COVID-19 Update | August 12, 2022
August 12, 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 August 12, 2022. Notable advancements include:
- A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds longer lasting immune responses in mix-n-match COVID-19 boosters.
- Pfizer and BioNTech will begin trials of their updated mRNA Covid-19 vaccine designed to protect against the newer BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants.
- Mix-n-match COVID boosters may produce more durable immunityUniversity of Minnesota – August 10, 2022A single-center study in JAMA Network Open finds longer-lasting humoral and cellular immune responses in US adults given a Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine booster rather than a Pfizer/BioNTech booster after receiving two doses of the Pfizer vaccine at least 6 months earlier.
- Stem cell therapy to be used in treatment of long COVID by Panacell BiotechLabiotech – August 10, 2022A biotech company says it will use natural killer (NK) cells, exosomes and brown adipose-derived stem cells as treatment of long COVID-19. NK cells are a type of immune cell that have granules or small particles that can kill tumor cells or those infected with a virus. Panacell Biotech said they can be used to treat those with terminal illness as well as those with long COVID-19 or post COVID-19 conditions.
- How does COVID-19 rebound after Paxlovid treatment differ between the BA.5 and BA.2.12.1 subvariants?News Medical Life Sciences – August 9, 2022 The present retrospective cohort research aimed to compare the risks of COVID-19 rebound in individuals who had SARS-CoV-2 infections during the BA.2.12.1 and BA.5 subvariant predominance phases in the US after receiving Paxlovid treatments. The study findings showed that the Omicron BA.5 group had higher rates of SARS-CoV-2 rebound infections and symptoms two to eight days following Paxlovid treatment than the propensity-score matched BA.2.12.1 group. The team noted that as SARS-CoV-2 evolves with consecutive subvariants increasingly resistant to antibodies, COVID-19 rebounds following Paxlovid treatment demands vigilant, continuous monitoring.
- Universal Vaccine Needed to Prevent Future COVID-19 Waves, Study SuggestsColumbia Mailman School of Public Health – August 9, 2022 Scientists at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health modelling transmission dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 variants find common characteristics related to transmissibility and immune evasion, according to a study in in South Africa published today in eLife. Their findings highlight the need for more proactive planning and preparedness for future variants of concern (VOCs), including the development of a universal vaccine that can block SARS-CoV-2 infection as well as prevent severe disease.
- New test may predict COVID-19 immunityMIT News – August 9, 2022 Most people in the United States have some degree of immune protection against COVID-19, either from vaccination, infection, or a combination of the two. But just how much protection does any individual person have? MIT researchers have now developed an easy-to-use test that may be able to answer that question. Their test, which uses the same type of “lateral flow” technology as most rapid antigen tests for COVID-19, measures the level of neutralizing antibodies that target the SARS-CoV-2 virus in a blood sample. Easy access to this kind of test could help people determine what kind of precautions they should take against COVID-19 infection, such as getting an additional booster shot, the researchers say.
- Vaccine Targeting Fast-Spreading Omicron Subvariants Could Be Ready For Fall As Pfizer, BioNTech Announce TrialsForbes – August 8, 2022 Pfizer and BioNTech will begin trials of their updated mRNA COVID-19 vaccine designed to protect against the newer BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants of the coronavirus latest this month, BioNTech announced, joining other vaccine makers like Moderna who are trying to create updated shots targeting the faster spreading and immune evasive variants.
- Under 60, healthy, vaccinated and boosted? ‘You’re in a pretty good place’ with COVID-19CNN Health – August 8, 2022 Data obtained by CNN from New York’s largest health-care provider indicates you’re very unlikely to become severely ill with COVID-19 if you’re under age 60, up to date on your COVID-19 vaccines and don’t have underlying health problems, backing up a government plan expected to be announced this week that will ease up on coronavirus restrictions. If you’re young, healthy and vaccinated, “you’re going to be in a pretty good place,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a vaccine adviser to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “You’re going to be well-protected.”
- COVID-19 vaccination increases antibodies in breast milk significantlyNews Medical Life Sciences – August 8, 2022 Breast milk consists of several immunoprotective factors which confer protection to the infant against infections. The current study confirmed the presence of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in breast milk that were capable of neutralizing both an early pandemic SARS-CoV-2 isolate as well as the Omicron variant. Notably, mRNA vaccination improved maternal immune responses and provided passive protection in newborns.
- Long-COVID treatments: why the world is still waitingNature – August 9, 2022A key barrier to developing long-COVID treatments has been uncertainty about the condition’s root cause. Over the past two years, a number of hypotheses have emerged as frontrunners, and researchers hope that insight into which ones are correct could help them to develop therapies. Evidence is mounting that lingering SARS-CoV-2 — or fragments of it — continues to cause trouble by stimulating the immune system. There are also signs that the infection generates antibodies that mistakenly attack the body’s own proteins, causing damage long after the initial illness. Researchers have found hints that COVID-19 could cause microscopic blood clots that block oxygen flow to tissues.
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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].