COVID-19 Update | February 25, 2022

COVID-19 News

COVID-19 Update | February 25, 2022

February 25, 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 25, 2022. Notable advancements include:

  • Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline said they would seek regulatory approval for its COVID-19 vaccine after trials showed it provided a high level of protection against COVID-19.
  • AstraZeneca’s preventative drug treatment for COVID-19 infection is now available to over 7 million Americans who are immunocompromised.
  • Merck’s antiviral pill, molnupiravir, reduced the risk of COVID-19 hospitalization by 65 percent in a new study.

Recent News

  • GlaxoSmithKline, Medicago’s plant-based COVID-19 vaccine, Covifenz, wins first approval
    Fierce Pharma – February 24, 2022
    As Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline’s COVID-19 vaccine finally heads to regulators, another shot using GSK’s pandemic adjuvant has taken home its first global approval. Medicago’s recombinant COVID-19 vaccine, now dubbed Covifenz, has snagged a green light in Canada, the company’s home country. The shot uses a plant-based virus-like particles technology to mimic the coronavirus’ spike protein and is combined with GSK’s pandemic adjuvant.
  • A new COVID-19 vaccine shows 100 percent efficacy against severe disease and hospitalizations, its makers say.
    New York Times – February 23, 2022
    Two doses of a new COVID-19 vaccine that is based on a conventional approach achieved 100 percent efficacy against severe disease and hospitalizations, and it could be an effective booster after other COVID-19 shots, the vaccine’s manufacturers announced. The vaccine, made by the Europe-based pharmaceutical companies Sanofi and GSK, is one of four candidates that received billions of dollars for development from Operation Warp Speed.
  • COVID-19 pills are easier to find as the omicron surge subsides
    NBC News – February 23, 2022
    The supply of COVID-19 antiviral pills is picking up in the country, state health departments and physicians say, as drug companies like Pfizer churn out more of the treatments. In the initial weeks after their authorization late last year, the pills — hailed by some as a game-changer — were scarce and hard to come by. But now that the omicron surge has largely subsided and the supply of the drugs has increased, the pills are easier to access.
  • Drugmakers Sanofi and GSK to seek authorization for COVID-19 vaccine
    NBC News – February 23, 2022
    Drugmakers Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline said they will seek regulatory approval for a new COVID-19 vaccine after human trials showed it provided a high level of protection against the disease. Late-stage trials found that two doses of the vaccine were about 58 percent effective in preventing infection and 75 percent effective in preventing moderate to severe disease, the companies said in a statement. A separate study on the vaccine’s use as a booster showed that it “induced a significant increase in neutralizing antibodies,” they said.
  • AstraZeneca Drug to help protect immunocompromised people from COVID-19 available
    NBC Las Vegas – February 21, 2022
    Around 7 million Americans who are immunocompromised now have a drug to prevent COVID-19 infection. It’s a drug called Evusheld, and it’s now available in limited supply across the country and here in Southern Nevada. “Evusheild is an amazing drug,” said Dr. Rashid Chotani, the Global Medical Director for AshBritt-IEM Health. And it’s a drug that could mean a lot to Southern Nevadan Jessica Daniels who is immunocompromised and at high risk for COVID-19.
  • A fourth COVID-19 shot might be recommended this fall, as officials ‘continually’ look at emerging data
    CNN – February 21, 2022
    As the world approaches the second anniversary of the declaration of the COVID-19 pandemic by the World Health Organization, on March 11, more nations are rolling out — or are discussing the possibility of — fourth doses of coronavirus vaccine for their most vulnerable. In the United States, leading public health officials say they are “very carefully” monitoring if or when fourth doses might be needed.
  • Returning to Fox Business, Neil Cavuto credits vaccination with saving his life.
    New York Times – February 21, 2022
    Neil Cavuto, the veteran Fox Business host who has not appeared on the network for over a month, returned on Monday, telling viewers that his absence was because of COVID-19 pneumonia that sent him to an intensive-care unit “for quite a while. “It really was touch and go,” Mr. Cavuto said on his show “Cavuto: Coast to Coast” on Monday, adding, “Doctors say had I not been vaccinated at all, I wouldn’t be here.”
  • Got a COVID-19 Booster? You Probably Won’t Need Another for a Long Time
    New York Times – February 21, 2022
    As people across the world grapple with the prospect of living with the coronavirus for the foreseeable future, one question looms large: How soon before they need yet another shot? Not for many months, and perhaps not for years, according to a flurry of new studies. Three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine — or even just two — are enough to protect most people from serious illness and death for a long time, the studies suggest.
  • A COVID-19 pill from Merck showed more promise in reducing the risk of hospitalization in a recent study.
    New York Times – February 19, 2022
    The antiviral pill molnupiravir reduced the risk of COVID-19 hospitalization by 65 percent in a new study by Indian researchers that offered stronger results than previous research about the drug’s effectiveness. The study, led by a researcher at the Chennai Antiviral Research and Treatment Clinical Research Site, split 1,218 Indian adults infected with the coronavirus and experiencing mild symptoms into comparably sized groups. Only 1.5 percent of the group that received the pill required hospitalization, compared with 4.3 percent of the group that didn’t receive the pill.

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].