COVID-19 Update | February 19, 2021

COVID-19 News

COVID-19 Update | Febraury 19, 2021

February 19, 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 February 19, 2021. Notable advancements include:

  • Pfizer- BioNTech said that it is beginning clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant women, the first such trials to include expectant mothers in the U.S.
  • TheWorld Health Organization approved AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, widening access to the shot in the developing world.
  • The U.S. government has finalized orders for 200 million more vaccine doses from Moderna and Pfizer. The U.S. now has 600 million doses on order, enough to vaccinate 300 million Americans.

Recent News:

  • Pfizer to begin COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial in pregnant women
    NBC News – February 18, 2021
    Pfizer-BioNTech said that it is beginning clinical trials of its COVID-19 vaccine in pregnant women, the first such trials to include expectant mothers in the U.S.
  • Lab studies suggest Pfizer, Moderna vaccines can protect against COVID-19 variant
    CNN Health – February 17, 2021
    A new report published in the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine can protect people against concerning new coronavirus variants, including one first seen in South Africa called B.1.351.
  • D.C. Announces $200 Million ‘Down Payment’ to Track Virus Variants
    New York Times – February 17, 2021
    As lawmakers push for billions of dollars to fund the nation’s efforts to track COVID-19 variants, the Biden administration announced a new effort to ramp up this work, pledging nearly $200 million to better identify the emerging threats.
  • Treating COVID-19 long-haulers with Amgen’s sleeper heart drug Corlanor
    FiercePharma – February 16, 2021
    Researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) say they may have found a new market for Amgen’s heart drug: to treat COVID-19 “long haulers.” The team made the proposal after completing a small study of Corlanor in 22 patients with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), a disorder that some COVID-19 patients complain of for months after they’ve recovered from the virus.
  • WHO approves AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use
    NBC News – February 15, 2021
    The World Health Organization approved AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, widening access to the relatively inexpensive shot in the developing world.
  • Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine sharply reduces symptomatic COVID-19 in the real world, Israeli researchers say
    CNN – February 15, 2021
    Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine appears to reduce symptomatic COVID-19 infections by more than 90% in the real world, Israeli researchers. The findings, while preliminary, suggest that the vaccine remains remarkably effective in a mass vaccination campaign — outside the carefully controlled conditions of a clinical trial.
  • COVID-19: Blue Shield aims to speed up California vaccine rollout
    Mercury News – February 15, 2021
    Under a contract that gives it control over the state’s vaccine rollout, health insurance company Blue Shield intends to make it possible to vaccinate 3 million per week by March 1.
  • D.A. Agrees Moderna Can Increase Vaccine Supply in Each Vial
    New York Times – February 12, 2021
    The Food and Drug Administration has informed the drugmaker Moderna that it can put up to 40 percent more coronavirus vaccine into each of its vials, a simple and potentially rapid way to bolster strained supplies, according to people familiar with the company’s operations
  • US secures 200 million more vaccine doses from Pfizer, Moderna
    BioPharma Dive – February 12, 2021
    ​The U.S. government has finalized orders for 200 million more vaccine doses from Moderna and partners Pfizer and BioNTech, expanding by a third the supply under contract from the companies. All told, the U.S. now has 600 million doses on order from the drugmakers, enough to cover 300 million Americans with the two-shot vaccine regimens.
  • California releases demographic data on who’s getting coronavirus vaccines
    San Francisco Chronicle – February 12, 2021
    California released long-awaited data on the demographic breakdown of the state’s vaccination progress. The state’supdated vaccine information page now contains a searchable list of counties with data on how vaccines have been allocated across racial and ethnic groups, plus age and gender.
  • California shifts vaccine priorities again: People with health conditions are eligible next month
    CalMatters – February 12, 2021
    Californians with high-risk medical conditions will qualify for COVID-19 vaccines starting March 15, the state’s health secretary announced. Under the new guidelines, people ages 16 to 64 with serious health conditions — such as heart, lung or kidney disease, diabetes, cancer and weakened immune systems — or with disabilities will join older Californians and some essential workers beginning March 15.

Rely on California Biotechnology Foundation to monitor breaking news and provide updates on the latest advancements in COVID-19 diagnostics, vaccines and treatments.

Stay informed on the latest news and trends on the economic and health benefits of this industry by visiting the new CABiotech.org

If you have any questions about informational briefings contact California Biotechnology Foundation Executive Director Patty Cooper at (916)764-2434 or patty.cooper@cabiotech.org.