"Connecting Communities for COVID19 News" 29th Jul 2020

Isolation Tips
Lockdown led to happiness rebound after wellbeing plunged with onset of pandemic
The coronavirus outbreak caused life satisfaction to fall sharply, but lockdown went a long way to restoring contentment—even reducing the "wellbeing inequality" between well-off professionals and the unemployed, according to a new study. Researchers from Cambridge's Bennett Institute for Public Policy used a year's worth of data taken from weekly YouGov surveys and Google searches to track wellbeing in the British population before and during the pandemic. They say it is one of the first studies to distinguish the effects of the pandemic from those of lockdown on psychological welfare, as it uses week-by-week data, rather than monthly or annual comparisons. The proportion of Britons self-reporting as "happy" halved in just three weeks: from 51% just before the UK's first COVID-19 fatality, to 25% by the time national lockdown began.
UK lockdown life: Binge eating, more alcohol, less exercise
People have been binge eating, drinking more, exercising less and suffering increased anxiety during COVID-19 lockdowns, according to preliminary findings of a UK study on Monday, with knock-on impacts likely on rates of obesity and mental illness. An online survey of around 800 adults in England who were asked about their health and habits during late June and early July found a stark rise in negative mental health, coupled with unhealthy eating and drinking, poor sleep and less exercise. Younger adults appeared to be disproportionately suffering from sadness and anxiety, while 46% of survey participants said they had been less active during lockdown. Many also reported binge eating or said they were eating more unhealthy, processed snacks and drinking more alcohol.
Hygiene Helpers
Coronavirus: WHO director general says New Zealand's apt Covid-19 response prevented a large-scale outbreak
New Zealand’s Covid-19 response has once again been put on a pedestal by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus​, WHO’s director general, noted New Zealand was one of the countries that followed advice from WHO around physical distancing, hand hygiene, testing, contact tracing and quarantining. “Where these measures are followed, cases go down. Where they’re not, cases go up. “Countries and communities that have followed this advice carefully and consistently have done well, either in preventing large-scale outbreaks – like Cambodia, New Zealand, Rwanda, Thailand, Vietnam, and islands in the Pacific and Caribbean – or in bringing large outbreaks under control – like Canada, China, Germany and the Republic of Korea,” he said at Monday’s Covid-19 media briefing.
Blaming Obesity Is Not The Solution To Coronavirus
Health campaigns, a weight loss app or even banning adverts and promotion deals will not help the poorest households afford a healthy diet, Dr Nisreen Alwan writes.
Oldham takes measures to avoid full coronavirus lockdown
People in Oldham have been told to stop visiting friends and family to avoid a full local lockdown after the number of coronavirus cases more than quadrupled in a week. Health officials in the Greater Manchester town imposed new restrictions on Tuesday after the confirmed number of Covid-19 cases rose from 26 to 119 in the week to 25 July. Oldham council urged residents not to have social visitors beyond those in their support bubble and said clinically vulnerable people would now have to shield for a further two weeks, until 14 August. Care homes in the town will no longer relax visiting restrictions.
'Negligence to blame' for Germany coronavirus spike
Negligence is to blame for Germany’s steady rise in new coronavirus infections, one of its senior health officials has said. Lothar Wieler, the head of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the government agency responsible for disease control, said Germans had become careless about social distancing. His warning came as several European countries experienced COVID-19 spikes. Wieler said on Tuesday: “The new developments in Germany make me very worried. The rise has to do with the fact that we have become negligent.”
Reopening the Office? Here's How to Stymie Transmission of Covid-19.
Work that requires physical interactions — construction, retail, food service, entertainment, sports, medical care, education, and salons – will require significant changes to the physical environment and individual behaviors. In designing those changes, leaders should aim for a path-breaking strategy: creating behavioral protocols and built environments that break transmission paths. In other words, effective re-opening strategies focus on breaking up connecting paths rather than just reducing number of connections. Two workplaces might have equal numbers of potential connections through which the virus can spread; but if one workplace disrupts more pathways, it will be doing more to stop the spread of the virus.
