Your Coronavirus Update for December 3, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update for December 3; stay up to date with Elite.

More than 63.2 million cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been diagnosed worldwide as of Monday evening, including at least 1.47 million deaths. Healthcare officials in the United States have reported more than 13.6 million positive COVID-19 cases and at least 268,000 deaths. Source: Johns Hopkins University & Medicine

Moderna Files EUA For Vaccine Candidate

In response to a reported efficacy of 94.1% for its COVID-19 vaccine candidate during a Phase 3 trial, officials with Moderna Inc., Cambridge, MA, have announced the company’s filing of an emergency use authorization (EUA) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its two-dose vaccination regimen. 

The study, known as the COVE study, enrolled more than 30,000 participants in the United States and is being conducted in collaboration with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, part of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The primary endpoint of the Phase 3 COVE study is based on the analysis of COVID-19 cases confirmed and adjudicated starting two weeks following the second dose of vaccine. Vaccine efficacy has been demonstrated at the first interim analysis with a total of 95 cases based on the pre-specified success criterion on efficacy. The primary analysis was based on 196 cases, of which 185 cases of COVID-19 were observed in the placebo group versus 11 cases in the vaccine group. A secondary endpoint analyzed severe cases of COVID-19 and included 30 severe cases (as defined in the study protocol) in this analysis. All 30 cases occurred in the placebo group and none in the vaccinated group. There was one COVID-19-related death in the study to date, which occurred in the placebo group, officials reported on Nov. 30.

Efficacy was reportedly consistent across age, race and ethnicity, and gender demographics. The 196 COVID-19 cases included 33 older adults and 42 participants identifying as being from diverse communities.

“This positive primary analysis confirms the ability of our vaccine to prevent COVID-19 disease with 94.1% efficacy and importantly, the ability to prevent severe COVID-19 disease,” said Stéphane Bancel, chief executive officer of Moderna. “We believe that our vaccine will provide a new and powerful tool that may change the course of this pandemic and help prevent severe disease, hospitalizations, and death.”

Additionally, Moderna officials have announced that the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee meeting to review the safety and efficacy data package for its candidate will likely be scheduled for Dec. 17. The company expects that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will make a recommendation on immunization priorities and that the shipping of the vaccine to designated distribution points throughout the U.S. will occur shortly after an EUA is granted.

CDC Expected To Shorten Quarantine Timeline

A reduced length of quarantining is expected to be announced as a guideline by officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the next few days, according to various reports.

The recommendations will reportedly include a shorter period of quarantine upon exposure as well as a shorter period for testing out of quarantine. Data is currently being analyzed that support such measures, reports have claimed, alluding to a study that’s expected to show that a 14-day quarantine after travel, the current recommendation, reduced the risk of transmission by up to 100% and a seven-day window, as well as taking a COVID-19 test a few days after arrival, reduced transmission by up to 99%.

Study Evaluates Specifics Of Successful Masking

New research claims that upgrades to fabric, filters, and the fit of one’s protective facemask are likely to provide better protection against the spread of coronavirus.

According to findings from Linsey Marr, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech who’s considered to be a leading aerosol scientist, tested 11 mask materials that have reportedly proven that mask enhancements can impact their effectiveness.1

A few examples of how people can remain more protected include:

  • Masks with three layers as opposed to two. 
  • Flexible, tightly woven material that contours to the face and masks with wire that can be molded around the nose close gaps that can allow air to escape and seep in.
  • Choose ear ties instead of ear loops. 
  • Face shields should be used with any mask, but alone are ineffective. 
  • Masks should be well-fitted.

Reference

1. Pan J, Harb C, Leng W. Inward And Outward Effectiveness Of Cloth Masks, A Surgical Mask, And A Face Shield. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.11.18.20233353. Accessed online: www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.11.18.20233353v1

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