Coronavirus Breaking News

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

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.

Mar 21, 2023 • 9:04 am CDT
U.S. CDC Mongolia map March 2023

Jiangsu Recbio Technology Co., Ltd. today announced in a press release that by the Mongolian law on the prevention of COVID-19, the Company was granted an Emergency Use Authorization ("EUA") for its two-component recombinant vaccine ReCOV.

As of March 21, 2023, this is the first novel adjuvant recombinant subunit COVID-19 vaccine developed in China and approved overseas.

ReCOV is a recombinant COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Company with its technology platforms, including its novel adjuvant, protein engineering, and immunological evaluation platforms.

And the adjuvant used therein is its self-developed novel adjuvant BFA03.

The Company has successively conducted multiple late-stage clinical studies for ReCOV in China, the Philippines, the United Arab Emirates, Nepal, and Russia.

Studies have shown that ReCOV has demonstrated a favorable safety profile, with mild adverse reactions and no vaccine-related serious adverse events.

In particular, in a comparative clinical study with a positive control of Pfizer's mRNA vaccine, a sequential booster of ReCOV among subjects who have completed vaccination of inactivated vaccines induced durable and widespread cross-neutralizing antibodies against various Omicron variants, including BF.7, BA.5, BA.2.75, and BA.2, with all subgroups achieving superior levels of neutralizing antibodies as compared to the Pfizer's mRNA vaccine (with statistically significant differences).

The granting of the EUA to ReCOV in Mongolia will play a positive role in promoting registrations in other countries and regions.

Mar 20, 2023 • 11:09 am CDT
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health report March 1, 2023

By the time a student graduates high school, they will have spent more than 15,000 hours in school, the second longest indoor exposure time after their home.

The scientific record now reflects the reality that airborne transmission is the dominant mode of transmission for COVID, as for many other respiratory diseases. 

A recent report from The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health's Schools For Health team illuminates how the school building influences students' health, thinking, and performance.

Download the report to learn about checking ventilation rates in classrooms.

In this guide, the authors highlighted:

  • Measure or Estimate Outdoor Air Ventilation Rate,
  • Compare Results to Targets,
  • Consider Supplemental Air cleaning Strategies to Meet Targets.

'Organizations cannot continue to tell people to "bring in more air" without answering the critical question: "How much?" wrote Joseph G. Allen, associate professor of exposure assessment science at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, on March 1, 2023.

Mar 20, 2023 • 10:34 am CDT
by Clayton from Pixabay

Invivyd, Inc. recently announced the election of VYD222 to advance into the clinic as a novel monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapeutic option for COVID-19.

The company confirmed on March 6, 2023, it aims to leverage evolving COVID-19 regulatory paradigms and maximize efficiency to deliver this much-needed product for immunocompromised individuals and other vulnerable populations.

As of January 2023, no monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are authorized or approved in the U.S. for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.

mAbs are well suited to meet the need of immunocompromised individuals because they provide a prompt onset of protection, have a well-characterized safety profile, and do not rely on the individual’s immune response.

“The lack of commercially available mAbs in the U.S. is an unacceptable situation for the estimated 8 million people with impaired immune systems who don’t respond to vaccination and means a return to the isolation many of us experienced early in the pandemic,” stated Pete Schmidt, M.D., M.Sc., Chief Medical Officer of Invivyd, in a press release.

“This urgent need was recently acknowledged by the FDA and EMA at a joint workshop in December where various options such as the use of surrogate endpoints and immunologic bridging studies were discussed.”

The company plans for a Phase 1 clinical trial starting in Q1 2023. Once aligned with regulatory authorities, pivotal studies are designed to follow swiftly.

Mar 20, 2023 • 6:20 am CDT
WHO COVID-19 cases data March 14, 2023

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported about 4.1 million new COVID-19 cases and related 28,000 fatalities were confirmed in the last 28 days, a decrease of 40% and 57%, respectively, compared to the previous 28 days.

However, as of March 14, 2023, there are significant regional differences, including increases in some regions, such as India.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in late 2019, over 760 million confirmed cases and over 6.8 million fatalities have been reported globally by the WHO.

Mar 20, 2023 • 5:21 am CDT
by Sam Williams

Despite the worldwide decrease in COVID-19 cases in 2023, there is still a steady demand for SARS-CoV-2 virus tests, according to current GlobalData estimates.

