COVID-19 Update | July 16, 2021

COVID-19 News

COVID-19 Update | July 16, 2021

July 16, 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 July 16, 2021. Notable advancements include:

  • Pfizer has indicated that a third dose of its vaccine may be needed within six to 12 months after full vaccination, as initial immunity wanes and new and more aggressive variants of COVID-19 continue to spread.
  • The Biden administration announced that it is starting a program to develop next-generation antiviral therapies—not just for COVID-19 but also for other viruses that pose a future threat.

​Recent News

  • Early Heparin Treatment Linked to Lower COVID-19 Mortality
    Medscape – July 16, 2021
    Early treatment with low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) reduces the risk for death in patients with COVID-19, a retrospective cohort study shows. Some guidelines have suggested heparin as a treatment for hospitalized COVID patients, but few have looked at nonhospitalized patients.
  • What’s New With Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine?
    Forbes – July 15, 2021
    Pfizer has indicated that a third dose of its vaccine may be needed within six to 12 months after full vaccination, as initial immunity wanes and as new and more aggressive variants of COVID-19 continue to spread. The company says that it has preliminary data to prove that an additional dose of its original mRNA vaccine would “preserve the highest levels of protective efficacy.”
  • Sacramento County Recommends That Fully Vaccinated People Mask Up Again As Cases And Delta Variant Surge
    CBS Sacramento – July 15, 2021
    Sacramento residents are once again being asked to mask up indoors as the county’s COVID-19 case rate increases and the Delta variant surges. The Sacramento County Public Health Officer recommended that fully vaccinated people should once again start wearing a face mask indoors in settings where vaccination verification is not required.
  • The expanding world of RNA therapies
    BioPharma Dive – July 15, 2021
    Genetic messenger molecules power the COVID-19 vaccines developed by BioNTech and Moderna, training the body’s immune system to detect and defend against disease and infection. Known as messenger RNA, the molecules have for years been the focus of intense research and development efforts by drugmakers, drawing attention well before the spectacular successes of the two mRNA vaccines.
  • There Are Few Good COVID-19 Antivirals, but That Could Be Changing
    Scientific American – July 15, 2021
    Doctors want to give pills that infected people can take conveniently at home when symptoms first appear. Toward that end, the Biden administration announced in June that it would spend more than $3 billion on a program aimed at developing next-generation antiviral therapies—not just for COVID but also for other viruses that pose a future threat.
  • This ‘super antibody’ for COVID-19 fights off multiple coronaviruses
    Nature – July 14, 2021
    Scientists have uncovered an antibody that can fight off not only a wide range of COVID-19  variants, but also closely related coronaviruses. The discovery could aid the quest to develop broad-ranging treatments and vaccines. Tyler Starr, a biochemist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, and his co-authors set out to shed light on a problem facing antibody treatments for COVID-19: some variants of COVID have acquired mutations that enable the virus to escape the antibodies’ grasp.
  • Post-vaccination Infections Come in 2 Different Flavors
    The Atlantic – July 13, 2021
    The first thing to know about the COVID-19 vaccines is that they’re doing exactly what they were designed and authorized to do. Since the shots first started their rollout late last year, rates of COVID-19 disease have taken an unprecedented plunge among the immunized. We are, as a nation, awash in a glut of spectacularly effective vaccines that can, across populations, geographies, and even SARS-CoV-2 variants, stamp out the most serious symptoms of disease.
  • Coronavirus Today: Where are the COVID-19 treatments?
    Los Angeles Times – July 13, 2021
    COVID-19 vaccines have made it possible for us to return to an almost normal life. With case numbers at levels not seen since March 2020, it’s tempting to think that the threat of serious illness is behind us.But it’s not. Thousands of new coronavirus infections are being reported in the U.S. each day, and more than 2,500 COVID-19 patients are being admitted to hospitals every day, on average. It’s too late for vaccines to help these people. What they need is treatments.
  • A simple blood test to check if you’re a COVID-19 long hauler could launch within 6 months, researchers say
    Business Insider – July 12, 2021
    Researchers are developing a simple blood test that could tell you whether you’re a COVID-19 long-hauler. The test could be ready within six months, they said. The test works by looking for “autoantibodies,” which mistakenly attack the body’s cells. Danny Altmann, professor of immunology at Imperial College London, and his team found these autoantibodies in the blood from people with “long COVID,” but not in people whose symptoms resolved or who had never caught the virus.
  • Pfizer to seek OK for 3rd vaccine dose; shots still protect
    Associated Press – July 8, 2021
    Pfizer is about to seek U.S. authorization for a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine, saying that another shot within 12 months could dramatically boost immunity and maybe help ward off the latest worrisome coronavirus mutant. Research from multiple countries shows the Pfizer shot and other widely used COVID-19 vaccines offer strong protection against the highly contagious delta variant, which is spreading rapidly around the world and now accounts for most new U.S. infections.

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].