Coronavirus Breaking News

The coronavirus disease COVID-19 is currently reaching pandemic levels in various countries.

Apr 12, 2023 • 1:03 pm CDT
U.S. CDC ACIP meeting, Atlanta GA

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today announced a previously unscheduled meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) focused on COVID-19 vaccinations.

According to the CDC's website, on April 12, 2023, the ACIP will digitally meet on April 19, 2023, at 11 am EST. This meeting's agenda has yet to be posted for public review, and no registration is required to watch the webcasts.

A summary of recent changes (last updated March 16, 2023) is posted on this CDC page.

Updated on April 19, 2023, with the meeting's agenda.

Apr 11, 2023 • 11:37 am CDT
by Gerd Altmann

The U.S. government today issued a single sentence that announced the termination of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States.

Posted on Twitter on April 10, 2023, this statement confirmed H.J.Res.7, terminates the national emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

 More than 1.13 million people in the U.S. have died from COVID-19 over the last three years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported NPR on April 11, 2023.

Apr 9, 2023 • 3:35 am CDT
Gordon Johnson

The Swiss Public Health Agency recently announced no COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for spring/summer 2023. However, people at especially high risk can receive a vaccination after consultation with their doctor.

As of April 8, 2023, the Federal Office of Public Health stated nearly everyone in Switzerland had been vaccinated and/or contracted and recovered from COVID-19.

Therefore, almost everyone's immune system has been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

And in the spring/summer of 2023, the virus will likely circulate less, and the current variants also cause mild illness.

For autumn 2023, the vaccination recommendation will be re-evaluated and adjusted accordingly.

Apr 7, 2023 • 12:06 pm CDT
WHO data April 7, 2023 - COVID-19 pandemic

The World Health Organization (WHO) published a Weekly Epidemiological Update Edition #137 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic on April 5, 2023.

The WHO disclosed a decrease of 28% in new COVID-19 cases and 30% in related fatalities, respectively, compared to the previous 28 days (February 6 to March 5, 2023).

Despite this overall downward trend, it is essential to note that 74 (31%) countries have reported increases in new cases of 20% or greater during the last 28 days compared to the previous 28-day period.

As of April 2, 2023, over 762 million confirmed cases and over 6.8 million deaths have been reported globally.

Furthermore, the WHO continues Listing numerous COVID-19 vaccines available in various countries.


Apr 4, 2023 • 3:37 pm CDT
by Max P.

The Annals of Internal Medicine today published the results from a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center hypothetical randomized study that estimated administering monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) within two days of a COVID-19 diagnosis lowered the risk of hospitalization or death by about 39%.

The risk for hospitalization or death at 28 days was 4.6% in 2571 treated patients and 7.6% in 5135 nontreated control patients (risk ratio [RR], 0.61 [95% CI, 0.50 to 0.74]). In sensitivity analyses, the corresponding RRs for 1- and 3-day treatment grace periods were 0.59 and 0.49, respectively.

In subgroup analyses, those receiving mAbs when the Alpha and Delta variants were presumed to be predominant had estimated RRs of 0.55 and 0.53, respectively, compared with 0.71 for the Omicron variant period.

Relative risk estimates for individual mAb products all suggested a lower risk for hospitalization or death. The RR was 0.45 (CI, 0.28 to 0.71) among immunocompromised patients.

mABS are human-made antibodies designed to prevent a pathogen, such as the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, from entering human cells, replicating, and causing serious illness. 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization to five different COVID-19 mAbs treatments between 2020 and 2022.

As of April 4, 2023, one mAbs (Gohibic) is authorized for use in the U.S.

Apr 4, 2023 • 10:48 am CDT
Australia Department of Health and Aged Care April 2023

Australia's Department of Health and Aged Care recently announced the Vaxzevria (AstraZeneca) COVID-19 is no longer available in-country. 

Australia initially confirmed AstraZeneca's vaccine for use as a primary course and booster dose in people aged 18 years and over in February 2021.

And the government provisionally approved for use in Australia as a booster on February 8, 2022.

As of April 4, 2023, Pfizer, Moderna, or Novavax COVID-19 vaccines are the preferred COVID-19 vaccines for people under 60 years.

This assessment was based on the higher risk and observed severity of a rare side effect called thrombosis with thrombocytopenia after receiving AstraZeneca in people under 60 years compared with those aged 60 years or older.