Midwest Could See Surge In COVID-19 Cases Unless States Are More Careful, Fauci Warns
The Midwest could be the next area to see a big surge in coronavirus cases, the top U.S. infectious disease specialist warned Tuesday. But there's still time to stop the upswing, he said, if states follow the national guidelines on reopening safely. While the Southern United States has been seeing the fastest rise in cases, that now appears to be on the downswing, Fauci told George Stephanopoulos on ABC's Good Morning America. Fauci's concern is that states including Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky are showing signs of impending danger. Based on the number of positive coronavirus tests in those states, they "are starting to have that very early indication" of a surge, he said. "That's a surefire sign that you've got to be really careful."
The art of contact tracing for the new workplace
I took the step out of curiosity. It was interesting to see a table blocking the entrance of the local temple and unless you enter your name and contact details after removing your shoes, you are not allowed to the almighty – as per NZ government rules. After all, the virus does not care about its creator. It only cares about one thing – reproduction. To its credit, the New Zealand government did try to learn the art of contact tracing during lockdown which reduced its cases to less than 50 in the country. All businesses, temples, churches, gyms, schools have a contact tracing register now. Going to a gym? You are not allowed entry – unless you enter your name and contact number in a register. This level of strictness made the island nation keep its numbers low, which reduced to zero at one point before increasing back to 20s (all in quarantine in government sponsored hotels).
Coronavirus Is Back With a Vengeance in Places Where It Had All but Vanished
Australia reported only a handful of new coronavirus cases in early June, while Hong Kong went three weeks without a single locally transmitted infection that month. Japan had already lifted a state of emergency in May after the number of new cases dropped to a few dozen nationwide. All three reported new high-water marks in daily infection numbers in the past week, showing how difficult it can be to keep the virus at bay, even in places lauded for taking early and decisive action. The number of infections in all three places are still small in comparison to the world’s hardest hit countries, but the fresh waves demonstrate the tricky balancing act authorities face as they attempt to reopen their economies. One misstep can quickly undo the gains from weeks of closures, and public-health experts say some complacency and fatigue with social-distancing restrictions is inevitable in a long pandemic
No lockdown as China rolls out virus-testing blitz
Beijing is responding to coronavirus cases flaring up in Xinjiang and Liaoning with tactics proven to have helped the Chinese capital squash a viral resurgence in June and swiftly return to normal. Xinjiang officials say they found 41 new infections on Monday, bringing the overall tally to 254 since the first Covid-19 patient in more than five months in the far western region was identified and segregated on July 15. The re-emergence of cases in the vast and still restive border region has mainly hit Xinjiang’s capital Urumqi, but the city of more than four million residents has never been placed under a sweeping lockdown. Rather, within a fortnight, two million locals were said to have been tested as cadres scrambled to roll out mandatory yet free testing schemes covering each neighborhood.
Calls for 'New Zealand-style' stage-four coronavirus lockdown in Victoria
As daily cases of coronavirus surged beyond 500 for the first time in Victoria on Monday, a growing number of experts are urging the state government to enforce a stricter lockdown. The president of Victoria’s Australian Medical Association, Associate Professor Julian Rait, believes if a similar lockdown that was rolled out in New Zealand was implemented across metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire, it could provide a quicker route out of the current crisis. "What New Zealand did for a month is that they closed pretty much all businesses other than pharmacies, medical clinics, grocery stores, petrol stations and really curtailed a lot of retail shopping, and a lot of businesses," he told Melbourne radio station 3AW. "That’s the model that I would look to and clearly they were able to achieve elimination through that with a month of such measures.”
Community Activities
Covid studies to examine virus link with ethnicity
UK scientists are to receive millions of pounds of government funding for a raft of studies to learn why people from an ethnic minority background are at greater risk from Covid-19. Six projects will analyse data on social circumstances, health and day-to-day activities, as well as investigating genetic risk factors. One will follow 30,000 health and social-care staff for a year. Researchers say there will be rapid action based on the findings. Prof Kamlesh Khunti, director of the Centre for BME Health at the University of Leicester, who is involved in three of the studies, told BBC News he expected results to be translated into guidance that would help save black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) lives within months.
Retirement community members get hands dirty for safe pandemic activity
In the midst of COVID-19 restrictions, people are having to find more activities to do at home. That can be especially difficult at nursing homes and retirement communities where a majority of deaths have been reported in Kentucky. One retirement community, however, is staying safe, while getting their hands dirty. When the global health crisis hit, residents at the Masonic Homes turned to gardening to pass the time, but supplies were hard to come by due to increased interest in the activity.
