LONDON: Oxford University‘s Covid-19 vaccine candidate has a better immune response when a two full-dose regime is used rather than a full-dose followed by a half-dose booster, the university said on Thursday, citing data from early trials.
The developers of the vaccine candidate, which has been licensed to pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca, have already published later stage trial results showing higher efficacy when a half dose is followed by a full dose, compared to a two full-dose regime. However, more work needs to be done to affirm that result.
The latest details from the Phase I and 2 clinical trials released on Thursday made no reference to the half-dose/full-dose regime, which Oxford has said had been “unplanned” but approved by regulators.
Once seen as the frontrunner in the development of a coronavirus vaccine, the British team has been overtaken by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer, whose shots have been rolled out in Britain and the United States this month.
Data published earlier from the later Phase 3 trials showed efficacy was 62% for trial participants given two full doses, but a more robust 90% for a smaller sub-group given first a half, then a full dose.
In its statement on Thursday, the university said it had explored two dosing regimes in early stage trials, a full-dose/full-dose regime and a full-dose/half-dose regime, investigated as a possible “dose sparing” strategy.
“The booster doses of the vaccine are both shown to induce stronger antibody responses than a single dose, the standard dose/standard dose inducing the best response,” the university said in a statement.
The vaccine “stimulates broad antibody and T cell functions,” it said.
Ontario adjusting vaccine rollout to address shipment delay – BlackburnNews.com
Ontario adjusting vaccine rollout to address shipment delay
January 25, 2021 1:42pm
With a dwindling supply of COVID-19 vaccines in Ontario, the government has made changes in how the remaining doses will be distributed.
Premier Doug Ford provided an update on the vaccine rollout Monday afternoon at Queens Park, announcing that vaccine distribution will be adjusted with a goal of making sure all residents of long-term care facilities get a shot by February 5. The previous target date was February 15.
The adjustment ensures that the province’s most vulnerable population, such as long-term care residents, high-risk retirement community residents, and Indigenous elder care homes, have access to both required doses of the vaccines.
The change also means that, until more of the Pfizer vaccine arrives in Ontario, essential caregivers and health care employees may have to wait a little longer to get their shots.
“I know this will mean that some people may have to reschedule their vaccine appointments, but it is critical that our most vulnerable seniors receive the protection they need as soon as possible,” said Ford.
Doses of the Moderna vaccine will be redistributed to 14 of Ontario’s public health units to make sure long-term care homes are getting the vaccine as needed.
The government says once shipments of the vaccine are resumed, rollout will proceed at once. Up to 40,000 Ontarians a day can be vaccinated under the current system, with the ability to increase the capacity pending new shipments.
Also on Monday, Ontario extended its state-of-emergency declaration to Tuesday, February 9, unless extended or amended. Orders under the Reopening Ontario Act will continue to be enforced.
Six cases of new UK variant of COVID-19 confirmed at Roberta Place LTC home in Barrie – Newstalk 1010 (iHeartRadio)
Simcoe-Muskoka health officials say another case of the U.K. variant of COVID-19 has been confirmed in the region.
The person infected – who did not travel abroad – was reportedly in close contact with someone who contracted the virus during the recent outbreak at Bradford Valley Care Community.
Since January 14, six residents and three staff members there, have tested positive for COVID-19.
Health officials are investigating to see if the other cases are also tied to the U.K. variant.
They also reported that this seventh person in the region infected with the new strain of the virus, works at a retail outlet in Simcoe County. Officials did not provide the name of the store, but say it offered curbside pickup only. We have also earned that two other people associated with the retailer tested positive for the coronavirus.
As NEWSTALK 1010 first told you yesterday, the region confirmed six cases of the new U.K. variant at another long term care home – Roberta Place, in Barrie, Ontario. The home has been reeling from a deadly outbreak in recent weeks.
The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit said genome sequencing on six COVID-19 samples from Roberta Place Retirement Lodge have been identified as the highly contagious variant.
Officials with the local health unit announced earlier this week that they had found a variant at the home and were conducting tests to determine what it was.
On Saturday, NEWSTALK 1010 learned that 127 of the 129 residents at the home, as well as 84 staff, have tested positive for the virus. At least 32 deaths have been reported there, up from 29 reported Friday.
