COVID-19 Update | January 31, 2024
January 31, 2024
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 January 31, 2024. Notable advancements include:
- Researchers from the University of Michigan published more evidence that being vaccinated against COVID-19 significantly reduces the risk of developing long COVID-19.
- Bivalent COVID-19 vaccines help protect against COVID-19–related thromboembolic events, including strokes, embolisms, and heart attacks, more so than monovalent vaccines.
- Pfizer and BioNTech’s mRNA COVID-19 vaccine showed significant protection in children and adolescents during Delta and Omicron waves.
- Study confirms safety of COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy for infant neurodevelopment
News Medical & Life Sciences – January 24, 2024
In a recent study published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, researchers carried out a large cohort study to investigate the association, if any, between in-utero exposure to COVID-19 vaccination and subsequent neurodevelopmental delay in infants. The cohort comprised 2,261 and 1,940 babies ages 12 and 18 months, respectively, with the Ages and Stages Questionnaire used to assess neurodevelopment rates across five parameters. Mixed-effects logistic modeling of results failed to find significant differences between observed and expected neurodevelopmental rates, highlighting the safety of COVID-19 vaccines administered during pregnancy on the neurological health of offspring.
- Study: Vaccinated patients have lower risk of long COVID-19
Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy at University of Minnesota – January 24, 2024
Researchers from the University of Michigan published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases more evidence that being vaccinated against COVID-19 significantly reduces the risk of developing long COVID-19. The findings come from the Immunity Associated with SARS-CoV-2 (IASO) study, an ongoing prospective cohort study of employees and students of the University of Michigan which began in October of 2020. Participants completed weekly symptom and respiratory illness testing surveys. In the present study, 3,375 people participated in IASO and 81% of those eligible completed a long COVID-19 survey.
- Does Paxlovid prevent long COVID-19? Maybe, experts suggest
University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy – January 23, 2024
As the immediate threat of the COVID-19 pandemic has waned recently, a more complex legacy has emerged: Long COVID-19, or persistent symptoms following an acute infection, affects as many as 18 million Americans. Long-COVID-19 patients experience symptoms ranging from mild to debilitating, and they commonly include brain fog, fatigue, shortness of breath. With many unknowns regarding testing, treatment, or ways to prevent or predict the condition, researchers and clinicians have been exploring what medical agents, if any, can help reduce or limit post-COVID-19 symptoms.
- Innovative COVID-19 test prototype uses bioluminescence for speedier results
News Medical & Life Sciences – January 22, 2024
In a recent study published in ACS Central Science, researchers used a luciferase-independent luminescence test to investigate whether the wild-type severe acute respiratory syndrome COVID-19 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike (S) protein possesses pseudo-luciferase activity for Cypridina luciferin. Luciferin (luminescent substrate) and luciferase (enzyme) are crucial for bioluminescence (BL) detection, allowing for highly selective luminescence detection of target proteins and cells. Imidazopyrazinone-type (IPT) luciferin is found in many marine species, whereas Cypridina luciferase catalyzes Cypridina luciferin and coelenterazine (CTZ).
- Study finds blood changes in long COVID-19 patients
University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy – January 19, 2024
An analysis published in Science examined blood samples from patients with long COVID-19 and found significant serum protein changes, opening the door to developing biomarker-based tests to identify the condition. The protein changes suggest a significant alteration of the complement system, which results in the immune system remaining activated and inflamed after acute infection, the authors explained.
- Study: COVID-19 vaccine tied to lower risk of long COVID-19 in kids
University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy – January 16, 2024
A study today in the journal Pediatrics from researchers at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia suggests COVID-19 vaccines have a moderately protective effect in kids against long COVID-19. The authors of the retrospective study mined electronic health records from 17 healthcare systems to assess whether the vaccine protected children from long COVID-19, which has been less common in kids than in adults. The study began in October 2022.
