COVID-19 Update | December 3, 2021

COVID-19 News

COVID-19 Update | December 3, 2021

December 3, 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 3, 2021. Notable advancements include:

  • Pfizer said they are confident that their COVID-19 treatment pills are effective against the Omicron variant.
  • GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology’s COVID-19 antibody treatment could be effective against the Omicron variant, according to early lab studies.
  • Moderna Incanticipates having a COVID-19 booster shot targeting the Omicron variant tested and ready to file for U.S. authorization as soon as March.

​Recent News

  • We’ll know more soon about Omicron. Here’s how to interpret the coming flood of data
    STAT – December 3, 2021
    At some point in the next few weeks, scientists will start releasing data from lab experiments that can help illuminate just how much of a threat the Omicron variant poses to existing COVID-19 vaccines and our immunity. But there won’t be one clear conclusion reported at one time.
  • FDA advisers vote to recommend authorization of a pill to treat COVID-19
    CNN – December 2, 2021
    Advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration voted to recommend emergency use authorization of a pill made by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics to help treat COVID-19.
  • Glaxo Says Its COVID-19 Antibody Drug Is Likely Effective Against Omicron
    Wall Street Journal – December 2, 2021
    Early laboratory studies suggest that a COVID-19 antibody treatment developed by GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology is effective against the Omicron variant, the companies said, setting it apart from similar therapies that appear to work less well against the highly mutated strain.
  • Moderna says company could have Omicron booster ready in March
    Reuters – December 2, 2021
    Moderna Inc could have a COVID-19 booster shot targeting the Omicron variant tested and ready to file for U.S. authorization as soon as March, the company’s president said on Wednesday. Moderna President Stephen Hoge said he believes booster shots carrying genes specifically targeting mutations in the newly-discovered Omicron variant would be the quickest way to address any anticipated reductions in vaccine efficacy it may cause.
  • Data suggest third COVID-19 vaccine dose reduces infection, hospitalization
    University of Minnesota – December 1, 2021
    A third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 vaccine appears to counteract waning vaccine protection in the short term, according to a preliminary case-control analysis of more than 500,000 coronavirus tests published in the JAMA Internal Medicine.
  • Pfizer research head envisions a sprint to develop Omicron vaccine, if it’s needed
    STAT – November 30, 2021
    A top Pfizer executive says the company is hopeful that booster shots will provide sufficient protection against the Omicron variant — but has already envisioned a timeline for the development of a new vaccine if that’s not the case.
  • Pfizer CEO has ‘high level of confidence’ COVID-19 pill will be effective against omicron
    The Hill – November 29, 2021
    Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said Monday he has “a very high level of confidence” that his company’s COVID-19 treatment pills are effective against the omicron variant. Bourla said Pfizer could commit to delivering 80 million courses of Paxlovid, the COVID-19 treatment for which the company requested emergency use authorization earlier this month.
  • COVID-19 vaccine makers race to address omicron variant
    The Washington Post – November 29, 2021
    Vaccine makers are rushing to explore ways to tailor their COVID-19 shots to combat the newly identified omicron variant, which is prompting countries around the world to tighten restrictions to stop the spread. BioNTech and Pfizer, as well as Moderna, are working to understand what level of protection their vaccines offer and how to adapt them amid concern that the variant’s mutations may make it more transmissible and help it evade the body’s immune response.
  • Bank of antibodies against nasty viruses that’s proposed for Maryland aims to prevent next pandemic
    Baltimore Sun – November 29, 2021
    As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed more than 5 million lives, a group of researchers is working to get ahead of the next killer pathogen. They aim to identify and establish a bank of warrior antibodies in Maryland, close to the National Institutes of Health.

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].