Tag Archives: SARS-CoV-2

Novavax Begins Crosses in Clinical Trials of COVID-19 Vaccines | Instant News

Today, Novavax has announced that it will initiate a cross-weapon in two ongoing clinical trials to assess their vaccine for COVID-19, NVX-CoV2373. Biotech companies have developed next-generation vaccines for infectious diseases, and have become one of the big competitors to develop a vaccine for COVID-19.

The crossover initiation will allow the administration of the active vaccine to all participants in the trial and has already started in their phase 2b trials in South Africa, as well as phase 3 trials in the United Kingdom.

The updated clinical trial protocol will offer all participants in the UK and US phase 3 trials the opportunity to receive an additional round of vaccination, and those who choose to do so will be given an additional 2-dose regimen of either vaccine or placebo. .

In the South African phase 2b trial, participants who initially received the vaccine would be given an active vaccine booster shot, and those who initially received a placebo would be given one dose of the active vaccine.

All participants in the trial will remain blind to retain the ability to assess vaccine efficacy in each trial, and will be followed up for up to 2 years to monitor the safety and robustness of the protection the vaccine offers.

The company also announced that it plans to expand the PREVENT-19 trial to include a population of children and adolescents.

“The crossover ensures that all participants have access to the active vaccine candidate while allowing Novavax to continue to monitor the long-term safety and efficacy of our vaccine,” said Filip Dubovsky, Chief Medical Officer for Novavax. “We thank the volunteers who are stepping forward to take part in our clinical trials, without which we would not have been able to develop, study and ultimately deliver what we hope will be a significant tool in fighting COVID-19.”


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UK Finds More Cases of Blood Clots After AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine | Instant News

In the United Kingdom, regulators have found 25 additional cases of rare blood clotting events following administration AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine, bringing the total number of recorded events to 30.

Treatment regulators had previously registered 5 of the rare blood brain clots among the nearly 11 million doses of vaccine administered. There are now 22 reports of an extremely rare brain clotting disease called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, as well as 8 cases of blood clots associated with low blood platelets.

Last monthMany countries in the EU, including Italy, Spain, France, Denmark and Norway, are suspending AstraZeneca use due to concerns over potential blood clotting issues.

More than anything else, it was touted as a comfort strategy to ensure the public that the government takes all issues seriously.

However, soon after, the drug regulator from the European Union stated that the AstraZeneca vaccine was safe and effective for use in the population and officials hoped that this certainty would ease the growing concerns surrounding the vaccine.

Officials still hold to the view that the benefits of injections far outweigh the possible side effects.

Just, Canada recommends do not use the AstraZeneca vaccine in individuals 55 years and under. The decision was made based on the occurrence of blood clots demonstrated in Europe.

The country says it is on track to vaccinate its population using the mRNA vaccine next fall, and will use a small dose of AstraZeneca.


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US COVID-19 Cases Raising as Country Rollback Restrictions | Instant News

New polls show confidence in the AstraZeneca vaccine has plummeted in Europe.

In the United States, new COVID-19 infections are increasing in several states as policies aimed at fighting the virus are lifted and widespread pandemic exhaustion is felt after a year of public health restrictions. As of Sunday, the 7-day average of new cases reported rose to 2.6 percent, although deaths and hospitalizations decreased.

The United Arab Emirates has stated that some people may need a third dose of China’s Sinopharm vaccine, after initial tests found that the injection did not provide a sufficient immune response after 2 doses. A new study is currently underway to see if a third dose will be of benefit or not.

In Pakistan, where vaccine doubts are already a problem, the country’s prime minister Imran Khan caught COVID-19 shortly after receiving the first dose of Sinopharm’s vaccine. Public health officials fear that this will raise fears of unsubstantiated claims that the vaccine is not working and will result in more people not getting injections. The Health Ministry sent a message that the prime minister was not fully vaccinated as soon as the news broke to try to calm the public.

Data Tables per Our World in Data (22 March 2021, 12 AM EST)

United States of America 124.48 million 37.22 per 100
China 74.96 million 5.21 per 100
India 45.07 million 3.27 per 100
great Britain 29.86 million 43.99 per 100
Brazil 13.56 million 6.38 per 100
Turkey 13.06 million 15.48 per 100
German 10.47 million 12.5 per 100
Israel 9.74 million 112.52 per 100
France 8.57 million 12.58 per 100
Chile 8.47 million 44.31 per 100

In Miami, officials have declared a state of emergency and have imposed an 8pm curfew as crowds of spring breakers have moved across the city and ignored restrictions, leading to fears that a new wave is imminent.

