COVID-19 Update | March 26, 2021

COVID-19 News

COVID-19 Update | March 26, 2021

March 26, 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 26, 2021. Notable advancements include:

  • Pfizer and Moderna plan to enroll children in the U.S. and Canada to study the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness in children ages six months to less than 12 years old, a significant step in turning back the pandemic.
  • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals’ antibody treatment significantly reduced the rate of COVID-19 hospitalization or death in a large clinical trial. The treatment appeared to work just as well at half the dose currently in use which could effectively double the available supply.
  • Governor Newsom announced that California residents who are at least 50 years old can get a COVID-19 vaccine starting April 1, and all California adults will be eligible starting April 15.

Recent News:

  • All California adults can get COVID-19 vaccine next month
    Los Angeles Times – March 25, 2021
    California is dramatically expanding the eligibility for COVID-19 vaccines, offering the shots to virtually all residents beginning next month, the state announced. Residents who are at least 50 years old can get vaccines starting April 1, and all California adults will be eligible starting April 15. State officials said the dramatic move is based on expected increases in vaccine supply.
  • Pfizer Begins Testing Its Vaccine in Children
    New York Times – March 25, 2021
    Pfizer has begun testing its COVID-19 vaccine in children under 12, a significant step in turning back the pandemic. Results from the trial are expected in the second half of the year, and the company hopes to vaccinate younger children early next year, said Sharon Castillo, a spokeswoman for the pharmaceutical company. Moderna also is beginning a trial of its vaccine in children six months to 12 years of age.
  • Merck Could Transform the Fight Against COVID-19
    Bloomberg – March 25, 2021
    Merck is conducting clinical trials of the antiviral drug molnupiravir which can give doctors an important new treatment and a weapon against coronaviruses and future pandemics. Data from Merck’s Phase II/III trials is expected in late March.
  • Regeneron joins Lilly in proving lower-dose antibody drugs can thwart COVID-19
    BioPharma Dive – March 24, 2021
    Regeneron said a lower dose of its antibody cocktail effectively protected trial participants from the worst outcomes from COVID-19 in a new study, a finding that may help the company increase supplies and reach more high-risk patients before they are hospitalized.
  • The Next Trick: Pulling COVID-19 Out of Thin Air
    New York Times – March 24, 2021
    Thermo Fisher Scientific’s AerosolSense Sampler, is now publicly available. The device, the company says, can be used to detect a variety of airborne pathogens, including the coronavirus. It could be deployed in hospitals, offices, schools and other buildings to monitor for signs of the virus as society begins to reopen.
  • Bioscience firm with COVID-19 test expands in Silicon Valley
    East Bay Times – March 24, 2021
    A fast-expanding life sciences firm with a new COVID test has found more elbow room in Silicon Valley with a new lease. Talis Biomedical has leased space in the Redwood LIFE office park in Redwood City. Talis Biomedical says it has a rapid and accurate testing system to detect SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Risk of COVID-19 very low in vaccinated medical workers: study
    University of Minnesota CIDRAP – March 24, 2021
    COVID-19 infection was very low in a cohort of vaccinated California healthcare workers (HCWs) amid a surge of new cases, according to a research letter yesterday in the New England Journal of Medicine. University of California researchers evaluated COVID-19 infection rates in 36,659 HCWs on the San Diego and Los Angeles campuses vaccinated with at least one dose of the Moderna or Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from Dec 16, 2020, to Feb 9, 2021.
  • Pfizer begins early stage clinical trial testing oral antiviral drug for COVID-19
    CNBC – March 23, 2021
    Pfizer has begun an early stage clinical trial of an experimental oral antiviral drug for COVID-19. The New York-based company said the phase one trial of the drug – called PF-07321332 – is being conducted in the United States.
  • Trial looking at mixing-and-matching different COVID vaccines could be game-changer
    CBS – March 23, 2021
    Oxford University is conducting the first COVID-19 vaccine trial of its kind, and scientists say the results could revolutionize the future of vaccine distribution while also offering the most powerful weapon yet against emerging coronavirus variants. The scientists behind the Oxford University-led trial are very deliberately mixing things up — testing not just one vaccine but combining doses of two different drugs to see what happens.
  • AstraZeneca, Oxford vaccine prevents COVID-19 in big US study
    BioPharma Dive – March 23, 2021
    A COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford was strongly protective against COVID-19 in the partners’ largest study yet, a significant finding for a shot that has been mired in controversy but could still play a crucial role.
  • J&J plant authorization clears way for big boost in U.S. COVID-19 shots
    Reuters – March 23, 2021
    A large plant being used to manufacture Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine was cleared by U.S. regulators, setting the stage for the weekly U.S. supply to surge more then 20 percent. About 27 million COVID-19 vaccine doses will be allocated to U.S. states and other localities this week, including 4 million from J&J, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.
  • Regeneron’s COVID-19 antibody slashes hospitalization rates
    STAT – March 22, 2021
    An antibody drug from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals significantly reduced the rate of COVID-19 hospitalization or death in a large clinical trial, the company said. And the treatment appeared to work just as well at half the dose currently in use, which could effectively double the available supply.

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].