As of March 17, 2023, data indicates that the COVID-19 test market revenue for January 2023 was equivalent to 70% of December 2020, when testing began.

Aidan Robertson, Medical Analyst at GlobalData, commented in a press release, "While for many people COVID-19 has become a thing of the past due to vaccine rollouts and health and safety policies, a certain percentage of the population still take these tests to monitor potential infections or in preparation for international travel or in some cases with companies that require employees to provide a negative test to return to work."

"All of which has resulted in a more resilient market than expected."

In the U.S., the NIH's COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines Panel recommends, as of March 6, 2023, using either a nucleic acid amplification test or an antigen test with a sample collected from the upper respiratory tract to diagnose acute SARS-CoV-2 infection.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Testing Locator enables consumers to search for free testing sites.

Mar 14, 2023 • 12:25 pm CDT
VA and COVID-19 Therapeutics

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued new guidance (FDA-2020-D-1825) to provide recommendations to healthcare providers and investigators on the use of COVID-19 convalescent plasma or investigational convalescent plasma during the COVID-19 public health emergency.  

The guidance published on March 13, 2023, also provides recommendations to blood establishments on collection.

This FDA document supersedes the guidance of the same title issued in January 2021 (previous versions November 2020, September 2020, May 2020, and April 2020).  

COVID-19 convalescent plasma is not a vaccine nor a monoclonal antibody therapeutic.

Mar 11, 2023 • 11:22 am CST

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today announced updated Omicron variant proportion estimates.

As of March 11, 2023, the CDC reported the XBB.1.5 SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus variant makes up nearly 90% of new cases in the U.S.

This is an increase from the 87% reported last week.

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19, is constantly changing and accumulating mutations in its genetic code over time, says the CDC. 

And given the diminished activity, the CDC now provides updated variant proportions for weighted estimates and Nowcast estimates every week on Friday.

The CDC also confirmed the number of COVID-19 cases and related fatalities continued to decrease since a peak in early January 2023.

Mar 8, 2023 • 12:56 pm CST
WHO report March 8, 2023

The World Health Organization (WHO) today reported that over the last 28 days (February 6 to March 5, 2023), a decrease of 58% in reported COVID-19 cases and a 65% reduction compared to the previous 28 days was noted.

As of March 5, 2023, the WHO's Weekly epidemiological update #133 stated over 759 million confirmed cases and over 6.8 million fatalities had been reported globally during the COVID-19 pandemic that began in late 2019.

Recently, the United Kingdom announced its 'spring 2023' vaccination program for certain high-risk people. As did Canada.

Mar 1, 2023 • 12:54 pm CST
WHO March 1, 2023

The World Health Organization (WHO) weekly epidemiological update #132 today reported over 4.8 million new COVID-19 cases, and over 39,000 deaths were reported in the last 28 days.

This data published on March 1, 2023, indicates a decrease of 76% and 66%, respectively, compared to the previous 28 days.

At the country level, the highest numbers of new 28-day cases were reported from the United States of America (1,085,170 new cases; -29%), Japan (752,935 new cases; -77%), and China (537,561 new cases; -95%). 

As of February 26, 2023, over 758 million confirmed cases and over 6.8 million deaths have been reported globally.

Mar 1, 2023 • 6:48 am CST
by Fernando González

The U.S. CDC recently published Notes from the Field: Epidemiologic Characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 Recombinant Variant XBB.1.5 — New York City, November 1, 2022–January 4, 2023.

On February 24, 2023, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report disclosed the SARS-CoV-2 virus variant XBB.1.5 emerged rapidly in NYC during November–December 2022 and earlier than in the rest of the United States.

Preliminary findings from a sample of sequenced isolates in NYC do not suggest more severe disease among patients infected with XBB.1.5 compared with patients infected with BQ.1.

The routine linkage of epidemiologic and sequencing data allows (the CDC) to track emerging variants and ongoing assessment of reinfection, infection after vaccination, and disease severity.

Feb 27, 2023 • 10:27 am CST
by Thorsten Frenzel

Xlear Inc. today announced it had supplemented the numerous scientific studies it has already provided the U.S. Department of Justice(DOJ)  and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the government's lawsuit against Xlear.

The DOJ-FTC sued Xlear alleging prior statements about nasal hygiene and COVID-19 lacked adequate substantiation.

