COVID-19 Update | February 18, 2022

COVID-19 News

COVID-19 Update | February 18, 2022

February 18, 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 February 18, 2022. Notable advancements include:

  • Vaccinating pregnant women against COVID-19 may help prevent COVID-19 hospitalizations in infants after they are born, especially if the expecting mothers got the shots later in their pregnancy.
  • The Food and Drug Administration gave emergency authorization to Eli Lilly’s COVID-19 monoclonal antibody drug that has been proven to be potent against the Omicron variant of COVID-19.
  • New COVID-19 treatments are changing how hospitals and healthcare workers can combat COVID-19, and as a result, are seeing more positive patient outcomes as a result.

Recent News

  • Moderna eyes COVID booster by August, not clear yet if Omicron-specific needed
    Reuters – February 17, 2022
    An Omicron-specific booster could be ready by August, the CEO of U.S. biotech firm Moderna told Reuters, but the firm is still gathering clinical data to determine whether that vaccine would offer better protection than a new dose of the existing jab. Moderna chief executive Stephane Bancel said in an interview the company aimed to have a booster ready by August 2022, before next autumn when he said more vulnerable people may need it.
  • Moderna CEO says it’s ‘reasonable’ to think the pandemic may be in its final stages
    CNBC – February 16, 2022
    Moderna’s CEO Stephane Bancel said it is “reasonable” to assume that we may be approaching the final stages of the pandemic. “I think there’s an 80% chance that as Omicron evolves or SarsCov-2 virus evolves,  we are going to see less and less virulent viruses,” he told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Asia.” He said there’s another “20% scenario where we see a next mutation, which is more virulent than Omicron.”
  • What’s Going On With Vaccines for Kids Under 5?
    New York Times – February 16, 2022
    Keeping young children safe has been an exhausting exercise for parents throughout the coronavirus pandemic. And many parents are eager to get their littlest ones vaccinated, said Dr. Langlois, who is a pediatrician at the University of Michigan Health C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and who has two young children, one of whom is under 5.
  • COVID-19: How new drugs are finally taming the virus
    BBC News – February 16, 2022
    At the start of the pandemic there were no drugs for COVID-19. In April 2020, I stood in a COVID-19 intensive care ward while a doctor, in full PPE, told me they had nothing but oxygen to treat critically ill patients. I watched patient after patient on ventilators being turned on to their fronts to help their lungs take in oxygen. It’s a deeply troubling memory that will always remain with me. Now things have changed enormously.
  • COVID-19 is here to stay. We now have a tool kit to live with it.
    Washington Post – February 15, 2022
    When the pandemic began, the medical tool box was empty. There were no COVID-19 vaccines, no treatments, not even tests to tell who was infected and who was not. For the past two years, scientists and doctors have been building and expanding an arsenal. None of these tools are silver bullets. They can’t eliminate COVID-19. But together, they can help turn the virus into a manageable risk, allowing people to hug relatives, go to the movies and travel without fear.
  • COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy helps protect babies after birth – U.S. study
    Reuters – February 15, 2022
    Vaccinating pregnant women against COVID-19 may help prevent COVID-19 hospitalizations in infants after they are born, especially if the expecting mothers got the shots later in their pregnancy, U.S. researchers reported. The findings shed light on whether the benefits of vaccination during pregnancy extend to infants who would be too young to receive vaccines.
  • Antiviral drug combo may be effective against COVID-19
    Medical News Daily – February 15, 2022
    Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania identified a combination of antiviral drugs they believe to be effective against COVID-19. The combination includes the experimental drug brequinar with either the approved drug remdesivir or the approved drug molnupiravir. The research group has so far only tested the drug combination in human respiratory cells and mice. Scientists plan for further research exploring other drug combinations and testing through clinical trials.
  • D.A. Clears COVID-19 Drug From Eli Lilly That Shows Promise Against Omicron
    New York Times – February 11, 2022
    With COVID-19 treatments still in short supply in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration gave emergency authorization to a new monoclonal antibody drug that has been found in the laboratory to be potent against the Omicron variant of the COVID-19. The Biden administration said it would make the therapy immediately available to states free of charge.
  • ACatechol receives NSF Grant in the fight against COVID-19
    50% of COVID-19 deaths are attributable to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) from secondary healthcare-acquired infections. ACatechol has developed a new class of innovative antifouling coatings by integrating the surface modification technique of silanization with powerful gemini-surfactant technology, which in pilot studies displays high levels of both hydrophilicity and resistance to bacterial colonization.

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].