California 14708175 37.22 per 100
Texas 9611867 33.14 per 100
Florida 8186888 38.11 per 100
New York 7371644 37.89 per 100
Illinois 4960792 39.14 per 100
Pennsylvania 4639971 36.24 per 100
Ohio 4364513 37.33 per 100
North Carolina 4002867 38.16 per 100
Michigan 3681378 36.86 per 100
New jersey 3581686 40.32 per 100

Data Table per CDC COVID-19 Tracker (22 March 2021, 6 AM EST)

For more information on research, distribution and assessment of COVID-19 vaccinations, check out some of Contagion’s recent stories:

AstraZeneca Reported 79% Efficacy of COVID-19 Vaccine, Will Be Sent to EUA

Vaccine Development, Launch Underlines Priorities in Public Health Decision Making

European Union Drug Regulators Ensure the Safety of AstraZeneca Vaccines


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Swiss research shows the SARS-CoV-2 cohort infection is rare in school classrooms | Instant News

The role played by school children in transmitting severe Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is a controversial issue in many countries. Although infection rates can be high in children, they rarely develop severe symptoms or health outcomes in the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Despite this, schools in many countries were closed during the first wave of the pandemic to contain the transmission of the virus, which resulted in disruption of education for more than 1.5 billion students worldwide.

Analyzing longitudinal changes in SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence and clustering in Zurich schoolchildren during the first and second waves of the pandemic

Researchers from Switzerland recently presented the results of a longitudinal cohort study they conducted in the city of Zurich. The main objectives of this prospective cohort study were to analyze longitudinal changes in SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence and assess seropositive groupings of children in school classes from June to November 2020 in Zurich, Switzerland.

Switzerland was one of the countries most affected by the second wave of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic during the fall of 2020 in Europe. Because schools in Switzerland remain open, they offer a moderate to high exposure environment for studying SARS-CoV-2 infection. Children were randomly selected from different schools and classes, stratified by district, and invited for SARS-CoV-2 serological testing. Parents of selected children completed questionnaires on health and questions related to sociodemography.

Research participants came from 275 classes in 55 schools. A total of 2,603 ​​children participated in the study in June-July 2020, and 2,552 children in October-November 2020. The age range of children was between 6 and 16 years. The main outcomes measured included SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in June-July and October-November 2020, seropositive grouping of children in classes, and presence of symptoms in children.

The seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 was 2.4% in summer and 4.5% in late fall

In June-July 2020, 74 seropositive children out of 2,496 children had serological results available. In October-November 2020 the number of seropositive children increased to 173 from 2,503 children. Overall, the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in summer was 2.4% and in late fall 4.5% in previously non-seropositive children. This resulted in a total of 7.8% of the children being seropositive. Seroprevalence varies across districts. In fall, it’s between 1.7 and 15.0%.

No significant differences were observed between lower, middle, and upper school levels or between children aged 6-9 years, 9-13 years, and 12-16 years. Of the 2,223 children tested in the summer and fall, 28/70 or 40% of previously seropositive children became seropositive, and 109 / 2,153 or 5% of previously seropositive children became seropositive. 22% of seronegative children and 29% of new seropositive children since summer showed symptoms. The ratio of children with SARS-CoV-2 infection to seropositive children was 1 in 8 between July and November 2020.

At least one child was detected in 47 of 55 schools and in 90 of 275 new seropositive classes. Of the 130 classes with high enrollment rates, no seropositive children were found in 73 or 56% of the classes; 1 or 2 seropositive children in 50 grades (38%), and at least 3 seropositive children in 7 classes (5%). In a stratified logistic regression model, the school level explains 8% and the grade level explains 24% the seropositive variant.

The findings indicated that the SARS-CoV-2 cohort infection was rare in school classrooms

With schools in Switzerland open since August 2020 and several prevention strategies in place, seropositive groupings of children occurred in only a few classes despite a spike in overall seroprevalence during the moderate to high period of SARS-CoV-2 transmission in the community. Whether these findings will differ from the emergence of a new SARS-CoV-2 variant and the dynamic community transmission rates is uncertain.

