New York Times: After Admitting Mistake, AstraZeneca Faces Difficult Questions About Its Vaccine

New York Times: After Admitting Mistake, AstraZeneca Faces Difficult Questions About Its Vaccine. “The announcement this week that a cheap, easy-to-make coronavirus vaccine appeared to be up to 90 percent effective was greeted with jubilation. ‘Get yourself a vaccaccino,’ a British tabloid celebrated, noting that the vaccine, developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, costs less than a cup of coffee. But since unveiling the preliminary results, AstraZeneca has acknowledged a key mistake in the vaccine dosage received by some study participants, adding to questions about whether the vaccine’s apparently spectacular efficacy will hold up under additional testing.”

ScienceBlog: Doctors Use Existing Treatment Earlier To Save The Lives Of Covid-19 Patients

ScienceBlog: Doctors Use Existing Treatment Earlier To Save The Lives Of Covid-19 Patients. “The lives of patients hospitalised with COVID-19 are being saved by doctors who are using an existing medical treatment at an earlier stage. Dr Luigi Sedda of Lancaster University analysed the results from the team at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (WWL). Their research has now been published in the prestigious medical journal BMJ Respiratory Open.”

New York Times: Small Gatherings Spread the Virus, but Are They Causing the Surge?

New York Times: Small Gatherings Spread the Virus, but Are They Causing the Surge?. “Household get-togethers undoubtedly do contribute to community transmission of the virus. Canada’s recent Thanksgiving certainly added to its rising cases; such an increase may happen here, too, as the United States embarks on a holiday season like no other. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday warned so strongly against gathering with others outside the household during Thanksgiving. But are dinners and backyard barbecues really the engine driving the current surge of infections?”

BBC: Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine ‘dose error’ explained

BBC: Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine ‘dose error’ explained. “On Thursday, multiple news outlets in the UK and US reported that there were questions over the data. They weren’t about safety, but rather how effective the jab is. The questions centre around efficacy levels. Three were reported from the trial – an overall efficacy of 70%, a lower one of 62% and a high of 90%. That’s because different doses of the vaccine were mistakenly used in the trial.”

Oxford Covid vaccine: Regulator asked to assess jab (BBC)

BBC: Oxford Covid vaccine: Regulator asked to assess jab. “The government has asked the regulator to assess the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, bringing the UK a step closer to a possible rollout. The referral to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) marked ‘a significant first step’ in getting the vaccine ‘approved for deployment’, the government said.”

PR Newswire: New tool helps predict outcomes for COVID-19 (PRESS RELEASE)

PR Newswire: New tool helps predict outcomes for COVID-19 (PRESS RELEASE). “A study published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine this month reports on an assessment tool developed by Kaiser Permanente researchers and physicians that helps ensure patients get the right care, when they need it, by accurately predicting the probability that patients with COVID-19 symptoms will experience severe disease or even death.”

News-Medical: Study sheds new light on genetic risk factors that make individuals susceptible to severe COVID-19

News-Medical: Study sheds new light on genetic risk factors that make individuals susceptible to severe COVID-19. “Even as tens of thousands of Americans test positive for COVID-19 each day, physicians still aren’t sure why some people experience mild to no symptoms while others become critically ill. New research led by Robert E. Gerszten, MD, Chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) sheds new light on the genetic risk factors that make individuals more or less susceptible to severe COVID-19. The findings, published in a letter in the New England Journal of Medicine, illuminate the mechanisms underlying COVID-19, and potentially open the door to novel treatments for the disease.”

NPR: Mask Mandates Work To Slow Spread Of Coronavirus, Kansas Study Finds

NPR: Mask Mandates Work To Slow Spread Of Coronavirus, Kansas Study Finds. “It has become the battle cry of public health officials around the world: ‘Wear a mask to slow the spread.’ Friday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new evidence supporting this advice. Researchers analyzed coronavirus infection rates in Kansas following a statewide mask mandate. They found that counties that chose to enforce the mandate saw their cases decrease. Counties that chose to opt out saw their cases continue to rise.”

News-Medical: Researchers develop new search engine to investigate viral sequences in COVID-19

News-Medical: Researchers develop new search engine to investigate viral sequences in COVID-19. “The database is periodically reloaded from the three sources and as of today contains 200,516 sequences of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19, and 33,256 sequences of other viral species also associated to epidemics affecting humans, such as SARS, MERS, Ebola, and Dengue.”

EurekAlert: Historical bias overlooks genes related to COVID-19

EurekAlert: Historical bias overlooks genes related to COVID-19. “A historical bias — which has long dictated which human genes are studied — is now affecting how biomedical researchers study COVID-19, according to new Northwestern University research. Although biomedical researchers know that many overlooked human genes play a role in COVID-19, they currently do not study them. Instead, researchers that study COVID-19 continue to focus on human genes that have already been heavily investigated independent of coronaviruses.”

Prof Sarah Gilbert: The woman who designed the Oxford vaccine (BBC)

BBC: Prof Sarah Gilbert: The woman who designed the Oxford vaccine. “Born in Kettering, Northamptonshire in April 1962, Sarah Gilbert’s father worked in the shoe business while her mother was an English teacher and member of the local amateur operatic society. Speaking to Radio 4’s Profile, one school friend recalled Sarah’s silent steeliness – a trait which perhaps explains her decision, years later, to stick with her PhD despite her doubts.”

News-Medical .net: Compounds in traditional Chinese medicine herbs may inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection

News-Medical .net: Compounds in traditional Chinese medicine herbs may inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection. “Using computational methods, a team of researchers identified three compounds in traditional Chinese medicine that could be used against SARS-CoV-2: quercetin, puerarin and kaempferol​. Of the three compounds, quercetin showed the highest binding affinity to both the ACE2 receptor and the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, and could thus provide a dual synergistic effect.”

BuzzFeed News: People Are Making Vaccine Memes About Moderna And Pfizer

BuzzFeed News: People Are Making Vaccine Memes About Moderna And Pfizer. “With an end to the pandemic perhaps in sight, people gathered to celebrate the only way we really can in 2020: with an outpouring of memes about the rivalry between two big pharmaceutical companies.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: New study shows mask mandates in St. Louis, St. Louis County drastically reduced virus spread

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: New study shows mask mandates in St. Louis, St. Louis County drastically reduced virus spread. “Mask mandates in St. Louis and St. Louis County quickly and drastically slowed coronavirus infection rates this summer compared with outlying counties, according to a new study from St. Louis University. But effects of the mask orders were also durable, the study says: After 12 weeks, the average daily growth rate of coronavirus cases in the two urban counties was still 40% lower than in counties without the policy. Moreover, the mandates reduced ‘the unequal burden’ on higher-risk groups, decreasing transmission rates in more densely populated areas and on racial minorities, who have been disproportionately infected, the research says.”

Covid-19: Oxford University vaccine shows 70% protection (BBC)

BBC: Covid-19: Oxford University vaccine shows 70% protection. “The coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford stops 70% of people developing Covid symptoms, a large-scale trial shows. It will be seen as a triumph, but also comes off the back of Pfizer and Moderna showing 95% protection. However, the Oxford jab is far cheaper, and is easier to store and get to every corner of the world than the other two.”