Hundreds of food boxes delivered to families in need across west Cheshire
More than 700 ingredient boxes a week will be delivered to families across west Cheshire as communities continue to pull together during the Covid-19 pandemic. This project is part of a holiday activity fund which provides free nutritious food and activities at a wide range of holiday clubs over the summer. Cllr Louise Gittins, leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council and Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, said: “This remains a difficult and unprecedented time, and we know that there are families in our communities who are struggling financially.
How the Coronavirus Could Shrink the Number of Child Care Providers
Child care looks very different at Baby Steps Nature School in San Francisco since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. And it's not just because staff are taking temperatures, greeting families at the curb, and everyone over 3 is wearing a face mask. The games the children and staff play are different too, says owner Patricia Sullivan.
Don’t Trash Our Future: Daily Mirror backs campaign to fine litterbugs £1,000
Two thirds of Britons say ­littering and fly-tipping has exploded during lockdown. The litter epidemic is laid bare in a survey by community and information platform InYourArea.co.uk and our nationwide network of newspapers and websites. Despite a surge in dumping – linked to fewer bin collections – four in five said they were too fearful to confront fly-tippers. A third of the 7,500 surveyed said the fine for littering should go up from £150 to between £250 to £500, 16% said it should be increased to £501 to £1,000, while 18% said it should be more than £1,000.
Working Remotely
Remote work and office life go hand in hand in a flexible future
The experience of remote work during the lockdown has focussed attention on the new role of the office, a new report claims
Siemens is allowing employees to work more from home
Siemens have given their employees the opportunity to work remotely for two or three days a week. The decision was made after the company was forced to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.The changes have been associated with a different leadership style that focuses on outcomes oppose to time spent at the office.
Scotiabank to allow most head office employees to work remotely until 2021
Bank of Nova Scotia said on Tuesday that it has asked most of its employees in its head office to continue to work remotely until 2021 with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing companies to adopt work from home globally. Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has also said that while it is likely it will have a small number of people returning to office, most of its employees will continue to work remotely for an “extended period of time”. The pandemic has led to strict lockdowns in most countries and changed the way businesses function, with work-from-home emerging as the new norm.
Virtual Classrooms
Teacher's association says in-classroom learning isn't safe yet
The Utah Education Association says it is not safe to return to in-person learning in the fall. The association says they had been working on plans for a safe return to school, but with COVID-19 cases where they are, they don’t think there’s a way to do it safely. They want to the state to start the year learning online. “We’re not expendable. We can’t be having an experiment going into this school year," said Heidi Matthews, president of UEA.
FEATURE--Pandemic turns smartphones from luxury to must-have as India's schools go online
Neither he nor his wife have ever been online, and so far only their children have been making use of it. With no clear sign of schools reopening soon, internet access has become a must for children to follow classes, prompting more low-income families to scrape together the money to buy a cheap or second-hand smartphone for the first time. And with a school population of some 240 million, it could prove a boon for sales of low-cost devices to new users, industry analysts say, noting signs of an increase in purchases of used handsets in rural areas.
A quarter of CT students went MIA when COVID closed schools. Could holding live, online classes lure them back?
The pandemic has complicated that model. With many expecting schools to close again this upcoming school year as the virus rages around the country, educators must figure out how to lure online the 137,000 children throughout Connecticut who either didn’t participate in remote learning at all or did so minimally after school buildings closed last March.
Private tuition is thriving with schools closed during COVID-19
UK schools closed during the coronavirus pandemic, and parents turned to private, online tutors to help educate their children. Sign-ups to become tutors have rocketed during the COVID-19 crisis, and parents are using online tutors to plug the gaps in home teaching. Business Insider spoke to tutors to find out what it's been like to teach children online — and to discuss whether online tuition will last after lockdown.
Amid COVID-19, schools can opt for hybrid return in fall
After school districts were required to submit detailed reopening plans to the state last week, Gov. Ned Lamont has told districts that instead of full in-person learning models, they can opt for a hybrid model this fall. Lamont and state Department of Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona announced the change at a news conference Monday while answering questions from reporters after announcing results from recent surveys about back-to-school expectations. The news took some local school officials by surprise, they told The Day on Tuesday, as districts had been told to plan for a full reopening, as well as planning for the ability to quickly pivot between a hybrid learning model — or a combination of in-person and virtual learning — and out-of-school virtual learning, depending on how COVID-19 transmission rates fluctuate.
