 2021. Notable advancements include:

  • Moderna has begun testing a booster vaccine against COVID-19 variants and is aiming to supply the booster shots by the end of 2021.
  • Pfizer and BioNTech have asked the Food and Drug Administration to greenlight its COVID-19 vaccine for use in children 12 to 15 years old, a late-stage trial showed the vaccine was highly effective in this age group.
  • SeveralCOVID-19 vaccines provide an effective defense against the Calfornia COVID-19 variants, according to new findings published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

​Recent News:

  • Pfizer asks to OK COVID-19 vaccine for younger teens
    Politico – April 9, 2021
    Pfizer and BioNTech have asked the Food and Drug Administration to greenlight its COVID-19 vaccine for use in children 12 to 15 years old, after the companies said a late-stage trial showed the vaccine was highly effective in this age group.
  • Moderna says its booster shot against COVID-19 variants is on the way
    The Hill – April 8, 2021
    The National Institutes of Health began testing a booster shot from Moderna against a variant first found in South Africa that has given scientists some cause for concern compared with other strains. The variant appears to be more contagious than previous strains and could possibly evade some of the protections generated by therapeutics and vaccines, although preliminary evidence has shown current vaccines provide an adequate degree of protection against variants.
  • COVID-19 vaccines work well against California variant, scientists say
    Los Angeles Times – April 7, 2021
    As the California COVID-19 variant continues to spread across the Golden State and beyond, new research suggests that several vaccines should continue to provide an effective defense against it. The findings, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, offer good reason for Californians to keep rolling up their sleeves as the vaccination campaign picks up steam across the state.
  • More Contagious Virus Variant Is Now Dominant in U.S., C.D.C. Chief Says
    New York Times – April 7, 2021
    A highly infectious variant of COVID-19 that was first identified in Britain has become the most common source of new infections in the United States, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. The worrisome development comes as officials and scientists warn of a possible fourth surge of infections.
  • Drugs Targeting Immune Response To COVID-19 Show Promise
    NPR – April 7, 2021
    Researchers are reporting some progress in their search for drugs that tamp down the overwhelming immune reaction that can kill a patient with COVID-19. These reactions are triggered by coronavirus infections and can veer out of control in some people. It’s this reaction, rather than the virus itself, that is the real peril for people seriously ill with COVID-19. Doctors last year recognized that a cheap and readily available steroid drug called dexamethasone can often rein in this overreaction, which is a form of inflammation.
  • 1 in 3 COVID-19 patients are diagnosed with a neuropsychiatric condition in the next six months, large study finds
    STAT – April 6, 2021
    Six months after being diagnosed with COVID-19, 1 in 3 patients also had experienced a psychiatric or neurological illness, mostly mood disorders but also strokes or dementia, a large new study shows. About 1 in 8 of the patients (12.8%) were diagnosed for the first time with such an illness, most commonly anxiety or depression.
  • Biden to move up COVID-19 vaccine eligibility for all adults to April 19
    Los Angeles Times – April 6, 2021
    President Biden is announced that he is shaving about two weeks off the May 1 deadline for states to make all adults eligible for COVID-19 vaccines. With states gradually expanding eligibility beyond such priority groups as older people and essential workers, the president plans to announce that every adult in the U.S. will be eligible by April 19 to be vaccinated, a White House official said.
  • New Long COVID-19 Treatments Borrow From Brain Rehab Tactics
    Wall Street Journal – April 5, 2021
    The newest patients in cognitive rehabilitation programs didn’t suffer concussions, traumatic brain injuries or strokes. They got COVID-19. Cognitive problems are some of the most persistent and common long-term symptoms that people struggle with months after getting COVID-19.
  • Pfizer’s Vizimpro is among 3 FDA-approved drugs that combat COVID-19 in lung cells: report
    FiercePharma – April 5, 2021
    Scientists at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine screened existing drugs in several cell types, including those that line human airways, to see whether they could inhibit SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.  Nine were particularly effective in respiratory cells, three of which are FDA-approved: Pfizer’s lung cancer drug Vizimpro (dacomitinib), the antibiotic salinomycin and cyclosporine, which is used to prevent rejection in patients receiving organ transplants.
  • Strategies for Finding a COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment — Now That Everyone 16+ Will Be Eligible April 15
    KQED – April 2, 2021
    Californians ages 50 and older are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. And they have two weeks to book appointments before the state opens up fuller eligibility to all people ages 16 and older, starting on April 15.

Rely on California Biotechnology Foundation to monitor breaking news and provide updates on the latest advancements in COVID-19 diagnostics, vaccines and treatments.

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If you have any questions about informational briefings contact California Biotechnology Foundation Executive Director Patty Cooper at (916)764-2434 or [email protected].