COVID-19 Update | May 21, 2021

COVID-19 News

COVID-19 Update | May 21, 2021

May 21, 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 May 21, 2021. Notable advancements include:

  • According to an ongoing study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines was found to be 94% effective in health care workers.
  • Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline plan to launch a Phase 3 study of their COVID-19 vaccine and expect to enroll 35,000 adult volunteers after positive results from a mid-stage clinical trial.
  • Moderna is developing a COVID-19 booster vaccine and said that people who are high-risk, including healthcare workers and the elderly, could require a third shot in September.

​Recent News:

  • FDA eases strict Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine rules, allowing longer cold storage
    Washington Post – May 20, 2021
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has eased the cold storage rules for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine so that the doses can be kept longer at normal refrigerator temperatures. The move will simplify the transport and delivery of this highly effective vaccine that has to be stored at ultracold temperatures in special freezer units.
  • Fauci expects COVID-19 vaccines for kids in late-2021, sees need for booster shot
    Reuters – May 20, 2021
    Kids in the United States will likely be able to get COVID-19 vaccinations by the end of this year or the first quarter of 2022, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said. The United States earlier this month cleared the way for the use of the COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer in adolescents aged 12 and above. Fauci also noted the need for a COVID-19 booster shot within a year or so after getting the primary shot.
  • Moderna CEO says some Americans could start getting a COVID-19 booster shot as soon as September
    Business insider – May 20, 2021
    Many Americans could start receiving booster shots as soon as this fall. Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said that people who are at highest risk from COVID-19, like healthcare workers and the elderly, could require a third shot in September. Those populations started receiving their vaccines in December or January, meaning the booster shot would come eight or nine months after their were initially vaccinated.
  • J&J vaccine production could restart in U.S. ‘within days,’ Emergent executive testifies
    Politico – May 19, 2021
    Emergent BioSolutions could resume manufacturing Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine within days, said CEO Robert Kramer. Restarting Emergent’s production of the J&J shot would revitalize efforts to get the single-dose vaccine to many Americans.
  • A promising new vaccine candidate could protect us from multiple coronaviruses — including some that haven’t jumped to humans yet
    Business Insider – May 18, 2021
    A team at the Duke Human Vaccine Institute has developed a pancoronavirus vaccine that might be able to protect against multiple coronaviruses in the SARS family. That includes COVID-19, as well as the virus most people know as SARS — SARS-CoV-1 — which was responsible for an outbreak in 2003.
  • Sanofi, GSK say revamped COVID-19 vaccine is strong enough for final test
    BioPharma Dive – May 17, 2021
    Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline reported a COVID-19 vaccine they developed together met the goal of a mid-stage clinical trial, boosting the companies’ research efforts. Results from the trial, which enrolled 722 volunteers in the U.S. and Honduras, showed the revamped vaccine spurred immune responses that were comparable to what researchers have observed following naturally occurring cases of COVID-19.
  • The Future of Virus Tracking Can Be Found on This College Campus
    New York Times – May 17, 2021
    The Broad Institute, a cutting-edge genomic research center in Cambridge, Mass has turned C.M.U.’s campus of 10,000-plus students into a real-world, real-time epidemiological laboratory, experimenting with creative approaches to pandemic management.
  • Pfizer, Moderna vaccines found to be 94 percent effective in health workers in CDC’s largest such study
    The Hill – May 14, 2021
    The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines were found to be 94 percent effective in health care workers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) ongoing largest effectiveness study. The researchers estimated that those who were fully vaccinated were 94 percent less likely to develop symptomatic COVID-19.
  • COVID: California’s new case average lowest in more than a year
    Mercury News – May 15, 2021
    California’s seven-day average of new cases is the lowest its been since the state was just weeks into the pandemic, a positive milestone for the state as it nears an easing of pandemic restrictions and federal health officials recommend lifting most mask rules for fully vaccinated individuals.
  • How the United States Beat the Variants, for Now
    New York Times – May 14, 2021
    The nationwide total of daily new cases began falling in April and has now dropped more than 85 percent since January. Experts point to a combination of factors — masks, social distancing and other restrictions, and perhaps a seasonal wane of infections — that bought crucial time for tens of millions of Americans to get vaccinated. They also credit a good dose of serendipity, as B.1.1.7, unlike some of its competitors, is powerless against the vaccines.

Rely on California Biotechnology Foundation to monitor breaking news and provide updates on the latest advancements in COVID-19 diagnostics, vaccines and treatments.

Stay informed on the latest news and trends on the economic and health benefits of this industry by visiting the new

If you have any questions about informational briefings contact California Biotechnology Foundation Executive Director Patty Cooper at (916)764-2434 or [email protected].