Previously, the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation recommended in February 2023 that all adults are eligible for a 2023 booster dose this year, provided they have not had a COVID-19 vaccine dose or been infected with COVID-19 within the previous six months.

Apr 3, 2023 • 1:37 pm CDT
by Robin Mur

Following assessing the primary endpoints of the Phase II/III study, PharmaJet partner Gennova Biopharmaceuticals Limited has submitted data for its mRNA-based Omicron-specific Covid-19 booster shot for Emergency Use Authorization to the office of the Drug Controller General of India.

This is the first booster in India explicitly targeting the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus Omicron variant.

GEMCOVAC-OM is a lyophilized vaccine, stable at 2-8 °C, which means it can be distributed through the existing refrigeration supply chain Pan-India and in low- and middle-income countries.

The vaccine, GEMCOVAC-OM, will be delivered exclusively with the PharmaJet Tropis Precision Delivery System.

"Our partnership with Gennova Pharma and their Omicron booster clinical program confirms the value of choosing our widely validated and rapidly scalable Precision Delivery Systems to improve the effectiveness of DNA and mRNA vaccines," said Chris Cappello, President, and CEO, PharmaJet, in a press release on April 3, 2023. 

"The Tropis System is already commercially available in India, and we are well-prepared to rapidly support demand for the GEMCOVAC-OM Omicron booster."

"In addition, we look forward to continuing our partnership with Gennova with additional novel vaccines."

For more information, visit Pharmajet's website.

Apr 1, 2023 • 9:20 am CDT
Lucira Health, Inc. April 2023

Lucira Health, Inc. recently announced the nationwide launch of its Lucira COVID-19 & Flu Home Test in the United States.

The COVID-19 & Flu Home Test is the first and only combination COVID-19 & Flu test granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use at home and other non-laboratory sites.

The Lucira COVID-19 & Flu Home Test is a molecular test, not an antigen test, that demonstrated similar performance for COVID-19 and Influenza compared to highly sensitive lab-based PCR tests in clinical trials.

The easy-to-use, all-in-one combination test delivers results in 30 minutes or less from one shallow nasal swab and as of March 28, 2023, can be purchased in the U.S. for $34.99 at

Apr 1, 2023 • 8:01 am CDT
by Gerd Altmann

The UK Health Security Agency Week #13 reported COVID-19 activity decreased across most indicators compared with the previous week.

As of March 30, 2023, through Respiratory Datamart, SARS-CoV-2 positivity decreased to 10% compared with 10.9% in the previous week.

Overall, COVID-19 hospitalizations decreased slightly in week #12 and were highest in the 85 and over age group.

Furthermore, the COVID-19 Autumn booster vaccination campaign commenced in September 2022.

By the end of week #10, about 65% of all people aged over 50 and living in England had been vaccinated with an Autumn booster dose.

Mar 31, 2023 • 1:40 pm CDT
from Pixabay

Resistance to Paxlovid™ is already evident among viral SARS-CoV-2 variants currently circulating globally, indicating that this stand-alone antiviral, known as a protease inhibitor, could soon become less effective in treating COVID-19 patients.

Published on March 29, 2023, this study's conclusion was presented in the peer-reviewed journal Science Advances.

To lower the risk of resistance, the researchers say protease inhibitors must be carefully designed to avoid simple resistance mutations. 

These researchers wrote that these results encourage the monitoring of resistance variants and the development of additional protease inhibitors and other antiviral drugs with different mechanisms of action and resistance profiles for combinatorial therapy.

"Despite Paxlovid's proven success in blunting COVID-19 symptoms, the long-term consequences of its widespread use in speeding up resistance are unknown," commented S. Arad Moghadasi, co-author of the study and a University of Minnesota Medical School graduate student in a press release.

Mar 31, 2023 • 8:06 am CDT
from Pixabay

The European Medicines Agency human medicines committee today announced it recommended authorizing the COVID-19 vaccine Bimervax (previously COVID-19 Vaccine HIPRA) as a booster in people aged 16 years and older who have previously been vaccinated with an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

It is the eighth vaccine recommended in the European Union for protecting against COVID-19 and, together with the vaccines already authorized, will support vaccination campaigns in EU Member States during the pandemic.

An updated listing of COVID-19 vaccines is posted at Coronavirus Today.

Mar 30, 2023 • 3:34 pm CDT
WHO COVID-19 Report #136 March 30, 2023

The World Health Organization's (WHO) Weekly epidemiological update on the COVID-19 pandemic indicates further decreases in cases and related fatalities.

