COVID-19 Update | September 24, 2021

COVID-19 News

COVID-19 Update | September 24, 2021

September 24, 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 September 24, 2021. Notable advancements include:

  • The US Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for a booster dose of Pfizer‘s COVID-19 vaccine for people 65 and older, people at high risk of severe disease and people whose jobs put them at risk of infection.
  • A second dose of Johnson and Johnson‘s COVID-19 vaccine appears to increase protection from moderate to severe COVID-19, according to results from a recent International Phase 3 trial.
  • The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is safe and highly effective in young children aged 5 to 11 years. This new data sets the stage for authorization of the vaccine for younger children, possibly before the end of October.

​Recent News

  • COVID-19 Vaccines Can Be Updated for the Delta Variant. Here’s How.
    Wall Street Journal – September 23, 2021
    The highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 has spread to more than 140 countries and accounts for 98% of U.S. COVID-19 cases. While U.S.-authorized vaccines provide strong protection against severe illness, they aren’t 100% effective and breakthrough infections, though rare and generally mild, do occur. With this in mind, scientists are working to develop shots that would target the Delta variant specifically.
  • New Study Shows COVID-19 Vaccines Are Safe For Pregnant Women, Also Protect Newborns
    CBS – September 23, 2021
    There’s good news in a study about the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant women, and especially for their babies. The mRNA vaccines are not only safe for pregnant women, they also protect their newborns.
  • Remdesivir Sharply Cuts COVID Hospitalization Risk, Gilead Says
    Medscape – September 22, 2021
    Remdesivir was found to reduce some COVID-19 patients’ risk of hospitalization by 87% in a phase 3 trial, the Gilead announced in a press release. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluated the efficacy and safety of a 3-day course of intravenous remdesivir in an analysis of 562 nonhospitalized patients at high risk for disease progression.
  • FDA green lights booster dose of Pfizer vaccine for older, more vulnerable Americans
    BioPharma Dive – September 22, 2021
    The Food and Drug Administration will allow older adults and people at high risk of severe COVID-19 to receive a third dose of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine, announcing an amended emergency authorization for the shot. The regulator’s decision, which comes as cases, hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 infections remain at high levels across the country, clears the way for potentially millions of Americans to get booster doses, which are aimed at maintaining immunity for a longer period of time.
  • Second dose of J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine increases protection, company says
    BioPharma Dive – September 21, 2021
    ​A second dose of Johnson and Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine appears to increase protection from moderate to severe COVID-19, the company said after months of questions on how well the efficacy of its single-shot regimen would hold up over time. Summary results from an international Phase 3 trial run by J&J showed an additional shot, given eight weeks after the first, resulted in an estimated 75% protection against moderate to severe COVID-19.
  • Key Data on US J&J, Moderna COVID-19 Boosters Weeks Away, Fauci Says
    Medscape – September 21, 2021
    Data needed to determine the advisability of booster shots of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines is just weeks away, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said. Health officials signaled they expected boosters would ultimately be recommended for a broad swath of the population but urged Americans not to seek booster doses until they have FDA approval.
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Prompts Strong Immune Response in Younger Children, Pfizer Says
    New York Times – September 20, 2021
    The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been shown to be safe and highly effective in young children aged 5 to 11 years, the companies announced early Monday morning. The news sets the stage for authorization of the vaccine for younger children, possibly before the end of October. The need is urgent: Children now account for more than one in five new cases, and the highly contagious Delta variant has sent more children into hospitals and intensive care units in the past few weeks than at any other time in the pandemic.
  • Use of 5-Alpha-Reductase Inhibitors Tied to Lower Risk of COVID-19
    Medscape – September 20, 2021
    Drugs commonly used to treat lower urinary tract symptoms in men with an enlarged prostate may also help protect them from COVID-19 infection, according to a matched-pair, registry-based analysis. Senior author Dr. Eric A. Klein of Cleveland Clinic in Ohio and his colleagues conducted a prospective registry study that included more than 60,000 males without prostate cancer who were twenty years of age and above. Participants were tested for SARS-CoV-2 between March 2020 and February 2021 at one institution.
  • Lilly’s COVID-19 antibody cleared by FDA for post-exposure prevention
    BioPharma Dive – September 17, 2021
    Eli Lilly’s antibody treatment for COVID-19 can now be used to treat certain individuals who have been exposed to someone infected with the coronavirus, or are at high risk of exposure due to where they work, such as in a nursing home or prison. The authorization granted by the Food and Drug Administration, announced by Lilly expands on an existing clearance to use the company’s combination regimen to treat infected individuals who are at high risk for severe disease.

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].