COVID-19 Update | March 19, 2021
March 19, 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 March 19, 2021. Notable advancements include:
- Johnson & Johnson is working on several next-generation versions of its COVID-19 vaccine that may be needed to bolster protection against some of the variants that have emerged.
- Takeda Pharmaceutical and IDT Biologika announced that they have agreed to manufacture the single-shot COVID-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson.
- Two clinical trials from Vir Biotechnology and Eli Lilly suggest that specific antibody treatments can prevent deaths and hospitalizations among people with mild or moderate COVID-19 and cut the risk of hospitalization and death by 87%.
- COVID-19 Variant Vaccines in Works at Johnson & Johnson
Wall Street Journal – March 18, 2021
Johnson & Johnson is working on several next-generation versions of its COVID-19 vaccine that may be needed to bolster protection against some of the coronavirus variants that have emerged.
- Roche launches new COVID-19 test for tracking emerging mutations
Fierce Biotech – March 18, 2021
Roche launched a new COVID-19 test to help researchers monitor emerging variants and track mutations in the coronavirus’s genome that may make the disease more contagious or more deadly.
- Top Research Scientists Suggest Needle-Free COVID-19 Vaccines Are on the Way
Biospace – March 18, 2021
Top research scientists said better vaccines for COVID-19 may soon be on the way by the end of 2021. Between six and eight new COVID-19 vaccines may enter regulatory review by the end of this year, the scientists said, and some of these vaccines don’t require needles and can also be stored at room temperature.
- When will California get more COVID-19 vaccines? Here’s what we know
Los Angeles Times – March 17, 2021
Supplies of COVID-19 vaccines in California continue to be in short supply as millions more people became eligible for it this week. But officials said they are hopeful that more vaccine is coming and that California could soon loosen eligibility rules and allow even more people to get shots.
- Some Long Covid Patients Feel Much Better After Getting the Vaccine
New York Times – March 17, 2021
Scientists are only beginning to study any potential effect of vaccines on long Covid symptoms. Anecdotes run the gamut: Besides those who report feeling better after the shots, many people say they have experienced no change and a small number say they feel worse.
- California’s new COVID-19 strain reduces immune respons
Mercury News – March 17, 2021
California’s more infectious strain of the COVID-19 virus is now the dominant variant in the state and has been proven to thwart protective antibodies used in vaccines and therapeutics, according to a new UC San Francisco study.
- Novavax Covid-19 Vaccine Performs Well In Clinical Trials, But Variants Remain A Threat
Forbes – March 16, 2021
Novavax reported that its experimental COVID-19 vaccine is more than 96 percent effective in preventing mild and severe illness according to results from a Phase 3 clinical trial and will seek FDA and international approval in the coming weeks. The new candidate uses a mechanism to prompt immune responses that are different from vaccines already in circulation, but remains effective against the virus’s non-variant forms.
- Moderna Gives First Vaccine Shots To Young Kids As Part Of COVID-19 Study
NPR – March 16, 2021
Children have now received their first doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, as the company studies the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine for kids ages 6 months to less than 12 years old. In the study, researchers will give two injections 28 days apart of either the Moderna or a saline placebo to children.
- COVID-19 Antibody Treatments Show Promise for Preventing Severe Disease
Scientific American – March 16, 2021
Two clinical trials suggest that specific antibody treatments can prevent deaths and hospitalizations among people with mild or moderate COVID-19, particularly those at high risk of developing severe disease. One study found that an antibody against the coronavirus developed by Vir Biotechnology in San Francisco, California, and GSK, reduced the chances of hospitalization or death among participants by 85%.
- Takeda and IDT Support Manufacturing of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 Vaccine
Takeda – March 15, 2021
Takeda Pharmaceutical and IDT Biologika announced that they have agreed to a mutual agreement to manufacture the single-shot COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.
- BioNTech Recruits Rivals to Boost COVID-19 Vaccine Production
Wall Street Journal – March 13, 2021
BioNTech, a German company that joined with Pfizer Inc. to manufacture and distribute its vaccine, has marshaled an alliance of 13 companies, including Novartis, Merck and Sanofi, in an effort to meet—and perhaps exceed—an ambitious target of making two billion doses of vaccine this year.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.