Public Policies
The conditions for a coronavirus spike in Spain were clear. Yet no one saw it coming
Spaniards were prepared to pardon. But, just as Americans cannot forgive Trump for leading the United States into a double-bump pandemic, so a sense of anger is building as Spain’s triumphant “defeat” of coronavirus threatens to become merely a brief holiday. New daily cases here have jumped to three times the level in Britain and show a steep progression. In the worst-hit areas, partial lockdowns are being reinstated, with the Catalan regional premier, Quim Torra, talking of a “critical situation” and threatening the harshest lockdown measures available to him within days. “I don’t want another 7,000 deaths,” he said. Community contagion – when nobody knows who is infecting who – is reportedly back in some parts.
Covid-19 outbreak in Xinjiang prompts fears of spread inside China's camps
Rising numbers of Covid-19 cases in the Xinjiang region has sparked fears the outbreak could reach the secretive internment camps where China is believed to have detained more than a million Muslim minority people. On Monday, Chinese health authorities reported 68 new cases of Covid-19, including 57 in the far western region of Xinjiang, bringing the area’s reported total to 235. After a reported five-month streak of no infections in Xinjiang, the outbreak that began almost two weeks ago has appeared to take hold in the capital city of Urumqi, and spread to Kashgar about 300km away.
Belgium curbs social contact after COVID-19 cases surge
Belgium announced sharp curbs on social contact on Monday after a surge of coronavirus infections in the past three weeks. Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes told a news conference that from Wednesday, a Belgian family or those living together would only be able to meet five other people over the next four weeks, sharply down from 15 now. The numbers allowed to attend public events will be halved to 100 for inside and 200 for outside. Consumers will have to shop on their own and Wilmes also said people should work from home as much as possible. “We are acting again today to keep the situation under control and to prevent a general lockdown,” Wilmes said, adding those infected appeared to be more contagious than when the country went into lockdown in mid-March.
Second COVID-19 wave forces new travel curbs around the globe
Nations in Asia imposed new restrictions on Monday, while an abrupt British quarantine on travellers from Spain threw Europe’s summer reopening into disarray, as the world confronted the prospect of a second wave of COVID-19 infections. In the United States, still dealing with its first wave as infection rates have climbed since June, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, became the most senior official to test positive. The White House said Trump had not interacted with him in days and was not at risk. Surges were reported in several countries that previously appeared to have the virus under control.
End of UK-Spain air bridge as much about politics as hard data
It was also down to lessons learned the hard way about slow v speedy decision-making over the course of the pandemic – the decision-making was as much about politics and messaging as hard data. Advisers studying the figures at the end of last week say they were deeply concerned about the rate of the rise in Spain, and the potential for thousands of cases to be imported by tourists. Though low in number, the coronavirus cases detected in holidaymakers returning from Spain are believed to be the first from a country which had been previously deemed to be safe to visit.
Malaysia township under lockdown as Sarawak state to reimpose restrictions after spike in coronavirus cases
Malaysia's state of Sarawak has put a township on lockdown as it considers reimposing further travel restrictions and shorter business hours following a surge of Covid-19 cases. The state disaster management committee declared Kota Sentosa and its vicinities in the state capital Kuching an "active case detection area", it said in a statement after a meeting chaired by state Chief Minister Abang Johari Tun Openg on Sunday (July 26). Under the lockdown, nobody would be allowed to leave or enter Kota Sentosa, The Malaysian Insight reported.
Vietnam suspends flights to and from Danang due to virus outbreak
Vietnam has suspended all flights to and from Danang for 15 days after at least 22 cases of the novel coronavirus had been detected in or around the city, the government said on Tuesday. The Southeast Asian country is back on high alert after authorities on Saturday confirmed the first community infections since April, and another three cases on Sunday, all in or around Danang. A further 11 cases linked to a Danang hospital were reported late on Monday, and seven in Danang and nearby Quang Nam province on Tuesday. All bus and train services to and from Danang have also been suspended from Tuesday, a government statement said.
