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Health News Roundup: YouTube to add link on COVID-19 vaccines to combat misinformation; Lilly COVID-19 antibody treatment due to limited supply and more

J&J expects data for U.S. authorization of COVID-19 vaccine by February, says head scientist Johnson & Johnson's chief scientist said the drugmaker is recruiting over 1,000 people per day for the late-stage trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine and expects to have all the data needed to seek U.S. authorization by February or earlier.

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 18-11-2020 02:44 IST | Created: 18-11-2020 02:28 IST
Health News Roundup: YouTube to add link on COVID-19 vaccines to combat misinformation; Lilly COVID-19 antibody treatment due to limited supply and more
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Following is a summary of current health news briefs.

YouTube to add link on COVID-19 vaccines to combat misinformation

Alphabet Inc's YouTube said on Tuesday it is adding a link to provide information on the development of COVID-19 vaccines to the coronavirus panel on its site, expanding its efforts to combat misinformation related to the pandemic. The link will send users directly to authoritative COVID-19 vaccine information from a third-party source like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the World Health Organization (WHO), the company said in a statement.

FDA to make emergency use authorization data public for COVID-19 vaccines

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday it would make public reviews of all data and information regarding the emergency use authorization (EUA) granted to COVID-19 drugs and vaccines. "Today's transparency action is just one of a number of steps we are taking to ensure public confidence in our EUA review process for drugs and biological products, especially any potential COVID-19 vaccines," FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said in a statement.

Doctors and nurses urge Trump to share COVID-19 data with Biden as infections spike

U.S. doctors and nurses, in a letter published on Tuesday, urged the Trump administration to share critical COVID-19 data with President-elect Joe Biden's transition team to avoid unnecessary delays in tackling the pandemic as infections and hospitalizations skyrocket. Members of several medical associations made the plea for cooperation a day after Biden warned that "more people may die" if outgoing President Donald Trump continues to block a smooth transition following his defeat in the Nov. 3 presidential election.

Brazil to receive first doses of China's Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine: Butantan Institute

Brazil's Butantan Institute biomedical center will receive the first doses of China's Sinovac vaccine against COVID-19 this week, institute director Dimas Covas said on Tuesday. Covas told a congressional committee monitoring Brazil's COVID-19 response that preliminary results of the trials Butantan is conducting in Brazil indicate the vaccine, called CoronaVac, has an excellent safety profile.

J&J expects data for U.S. authorization of COVID-19 vaccine by February, says head scientist

Johnson & Johnson's chief scientist said the drugmaker is recruiting over 1,000 people per day for the late-stage trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine and expects to have all the data needed to seek U.S. authorization by February or earlier. "By the end of the year or around the end of the year, we should have 60,000 people in the study," Dr. Paul Stoffels, J&J's chief scientific officer, said in an interview ahead of this week's Reuters Total Health conference.

France becomes first European country to top 2 million COVID-19 cases: Reuters tally

France on Tuesday became the first European country to surpass 2 million coronavirus cases despite an Oct. 30 nationwide lockdown that has led to a sharp decline in new infections, according to a Reuters tally. France is fourth in the number of infections reported, with 2,036,755, behind the United States, India and Brazil. With a death toll topping 45,000, France ranks seventh in COVID-19 deaths globally.

U.S. hospitals to restrict Lilly COVID-19 antibody treatment due to limited supply

U.S. hospitals, weighing high demand and tight supplies, said they may limit use of a new Eli Lilly and Co antibody drug to COVID-19 patients with multiple risk factors for serious illness or to those whose immune systems have not begun to fight the infection. The treatment, bamlanivimab, was given U.S. emergency use authorization (EUA) last week by the Food and Drug Administration for helping newly-diagnosed, high-risk patients avoid hospitalization. "There will be a lot of pressure on physicians," said Dr. Adarsh Bhimraj, an infectious disease specialist at the Cleveland Clinic and chair of the Infectious Diseases Society of America's guidelines panel, which is still discussing its recommendations for the drug.

Regeneron says Roche successfully tested manufacture of COVID-19 drug used on Trump

Roche Holding AG has completed early tests of its ability to produce large quantities of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc's COVID-19 antibody treatment, putting it on track to begin manufacturing the drug once it is authorized by regulators, Regeneron's president said on Tuesday. The experimental therapy was used to treat U.S. President Donald Trump in October. The companies aim to be able to make 2 million doses of the antibody cocktail next year, but are awaiting clearance from regulators.

Pfizer to start pilot delivery program for its COVID-19 vaccine in four U.S. states

Pfizer Inc has launched a pilot delivery program for its experimental COVID-19 vaccine in four U.S. states, as the U.S. drugmaker seeks to address distribution challenges facing its ultra-cold storage requirements. Pfizer's vaccine, which was shown to be more than 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 based on initial data, must be shipped and stored at -70 degrees Celsius (minus 94°F), significantly below the standard for vaccines of 2-8 degrees Celsius (36-46°F).

How two companies sprinted ahead in extraordinary race for a COVID vaccine

Just as the novel coronavirus was gaining a foothold in the United States in mid-March, Pfizer Inc Chief Executive Albert Bourla called on his top vaccine scientists and laid out a clear mission: "He basically said, 'Your mandate is to get this vaccine made. And if you need resources, you come and you ask for them, and you're going to get them',"chief viral vaccine scientist Philip Dormitzer told Reuters.

(With inputs from agencies.)


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