It has been 6 months since the novel coronavirus pandemic began. Here are the latest COVID-19 headlines so you don’t have to spend hours seeking article after article.
Coronavirus Update, Week of September 14, 2020
On Tuesday, September 8th, it was announced by pharmaceutical giant, AstraZeneca, that the trials related to Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine were being paused as the firm investigated whether an adverse reaction in a trial participant was related to their vaccine or not. Just days later, on Saturday, September 12th, Oxford University determined it was safe to continue trials. Pauses in clinical trials are common and are welcome to ensure that safety is the number one priority of the pharmaceutical firms.
AstraZeneca believes that it is very possible and even likely that an effective COVID-19 vaccine could be available for distribution before the end of 2020. Currently between 50,000 and 60,000 participants across the globe are partaking in the clinical study. Nearly 3 billion doses of the Oxford vaccine have been ordered by countries around the world, and the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority has given the pharmaceutical giant more than $1 billion to assist in developing the Oxford vaccine.
There seems to be a very strong correlation between vitamin D levels and the severity of COVID-19 in patients. In May, a study found that those that are vitamin D deficient are 77% more likely to test positive for COVID-19. Studies performed in Korea, Chicago, Israel and Indonesia show a similar correlation. In fact, Indonesia’s study had shown that 99% of patients who died due to COVID-19 were vitamin D deficient; whereas only 4% of patients with higher vitamin D levels died. It turns out that vitamin D may lower COVID-19’s replication rates, thereby reducing cytokines that cause inflammation that would typically cause lung damage and COVID-19 pneumonia.
Pfizer’s CEO, Albert Bourla, believes it is very likely that the pharmaceutical firm will know whether its COVID-19 vaccine will be effective or not by the end of October. The next step for Pfizer would be to receive approval by the FDA. There are currently 44,000 participants in Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine trial. Bourla also mentioned that Pfizer is preparing for the very likely possibility that the FDA will approve their vaccine for distribution before the end of the year.
A CDC study shows that adults were twice as likely to eat at a restaurant before they tested positive. In other words, the CDC found that adults who were tested positive for COVID-19 were 2x more likely to have eaten at a restaurant within 2 weeks of infection compared with those that tested negative.