Lebanon reimposes COVID-19 restrictions as infections spike
Lebanon reimposed severe COVID-19 restrictions on Monday for the next two weeks, shutting places of worship, cinemas, bars, nightclubs, sports events and popular markets, after a sharp rise in infections. Shops, private companies, banks and educational institutions would be permitted to open, but only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with a near total lockdown in place Thursday through Monday until Aug 10. This week’s lockdown coincides with the Eid al-Adha holiday when Muslims normally hold large gatherings. Officials said they were alarmed by a spike in cases in recent days, with at least 132 new infections and eight deaths confirmed in the last 24 hours. Lebanon has recorded just ‮51‬ deaths from the coronavirus since February‮.‬ ‮”‬We have to go back a step back and work with determination as though the pandemic has now begun,” Minister of Health Hamad Hassan was quoted in state media as saying. “We have to work more seriously to avoid a medical humanitarian catastrophe.”
Coronavirus: Hong Kong bans gatherings of more than two people after spike in cases
Hong Kong has banned gatherings of more than two people as countries across the world try to control new coronavirus outbreaks. The Chinese territory has also banned restaurant dining and introduced rules making it mandatory to wear masks in public places after a spike in locally-transmitted coronavirus cases over the past three weeks. Authorities reported 145 cases on Monday, a new daily record, of which 142 were locally-transmitted cases.
Maintaining Services
Venice becomes first major film festival to return after coronavirus lockdown
Helen Mirren, Shia LaBeouf and Greta Thunberg are among the big names due to be on display at the 2020 Venice film festival, as it gears up to be the first major festival to stage a physical event in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Inevitably the lineup has a slimmed-down feel, with many films delayed or held back, meaning there is little in the way of Venice’s traditional dose of Hollywood glamour.
German And U.K. Officials Warn Of A Possible New COVID-19 Wave In Europe
The European Union successfully flattened the curve of COVID-19 cases in the spring – but a second wave could be building in parts of the EU, according to both British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the head of Germany's disease agency. "I'm afraid you are starting to see, in some places, the signs of a second wave of the pandemic" in Europe, Johnson said Tuesday. "We don't know yet if this is the beginning of a second wave, but of course it could be," said Lothar Wieler, head of Germany's infectious disease agency, the Robert Koch Institute. His remarks were reported by Deutsche Welle.
Berlin couple test positive for coronavirus after Manchester visit
An urgent track and trace operation is under way in Berlin after a couple tested positive for coronavirus after returning from a holiday to visit friends in Manchester. Fifty people who have had contact with the couple since their return are in quarantine, of whom 13 have so far tested positive for Covid-19. The Turkish couple, a 50-year-old taxi driver and his 45-year-old wife, arrived home on a Ryanair flight on 16 July. They were not diagnosed until six days after their return. The whole family is now infected, including the couple’s four children, aged nine to 21, and their grandmother.
Coronavirus outbreaks are inevitable if Ontario reopens schools
In many of Ontario’s large urban centres, children may not be safe in classrooms in September. Among the returning cohort, there will almost certainly be asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19. The science is clear that asymptomatic children have unknowingly spread the virus to others in schools. School children have also infected their parents. Otto Helve, a pediatric infectious disease expert, correctly observed: “Outbreaks in schools are inevitable.”
Coronavirus-linked hunger tied to 10000 child deaths each month
All around the world, the coronavirus and its restrictions are pushing already hungry communities over the edge, cutting off meager farms from markets and isolating villages from food and medical aid. Virus-linked hunger is leading to the deaths of 10,000 more children a month over the first year of the pandemic, according to an urgent call to action from the United Nations shared with The Associated Press ahead of its publication in the Lancet medical journal.
'We feel safer in Fuerteventura than Blackburn': The British tourists who are still flying out to Spain so they don't lose their money - despite Boris's second wave warning and ...
Tourists heading to Spain were today determined to continue with their travels despite the PM's warning. Those leaving from Manchester said Spain was dealing with Covid better and they could not get refunds. Boris Johnson today defended move and said there was 'second wave' in Europe, while Spanish PM hit back
Why the move to online instruction won’t reduce college costs
As COVID-19 swept across the country in March, colleges shuttered and millions of students and instructors were propelled into a world of distance education. Institutional leaders are now grappling with how to provide a quality education over the academic year ahead while also guarding the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff. Online instruction is a core component of many colleges’ strategies, with a growing number abandoning in-person plans for the fall. Questions about the feasibility, quality, equity, and costs of online instruction sit front and center. Our recent analysis suggests that the difficulty of shifting instruction online is likely to vary across fields of study, and that movement to online education is unlikely to reduce instructional costs.
