Moderna reports positive data on early-stage coronavirus vaccine trial
Moderna’s (Massachusetts) coronavirus vaccine produced COVID-19 antibodies in all 45 participants in an early-stage human trial. Each participant received a 25, 100 or 250 microgram dose, with 15 people in each dose group. Participants received two doses of the potential vaccine via intramuscular injection in the upper arm approximately 28 days apart. At day 43, levels of binding antibodies in the 25 microgram group were at the levels generally seen in blood samples from people who recovered from the illness. Those in the 100 microgram group had antibodies that significantly exceeded levels in recovered patients. Data was not available yet for the 250 microgram group. The vaccine also produced neutralizing antibodies against COVID-19 in at least eight participants. Read more.
U.K. coronavirus vaccine could deliver 30 million doses by September
A U.K. trial to develop a coronavirus vaccine, if successful, could deliver 30 million doses by September, according to Alok Sharma, the business secretary for the U.K. The first clinical trial of the Oxford vaccine is “progressing well,” according to Sharma, who noted that all Phase 1 participants recently received their vaccine dose. If successful, AstraZeneca will work to make up to 30 million doses available by September for the U.K. as a part of an agreement to deliver 100 million doses in total. Read more.
Johns Hopkins health expert says vaccine may arrive by year’s end
Dr. Tom Inglesby, the director of the Center for Health Security of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said a vaccine for the novel coronavirus may arrive by the end of the year, but don’t “bank on it.” He said a year to year-and-a-half timeline for a vaccine normally would be unrealistic, but the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the pandemic have made that scenario a possibility. “Given that there are now 110 vaccine projects going on around the world that all the major vaccine companies in the world are working on this in some way, and given that Tony Fauci and Moncef Slaoui are now leading figures in the U.S. in this project and they both believe it’s possible, I think it is possible,” Dr. Inglesby told NBC News. He also said that lockdowns have been instrumental in curbing the spread of the virus. Read more.
Serological testing for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies aimed at identifying those with prior exposure
Several new tests aimed at identifying those with prior exposure to COVID-19 are rapidly coming to the market. These tests play an important role in determining the overall presence of COVID-19 in the U.S. population, and may also be important in determining the prevalence of asymptomatic infections. The AMA cautions physicians and the public about use of these tests to determine individual immunity and warns that public health decisions, such as discontinuation of physical distancing, should not be made based on results. Read more.
WHO’s 73rd World Health Assembly convenes online
The World Health Organization’s (WHO) annual oversight convention will be held by teleconference this week. The 73rd World Health Assembly typically brings together representatives from the WHO’s 194 member states in Geneva to discuss a wide range of health topics. This year’s meeting will be held by teleconference for the first time ever and it will be focused on the novel coronavirus that’s infected more than 4.5 million people worldwide and killed 300,000. Read more.