COVID-19 Update | December 10, 2021

COVID-19 News

COVID-19 Update | December 10, 2021

December 10, 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 December 10, 2021. Notable advancements include:

  • The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster vaccines for 16- and 17-Year-Olds clearing the way for millions of teenagers to receive an additional shot.
  • Pfizer and BioNTech said a booster shot of their COVID-19 vaccines offers protection against the omicron variant according to a new study.
  • The FDA authorized the use of AstraZeneca‘s antibody treatment to prevent COVID-19 infections in individuals with weakened immune systems.

Recent News

  • US expands Pfizer’s COVID-19 booster jab to 16- and 17-year-olds
    New York Times – December 9, 2021
    Federal regulators authorized booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for another swath of the population, 16- and 17-year-olds, at least six months after they received their second shot of that vaccine. The move clears the way for several million teenagers to receive an additional shot.
  • S. FDA authorizes use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 antibody treatment 
    Reuters – December 8, 2021
    The FDA authorized the use of AstraZeneca’s antibody treatment to prevent COVID-19 infections in individuals with weak immune systems or a history of severe side effects from COVID-19 vaccines. The antibody drug treatment, Evusheld, is only authorized for adults and adolescents who are not currently infected with COVID-19  and have not recently been exposed to an infected individual.
  • Pfizer, BioNTech vaccine neutralizes Omicron with three shot
    Reuters – December 8, 2021
    BioNTech and Pfizer said a three-shot course of their COVID-19 vaccine was able to neutralize the new Omicron variant in a laboratory test, an early signal that booster shots could be key to protection against infection from the newly identified variant.
  • COVID Booster Cuts Death Rate by 90%, Study Finds
    Health Day – December 8, 2021
    Booster doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine set recipients up to effectively withstand the ravages of both the Delta and Omicron variants, a group of new studies suggest. Boosted folks are 90% less likely to die from a Delta infection than people relying solely on the initial two-dose vaccination, Israeli data show.
  • Early studies suggest omicron is formidable — but not unstoppable
    Washington Post – December 8, 2021
    The Omicron variant can slip past a shield of protection provided by the standard two-shot vaccine regimen. But the studies, including one released by Pfizer and its vaccine partner BioNTech, point to a potential path for slowing omicron’s march: Booster shots could help control the variant by raising virus-fighting antibodies high enough to block the pathogen.
  • D.A. Authorizes Eli Lilly Antibody Treatment for Youngest COVID-19 Patients
    New York Times – December 7, 2021
    The Food and Drug Administration authorized Eli Lilly’s monoclonal antibody treatment for infants and children under age 12 with COVID-19 who are at high risk of becoming severely ill from the virus because they have a condition such as obesity or diabetes. Previously, high-risk COVID-19 patients 12 or older had been eligible to get the drugs, which are typically administered intravenously at a clinic or hospital and have been shown to lower the risk of hospitalization and death.
  • First plant-based coronavirus vaccine shows ‘positive’ results, say GlaxoSmithKline and Medicago
    Washington Post – December 7, 2021
    Pharmaceutical companies Medicago and GlaxoSmithKline announced “positive efficacy and safety results” from a global trial using what they say is the world’s first plant-based COVID-19 vaccine. The late-stage trial, which studied 24,000 adults across six countries, found that the overall efficacy rate of the vaccine candidate was 71 percent, rising to 75.3 percent against “COVID-19 of any severity for the globally dominant Delta variant.”
  • Glaxo Says Its COVID-19 Antibody Drug Works Against Omicro
    Wall Street Journal – December 7, 2021
    GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology said their COVID-19 antibody treatment retained effectiveness against the Omicron variant in laboratory studies, even as early data suggests that similar treatments work less well against the highly mutated strain. The results provide hope that at least one monoclonal antibody therapy will remain effective against Omicron, which has been detected in dozens of countries.
  • First lab results show omicron has ‘much more extensive escape’ from antibodies than previous variants
    Washington Post – December 7, 2021
    The first in-depth laboratory study of the omicron variant of the coronavirus offers a mixed bag of bad news and good news. The bad: This variant is extremely slippery. That means people who previously recovered from a bout of COVID-19 could be reinfected. And people who have been vaccinated could suffer breakthrough infections. The study, released Tuesday, found that even if the power of vaccines is diminished in the face of omicron, there’s still some protection afforded against the virus.

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].