COVID-19 vaccines still on fast track
FDA advisors assured that agency won't cut corners on safety review, while at least one vaccine maker expects to seek approval next month.
Here are today’s top COVID-19 stories:
Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine trial is fully enrolled, including more than 1/3rd minority subjects, the company said. It expects to seek FDA approval as early as next month.
The FDA Thursday formally approved Gilead’s remdesivir as the first treatment for COVID-19. Until now, its use was under emergency protocols. It has been shown to reduce recovery time for many COVID patients.
Also Thursday, FDA officials reassured its vaccine advisory committee that a COVID-19 vaccine will be cleared only after it is demonstrated to be both “safe and effective.”
Confirming other studies, Japanese researchers determined that cloth face coverings reduce COVID infection risk by about 40% — and masks also reduce transmission from an infected person by 50%. The study also found that N95 masks provide about 90% protection.
Based on the number of years COVID-19 victims would have lived if not for the pandemic, a Harvard researcher calculates that the novel coronavirus has cost the USA more than 2.5 million years of potential life years, according to the New York Times.
International travelers arriving at Calgary, Alberta, can avoid the mandatory 14-day quarantine if they get rapid COVID-19 tests at the airport and commit to getting a second test a week later. Most Americans are still barred from entering Canada, however.
(Editor’s note: Today’s rundown was delayed due to a human error. Usually, this newsletter is published Monday-Thursday between 2-4 pm Eastern Time.)