"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 21st Oct 2020

Isolation Tips
COVID-19 shielding measures on hold in England
Shielding measures will not be reintroduced in England although those considered “clinically extremely vulnerable” should take practical steps to reduce exposure to COVID-19. The Department of Health and Social Care said it will write to people who have increased vulnerabilities with tips on how they can keep safe.
Coronavirus: Homes for the elderly find ways to avoid lockdown
The doors are still open at the Lore Malsch Protestant care home in Munich, albeit to the surprise of some visitors. "Now we're getting phone calls — lots of calls," says the home's manager, Jan Steinbach. People are asking whether they are still allowed to visit loved ones as the nationwide caseload in Germany ticks upwards. Whether to limit visitors during the pandemic is a real quandary, with no correct answers for care homes. Let visitors in, and risk bringing COVID-19 into a facility full of at-risk people. Keep them out, and deny residents contact with their loved ones, potentially damaging their health through isolation itself.
Hygiene Helpers
Rapid one-hour Covid-19 tests launch for travellers to Italy and Hong Kong from Heathrow Airport
Passengers flying from Heathrow to Italy or Hong Kong will now be able to get a Covid-19 test at the airport and receive their results within an hour. The private test costs £80 and is aimed at helping people travelling to destinations where proof of a negative result is required on arrival. A growing number of countries worldwide are adding the UK to their list of high-risk coronavirus countries, meaning travellers face more restrictions.
Italian government enlists top influencers to promote COVID masks
Top Italian influencer Chiara Ferragni and her rapper husband Fedez have urged their fans to wear face masks, heeding a call from Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to raise awareness about battling COVID-19. Ferragni, 33, and Fedez, 31, are especially popular amongst teenagers and interrupted their usual flow of Instagram glamour to stress the importance of masks in curbing infections.
Coronavirus: 'India must cut pollution to avoid Covid disaster'
India's dreaded pollution season has returned as air quality in the capital Delhi and other northern cities rapidly deteriorated in the last two weeks. This is bad news for India's fight against coronavirus because several studies around the world have linked air pollution to higher Covid-19 case numbers and deaths. A Harvard University study shows that an increase of only one microgram per cubic metre in PM 2.5 - dangerous tiny pollutants in the air - is associated with an 8% increase in the Covid-19 death rate. Another study by scientists at the UK's University of Cambridge also found a link between the severity of Covid-19 infection and long-term exposure to air pollutants, including nitrogen oxides and ground-level ozone from car exhaust fumes or burning of fossil fuels.
Community Activities
Mask Mandate? In a Montana Town, It ‘Puts Us at Odds With Customers’
Outside River Rising Bakery sits an older gentleman, his face uncovered. He’s here every morning, greeting customers as he drinks his coffee and reads. Inside, people mill about, waiting to order. A group of moms chat at a corner table. The employees wear masks, but patrons are not required to. Most don’t. It feels almost normal. As if the pandemic had never happened. Half a block away in Hamilton, at Big Creek Coffee Roasters, most customers don’t go inside; instead they wait to order at a makeshift to-go window. There are a lot of strollers and Lululemon tights, and most people in the line are wearing a mask. If anyone did go inside, wearing one would be mandatory.
‘EdTech companies will change the way kids learn’
With money invested in India’s education technology startups increasing nearly four times to $1.5 billion in the first nine months of 2020 as compared to $409 million in entire 2019
Docu Meme highlights unseen victims of coronavirus pandemic in Japan
As the number of novel coronavirus infections continues to grow, so do the stigmas and stereotypes associated with certain segments of Japan’s population, be they caregivers, entertainment-district workers, foreign residents, students or the unemployed and homeless. Adrift in the torrent of issues that have come out of the pandemic, many people are finding it difficult to be heard and receive the support they need. Out of this landscape emerged Docu Meme, an independent collective of documentary creators — Naoki Uchiyama, Itaru Matsui and Toru Kubota — who are on a mission to shed light on those who have been neglected or even rejected by society during the pandemic. Similar to viral images found on the internet, the group wants its documentary shorts to travel widely and convey as efficiently as possible the plight of voiceless people in Japan.
Working Remotely
The Accessibility of Remote Work Alone Doesn’t Make a Company Inclusive. You Must Be Intentional About Diversity.
Some companies feel they’ve checked the inclusivity box by merely offering remote work. But remote work is the beginning, not the end, of the quest for inclusion. Haley Shoaf, the VP of impact at LaunchCode, outlines three actionable steps company leaders can take to practice intentional inclusivity. Before COVID-19, remote work was something of a luxury reserved for particular kinds of workplaces. Now, more of us are working remotely than ever, and companies that had never imagined a flexible workforce are waking up to the idea.
