Infectious Diseases

EU seeking ‘urgent clarification’ on Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine delay

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Company has said it is postponing deployment in Europe following concerns about blood clots in US Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The European commission is seeking “urgent clarification” from Johnson & Johnson after the company’s “completely unexpected” announcement that it has… Read More »EU seeking ‘urgent clarification’ on Johnson & Johnson Covid vaccine delay

Medicines watchdog says no decision made AstraZeneca jab for under-30s

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Medicines Healthcare products Regulatory Authority was considering restricting vaccine amid concerns over rare blood clots Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The UK’s medicines regulatory body has said that no decision has been made on any regulatory action relating to the Oxford/AstraZeneca… Read More »Medicines watchdog says no decision made AstraZeneca jab for under-30s

Regulators questioned integrity of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, leaked files show

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European regulators questioned the integrity of early batches of Pfizer/BioNTech’s mRNA vaccine, although the matter was resolved before approval, according to information leaked online following a cyberattack. As it conducted its analysis of the vaccine in December, the European Medicines Agency’s systems were targeted by… Read More »Regulators questioned integrity of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, leaked files show

At AstraZeneca, we know that until everyone is safe from Covid, no one is safe | Pascal Soriot

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The scientific community are rising to the challenge, undertaking an unprecedented global health programme Pascal Soriot is the chief executive officer of AstraZeneca Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Covid-19 is a virus that knows no boundaries and has inflicted terrible suffering… Read More »At AstraZeneca, we know that until everyone is safe from Covid, no one is safe | Pascal Soriot

German politicians counter AstraZeneca vaccine scepticism with show of support

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Oxford Covid vaccine described in German media as ‘shelf warmer’ with only 17% of doses administered so far Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Politicians in Germany are stepping out in support of the AstraZeneca vaccine as public scepticism around the Oxford-developed… Read More »German politicians counter AstraZeneca vaccine scepticism with show of support

GSK expands coronavirus antibody tie-up to include potential flu therapies

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GlaxoSmithKline is expanding a coronavirus antibody collaboration with US biotech Vir, to include potential therapies for flu and other respiratory viruses. The big UK pharma is already working with Vir on antibody therapies for coronaviruses, and already have the antibody VIR-7831 in clinical trials including… Read More »GSK expands coronavirus antibody tie-up to include potential flu therapies

Oxford Covid vaccine 10% effective against South African variant, study suggests

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Small-scale trial of vaccine’s efficacy shows it offers very little protection against mild to moderate infection Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine offers as little as 10% protection against the Covid variant first seen in South Africa, researchers have… Read More »Oxford Covid vaccine 10% effective against South African variant, study suggests

Regeneron and Lilly post new data backing COVID antibody cocktails

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Regeneron is considering an emergency filing for its antibody cocktail REGEN-COV to protect people against COVID-19 after early trial results showed it conferred 100% protection against symptomatic infection. The announcement came after Eli Lilly posted results from its rival antibody cocktail, showing hospitalisations were reduced… Read More »Regeneron and Lilly post new data backing COVID antibody cocktails

German government challenges AstraZeneca Covid vaccine efficacy reports

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Newspaper had reported that government was expecting European regulator’s assessment to show that vaccine was only 8% effective among over-65 The German government has challenged reports of a lower-than-expected efficacy rate of the AstraZeneca vaccine for older people, while reiterating concerns about the British-Swedish pharmaceutical… Read More »German government challenges AstraZeneca Covid vaccine efficacy reports

World’s poor need action, not Covid ‘vaccine nationalism’, say experts

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Nations outbidding each other creates an ‘immoral race towards the abyss’ Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Pharmaceutical companies should do more to transfer vaccine technology to prevent the poorest countries falling behind in the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, according to an… Read More »World’s poor need action, not Covid ‘vaccine nationalism’, say experts

ConserV Bioscience works on mutation-proof coronavirus shots with US lab

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UK biotech ConserV Bioscience has joined with California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to develop broad-spectrum coronavirus vaccines as concerns mount over potentially more infectious strains emerging in the UK, South Africa and Brazil. This collaboration brings together ConserV’s expertise in identifying antigens and Lawrence Livermore… Read More »ConserV Bioscience works on mutation-proof coronavirus shots with US lab

Single Covid vaccine dose in Israel ‘less effective than we hoped’

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Surge in infections dampens optimism over country’s advanced immunisation programme Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Israel’s coronavirus tsar has warned that a single dose of the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine may be providing less protection than originally hoped, as the country reported a… Read More »Single Covid vaccine dose in Israel ‘less effective than we hoped’

Australia’s chief medical officer defends AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine amid efficacy concerns

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Australia has secured 54m doses of the vaccine some experts say is inferior to Pfizer’s mRNA vaccine, which Australia has bought just 10m doses of Covid hotspots Victoria; NSW hotspots; Queensland hotspots NSW and Sydney trend map: where cases are rising or falling Follow the… Read More »Australia’s chief medical officer defends AstraZeneca’s Covid vaccine amid efficacy concerns

