News

Healthcare

AP News | Equities.com |

Drugmaker Eli Lilly said Thursday its antibody drug can prevent COVID-19 illness in residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care locations.

It’s the first major study to show such a treatment may prevent illness in a group that has been devastated by the pandemic.

Residents and staff who got the drug had up to a 57% lower risk of getting COVID-19 compared to others at the same facility who got a placebo, the drugmaker said. Among nursing home residents only, the risk was reduced by up to 80%.


Kimberly Redmond | Equities.com |

UnitedHealth Group reported a drop in fourth quarter earnings, a decline the health insurance company partially attributed to COVID-19-related care costs.

On Wednesday, the Minnesota-based company reported a quarterly profit of $2.21 billion, a 37% decrease, but ahead of Wall Street's expectations. On a per-share basis, UnitedHealth's net income was $2.30 per share, or $2.52 after one-time adjustments.


AP News | Equities.com |

As President Donald Trump entered the final year of his term last January, the U.S. recorded its first confirmed case of COVID-19. Not to worry, Trump insisted, his administration had the virus “totally under control.”

Now, in his final hours in office, after a year of presidential denials of reality and responsibility, the pandemic’s U.S. death toll has eclipsed 400,000. And the loss of lives is accelerating.


AP News | Equities.com |

The rapid expansion of COVID-19 vaccinations to senior citizens across the U.S. has led to bottlenecks, system crashes and hard feelings in many states because of overwhelming demand for the shots.

Mississippi’s Health Department stopped taking new appointments the same day it began accepting them because of a “monumental surge” in requests. People had to wait hours to book vaccinations through a state website or a toll-free number Tuesday and Wednesday, and many were booted off the site because of technical problems and had to start over.

In California, counties begged for more coronavirus vaccines to reach millions of their senior citizens. Hospitals in South Carolina ran out of appointment slots within hours. Phone lines were jammed in Georgia.


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.


AP News | Equities.com |

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.


AP News | Equities.com |

Public health officials sounded the alarm for months, complaining that they did not have enough support or money to get COVID-19 vaccines quickly into arms. Now the slower-than-expected start to the largest vaccination effort in U.S. history is proving them right.

As they work to ramp up the shots, state and local public health departments across the U.S. cite a variety of obstacles, most notably a lack of leadership from the federal government. Many officials worry that they are losing precious time at the height of the pandemic, and the delays could cost lives.


Reuters | Equities.com |

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.


AP News | Equities.com |

California on Wednesday announced the nation’s second confirmed case of the new and apparently more contagious variant of the coronavirus, offering a strong indication that the infection is spreading more widely in the United States.

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the infection found in Southern California during an online conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

“I don’t think Californians should think that this is odd. It’s to be expected,” Fauci said.


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...