COVID-19 Update | August 13, 2021
August 13, 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 August 13, 2021. Notable advancements include:
- The Food and Drug Administration has authorized extra vaccine doses for immunocompromised patients to bolster protection against COVID-19.
- The Delta variant, now makes up almost all new cases in the United States. Data shows that unvaccinated people are still much more likely to contract COVID-19 and far more likely to experience symptomatic diseases, while vaccines drastically reduce the risk of hospitalization and death from the virus.
- The World Health Organization announced its plan to study three potential treatments for COVID-19 patients in its existing trial that spans 52 countries. As part of the new phase in the trial, researchers will test the effects of three anti-inflammatory drugs among hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
- FDA authorizes extra vaccine doses for immunocompromised patients to bolster protection against COVID-19
Washington Post – August 13, 2021
Regulators took steps to shore up the defenses of millions of vulnerable Americans against COVID-19, authorizing extra doses of two widely used vaccines for some people with weakened immune systems. The action by the Food and Drug Administration means that additional shots could be available as soon as this weekend for patients who have received organ transplants or have certain types of cancer or other illnesses.
- F. teens are way ‘ahead of the curve’ on COVID-19 vaccinations. Here’s why
San Francisco Chronicle – August 13, 2021
San Francisco’s COVID-19 vaccination rates are strong across the board, but one group in particular stands out: teenagers. The most recent data shows 96% of 12-to-17-year-olds in San Francisco have gotten at least one vaccine dose. That group’s vaccination rate as of Aug. 11 was the second-highest in the city, topped only by 65- to 74-year-olds, 99.9% of whom had received at least one dose.
- See How Vaccines Can Make the Difference in Delta Variant’s Impact
New York Times – August 12, 2021
The Delta variant, the highly transmissible version of COVID-19 that now makes up almost all new cases in the United States, continues to drive a surge throughout the country, with average new cases topping 100,000 for the past week. The Delta variant’s dominance is new enough that authoritative data does not yet exist. However, the available data shows that unvaccinated people are still much more likely to contract COVID-19 and far more likely to experience symptomatic disease. At the same time, vaccines drastically reduce the risk of hospitalization and death from the virus.
- Fauci says everybody will likely need a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot eventually
CNBC – August 12, 2021
White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said everybody will someday “likely” need a booster shot of the COVID-19 vaccines. “We’re already starting to see indications of some diminution” in the durability of the vaccines, Fauci told “CBS This Morning.” However, he said it’s not likely that they will be widely administered any time soon. The priority, Fauci said, is to give boosters to people who have compromised immune systems, including those with cancer and transplanted organs.
- GigaGen Doses First Patient in Phase 1 Trial of Recombinant Hyperimmune Polyclonal Antibody for COVID-19
Yahoo! Finance – August 11, 2021
GigaGen Inc., a biotechnology company advancing transformative antibody drugs for infectious diseases, transplant rejection and checkpoint resistant cancers, and a subsidiary of Grifols, announced today the first patient has been dosed in its Phase 1 clinical trial of GIGA-2050, the company’s recombinant hyperimmune polyclonal antibody drug designed to provide passive immunity to COVID-19 patients.
- WHO to study three possible COVID-19 treatments
The Hill – August 11, 2021
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced its plan to study three potential treatments for COVID-19 patients in its existing trial that spans across 52 countries. As part of the new phase in the trial, researchers will test the effects of three anti-inflammatory drugs among hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The manufacturers of the drugs — artesunate, imatinib and infliximab — donated them to be studied for the trial. Ipca Laboratories’ artesunate has been used to treat severe malaria, Novartis’s imatinib for certain cancers and Johnson & Johnson’s infliximab for immune system diseases, including Crohn’s disease.
- Nearly 94,000 Kids Got COVID-19 Last Week. They Were 15% Of All New Infections
NPR – August 10, 2021
COVID-19 cases among children are rising at a time when the highly infectious delta variant is advancing across the United States at a rapid clip. New state-level data analyzed by The American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association shows that children accounted for roughly 15% of all newly reported COVID-19 infections across the nation for the week ending on August 5.
- COVID-19 in California: Vaccine advisers will meet on booster shots Friday
San Francisco Chronicle – August 9, 2021
Vaccine advisers will meet on booster shots Friday: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory group will convene to discuss the benefits of additional COVID-19 doses for those who are immunocompromised, according to a schedule released by the agency Monday. They will also host a public discussion on considerations for booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines for everyone else.
FDA Authorizes Antibody Treatment for COVID-19 Exposure: Here’s How It Works
Healthline – August 9, 2021
Officials at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have authorized a monoclonal antibody treatment from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals called REGEN-COV under an emergency use authorization. This treatment is for adults and children over age 12 exposed to COVID who might be at high risk of developing severe COVID-19.“It is reasonable to believe that REGEN-COV may be effective for use as post-exposure prophylaxis of COVID-19 in individuals who are at high risk for progression to severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death,” FDA officials said in a letter to the pharmaceutical company that makes the product.
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