Coronavirus News – April 29

U.S. hits 1 million coronavirus cases, one-third of all world’s cases

The U.S. crossed the 1 million case threshold Tuesday. That is nearly one-third of all the world’s known coronavirus cases. President Donald Trump has attributed the high number of cases to heightened testing and less transparency in reporting cases in countries like China. Read more.

Study suggests men, women at equal risk of COVID-19, but men fare much worse

The preliminary results of a study published by Chinese researchers suggests that while the new coronavirus attacks men and women in roughly equal numbers, men appear to be far more vulnerable to serious cases, including fatal infections. The study was published in the scientific journal Frontiers in Public Health and found that 2.4 times more men diagnosed with COVID-19 died of the disease than women. The scientists from two research universities, one in Beijing and the other in Wuhan, echoed findings from studies on the related SARS virus. Read more.

Oxford scientists hopeful vaccine could be widely available by September

Human testing is underway at Oxford University (Oxford, England) for a coronavirus vaccine that scientists are hopeful will be widely available by September. Technology the lab had already developed in previous work on inoculations for other viruses, including a close iteration of COVID-19, gave it a head start. The vaccine takes the coronavirus’ genetic material and injects into a common cold virus that has been neutralized so it cannot spread in people. The modified virus will mimic COVID-19, triggering the immune system to fight off the imposter and provide protection against the real COVID-19. “I have a high degree of confidence about this vaccine, because it’s technology that I’ve used before,” said Sarah Gilbert, a professor of vaccinology at Oxford University. Read more.

Pfizer vaccine could be ready by this fall

Pfizer (New York) said Tuesday that a new coronavirus vaccine could be tested as early as next week and have potential emergency use by this fall. Pfizer is working with BioNtech (Germany) to deliver the possible vaccine. Human clinical trials have started in Germany. Pfizer has invested $650 million into developing and possibly manufacturing the vaccine. Read more.

Scientists, billionaires team up for ‘Manhattan Project’ to battle coronavirus

A small group of scientists and billionaires have teamed up to battle the coronavirus pandemic. The ‘Manhattan Project’ is led by a physician turned capitalist Thomas Cahill, the managing partner at Newpath Partners (Boston, MA). The group is acting as an “ad hoc review board” for the flood of coronavirus research, weeding out flawed research before it reaches policymakers. Their plan offers four actionable, non-partisan proposals to produce safe and effective COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines in the shortest possible timeframe. Read more.