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COVID-19 Vaccine

Kimberly Redmond | Equities.com |

Johnson & Johnson says data from its early-stage COVID-19 vaccine trials shows that nearly all participants had immunity after just one shot, giving the pharmaceutical company confidence its immunization is just as effective as the double-dose manufactured by Moderna and Pfizer.

According to a report published Wednesday in The New England Journal of Medicine, over 90% of the 800 participants developed neutralizing antibodies 29 days after a single dose of the experimental vaccine and the levels of these antibodies stayed stable for at least 71 days after injection.


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The Trump administration is asking states to speed delivery of COVID-19 vaccines to people 65 and older and to others at high risk by no longer holding back the second dose of the two-dose shots, officials said Tuesday.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that “the administration in the states has been too narrowly focused.”

As a result, he said, the Trump administration is now asking states to vaccinate people age 65 and over and those under 65 with underlying health conditions that put them at high risk. He said the vaccine production is such that the second dose of the two-shot vaccine can be released without jeopardizing immunization for those who got the first shot.


Reuters | Equities.com |

The World Health Organization’s chief scientist warned that even as numerous countries start rolling out vaccination programs to stop COVID-19, herd immunity is highly unlikely this year.

At a media briefing on Monday, Dr. Soumya Swaminathan said it was critical countries and their populations maintain strict social distancing and other outbreak control measures for the foreseeable future. In recent weeks, Britain, the U.S., France, Canada, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands and others have begun vaccinating millions of their citizens against the coronavirus.


Reuters | Equities.com |

Moderna’s COVID-19 mRNA vaccine is likely to offer protection of up to a couple of years, its chief executive said on Thursday, even though more data is still needed to make a definitive assessment.

The U.S. biotech company, which stunned the world last year by coming up with a vaccine against the disease caused by the new coronavirus in just a few weeks, received approval for its shot from the European Commission on Wednesday.

Given vaccines development and pharmacovigilance usually requires years, the protection duration of COVID-19 shots is a lingering question for scientists and regulators.


Reuters | Equities.com |

More Americans were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Wednesday than at any time since the pandemic began, as total coronavirus infections crossed the 21 million mark, deaths soared across much of the United States and a historic vaccination effort lagged.

U.S. COVID-19 hospitalizations reached a record 130,834 late on Tuesday, according to a Reuters tally of public health data, while 3,684 reported fatalities was the second-highest single-day death toll of the pandemic.

That appalling toll meant that on Tuesday someone died from COVID-19 every 24 seconds in the United States. With total deaths surpassing 357,000, one in every 914 U.S. residents has died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to a Reuters analysis.


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Moderna Inc said on Monday it would produce at least 600 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine in 2021, up by 100 million doses from its previous forecast, as the United States continues to roll-out the vaccine.

The company was working to invest and hire in order to deliver up to 1 billion doses this year, the higher end of its production forecast, it said.


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December was the deadliest month of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States with nearly 78,000 deaths, and health officials warned that even more people will likely die in January despite the rollout of vaccines.

In the week ended Jan. 3, more than 18,400 people died from COVID-19, bringing the pandemic’s total to over 351,000 deaths, or one in every 930 U.S. residents, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county reports.

The countr...


Reuters | Equities.com |

Only about 2.6 million Americans had received a COVID-19 vaccine going into the last day of December, putting the United States far short of the government’s target to vaccinate 20 million people this month.

About 14 million doses of Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines have been distributed to states so far, federal officials told reporters on Wednesday, shy of its goal to ship 20 million doses this month.

As late as early December, officials maintained they would have 40 million doses available this month, enough to vaccinate 20 million Americans with a two-dose regimen.


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Britain on Wednesday became the first country in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, hoping that rapid action would help it stem a surge of infections driven by a highly contagious variant of the virus.

Boris Johnson’s government, which has already ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine, has jumped ahead of other Western countries with its vaccination program.

It was the first to approve a shot developed by Pfizer of the United States and Germany’s BioNTech, with the result that hundreds of thousands of people were vaccinated in Britain before European Union countries and the United States even began administering it this month.


Reuters | Equities.com |

U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris received a COVID-19 vaccination live on television on Tuesday, as the incoming Biden administration seeks to boost confidence in the inoculation even while warning it will be months before it is available to all.

Senator Harris, who is Black and Asian-American, will become the second high-profile person from an ethnic minority background to receive the vaccine after Surgeon General Jerome Adams on Dec. 18.

Democratic President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office on Jan. 20, has said he will make the fight against the coronavirus, which has infected more than 19 million Americans and killed over 334,000, his top priority. He received his first injected dose of the vaccine live on television last week. Two doses are required for full protection.