As of February 27, 2023, Xlear stated in a press release it provided additional studies showing that simple nasal sprays are effective in helping reduce the transmission of (the SARS-CoV-2 virus) COVID-19 and reduce the severity of illness when used by individuals already infected with the virus. 

One of the studies Xlear provided to DOJ is a peer-reviewed, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial (RCT) involving 556 "high-risk healthcare professionals," finding that a nasal spray containing water, saline, and xylitol significantly reduced the transmission of COVID-19 and the severity of cases among those infected. 

Specifically, the study finds: "[The spray] significantly reduced SARS-CoV-2 infection compared to placebo [36 cases (13.1%) Vs. 97 cases (34.5%); OR 0.29 (95% CI; 0.18–0.45), p < 0.0001].

Fewer clinical symptoms were also seen in the test group [57 cases (17.6%) vs. 112 cases (34.6%); OR 0.40, (95% CI; 0.27–0.59), p < 0.0001].

No harmful effects were associated with taking the [nasal spray] . . . This represents a 62% relative risk reduction in infection rate."

"[T]he spray was administered up to three times per day with . . . 6–8 [hour] between doses."

The study concludes: "[The nasal spray] has been shown to significantly reduce SARS-CoV-2 infections in healthcare workers, with 62% fewer infections when compared to placebo."

The company says, 'This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.'

Feb 25, 2023 • 3:20 pm CST
by Jose Aitor Pons Buigues

A new study conducted in Las Vegas suggests that when testing for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the results may actually overestimate the virus's local health risks.

The findings from an Original Investigation suggest the continual influx of tourists in vacation destinations may distort clinical testing relevance.

While wastewater surveillance is a valuable complement to clinical tools and can provide time-sensitive data for decision-makers and policymakers, this study represents a novel approach to quantifying the confounding effects of mobile populations on wastewater surveillance data.

Furthermore, the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA in wastewater does not indicate infectivity, so while a significant viral load may be contributed by visitors (>60% in this study), this does not necessarily prove that visitors are a significant contributor to local COVID-19 transmission. 

Researchers from the University of Nevada collaborated with the Southern Nevada Water Authority on the study published by the JAMA Network Open on February 23, 2023.

Note: This study's conclusions may apply to other tourist destinations such as Paris, Miami, New York, London. and Tokyo.

Feb 24, 2023 • 3:16 pm CST
U.S. CDC Feb. 24, 2023

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported today there are 2.1% of counties, districts, or territories in the U.S. with a high COVID-19 Community Level.

As of February 23, 2023, the 7-day average for new daily cases, 33,722, decreased by 9.2% from a week ago.

As the COVID-19 pandemic fades from national headlines, the CDC noted that it would produce data every other week beginning in early March 2023.

A few weeks ago, the U.S. federal government announced plans to end the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency on May 11, 2023.

However, until then, COVID-19 remains a public health priority.

Feb 23, 2023 • 3:30 pm CST
by Gerd Altmann

The U.S. government confirmed last week it had initiated a multi-site, late-stage clinical trial evaluating an investigational antiviral for the treatment of COVID-19.

The therapeutic candidate, known as S-217622 or ensitrelvir fumaric acid, was discovered by Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan, and Shionogi & Co., Ltd. 

S-217622 is the first agent to be evaluated in a global, adaptive clinical research protocol known as Strategies and Treatments for Respiratory Infections & Viral Emergencies (STRIVE), conducted by the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

“We hope results from this trial can be applied to improve the standard of care for people with COVID-19, which still causes hundreds of deaths each day in the United States, as well as to strengthen our pandemic preparedness,” said NIAID Deputy Director for Clinical Research and Special Projects H. Clifford Lane, M.D., in a media statement issued on February 15, 2023.

“The STRIVE protocol and clinical research infrastructure can be adapted to evaluate additional agents for COVID-19, as well as therapeutics for other respiratory pathogens.”

According to results shared by Shionogi from a Phase 3 clinical trial conducted in 2022, S-217622 reduced COVID-19 symptoms in people with mild-to-moderate COVID-19, regardless of risk factors or vaccination status,

Findings from the ACTIV-3 trials, which evaluated therapeutics for adults hospitalized with COVID-19, indicated that ongoing viral replication may play a role in driving disease progression to critical illness. The research team hypothesized that a significant number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 may still benefit from antiviral therapy.

For more information about the trial, please visit and search identifier NCT05605093.

In the U.S., several COVID-19 antivirals are approved and available at most pharmacies.