NIH director says several vaccines likely needed to combat coronavirus
NIH Director Francis Collins said several vaccines will likely be needed to combat the coronavirus and immunize groups of people in America and abroad. The first people to get a vaccine will likely be frontline healthcare workers and those with chronic conditions that put them at greater risk from the illness. “My expectation is, and I’m a bit of an optimist, that we don’t find out that there’s only one of these vaccines that works, but rather two or three of them come through the trials looking as though they’re safe and effective,” Collins told Bloomberg. Read more.
WHO picks “top” vaccine candidates, hopes to accelerate development
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the U.N. Economic and Social Council that work is being accelerated on seven or eight “top” vaccine candidates to combat the coronavirus. He said an effort is underway to compress the timeline of 12 to 18 months that was previously forecasted. The top candidates were selected from more than 100 vaccine projects. Read more.
Dr. Fauci to testify before Senate, warn of U.S. opening too soon
Dr. Anthony Fauci, a central figure in the government’s response to the coronavirus and the nation’s top infectious disease expert, is set to warn the U.S. Senate: Americans would experience “needless suffering and death” if the country opens up prematurely. He is scheduled to testify remotely at a high-profile hearing before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. “The major message that I wish to convey to the Senate HLP committee [tomorrow] is the danger of trying to open the country prematurely,” Dr. Fauci told The New York Times. “If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines to ‘Open America Again,’ then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country. This will not only result in needless suffering and death, but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal.” Read more.
Antibody tests show Ohio had coronavirus cases in January
New antibody testing has shown that the first coronavirus cases in Ohio were there one month before anyone knew, according to Dr. Amy Acton, the Ohio state health director. Antibody testing has found that there were six cases of the coronavirus in January in five different counties. Increased antibody testing in Ohio will begin this week and allow health officials to learn more about the disease. Read more.
Illinois governor says state’s peak is now mid-June
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker now says the state’s peak for COVID-19 cases is expected in mid-June. Previous models forecasted an Illinois peak between late April and early May. Gov. Pritzker said the updated models are based on the daily death toll and hospital capacity data from the past two weeks. “Under current mitigations, hospital bed and ventilator capacity remains sufficient to treat COVID-19 patients,” said Gov. Pritzker. “In other words, Illinois will reach the peak without overloading the state’s healthcare system as seen in other parts of the world.” Read more.