“Future testing rounds of this study will provide insights into classroom transmission over extended periods during dynamic levels of community transmission and the spread of the new SARS-CoV-2 variant.”

Journal reference:

  • Ulyte A, Radtke T, Abela IA, Haile SR, Berger C, Huber M et al. Longitudinal clustering and changes in SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in schoolchildren in the canton of Zurich, Switzerland: prospective cohort study of 55 BMJ 2021 schools; 372: n616 doi: 10.1136 / bmj.n616, https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.n616


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Research shows the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine distribution strategy focuses on where the virus spreads more easily | Instant News

The United States is only days away from achieving President Biden’s goal of vaccinating 100 million people 100 days from taking office. While the United States leads the world in the number of COVID-19 cases at more than 29.7 million and deaths topping 539,000, the United States has stepped in as a leader in the vaccination of its population.

However, the current vaccination strategy is not considered basic reproduction number (R0), which helps predict the spread of COVID-19 cases.

New preprinted research paper published in medRxiv* servers by Anthony R.Ives of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Claudio Bozzuto of Wildlife Analysis GmbH suggest current vaccination efforts will reach the United States herd immunity in about 4.5 months. However, they argue that a more cost-effective and more effective vaccine strategy that takes geography into account. This will help allocate vaccines to districts with high populations that tend to be lower class and with high minority populations. These countries are currently on track to be the last to achieve herd immunity under current vaccine distribution strategies.

The author writes:

“From an epidemiological perspective, because of the difference in R0 value between districts is driven partly by population density, districts with the highest risk of bouncing back and the most recent severe outbreaks achieving herd immunity. From a socio-economic perspective, these high density districts include many of those that are economic engines in the US. Finally, high-density districts have relatively large African-American populations, and current distribution plans cause a delay of about 4 days behind whites achieving herd immunity. “

Target vaccination strategies proposed by high R countries0 number

Given that urban environments are at high risk of spreading the virus, the dense population results in a higher estimate of R0. Therefore, the authors argue that vaccination strategies should target densely populated populations to achieve herd immunity faster and avoid more cases of COVID-19.

To calculate it, they tracked the proportion of the US population that would attain herd immunity under the current distribution strategy. Starting from March 15, 2021, they assumed the following: Current vaccination rates using one of the three FDA-approved vaccines – Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, or Johnson & Johnson – would be 1.58 million doses per day when 71.1 million people are already vaccinated with at least one dose, the vaccine is 90% effective, and vaccinated people cannot spread COVID-19.

Their results showed herd immunity in the United States could be achieved in as little as 130 days.

Allocation of the appropriate and efficient SARS-Cov-2 vaccine according to R0. Panel (a) shows the proportion of US residents living in districts who have achieved herd immunity, calculated as 1 – 1 / R0 at the district level; day 0 on the x-axis is March 15, 2021. The black line assumes the current distribution in which vaccine is evenly shipped to states according to population size, and the red line assumes the distribution depends on the estimated district-level R0 value. Panel (b) shows the mean population density of districts (individuals per km2) achieving herd immunity in the weekly time window. Panel (c) provides the proportion of white and African American communities living in states that have achieved herd immunity.

The new plan achieves herd immunity faster in all regions

Instead, their analysis suggests that their proposed strategy would help the United States achieve nearly equal herd immunity for all counties and 51 days earlier than the current vaccination strategy. Additionally, the United States will eventually use 39% less vaccine under the new plan.

“This result depends on R0strategy based starting mid-March; the overall benefits are expected to shrink the longer population size-based strategies are maintained. “

With new variants of concern from the UK, South Africa and Brazil, researchers note these estimates may change, and more vaccinations may be needed.

To account for the new variant’s higher transmission rate, they adjusted the mathematical formula to include 1.5 times higher transmission than initially measured at the start of the pandemic in 2020.

The findings suggest that with the strategies proposed by the researchers, the United States would reduce the time to achieve herd immunity to 76 days and use less than 35% of their vaccine dose.

Evidence suggests that scaling up vaccination efforts in more populated countries will be fairer and more efficient, use less vaccine in the long term, and achieve herd immunity faster.

* Important Notice

medRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer reviewed and, therefore, should not be construed as conclusions, guidelines for health-related clinical / behavioral practice, or are treated as defined information.


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