What Spain Is Telling Us About Second Wave of Coronavirus
A new flare-up in infections on the continent is a grim reminder of the more immediate epidemiological threat. While it’s not a second wave yet, it’s a serious test of government strategies intended to avoid one. Cases are rising across the region at the fastest pace since tough lockdown measures were lifted, although overall infections remain much lower than the outbreak’s April peak. In Spain, new daily cases hit almost 1,000 last week, driven by local spikes in areas such as Aragon and Catalonia, where nightclubs are now being closed and curfews applied on bars. In Belgium, an increase in infections has forced the government to roll out tougher social-distancing measures, such as limiting face-to-face interactions.
Healthcare Innovations
Pfizer Says Covid Could Endure, Sees Long-Term Need for Shot
Pfizer Inc. is preparing for the novel coronavirus to endure, leading to long-term demand for a seasonal shot to protect against Covid-19. The New York pharmaceutical giant and its German partner BioNTech SE are front-runners in the race to develop a Covid-19 vaccine, employing a technology known as messenger RNA that can quickly advance through clinical studies. The companies dosed their first U.S. patient in a late-stage trial Monday, and they could be ready to seek approval from regulators as early as October. There has been a growing sense that a one-time vaccine regimen may not be enough to ward off Covid-19 forever. It isn’t clear how long coronavirus antibodies can protect people from the disease, and early trials haven’t yet yielded proof that a shot could prevent infection for an extended period of time. Pfizer said it expects that a Covid-19 vaccine could, like the flu shot, be an inoculation that is needed regularly to be effective.
Survey suggests aerosol is significant form of COVID-19 transmission
Early results from a survey of 2000 people in the UK and US has suggested that the COVID-19 transmitted through aerosol transmission is materially significant. The survey analysed by a team of data scientists in the UK, Norway and the US is one of the first to examine a wide range of personal and work-related predictors of transmission. Taking both samples together, being tall more than doubled the probability of having a COVID 19 medical diagnosis or positive test for people over 6ft. The data in both countries, argue the researchers, could suggest that aerosol transmission is very likely, with taller individuals at higher risk – something that would not be expected if transmission was exclusively through droplets. And that, they say, something that would not have been observed if downward droplet transmission was the only transmission mechanism.
Loss of smell from Covid-19 is not permanent, scientists say
Loss of smell caused by the coronavirus has baffled scientists. Now, it has been discovered that it's not the crucial sensory neurons affected. Instead, the cells the provide structural support are infiltrated by the virus. These can be repaired, offering hope that anosmia is not permanent
Evaluation of the mRNA-1273 Vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 in Nonhuman Primates
The mRNA-1273 vaccine candidate induced antibody levels exceeding those in human convalescent-phase serum, with live-virus reciprocal 50% inhibitory dilution (ID50) geometric mean titers of 501 in the 10-μg dose group and 3481 in the 100-μg dose group. Vaccination induced type 1 helper T-cell (Th1)–biased CD4 T-cell responses and low or undetectable Th2 or CD8 T-cell responses. Viral replication was not detectable in BAL fluid by day 2 after challenge in seven of eight animals in both vaccinated groups. No viral replication was detectable in the nose of any of the eight animals in the 100-μg dose group by day 2 after challenge, and limited inflammation or detectable viral genome or antigen was noted in lungs of animals in either vaccine group.
Monkey Data Support Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine
The mRNA vaccine co-developed by Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) protected both the upper and lower airways of non-human primates against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Rhesus macaques receiving low or high doses of mRNA-1273 vaccine (10 or 100 μg, two injections 4 weeks apart) were then challenged with the virus via both the nose and the lungs a month after the second injection. Seven of eight vaccinated monkeys in both dosing groups had no detectable virus in the lungs two days afterwards, whereas viral RNA was found in lungs of all eight monkeys receiving placebo, according to Barney Graham, MD, PhD, of NIAID, and colleagues.
COVID-19: The Latest NICE Guidance
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has added to its growing set of rapid COVID-19 guidelines. The latest addition covers arrangements the NHS should put in place for patients needing elective surgery and other planned treatments and procedures, including diagnostics and imaging, during the pandemic.