Must-Know News For This Monday

Another vaccine reaches 90% effectiveness in its trial period.

The vaccine being developed by Oxford University, and manufactured by AstraZeneca revealed the results of late-stage trials show their vaccine to have 70-90% effectiveness. This vaccine is different from those developed by Pfizer and Moderna in several ways.

First, AstraZeneca administered the vaccines in two different dosing regimens. First was a half-dose of the vaccine administered, then a full dose at least a month later. This regimen showed 90% efficacy. The other approach was two full doses given at least a month apart, which showed 62% efficacy, for a combined 70% efficacy for the vaccine.

The vaccine is also not required to be stored and transported in extremely low temperatures like the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, making it easier to send and store for distribution. The price is yet another way that it differentiates itself from the pack. AstraZeneca’s vaccine cost $2.50 a dose, compared to Pfizer’s $20 a dose cost, and Moderna’s $15-$25 cost per dose.

“We’re not thinking about vaccinations working in terms of one person at a time. We have to think about vaccinating communities, populations, reducing transmission within those populations, so that we really get on top of this pandemic,″
-Sarah Gilbert, a leader of the Oxford research team.

The results of these trials come from the U.K. and Brazil which involved 23,000 volunteers. Trials in late stage are also currently underway in the U.S., Japan, Russia, South Africa, Kenya, and Latin America.

Antibodies treatment approved for emergency use in treatment of COVID-19

One of the experimental treatments given to president Trump while he was battling coronavirus was just approved by the FDA for emergency use. This treatment, comprised of two antibodies, was developed by the biotech Regeneron and is the second antibody treatment to win the approval of the FDA.

The combination of casirivimab and imdevimab is administered through IV. When administered to 800 people in a clinical trial, it showed significant improvement and reduced levels of the virus within days of treatment.

The FDA has announced the approval is for mild to moderate cases of the virus who are high risk for developing more severe symptoms, ages 12 and older. This treatment is not for patients with severe symptoms who are hospitalized and need oxygen.

“We will continue to facilitate the development, evaluation and availability of COVID-19 therapies.”
-Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, acting director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research

The treatment is a synthetic version of human antibodies that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful pathogens, like those of coronavirus, binding it and preventing it from invading cells.

The company estimates that 300,000 doses will be given to eligible patients at no cost.

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