Is remote working sexist?
The pandemic-induced shift to remote working is something of a double-edged sword for equality. On the one hand, according to research by Gartner, it seems to be normalising a more flexible approach to work that would tend to benefit working women who have been disproportionately held back by parental and other caring responsibilities. This is backed up by Management Today’s own research, which found that 86.4 per cent of business leaders surveyed believe offering remote working improves talent attraction and/or retention. But at the same time, the rise in remote working could also stump female career progression. Speaking at the Gartner ReimagineHR conference, Gartner HR chief Brian Kropp warned that despite in-office and remote workers performing at the same level, managers are biased against remote workers.
Why Aren’t More Companies Making Remote Work Permanent? Hint—It’s Not Just About Productivity
Most of the corporate world is entering the eighth month of pandemic-driven remote work and by this point, a long list of companies have taken the plunge and announced that employees can work from home permanently. Companies embracing this shift include tech giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Slack, along with a host of non-tech enterprises like Nationwide. Most companies however are taking a shorter-term approach to remote work, notifying employees to standby; they should expect to return to offices at some point in time with target dates for reopening ranging from next spring to summer.
Employers must invest in remote working conditions
Indeed, a 2019 study revealed flexible working (which includes remote working) to be one of the top three most sought after employee benefits. And it seemed that businesses across the UK were willing to accommodate their workforces’ demands, with many offering the option to work from home once or twice a week. That said, the onset of the coronavirus has, of course, accelerated this trend at an unprecedented pace. When the UK went into lockdown in March, employers were forced to overhaul their remote working policy overnight, with millions of employees swapping their office desks for their kitchen tables. At the beginning of lockdown, some organisations optimistically believed that the virus would be short-lived, assuming normality would resume within a few months. Consequently, they failed to invest to support long-term home working; they did not purchase IT hardware and software, or long-term strategies to protect employees’ mental and physical health, for example.
GP training: Working remotely as a GP trainee during the pandemic
Dr Zoe Brown was in her first year of GP training and pregnant as lockdown began. She describes how working remotely during the first peak of the pandemic affected her and the impact it has had on her training.
UK staff working remotely abroad could raise 'fundamental' tax problems
A shift towards more employees working remotely overseas for UK-based organisations could become a “fundamental issue” for the tax system in future, a leading business group has warned. The pandemic has seen millions more staff working from home, and some of the rise in remote working is widely expected to outlive the coronavirus pandemic. The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has received “anecdotal” evidence from member firms that some of their employees had taken the opportunity to work remotely from overseas.
Virtual Classrooms
Cybersecurity And The Remote Classroom
This year, going back to school has been like no other in history as remote learning, modified schedules, virtual classes, and hybrid class modes became ‘normal.’ Seeing my own four kids returning to university, high school and elementary school has required new levels of fortitude. Fortunately, a foundation of technologies with features that include cloud, video, conferencing, and collaboration make distant classroom situations achievable.
For Teachers Unions, Classroom Reopenings Are the Biggest Test Yet
By early August, the Chicago Teachers Union had its fill of magical thinking. After a spring of virtual learning, Chicago, like many cities around the U.S., was pushing toward reopening classrooms in the fall. The revival of the local economy seemed to hinge on parents’ ability to get back to work, and plenty were desperate to get their kids somewhere, anywhere, just out of the house.
Ag in the Classroom adapts to pandemic with virtual farm tours
A Minnesota farmer involved in Ag in the Classroom says just like for most educators, some teaching methods have changed because of COVID-19. Wanda Patsche, a crop and livestock producer in Martin County, tells Brownfield there are usually four in-person teacher tours during the summer to show how food is produced so the teachers can bring that information back to their students. “We couldn’t do that this year, but we did have virtual tours, which actually worked better because we could take them to more places and actually show them more intimate settings within agriculture.” She says more than 100 teachers signed up for the virtual tours that highlighted farms in four different parts of the state.