“The rapid spread, high attack rate and the devastating impact on residents and staff at Roberta Place long-term care home has been heartbreaking for all,” Charles Gardner, medical officer of health for the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, said in a statement Saturday.
“Confirmation of the variant, while expected, does not change our course of action. We remain diligent in doing everything we can to prevent further spread.”
Speaking to the media Saturday afternoon, Gardner noted officials have no reason not to believe all the residents are infected with this new variant.
Known variant strains of the virus were first detected in the U.K., South Africa and Brazil.
An outbreak at Roberta Place was first declared on Jan. 8.
With nearly half of the the facility’s employees now self-isolating at home with the virus, additional help has been brought in from local hospitals and the Red Cross.
Meantime, CBC News is reporting that an employee, who brought COVID-19 to Roberta Place will not face charges. In a tweet, the CBC says the medical officer of health confirms that a staff member did travel, but there’s no evidence that the employee failed to quarantine, noting that person was asymptomatic when they returned to work.
The health unit, in partnership with the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, said it accelerated its immunization program on Friday and vaccinated all eligible residents and staff.
Officials said they planned to immunize residents at the other retirement homes throughout Simcoe Muskoka over the weekend.
As of Jan. 16, eligible residents of all long-term care facilities in Simcoe Muskoka have also received their first dose of immunization against COVID-19.
Ontario reported 2,359 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday and 52 more deaths related to the virus.
That was down marginally from Friday’s figures of 2,662 new cases and 87 more deaths. There was also a slight drop in the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19, with 1,501 reported on Saturday – 11 fewer than Friday.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said Saturday there were 708 new cases in Toronto, 422 in Peel Region, 220 in York Region, 107 in Hamilton and 101 in Ottawa.
Since the province’s report on Friday, nearly 63,500 tests had been completed and 11,161 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine administered in Ontario.
As of Saturday, a total of 276,146 doses have been administered in Ontario.
On Saturday the Ontario government also announced it’s expanding its “inspection blitz” of big-box stores to ensure they’re following COVID-19 guidelines this weekend.
The workplace inspections, which started in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas last weekend, will now stretch out to Ottawa, Windsor, Niagara and Durham regions.
Officials want to ensure workers and customers at the essential businesses are properly protected from COVID-19 during the provincewide shutdown.
The blitz was developed in consultation with local health units and also covers a variety of other workplaces, including retail establishments and restaurants providing take-out meals.
The province’s labour ministry says more than 300 offences officers, as well as local public health inspectors and municipal bylaw officers, will conduct the inspections.
Corporations can now be fined $1,000, and individuals can be fined $750 or charged for failing to comply with the orders.
Labour Minister Monte McNaughton said the province is confident that the majority of workplaces in Ottawa, Windsor, Niagara and Durham are following orders.
“However, if we find that businesses are putting the safety of workers and customers at risk, our government will not hesitate to take immediate action,” McNaughton added in a statement.
“The only way to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and end the provincewide shutdown is for everyone – owners, customers and staff alike – to follow the proper guidelines.”
With files from The Canadian Press
Moderna shot protects against new virus variants; higher blood thinner dose keeps patients off ventilators
By Nancy Lapid
(Reuters) – The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.
