COVID-19 Update | March 5, 2021

COVID-19 News

COVID-19 Update | March 5, 2021

March 5, 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 5, 2021. Notable advancements include:

  • Merck & Co. and Johnson & Johnson are partnering up to manufacture the COVID-19 vaccine, potentially doubling production.
  • Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc is conducting a mid-to-late stage U.S. trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate and expects to report data early in the second quarter of this year.
  • California officials announced that it will now devote 40% of available COVID-19 vaccines to residents in the most disadvantaged areas of the state to slow the spread of COVID-19 and speed up the reopening of the economy.

​Recent News:

  • Pandemic’s Racial Disparities Persist in Vaccine Rollout
    New York Times – March 5, 2021
    Communities of color, which have borne the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, have also received a smaller share of available vaccines. The vaccination rate for Black Americans is half that of white people, and the gap for Hispanic people is even larger, according to a New York Times analysis of state-reported race and ethnicity information.
  • Novartis to Help Make CureVac COVID-19 Vaccine
    Wall Street Journal – March 4, 2021
    Novartis AG will help manufacture a Covid-19 vaccine that Germany’s CureVac NV is developing, the latest drugmaker tie-up aimed at accelerating production of shots. The two-dose vaccine is in late-stage testing, and CureVac has said results could come as soon as next month.
  • California will reserve 40% of COVID-19 vaccine for disadvantaged areas to speed reopenings
    Los Angeles Times – March 3, 2021
    In a major shift in policy, California officials said they will now devote 40% of available COVID-19 vaccines to residents in the most disadvantaged areas in a move designed to both slow the spread of COVID-19 and speed up the reopening of the economy.
  • Biden now says US will have enough vaccine for every adult by the end of May
    CNN – March 2, 2021
    President Joe Biden said the United States would have enough COVID-19 vaccine doses for every adult American by the end of May, dramatically accelerating his timeline but acknowledging the country must still be vigilant against the virus. He also announced he would direct states to prioritize teachers in their vaccination plans, reemphasizing a commitment to returning students to classrooms.
  • Coronavirus update: California to receive 320,100 doses in first Johnson & Johnson shipment
    Fresno Bee – March 2, 2021
    The first shipments of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to California will be a little short of projections, but still will boost the supply headed to California by about 20%. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has referred to the single-shot vaccine as a “game-changer,” said that the state expected to receive around 380,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
  • 6 COVID-19 treatments helping patients survive
    PBS – March 2, 2021
    A year ago, when U.S. health authorities issued their first warning that COVID-19 would cause severe “disruption to everyday life,” doctors had no effective treatments to offer beyond supportive care. There is still no cure, but thanks to an unprecedented global research effort, several treatments are helping patients survive COVID-19 and stay out of the hospital altogether.
  • Merck to help J&J make vaccine doses in White House-brokered deal
    BioPharma Dive – March 2, 2021
    Merck & Co. will help Johnson & Johnson manufacture the COVID-19 vaccine the U.S. authorized over the weekend under a deal brokered by the Biden administration, White House officials announced. Merck will let J&J use facilities to help both make vaccines as well as fill and finish vials in a partnership that could double production. J&J’s is the only vaccine authorized in the U.S. that requires a single shot.
  • Real-world data shows Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is giving ‘very strong’ results even after one dose
    CNBC – March 2, 2021
    New data has revealed how effective COVID-19 vaccines are at fighting the disease, even after just one dose. Figures in a research paper from Public Health England, showed that the Pfizer and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines are highly effective in reducing COVID-19 infections among people age 70 years and over.
  • Inovio expects COVID-19 vaccine U.S. trial data by early second quarter
    Reuters – March 1, 2021
    S. vaccine developer Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc said it had completed Phase II enrolment for a mid-to-late stage U.S. trial of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate and expects to report data early in the second quarter. Inovio said it was testing the impact of its vaccine candidate, new variants, as well as developing next-generation COVID-19 vaccine candidates that could be tailored to known and unknown COVID-19 variants.
  • Novavax COVID-19 shot could be cleared for U.S. use by May: CEO
    Reuters – March 1, 2021
    Novavax Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine could be cleared for use in the United States as soon as May if U.S. regulators authorize it based on data from the company’s British trial, which could be completed “in the coming weeks,” its chief executive said.

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].