5000 CT Students Who Signed Up for Online Learning Have Never Logged Into Class
According to the CT legislature's committee, over 5,000 students who opted for online-only learning across Connecticut have never once logged into a single day of class, according to an article in the Hartford Courant. The education department has crunched the numbers and found out that 3.1% of remote students or 5,165 were absent all week from Oct. 5-9. Throughout the state, the education department has provided more than 142,000 laptops along with internet access for approximately 60,000 families. Martha Stone, who's the executive director of the Center for Children's Advocacy, told the Hartford Courant:
What it's like to be a teacher in 2020 America amid the coronavirus pandemic
Now the coronavirus has placed those same underpaid teachers at the heart of a national crisis as the US looks to teachers not only for children’s education and wellbeing but also as essential childcare as parents try to get back to work. “Our public education system is a massive hidden child care subsidy,” said Jon Shelton, a historian of the teaching workforce at the University of Wisconsin. Here are three stories from teachers across the US about the complex roles they have played in their students’ lives since the virus first kicked up and how they’re managing school now.
Public Policies
Efficacy, politics influence public trust in COVID-19 vaccine
If an initial COVID-19 vaccine is about as effective as a flu shot, uptake by the American public may fall far short of the 70% level needed to achieve herd immunity, new Cornell research suggests. In surveys of nearly 2,000 American adults, barely half said they would be willing to take a hypothetical vaccine with an efficacy, or effectiveness, of 50% - the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's minimum threshold for a COVID-19 vaccine, and comparable to flu vaccines. Vaccine acceptance increased by 10 percentage points, to 61%, if its effectiveness increased to 90%, making efficacy among the most important factors in Americans' willingness to adopt a COVID-19 vaccine, the research found. "Our results suggest that 50% efficacy will lead to significant vaccine hesitancy," said Douglas Kriner, professor of government at Cornell. "We might not get enough people to take it at that level, even though it would be a valuable public health intervention."
NIH chief: Trump has not met with White House COVID-19 task force in 'quite some time'
NIH Director Francis Collins told NPR's "Morning Edition" that Trump instead gets his information from Vice President Pence and task force member Scott Atlas, neither of whom are infectious disease experts. "I think the president primarily is getting his information from the vice president, from Dr. Atlas," Collins said. Obviously, it's a bit of a chaotic time with the election. ... There's not a direct connection between the task force members and the president as there was a few months ago, but this seems to be a different time with different priorities."
Boris Johnson plunges Greater Manchester into Tier Three lockdown
Ministers gave Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham until noon today to agree to enter Tier Three lockdown. Last-ditch haggling between PM and Mr Burnham on money failed with tough restrictions now being imposed. Boris Johnson said he had no choice but to impose new rules which will see pubs and restaurants told to close Mr Johnson had offered Mr Burnham £60m in extra business support but the mayor wanted at least £65m. Mr Burnham slammed PM's approach as he said ministers were condemning the region to lockdown 'poverty'
Majority of Wales below UK coronavirus average as new lockdown looms
A new national lockdown was announced in Wales yesterday - but figures show that just ten of the country's local authorities have a higher coronavirus rate than the UK average. Only one of Gwent's five counties, Blaenau Gwent, is suffering from the coronavirus more than the average across the UK. A government map, detailing the impact of the coronavirus in each local authority across the UK, shows that Newport, Monmouthshire, Torfaen and Caerphilly all have lower incidence rates than the average in the UK.
COVID-19: Naples mayor sees Campania headed for lockdown
Naples Mayor Luigi De Magistris said Tuesday that he expects Campania to go into lockdown soon because of a spike in COVID-19 cases and blasted the management of the coronavirus by the administration of regional Governor Vincenzo De Luca. "I think very serious mistakes were made by the region and that's not passing the buck," De Magistris told RAI radio. "The (contagion) numbers speak for themselves. "De Luca even banned the doctors from telling the truth."The problem is not young people (out socializing). "We are sure to go into lockdown in Campania. There are (just) 15 places (left) in intensive care". De Luca last week closed schools in Campania, which had been the last region in Italy to reopen them last month, until the end of October due to the pandemic, irking central government and parents. "Closing the schools just after they reopened is so sad," said De Magistris.
Navarre declares perimetral lockdown of entire region to contain coronavirus spread
The entire Navarre region in northern Spain will be confined from this Thursday onward for a 15-day period, in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus. People will only be able to enter or leave the area if it is for work reasons, to access care services or in cases of emergency. The regional government also announced on Monday evening that the entire hostelry sector would be closed, as well as an obligatory 9pm closure for commercial, cultural and sporting activities. The regional premier, María Chivite of the Navarre Socialist Party, justified the measures on Monday due to the spread of the virus in the region, and the progressive rise in pressure on area hospitals. The 14-day cumulative number of coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants has reached 945, according to the latest report from the Spanish Health Ministry, which is way above the national average of 312.