As of March 30, 2023, Edition #136 reports nearly 3.6 million new cases, and over 25,000 deaths were reported in the last 28 days, a decrease of 27% and 39%, respectively, compared to the previous period.

Despite this overall downward trend, it is essential to note that several countries, such as India, have recently reported an increase in COVID-19 cases. 

At the country level, the highest numbers of new 28-day cases were reported from the United States of America (678,002 new cases; -38%), the Russian Federation (333,073 new cases; +6%), the Republic of Korea (270,378 new cases; -23%), China (255,961 new cases; -52%), and Japan (242,894 new cases; -68%).

Mar 23, 2023 • 4:20 pm CDT
COVID-19 by WHO Region, by 28-day intervals, March 19, 2023

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported today that over 3.7 million new cases and over 26,000 deaths were reported in the last 28 days (February 20 to March 19, 2023), a decrease of 31% and 46%, respectively, compared to the previous period.

As of March 22, 2023, the number of newly reported 28-day cases increased across three of the six WHO regions: 

  • Eastern Mediterranean Region (+89%),
  • South-East Asia Region (+70%), and,
  • European Region (+9%); 

While COVID-19 cases decreased in three WHO regions:

  1. Western Pacific Region (-58%),
  2. African Region (-43%), and,
  3. Americas (-28%).

The WHO confirmed that over 760 million confirmed cases and 6.8 million related deaths had been reported globally since the pandemic began in late 2019.

Mar 22, 2023 • 11:15 am CDT
by Harald Matern

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published Dispatch, Volume 26, Number 12, on November 19, 2020; Susceptibility of Raccoon Dogs for Experimental SARS-CoV-2 Infection, which is inserted below:

Raccoon dogs might have been intermediate hosts for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-1) in 2002–2004. 

Our experimental study demonstrates that raccoon dogs are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, in our research, raccoon dogs had only subtle clinical signs.

Additionally, we found evidence of viral replication and tissue lesions in only the nasal conchae, which can transmit the virus to direct in-contact animals.

Increasing evidence supports the potential of carnivore species, including farmed fur animals, to become infected by SARS-CoV-2.

This transmission could eventually cause zoonotic infections in humans.

Our results indicate that affected farms might be reservoirs for SARS-CoV-2.

Thus, efficient and continuous surveillance should target susceptible animals, including raccoon dogs, especially in China, which is a key player in global fur production.

We also need to initiate large-scale epidemiologic field studies with historical samples that might elucidate the role of farmed animals in the current pandemic.

This article was preprinted. Dr. Freuling is a research scientist at the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut.

Previously, the World Organisation for Animal Health reported on March 31, 2020, in Hong Kong that neither of the two dogs which were positive for SARS-CoV-2 showed clinical signs of COVID-19 infection.

Mar 21, 2023 • 2:40 pm CDT
Needle-free Injection System March 2023

PharmaJet® today announced that its partner, Scancell, reported positive results from their Phase 1 COVIDITY clinical trial. The trial was conducted at the University of Cape Town Lung Institute in South Africa to assess the safety and immunogenicity of their COVID-19 DNA candidate vaccines, SCOV1 and SCOV2.

The results from the trial were highly encouraging, inducing neutralizing antibody and T cell responses with no safety concerns. Administration with PharmaJet's devices was well received by study participants.

This new set of human data adds to the growing evidence indicating that this modern needle-free administration technology is an increasingly viable option to enhance plasmid DNA vaccine immune response.

The vaccines were exclusively administered using the PharmaJet Tropis® and Stratis® needle-free precision delivery systems.

Professor Lindy Durrant, Chief Executive Officer, Scancell, commented in a press release on March 21, 2023, "We are encouraged by these results."

"The trial validates that AvidiMab®-modified immunotherapies boost immune responses and PharmaJet's Needle-free Injection Systems are effective in delivering our ImmunoBody®-generated drug candidate."

"Our plans are to include PharmaJet Needle-free precision delivery systems in future trials with our immuno-oncology projects."

PharmaJet Needle-free precision delivery Systems provide increased vaccine effectiveness, a preferred patient and caregiver experience, and a proven path to commercialization.

The Stratis® System has U.S. FDA 510(k) marketing clearance, CE Mark, and WHO PQS certification to deliver medications and vaccines either intramuscularly or subcutaneously.

The Tropis® System has CE Mark and WHO PQS certification for intradermal injections.

They are both commercially available for global immunization programs.

Note: This news article is not paid content.