COVID-19 Update | March 18, 2022
March 18, 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 March 18, 2022. Notable advancements include:
- The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine appears to be safe in people previously diagnosed with myocarditis, according to a recent study.
- New data suggests that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is now preventing infections, hospitalizations and deaths, at least as well as other vaccines available in the U.S.
- Pfizer and BioNTech submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization of an additional booster dose of their COVID-19 vaccine for adults 65 and older.
- Moderna Seeks FDA Authorization for a Second Booster Dose of its coronavirus vaccine for all adults
Washington Post- March 17, 2022
Biotechnology company Moderna on Thursday asked the Food and Drug Administration to allow adults 18 and older to receive a second booster shot of the company’s mRNA vaccine amid concerns that immune protection from the vaccines wanes over time.
- Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine safe in people with prior myocarditis, study says
NBC News – March 17, 2022
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine appears to be safe in people previously diagnosed with myocarditis, according to a small study presented at a European medical conference. The findings, experts say, should help reassure people who previously experienced myocarditis that COVID-19 vaccination is safe. Myocarditis is an inflammatory heart condition with a number of causes, including viral and bacterial infections.
- Even with omicron, coronavirus vaccines have been enormously effective
The Washington Post – March 16, 2022
In a remarkable series of tweets, the Financial Times’s John Burn-Murdoch illustrated the dire situation in Hong Kong since the beginning of February. He contrasted its spike in cases with a similar increase in New Zealand — but then pointed out the wide divergence in the number of those cases that resulted in death. (Notice that he shifted the case totals to align with the increase in deaths, so his graphs depict cases still rising.) The difference? Vaccinations.
- Pfizer/BioNTech seek FDA authorization for fourth COVID-19 vaccine doses for people 65 and up
CNN – March 16, 2022
Pfizer and BioNTech submitted an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization of an additional booster dose of their COVID-19 vaccine for adults 65 and older who have gotten a booster dose of any of the authorized or approved vaccine, the companies said. The submission is based on two data sets from Israel. “Both data sets showed evidence that an additional mRNA booster increases immunogenicity and lowers rates of confirmed infections and severe illness,” the companies said in a news release.
- As Virus Data Mounts, the J.&J. Vaccine Holds Its Own
New York Times – March 15, 2022
Roughly 17 million Americans received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, only to be told later that it was the least protective of the options available in the United States. But new data suggest that the vaccine is now preventing infections, hospitalizations and deaths at least as well as the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.
- After Pandemic Success, Vir Looks for a Follow-Up
Bloomberg – March 15, 2022
Vir Biotechnology Inc. started five years ago with an unconventional plan to tackle infectious diseases, for which pharmaceutical companies had shown little interest in researching new medicines. The emergence of COVID-19 presented the San Francisco-based biotech with an opportunity to make good on its promise. It rapidly designed a monoclonal antibody therapy that worked after other new drugs failed.
- Inside the High-Stakes Race to Test the COVID-19 Tests
New York Times – March 15, 2022
When the pandemic hit two years ago, the United States faced an acute shortage of reliable COVID-19 tests. It was the nation’s first major pandemic failure, blinding health experts and the public to the spread of the coronavirus and allowing the pathogen to spread across the country unchecked. And for much of 2020, getting tested required waiting hours just to be swabbed and a week or longer for results. Now, hundreds of millions of rapid, at-home tests are pouring into the American market every month.
- Which COVID-19 Vaccine Will Work in the Youngest Children?
New York Times – March 14, 2022
Over the past 10 months, as tens of millions of children and teenagers received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the companies’ main rival, Moderna, sat on the sidelines, its shot limited to adults. But Moderna may now be poised for a comeback at a critical juncture in the nation’s vaccination campaign. The company is expected to send federal officials initial data this week on how well its coronavirus vaccine works for the nation’s youngest children.
- A 4th dose of COVID-19 vaccine will be needed, Pfizer’s CEO says, but the company is working on a shot to handle all variants
CNN – March 13, 2022
To help fend off another wave of COVID-19, people will need a fourth dose of vaccine, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CBS. “Many variants are coming, and Omicron was the first one that was able to evade — in a skillful way — the immune protection that we’re giving,” Bourla told CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “The protection we are getting from the third (dose) it is good enough — actually quite good for hospitalizations and deaths,” Bourla said. But protection after three doses is “not that good against infections” and “doesn’t last very long” when faced with a variant like Omicron.
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].