Ireland to impose 5km travel limit in strict new Covid lockdown
Ireland is to close much of its economy and society in a second Covid-19 lockdown that imposes some of the severest restrictions in Europe. Non-essential shops will close and people are asked to stay at home, with a 5km (3 mile) travel limit for exercise, to curb surging infection rates, the government announced on Monday evening. From midnight on Wednesday the country will move to its highest lockdown tier for six weeks. Visits to private homes or gardens will not be permitted and there are to be no gatherings except for tightly controlled weddings and funerals.
Vietnam is fighting Covid without pitting economic growth against public health
To date, Vietnam (population: 95 million) has recorded 35 deaths from the novel coronavirus. Vietnam had all the ingredients for a Covid-19 disaster. It has a 1,300km (800-mile) border with China, with lots of informal trade via secret mountain trails, and an under-developed healthcare system (albeit a well functioning one). So, beyond contact-tracing, why has Vietnam been so good at dealing with the pandemic? The central reason is perhaps the way the government has depoliticised the pandemic, treating it purely as a health crisis, allowing for effective governance. There was no political motive for government officials to hide information, as they don’t face being reprimanded if there are positive cases in their authority area that are not due to their mistakes.
New COVID-19 outbreak rocks New Zealand as 11 new cases emerge - just days after Jacinda Ardern win
At least 11 new coronavirus cases were confirmed in New Zealand on Tuesday Fishermen quarantining at the Sudima Hotel in Christchurch tested positive Comes days after Jacinda Ardern was re-elected as New Zealand prime minister The Sudima Hotel, housing hundreds of workers, was placed into lockdown
Spain considers curfews to fight new coronavirus wave
The Spanish government is considering new restrictions, including possible curfews, in hard-hit regions like Madrid to tackle a new wave of coronavirus contagion, Health Minister Salvador Illa said on Tuesday. The country, which has Western Europe’s highest case load, is likely to surpass one million infections this week and several regions have toughened their coronavirus restrictions in the past few days. “We have very tough weeks ahead, winter is coming,” Illa told reporters. “The second wave is no longer a threat, it is a reality in all of Europe.”
Belgium may need to return to full COVID lockdown: virologist
Belgium will need to postpone all non-essential hospital procedures to deal with a surge in COVID-19 infections, Health Minister Frank Vandenbroucke told lawmakers on Tuesday, days after warning of a COVID “tsunami” hitting the country. The nation of 11 million people had 816 new COVID-19 infections per 100,000 residents over the past week, according to official figures, second only to the Czech Republic in Europe, and has lost 10,443 people to the disease, among the world’s highest per capita fatality rates.
Part of Bavaria goes into first German lockdown since April
Residents of the Berchtesgadener Land district of Bavaria will not be able to leave their homes without a valid reason for two weeks from Tuesday, officials said on Monday, making it the first area in Germany to go back into lockdown since April. The decision, which takes effect from 2 p.m. (1200 GMT) on Tuesday, follows a spike in coronavirus cases in the district to 272.8 per 100,000 inhabitants over seven days.
As FDA sets the stage for the first Covid-19 vaccine EUAs, some big players are asking for a tweak of the guidelines
Setting the stage for an extraordinary one-day meeting of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, the FDA has cleared 2 experts of financial conflicts to help beef up the committee. And regulators went on to specify the safety, efficacy and CMC input they’re looking for on EUAs, before they move on to the full BLA approval process. Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel recently outlined his new timeline, looking to nail down interim efficacy and safety data by the second half of next month that could allow them to hunt an EUA — provided the data work. And Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has just shifted his stance on their EUA timing to a point just after the looming election, underscoring how the scene has continued to change in light of a heated partisan debate between a president who has repeatedly promised a quick OK and his political opponent, who’s waiting for a thumbs up from experts like NIAID chief Anthony Fauci before offering his own support.
The Government Tightening Its Belt with the North will Keep Us All in this COVID Chaos
Spurred by well-funded lockdown sceptics, there has been a bizarre rhetorical separation – in the UK at least – between saving lives and protecting the economy. Boris Johnson has rejected a second, nationwide lockdown, contrary to the advice of SAGE, as he says it would be “disastrous” for the economy. But there is no prospect of an economic revival until the virus has been suppressed and no evidence that this can be achieved without locking down, reducing cases to a manageable level, and implementing an effective test, trace and isolate regime. The alternative is a zombie economy; stubbornly avoiding death, yet with no prospect of ever being fully alive and healthy. Stopping the virus will save the economy; and saving the economy will stop the virus. Perhaps the Cabinet should turn this into a morning chant, to restore some financial generosity to some of its tight-fisted members.