Moderna vaccine protects against new variants
The COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna Inc protects against the new virus variants found in Britain and South Africa, researchers reported on Monday on bioRxiv ahead of peer review. They found no reduction in the effect of vaccine-induced antibodies on the UK variant. They did see significantly reduced effectiveness of the antibodies on the South Africa variant, although Moderna still believes its two-dose vaccine will provide protection. The company said it will test a new booster shot aimed at the South Africa variant that could be made available if necessary. Dr. Paul Offit of the University of Pennsylvania, a member of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine advisory panel, said he was only mildly concerned that the vaccine would not protect against the variants. “It is a little worrisome that you see a lesser neutralizing antibody response,” he said, but even these lower levels may still be enough to protect against serious infections. “The goal of this vaccine is to keep you out of the hospital and to keep you out of the morgue. If you get a symptomatic infection or mildly symptomatic infection that is not a burden to the healthcare system,” Offit said. (https://bit.ly/3ocFUBD; https://reut.rs/2Mj0Z06)
Full-dose blood thinners help keep patients off ventilators
A trio of trials has found that giving full-dose blood thinning treatments to moderately ill patients hospitalized for COVID-19 reduced their need for vital organ support, such as mechanical ventilation, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced on Friday. Blood clotting is a serious problem in COVID-19. The three trials, conducted at more than 300 hospitals on four continents, tested whether there is a greater benefit to administering a full dose of the blood thinner heparin compared to the lower dose typically used to prevent blood clots in hospitalized patients. In December, the researchers reported that the higher dose was harmful in patients already on life support. The new data show “that when we give higher doses of blood thinners to patients who are not already critically ill, it is beneficial and should become standard of care,” study leader Matthew Neal of the University of Pittsburgh said in a statement. The researchers said the cheap, readily available treatment could help reduce the burden on intensive care units. The trials also suggest a possible survival benefit with full-dose heparin in patients not yet on life support, but that needs further study, the NIH said. The agency has not released the complete study data. (https://bit.ly/39j1BMp)
Lifetime smoking history linked with COVID-19 death risk
Former smokers who have quit still face higher risks from COVID-19 than never-smokers, a new study shows. Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Health System in Ohio and Florida studied 7,102 COVID-19 patients, including 6,020 never smokers, 910 former smokers, and 172 current smokers. The risk of hospitalization and death went up with the cumulative amount patients had ever smoked and the increases in risk were similar for current smokers and former smokers, researchers found. Those who had smoked the most – the equivalent of a pack a day for 30 years, or two packs a day for at least 15 years – had 2.25 times higher odds of hospitalization and were 89% more likely to die following a COVID-19 diagnosis when compared with never smokers, the researchers reported on Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine. Lifetime tobacco smoking history is therefore linked with risk for hospital admission and death from COVID-19, the research team concluded, adding that illnesses typically linked with smoking, like heart and lung diseases, probably contributed to those poorer outcomes. (https://bit.ly/3caMeHu)
One-in-three with COVID-19 may not know it
At least one third of people infected with the highly contagious coronavirus may not realize it, a new report warns. Some of them are “presymptomatic,” meaning they have no symptoms but will eventually develop them. Others will remain asymptomatic for the duration of their infection. “Infection without symptoms … is important because infected persons can transmit the virus to others even if they have no symptoms,” the researchers said on Friday in Annals of Internal Medicine. They analyzed data from 43 studies that used gold-standard PCR testing to diagnose COVID-19 and 18 that used antibody testing to look for evidence of previous infection. These studies “provide compelling evidence that the asymptomatic fraction of SARS-CoV-2 infection is sizable,” they said. The researchers called for new strategies to control the spread of the virus, such as “inexpensive, rapid home tests to identify and contain presymptomatic or asymptomatic cases, along with government programs that provide financial assistance and, if necessary, housing to enable infected persons to isolate themselves.” It will be important to know whether vaccines are preventing asymptomatic infections, they said. (https://bit.ly/3oiHFNG)
Open https://tmsnrt.rs/3c7R3Bl in an external browser for a Reuters graphic on vaccines in development.
(Reporting by Nancy Lapid, Manas Mishra and Caroline Humer; Editing by Bill Berkrot)
Making the Grade: UFC 257: Poirier vs. McGregor 2 – MMA Fighting
Huawei denies reports about possible sale of P and Mate brands – IT World Canada
Ontario adjusting vaccine rollout to address shipment delay – BlackburnNews.com
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Galaxy M31 July 2020 security update brings Glance, a content-driven lockscreen wallpaper service
Sports24 hours ago
Nate Diaz reacts to Conor McGregor’s KO loss to Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 – MMA Fighting
Sports19 hours ago
Justin Poirier and Conor McGregor show mutual admiration during backstage meeting following UFC 257
Health21 hours ago
Dentists, teachers disappointed they won’t be prioritized for vaccine in B.C. – Global News
Sports15 hours ago
Player grades: Jesse Puljujarvi has game of his life as Edmonton Oilers beat Winnipeg Jets in a thriller – Edmonton Journal
Tech22 hours ago
You can unlock this secret Isu weapon in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla just by whacking a pile of rocks
Politics19 hours ago
Parliament resumes amid heightened political pressure on pandemic, vaccines
Investment19 hours ago
Post-pandemic investment idea with a better chance of success
Business2 hours ago
BlackBerry says unaware of reason for stock price surge