COVID-19 Update | July 30, 2021
July 30, 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 30, 2021. Notable advancements include:
- AstraZeneca said that it intends to seek U.S. authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine in the second half of this year.
- Health officials urge fully vaccinated Californians to resume wearing masks in indoor public settings amid the latest sustained and significant COVID-19 surge.
- Pfizer is developing an oral COVID-19 treatment, giving the world an easy-to-use, targeted treatment potentially by year’s end.
- AstraZeneca to seek U.S. approval of COVID-19 vaccine by end of the year
NBC News – July 29, 2021
AstraZeneca said that it intends to seek U.S. authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine in the second half of this year, offering a new timetable for the much-delayed application. The Anglo-Swedish drugmaker announced the schedule as it released second-quarter financial results, which showed that the company and its sub-licensees delivered more than 700 million doses of the vaccine to over 170 countries in the first half of this year.
- Experts turn to antibody treatment following swarm of breakthrough COVID-19 infections
ABC News – July 29, 2021
While authorized vaccines have proven safe and effective in holding the line against COVID-19, they are not 100% effective. Reports of uncommon breakthrough cases among fully vaccinated Americans, coupled with the delta variant tearing through the country, threaten to undermine the fiercely fought wins against the pandemic.
- California sees small boost in vaccinations but needs much more
Los Angeles Times – July 29, 2021
With California’s summer COVID-19 surge worsening, officials are unveiling new rules, redoubling efforts to get more people to wear masks and even employing some pointed remarks as part of an urgent campaign to boost vaccinations and slow the rapid spread of the highly infectious Delta variant. The state urged everyone — even those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 — to wear masks indoors while in public, joining a renewed national push to increase protection amid an ongoing spike in cases.
- Pfizer authorizes $1 billion for oral COVID-19 treatment, CEO says
Yahoo Finance – July 28, 2021
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla is betting big on repeating the success of its COVID-19 vaccine with an experimental oral treatment — and he’s putting the company’s money where its mouth is. Bourla told Yahoo Finance the company is committing $1 billion to develop the oral treatment — a protease inhibitor — which would give the world an easy-to-use, targeted treatment, hopefully by year’s end.
- Efficacy of Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine slips to 84% after six months, data show
STAT – July 28, 2021
The efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech fell from 96% to 84% over six months, according to data released. This decline could fuel Pfizer’s case that a third dose will eventually be required. The data, released in a preprint that outside scientists have not reviewed, suggest the vaccine was 91% effective overall at preventing COVID-19 over the course of six months.
- The FDA Extends The Expiration Date On Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 Vaccine To 6 Months
NPR – July 28, 2021
Federal health regulators again extended the expiration dates on Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine, providing health workers with six more weeks to use millions of doses of the shot. The Food and Drug Administration said in a letter to J&J that the shots remain safe and effective for at least six months when properly stored and refrigerated. It’s the second time the FDA has extended the shelf life on the vaccines since June, when the agency said they could be used for up to 4 1/2 months.
- With COVID-19 surge worsening, California urges wearing masks indoors
Los Angeles Times – July 28, 2021
Health officials are urging fully vaccinated Californians to resume wearing masks in indoor public settings amid the latest sustained and significant COVID-19 surge. “The Delta variant has caused a sharp increase in hospitalizations and case rates across the state. We are recommending masking in indoor public places to slow the spread while we continue efforts to get more Californians vaccinated,” Dr. Tomás Aragón, director of the California Department of Public Health and state public health officer, said in a statement Wednesday.
- FDA asks Pfizer, Moderna to test their vaccines in more children to help rule out safety issues
Washington Post – July 26, 2021
Federal regulators have requested that vaccine companies expand their trials to test COVID-19 shots in several thousand school-aged children before seeking authorization — a move intended to assess whether a rare inflammation of the heart muscle that has been seen in young adults shortly after vaccination is more common in younger age groups.
- Mixed AstraZeneca-Pfizer Vaccine Boosts COVID-19 Antibody Levels, Korea Study Finds
Forbes – July 26, 2021
A new study out of South Korea found that taking an AstraZeneca vaccine shot followed by a Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shot boosted COVID-19 antibody levels six times more than receiving two Astra-Zeneca doses, as some governments around the world are giving the green light to mix COVID-19 vaccine shots for extra protection against the virus.
- Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine’s benefits still outweigh risks, CDC data show
CNN – July 22, 2021
The benefits of the Johnson & Johnson Janssen COVID-19 vaccine still outweigh potential risks, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Many hospitalizations, ICU admissions and deaths can be prevented through Janssen and mRNA COVID-19 vaccines, far outweighing the risks,” CDC researcher Dr. Hannah Rosenblum told the agency’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices in a meeting.
- CDC recommends the vaccinated wear masks in areas with low vaccination rates
NBC News – July 27, 2021
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance recommending indoor mask use in areas with high transmission rates after new data suggested fully vaccinated individuals are not just contracting COVID-19 but could potentially infect others. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said recent studies had shown that those vaccinated individuals who do become infected with COVID-19 have just as much viral load as the unvaccinated, making it possible for them to spread the virus to others. Based on that finding, Walensky said the CDC is also recommending that all school children wear masks in the fall.
- California’s new vaccination proof requirement: What you need to know
Los Angeles Times – July 26, 2021
With COVID-19 surging in California, state officials are taking another big step aimed at slowing the spread. Those who work for the state of California, or in public or private healthcare settings, soon will be required to show proof they’ve been vaccinated against COVID-19. If they aren’t vaccinated, or decline to show such documentation, they’ll have to be tested for infection regularly.
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