- Large study finds COVID-19 vaccine reduces long COVID-19 in children
Medical Xpress – January 16, 2024
Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, reduces the risk of serious acute illness in children and adolescents. However, its role in protecting against persistent health problems in the months after COVID-19, or “long COVID-19,” was less clear. Now, researchers from 17 health systems in the U.S., in work led by investigators at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), have found that vaccination provides moderate protection against long COVID-19. Vaccination also has a stronger effect in adolescents, who have a higher risk of developing long COVID-19 than young children.
- Bivalent vaccines help prevent COVID-19-related stroke, heart attack, US data show
University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy – January 16, 2024
Bivalent (two-strain) COVID-19 vaccines help protect against COVID-19–related thromboembolic events, including strokes, embolisms, and heart attacks, more so than monovalent (one-strain) vaccines, according to a study today in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The study was based on outcomes seen among Medicare enrollees ages 65 and older and adults ages 18 years or older with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) receiving dialysis. Outcomes among those who had received a bivalent mRNA COVID-19 booster were compared to patients who had only the monovalent COVID-19 primary vaccine series.
- Immune dysregulation in long COVID-19 patients uncovered in new study
News Medical & Life Sciences – January 14, 2024
In a recent study published in the journal Nature Immunology, a team of scientists attempted to understand the etiology of long coronavirus disease (long COVID-19) using blood samples from patients with and without clear long COVID-19 clinical trajectories and examining the immunity against severe acute respiratory syndrome COVID-19 2 (SARS-CoV-2) through ‘omics’ approaches and serological assays. The spread and severity of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic have been controlled through concerted efforts worldwide to develop vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and vaccinate large portions of the global population.
- Studies examine different responses to SARS-CoV-2 variants
UT Southwestern Medical Center – January 12, 2024
Two studies led by a researcher at UT Southwestern Medical Center show the effects of different SARS-CoV-2 variants on lung tissue, revealing what may cause some COVID-19 infections to be more severe than others. The findings, published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, provide new perspectives that could advance treatments for COVID-19, which has been linked to millions of deaths worldwide since January 2020. In the first study, researchers investigated how specific SARS-CoV-2 variants affect lung tissue remodeling, which occurs as part of the body’s response to viral infections.
- COVID-19 vaccine performed well at preventing hospital illness in teens
University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy – January 11, 2024
Data on how well and how long mRNA COVID-19 vaccines protect adolescents from severe COVID-19 infections are scarce, but newly published findings from a large, matched cohort study from young people in four Nordic countries found high efficacy that lasted as long as a year. The study’s main focus was the impact of primary vaccination on hospitalizations at 6- and 12-month follow-up, but the researchers also looked at the effect on lab-confirmed infections. The team reported its findings yesterday in Pediatrics. The group also examined the effectiveness of the Moderna vaccine and the impact of mixed doses of Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna—called heterologous vaccination—for the primary schedule.
- Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine significantly protected children, adolescents during pandemic
Contemporary Pediatrics – January 11, 2024
Pfizer and BioNTech’s mRNA COVID-19 vaccine showed significant protection in children and adolescents during Delta and Omicron waves. The study, with longer follow-up than previous research, assessed vaccine effectiveness against various COVID-19 strains. During the Delta wave, vaccine efficacy against documented infection in adolescents was 98.4%, with no significant waning observed after the first dose. In the Omicron wave, vaccine efficacy for children was 74.3%, and for adolescents, it was 85.5% against infection, 84.8% against moderate or severe disease, and 91.5% against ICU admission.
- CureVac announces positive Phase II COVID-19 vaccine trial data
Clinical Trials Arena – January 8, 2024
Germany-based biopharmaceutical company Curevac has announced positive interim data from the Phase II study evaluating its COVID-19 mRNA vaccine candidates. The monovalent vaccine CV0601 showed a 5.0-fold increase in neutralizing antibodies against the Omicron BA/4-5 variant on day 29 post-booster when administered at a medium dose, surpassing the comparator vaccine’s 3.6-fold ratio.
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