Maintaining Services
What are the treatment options for COVID-19?
What are the treatment options for COVID-19? There are several, and which one is best depends on how sick someone is. For example, steroids such as dexamethasone can lower the risk of dying for severely ill patients. But they may do the opposite for those who are only mildly ill. In the United States, no treatments are specifically approved for COVID-19 but a few have been authorized for emergency use and several more are being considered. A panel of experts convened by the National Institutes of Health updates guidelines as new studies come out. Here’s what’s advised for various patients: -- Not hospitalized or hospitalized but not needing extra oxygen: No specific drugs recommended, and a warning against using steroids.
Rural U.S. Hospitals Are On Life Support As a Third Wave of COVID-19 Strikes
When COVID-19 hit the Southwest Georgia Regional Medical Center in Cuthbert, a small rural town in Randolph County, in late March, the facility—which includes a 25-bed hospital, an adjacent nursing home and a family-medicine clinic, was quickly overwhelmed. In just a matter of days, 45 of the 62 nursing home residents tested positive. Negative residents were isolated in the hospital while the severely ill patients from both the nursing home and the local community were transferred to other better-equipped facilities. “We were trying to get the patients out as fast as possible,” says Steve Whatley, Southwest Georgia Regional’s board chairman. “It was a daily nightmare.”
COVID, tech advances could disrupt 85 million jobs by 2025: WEF
The coronavirus pandemic has deepened inequalities across labour markets and accelerated the urgency with which the public and private sectors must act to ensure millions of people remain employable in a changing jobs market, the World Economic Forum (WEF) stressed on Tuesday. Within the next five years, automation and a new division of labour between humans and machines will disrupt 85 million jobs around the world, WEF’s Future of Jobs Report 2020 found. Remote work is here to stay and going forward, workers should expect to change careers and hone skills multiple times throughout their careers to adapt to new labour trends.
Remember concerts? In covid-free New Zealand, it’s a reality and not just a memory.
New Zealand is one of a handful of countries to have successfully curtailed community spread of covid-19, having been widely praised for its “go hard, go early” approach. With a population around 5 million, New Zealand has to date registered fewer than 2,000 cases of covid-19 and 25 deaths. New Zealand also boasts an embarrassment of music talent. That ranges from small, scrappy, critically adored bands like the Beths to festival headliners like drum and bass act Shapeshifter, pop A-lister Lorde, arena rock unit Six60, and TikTok-fueled starlet Benee. The latter has just wrapped a tour during which she live-streamed a concert from the 12,000-person capacity Spark Arena. “That’ll be one of the only live streams [that’s not] someone alone in their living room,” Campbell Smith, who co-manages Benee, said a few days before the event. “You can see, in New Zealand, thousands of people jammed together at a concert, legitimately.”
China Moving On From Pandemic As Europe, Parts Of U.S. Brace For More
The SARS 2 pandemic is still raging on in Europe. Parts of the U.S. are seeing hospitals under duress. But China, where all this began, is moving along. China’s GDP grew 4.9% year-on-year in the third quarter, accelerating from 3.2% growth in the previous quarter, official data showed yesterday. Market consensus had it growing a little stronger than that — at 5.5% — but it’s better than the rest of the world’s economic progress as the pandemic continues. The latest encouraging data from China gives us an insight into the recovery in store once a vaccine is released and the outbreak is contained.
Beyond the police state to COVID-safe: life after lockdown will need a novel approach
As second-wave outbreaks of COVID-19 around the world demonstrate, it’s a tricky transition from hard lockdowns to more relaxed, but still effective, measures. The responses of different nations (Sweden and Taiwan, for example) have their champions, but the truth is there no shining example to follow on how to keep the coronavirus in check while returning, as much as possible, to living life as before. Right now the government of Victoria, Australia’s second most populous state, is involved in just such an experiment. Its success in moving beyond lockdown to a sustainable “COVID-normal” will hold lessons for nations still on the upward curve of their own second waves (such as Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Britain).
Healthcare Innovations
Exclusive: AstraZeneca U.S. COVID-19 Vaccine Trial May Resume as Soon as This Week - Sources
AstraZeneca Plc's COVID-19 vaccine trial in the United States is expected to resume as early as this week after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration completed its review of a serious illness, four sources told Reuters. AstraZeneca's large, late-stage U.S. trial has been on hold since Sept. 6, after a participant in the company's UK trial fell ill with what was suspected to be a rare spinal inflammatory disorder called transverse myelitis. The sources, who were briefed on the matter but asked to remain anonymous, said they have been told the trial could resume later this week. It was unclear how the FDA would characterize the illness, they said.
