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Coronavirus

Reuters | Equities.com |

Novavax Inc has begun a large late-stage study of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, the drug developer said on Monday, after delaying the trial twice due to issues in scaling up the manufacturing process.

It will enroll up to 30,000 volunteers across about 115 sites in the United States and Mexico, with two-thirds of them receiving the shot 21 days apart and the rest getting placebo, the company said.

Novavax lags behind other dru...


Reuters | Equities.com |

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Sunday reported 18,909,910 cases of new coronavirus, an increase of 179,104 cases from its previous count, and said deaths had risen by 1,309 to 330,901.

The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19 as of 4 p.m. ET on Saturday versus its previous report a day earlier.

The CDC figures do not necessarily reflect cases reported by individual states.

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The head of drugmaker AstraZeneca, which is developing a coronavirus vaccine widely expected to be approved by U.K. authorities this week, said Sunday that researchers believe the shot will be effective against a new variant of the virus driving a rapid surge in infections in Britain.

AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot also told the Sunday Times that researchers developing its vaccine have figured out a “winning formula” making the jab as effective as rival candidates.


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Pfizer and BioNTech will supply the U.S. with an additional 100 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine under a new agreement.

The drugmakers said Wednesday that they expect to deliver all the doses by July 31.

Pfizer already had a contract to supply the government with 100 million doses of its vaccine, and the latest agreement will double that.

The companies will deliver at least 70 million of the additional doses by June 30, with the remaining 30 million doses to be delivered no later than July 31. The government also has the option to acquire up to an additional 400 million doses.


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U.S. companies and industry groups trying to move their workers to the front of the line for a COVID-19 vaccine remain confused about conflicting state and local guidelines on how shots will be administered and to which workers, even as millions of doses make their way across the country.

An independent advisory panel to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday voted that 30 million essential workers are next in line for vaccines. Those vaccinations are expected to start in January or February.

While states often follow CDC guidelines, they generally have broad discretion when it comes to vaccine distribution.


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Does it spread more easily? Make people sicker? Mean that treatments and vaccines won’t work? Questions are multiplying as fast as new strains of the coronavirus, especially the one now moving through England. Scientists say there is reason for concern but that the new strains should not cause alarm.

“There’s zero evidence that there’s any increase in severity” of COVID-19 from the latest strain, the World Health Organization’s emergencies chief, Dr. Michael Ryan said Monday.

“We don’t want to overreact,” the U.S. government’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told CNN.


Reuters | Equities.com |

In the United States last week, someone died from COVID-19 every 33 seconds.

The disease claimed more than 18,000 lives in the seven days ended Dec. 20, up 6.7% from the prior week to hit another record high, according to a Reuters analysis of state and county reports.

Despite pleas by health officials not to travel during the end-year holiday season, 3.2 million people were screened at U.S. airports on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


Reuters | Equities.com |

The U.S. government and two of the nation’s largest pharmacy chains kick off a nationwide campaign to vaccinate nursing home residents against COVID-19 on Monday, a week after the first vaccines authorized in the country began being administered to healthcare workers.

The program is the latest effort to control a pandemic that has killed more than 300,000 people in the country and is straining the capacity of healthcare systems in some states.


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Medical staffing is stretched increasingly thin as California hospitals scramble to find beds for patients amid an explosion of coronavirus cases that threatens to overwhelm the state’s emergency care system.

As of Sunday, more than 16,840 people were hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 infections — more than double the previous peak reached in July — and a state model that uses current data to forecast future trends shows the number could reach 75,000 by mid-January.

More than 3,610 COVID-19 patients were in intensive care units. All of Southern California and the 12-county San Joaquin Valley to the north have exhausted their regular ICU capacity, and some hospitals have begun using “surge” space. Overall, the state’s ICU capacity was just 2.1% on Sunday.


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A federal advisory panel put people 75 and older and essential workers like firefighters, teachers and grocery store workers next in line for COVID-19 shots as a second vaccine began rolling out Sunday to hospitals, a desperately needed boost as the nation works to get the coronavirus pandemic under control.

The two developments came as the nation seeks to ramp up a vaccination program that only began in the last week and has given initial shots to about 556,000 Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.