COVID-19 Update | November 4, 2022

COVID-19 News

COVID-19 Update | November 4, 2022

November 4, 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 November 4, 2022. Notable advancements include:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech will begin clinical trials on a combination mRNA vaccine for COVID-19 and influenza.
  • Researchers are studying treatments for the long-lasting effects of COVID-19 infections and are looking to learn if naltrexone can benefits to the millions of people suffering from Long COVID.
  • Scientists are exploring treatments that would remain effective regardless of how the virus evolves by blocking the proteins it uses against us.

Recent News

  • Pfizer-BioNTech testing combination flu-COVID-19 vaccineFox4 News – November 3, 2022Pfizer-BioNTech will begin clinical trials on a combination mRNA vaccine for COVID-19 and influenza, the companies announced. The vaccine being tested is a combination of Pfizer-BioNTech’s Omicron-adapted bivalent COVID-19 booster and Pfizer’s mRNA-based flu shot, which is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials. The trial will evaluate the “safety, tolerability and immunogenicity” of a combined mRNA vaccine approach.
  • A Triple Threat of Influenza, RSV and COVID-19 Is KnockingGW Today – November 3, 2022With warmer weather in the rearview and shorter, colder days ahead, that means cold and flu season is upon us. This year, earlier reports were already predicting a worse than average influenza season, and COVID-19 continues to spin up a host of new Omicron subvariants, but now a surge in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases is sending children and adults rushing to their primary care physicians. Here, Tara Palmore, professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and COVID-19 Response Lead for the GW Medical Faculty Associates, answered questions for GW Today about all three viruses, how to tell the difference among them and what you can do to protect yourself.
  • Are the unvaccinated still a danger to the rest of us?The Los Angeles Times – November 3, 2022The unvaccinated are suddenly back in the mix by filling up dining in restaurants, rocking out at music festivals and filling the stands at sporting venues. Dr. Jeffrey Shaman acknowledged, “the danger to the rest of us is a more debatable issue.” When public officials imposed vaccine mandates, the unvaccinated certainly appeared to pose demonstrable dangers to their communities. About 30% of Americans have yet to complete their initial series of COVID-19 shots, including the 20% who haven’t rolled up their sleeves even once. Meanwhile, the virus continues to evolve in ways that erode vaccines’ protection, making “breakthrough infections” increasingly common.
  • The New COVID-19 Boosters Are Incredible, and Everyone Should Get OneNew York Times – November 3, 2022El Buen Samaritano, an Episcopal outreach ministry in Texas, serves the east side of Austin, the poorer of the two sides of the city split by I-35. There are fewer services there, including many neighborhoods that don’t have a health center. The population is mainly people of color, many whose first language is Spanish. It’s the kind of population that has low COVID-19 vaccination rates.
  • How the world can end COVID-19 as a public health threatSTAT News – November 3, 2022The journal Nature published today global consensus recommendations to end COVID-19 as a public health threat. It took a panel of almost 400 independent-thinking scientists, doctors, and representatives of community groups from more than 100 countries some 14 months to develop and agree on these recommendations. If there is one key message in the consensus recommendations, it is that building global consensus may be the most important step of all, not just to end COVID-19 but to address similar challenges in the future. The panel unanimously recommended that ending COVID-19 requires the engagement of the “whole of society” in the process.
  • Paxlovid benefits outweigh rebound risk, says FDA commissionerThe San Francisco Chronicle – November 2, 2022Paxlovid offers a substantial reduction in death and hospitalization for high-risk COVID-19 patients — benefits that far outweigh the risk of a rebound infection, says Dr. Robert M. Califf, the commissioner of food and drugs at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  In a Twitter thread on Tuesday, Califf expressed concern that discussions about “Paxlovid rebound” are distracting from the basis for the Emergency Use Authorization granted the Pfizer antiviral.
  • COVID-19-positive donor hearts appear to be safe for transplantationNews Medical Life Sciences – October 31, 2022Donor hearts from people who were COVID-19-positive appeared to be as safe for transplantation as those from people without COVID-19, according to a short-term analysis to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2022.
  • COVID-19 uses our proteins against us. A new strategy seeks to block that.The Washington Post – October 31, 2022With the United States headed into its third full winter of the pandemic amid fears that new variants will evade immunity from vaccines and prior infections, some scientists are seeking ways to blunt COVID-19’s slippery evolution by blocking the human proteins it uses against us. If the strategy works, it has the potential to address several shortcomings of current treatments and vaccines, including their inability to prevent infections and maintain effectiveness in the face of a changing virus. The approach could also protect people with immune systems too weak to tolerate vaccines.
  • Studies Aim to Find Long COVID-19 TreatmentsVoice of America – October 31, 2022Researchers are studying treatments for the long-lasting effects of COVID-19 infections. They are excited to learn if naltrexone can offer similar helpful effects to millions of people suffering from health problems months after a COVID-19 infection. Reuters studied information from and spoke to 12 health researchers about long COVID-19. The news agency found that there are at least four special studies known as clinical trials that plan to test naltrexone in hundreds of patients with long COVID-19. Naltrexone is also one of a few treatments to be tested in the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s $1 billion RECOVER Initiative.

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].