Britain could be mass-producing its Covid shot. Shame we junked our industrial base | Aditya Chakrabortty

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The dire state of UK manufacturing has left us dependent on other nations. We may soon find out why some call this a ‘national security risk’ Everything now hinges on a vaccine: how many more Britons die, whether the NHS finally breaks, how long the… Read More »Britain could be mass-producing its Covid shot. Shame we junked our industrial base | Aditya Chakrabortty

Scheme to get Covid vaccine to poorer countries at ‘high risk’ of failure

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Risk assessment documents say cost, delays and shortages could lead to billions not vaccinated until 2024 Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The global scheme to deliver Covid-19 vaccines to poorer countries faces a “very high” risk of failure, potentially leaving billions… Read More »Scheme to get Covid vaccine to poorer countries at ‘high risk’ of failure

NHS told not to give Pfizer vaccine to extreme allergy sufferers after two people have reaction

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Anyone scheduled to receive vaccine will be asked about history of allergic reactions Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Regulators have issued a warning that people who have a history of “significant” allergic reactions should not currently receive the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine… Read More »NHS told not to give Pfizer vaccine to extreme allergy sufferers after two people have reaction

BioNTech’s Covid vaccine is a triumph of innovation and immigration | Hans-Werner Sinn

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Pioneered by a Turkish-German couple, its significance exceeds its practical value The world took note when the German startup BioNTech announced its breakthrough in the development of a new type of vaccine to combat Covid-19. After testing tens of thousands of people, BioNTech’s vaccine has… Read More »BioNTech’s Covid vaccine is a triumph of innovation and immigration | Hans-Werner Sinn

The Guardian view on coronavirus and vaccine scepticism: time to act | Editorial

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Plans for mass immunisation against Covid-19 are developing fast, but concerns must be addressed In the 1960s, academics studying rumours drew inspiration from epidemiology. They noted how such stories spread through communities, “infecting” some individuals while others seemed immune, and how more resistant populations could… Read More »The Guardian view on coronavirus and vaccine scepticism: time to act | Editorial

It’s the ‘vaccine hesitant’, not anti-vaxxers, who are troubling public health experts | Gaby Hinsliff

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To make vaccination work, we must reach out to the naturally cautious – a bigger proportion than you might assume Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Lydia Guthrie is not very daring by nature. A psychotherapist and mother of two from Oxford,… Read More »It’s the ‘vaccine hesitant’, not anti-vaxxers, who are troubling public health experts | Gaby Hinsliff

Lilly’s Monoclonal EUA

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I’ve been meaning to write about what has to be called a regulatory mystery. Eli Lilly obtained an Emergency Use Authorization for its monoclonal antibody (bamlanivimab) against SARS-Cov-2, but (as detailed in this post) the dosage that they applied for was 700mg. Which is one-quarter… Read More »Lilly’s Monoclonal EUA

The Covid vaccine will benefit humanity – we should all own the patent | Owen Jones

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The pharmaceutical industry has long made exorbitant profits by free-riding on research carried out by the public sector Hooray for Pfizer! As news of a vaccine potentially offering 90% protection against Covid-19 offers a life raft for lockdown-weary humanity, perhaps those home-drawn posters on people’s… Read More »The Covid vaccine will benefit humanity – we should all own the patent | Owen Jones

Why a Covid vaccine doesn’t mean the end of face masks yet | David Salisbury

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Despite the Pfizer breakthrough, social distancing and remote working won’t disappear overnight Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The news this week that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine protected more than 90% of recipients is of huge importance. The vaccine efficacy is higher than… Read More »Why a Covid vaccine doesn’t mean the end of face masks yet | David Salisbury

Where will poorer countries stand in the queue for a Covid-19 vaccine? | Clare Wenham and Mark Eccleston-Turner

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The lion’s share of the potential Pfizer vaccine is already claimed by high-income nations The news that joint efforts by the US pharmaceutical company Pfizer and the German biotech company BioNtech have produced a vaccine that is 90% effective at protecting people from Covid-19 has… Read More »Where will poorer countries stand in the queue for a Covid-19 vaccine? | Clare Wenham and Mark Eccleston-Turner

Good News on T-Cell Response

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There are several recent preprints and publications that bear on the T-cell immunity story for the coronavirus pandemic, and I wanted to highlight these, since it’s been a big part of the story that’s needed more information for a long time now. Here, for one,… Read More »Good News on T-Cell Response

Don’t Make Mine Mink

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There’s a situation in Denmark that deserves some epidemiological attention. Now, put me in the (rather large) category who did not realize how large the Danish mink industry is – or that a Danish mink industry existed at all – but there are plenty of… Read More »Don’t Make Mine Mink