UK plans COVID-19 "challenge" trials that deliberately infect volunteers
Britain will help to fund trials using a manufactured COVID-19 virus to deliberately infect young healthy volunteers with the hope of accelerating the development of vaccines against it.
Patients who had more severe COVID-19 may be the best donors for convalescent plasma therapy: Study links stronger antibody responses to more severe disease, as well as more advanced age and male sex
Sex, age, and severity of disease may be useful in identifying COVID-19 survivors who are likely to have high levels of antibodies that can protect against the disease, according to a new study co-led by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The findings suggest that older males who have recovered from COVID-19 after having been hospitalized are strong candidates for donating plasma for treating COVID-19 patients. Doctors have been using infusions of plasma -- the part of blood that contains antibodies -- from recovered COVID-19 patients to treat COVID-19 patients and also as a possible prophylaxis to prevent COVID-19. Doctors have used convalescent plasma to treat patients or immunize persons at high risk of virus exposure during outbreaks of measles, mumps, polio, Ebola, and even the 1918 pandemic flu.
Could certain COVID-19 vaccines leave people more vulnerable to the AIDS virus?
Certain COVID-19 vaccine candidates could increase susceptibility to HIV, warns a group of researchers who in 2007 learned that an experimental HIV vaccine had raised in some people the risk for infection with the AIDS virus. These concerns have percolated in the background of the race for a vaccine to stem the coronavirus pandemic, but now the researchers have gone public with a “cautionary tale,” in part because trials of those candidates may soon begin in locales that have pronounced HIV epidemics, such as South Africa. Some approved and experimental vaccines have as a backbone a variety of adenoviruses, which can cause the common cold but are often harmless. The ill-fated HIV vaccine trial used an engineered strain known as adenovirus 5 (Ad5) to shuttle into the body the gene for the surface protein of the AIDS virus. In four candidate COVID-19 vaccines now in clinical trials in several countries, including the United States, Ad5 similarly serves as the “vector” to carry in the surface protein gene of SARS-CoV-2, the viral cause of the pandemic; two of these have advanced to large-scale, phase III efficacy studies in Russia and Pakistan.
This 14-year-old girl won a $25K prize for a discovery that could lead to a cure for Covid-19
As scientists around the world race to find a treatment for the coronavirus, a young girl among them stands out. Anika Chebrolu, a 14-year-old from Frisco, Texas, has just won the 2020 3M Young Scientist Challenge -- and a $25,000 prize -- for a discovery that could provide a potential therapy to Covid-19. Anika's winning invention uses in-silico methodology to discover a lead molecule that can selectively bind to the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. "The last two days, I saw that there is a lot of media hype about my project since it involves the SARS-CoV-2 virus and it reflects our collective hopes to end this pandemic as I, like everyone else, wish that we go back to our normal lives soon," Anika told CNN.
As FDA sets the stage for the first Covid-19 vaccine EUAs, some big players are asking for a tweak of the guidelines
Setting the stage for an extraordinary one-day meeting of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, the FDA has cleared 2 experts of financial conflicts to help beef up the committee. And regulators went on to specify the safety, efficacy and CMC input they’re looking for on EUAs, before they move on to the full BLA approval process. Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel recently outlined his new timeline, looking to nail down interim efficacy and safety data by the second half of next month that could allow them to hunt an EUA — provided the data work. And Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla has just shifted his stance on their EUA timing to a point just after the looming election, underscoring how the scene has continued to change in light of a heated partisan debate between a president who has repeatedly promised a quick OK and his political opponent, who’s waiting for a thumbs up from experts like NIAID chief Anthony Fauci before offering his own support.
Moderna CEO sees virus vaccine interim data in November: Report
Moderna Inc’s Chief Executive Officer Stephane Bancel expects interim results from its coronavirus vaccine trial in November and that the United States government could approve the drug for emergency use in December, the Wall Street Journal newspaper reported. Speaking at the newspaper’s annual Tech Live conference, Bancel also said on Monday that if sufficient interim results from the study are delayed, government permission to use the vaccine may not come until next year.
Why the coronavirus is killing more men than women
Men have weaker immune systems that, in some cases, may actually sabotage the body’s response to an invader. But social and cultural factors may also play a role.