Anti-Covid treatments being given to Trump are still unproven, say experts

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Neither remdesivir nor REGN-COV2 have completed large-scale randomised trials, say UK scientists Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Scientists still lack conclusive proof that the two anti-Covid drugs given to Donald Trump are clinically effective. UK researchers point out that both medicines… Read More »Anti-Covid treatments being given to Trump are still unproven, say experts

Australia’s drug regulator TGA approves Covid tests that deliver results in 15 minutes

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Healthcare workers and health departments will be among the first to use the rapid antigen tests Full Australian Covid stats; Covid restrictions state by state Follow our global live blog Vic cases map; NSW cases map NSW hotspots list; Qld hotspots list Australia’s drugs regulator… Read More »Australia’s drug regulator TGA approves Covid tests that deliver results in 15 minutes

Monoclonal Antibody Data

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We have a bit of human clinical data from the Eli Lilly/Abcellera collaboration to make a monoclonal antibody therapy against the coronavirus. A full paper is coming soon, the press release says, but for now it looks like this is all we have to go… Read More »Monoclonal Antibody Data

Oxford Covid-19 vaccine is still possible this year, says AstraZeneca chief

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Pharmaceutical firm’s boss says 2020 deadline possible if regulators move fast Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine could still be available by the end of the year, or early next year, according to the company’s chief executive, Pascal Soriot,… Read More »Oxford Covid-19 vaccine is still possible this year, says AstraZeneca chief

Oxford University Covid vaccine trial put on hold due to possible adverse reaction in participant

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A spokesman for AstraZeneca, the company working on the coronavirus vaccine, said pausing trials was common during vaccine development The development of a promising Covid-19 vaccine has been put on hold due to a possible adverse reaction in a trial participant. A spokesman for AstraZeneca,… Read More »Oxford University Covid vaccine trial put on hold due to possible adverse reaction in participant

The Russian Vaccine

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Many will have heard Russia’s announcement that they have approved a coronavirus vaccine. I’ve already had several people ask me what I think of it, so let me be clear: I think it’s a ridiculous publicity stunt. If it’s supposed to make Russia look like… Read More »The Russian Vaccine

Vaccine Data From Novavax

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Several days after making some headlines with a press release about the data, the Novavax vaccine effort has published on Medrxiv. The is the first look at human data we have at an approach using recombinant coronavirus proteins (plus an adjuvant, in this case a… Read More »Vaccine Data From Novavax

The world needs a ‘people’s vaccine’ for coronavirus, not a big-pharma monopoly | Helen Clark and Winnie Byanyima

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AstraZeneca and others should not own a lucrative patent on a medicine that is needed by poor as well as rich nations • See all our coronavirus coverage • Helen Clark is a former prime minister of New Zealand and Winnie Byanyima is UN undersecretary… Read More »The world needs a ‘people’s vaccine’ for coronavirus, not a big-pharma monopoly | Helen Clark and Winnie Byanyima

Bacteria and Colon Cancer

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Let’s catch on some non-coronavirus research today with an interesting approach against a very bad disease, metastatic colon cancer. This new paper (from groups at Virginia Tech and Wake Forest) adds to our understanding of something that’s been noticed for some time: colon cancer tissue… Read More »Bacteria and Colon Cancer

New report shows more than 400 medicines and vaccines in development to tackle infectious diseases, including COVID-19

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Throughout history, infectious diseases caused by pathogens such as bacteria or viruses have taken a devastating toll on the lives and security of people around the world. With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic gripping the world, we are experiencing a challenging situation that we haven’t seen… Read More »New report shows more than 400 medicines and vaccines in development to tackle infectious diseases, including COVID-19

Moderna’s Phase I Data

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Well, it’s finally here – eight weeks to the day after press-releasing some top line results, the full paper is out on the Moderna mRNA vaccine candidate’s Phase I trial. I’m very glad to see it – it’s going to be very important for the… Read More »Moderna’s Phase I Data

Pfizer’s Progress

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I wanted to point out an interesting interview given by Pfizer’s CEO Albert Bourla to Time. I have made some pointed remarks about Pfizer over the years, but this is one of the better Q&A pieces like this that I have seen – you’ll see… Read More »Pfizer’s Progress

WHO says trials show malaria and HIV drugs don’t cut Covid-19 hospital deaths

Hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir not found to help patients in hospital Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday that it was discontinuing its trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and combination HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir for patients… Read More »

WHO says trials show malaria and HIV drugs don’t cut Covid-19 hospital deaths

The Lancet’s editor: ‘The UK’s response to coronavirus is the greatest science policy failure for a generation’

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Richard Horton does not hold back in his criticism of the UK’s response to the pandemic and the medical establishment’s part in backing fatal government decisions Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage There is a school of thought that says now is… Read More »

The Lancet’s editor: ‘The UK’s response to coronavirus is the greatest science policy failure for a generation’