This week in Clipboard Health’s Nursing News round-up …
Pfizer, BioNTech File for Emergency Use Approval from FDA
Following Pfizer’s announcement several weeks ago that preliminary results from their Phase III trials for their COVID-19 vaccine candidate showed the vaccine was about 95% effective, on Wednesday of last week, the company announced it had fully completed its Phase III trials.
The Phase III trials comply with the safety requirements of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As such, the company filed for emergency use authorization from the FDA on Friday.
AstraZeneca Reports COVID-19 Vaccine Could Be 90% Effective
AstraZeneca became third in the COVID-19 vaccine race to announce the effectiveness of their vaccine candidate. Early results estimate that this vaccine, developed jointly by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, is 90% effective.
In comparison, the other two vaccine companies to report on their vaccine success, Pfizer and Moderna, reported that their vaccines are 95% effective. However, AstraZeneca’s vaccine is a fraction of the cost of the other two candidates and can be stored at normal fridge temperatures, meaning it’s much more accessible for countries around the world.
The company estimates it will have 200 million doses of its vaccine available by the end of 2020 and the potential for 700 million doses by the end of the first quarter of 2021.
FDA Authorizes Emergency Use of Antibody Drug to Treat COVID-19
On Saturday, the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for another antibody drug to treat COVID-19 patients with mild-to-moderate symptoms. This is the second antibody drug treatment that the FDA has granted emergency use to, and it’s also one of the experimental medications used to treat President Donald Trump.
The treatment is administered via IV and is available to adults and children over the age of 12 who weigh 88 pounds or more. Patients must also be at high risk for developing severe COVID-19 symptoms.
FDA Authorizes Emergency Use for First Rapid At-Home COVID-19 Test
The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for a first rapid at-home COVID-19 test. The prescription test, All-In-One Test Kit, is created by Lucira Health and uses self-collected nasal swabs to give results within 30 minutes or less.
The test is highly accurate and will likely cost around $50 per single-use test kit.
Airports See Highest Numbers for Second Time Since March
Despite strong recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to avoid travel for Thanksgiving, airports reported more than 2 million people were screened at airports on Friday and Saturday. This is the second time since the shutdown in March that airports have reported numbers this high.
Chicago Nursing Home Workers Stage Walkout
Almost 700 nursing home workers walked out of their jobs late Monday morning in an organized walkout alongside representatives of their union. The majority of the workers are from facilities managed by the same management company and are mostly located in the Chicago area.
Workers demands include at least $15 an hour pay, hazard pay, and sufficient personal protective equipment.
Medical Studies Round-Up
Here’s a brief round-up of recent medical studies and their findings for you to stay up-to-date with the ever-evolving field of medical research.
- A study of 152 non-hospitalized adults with COVID-19 found that the antidepressant fluvoxamine (Luvox) may help prevent patients with mild symptoms from respiratory deterioration and the need to be placed on oxygen.
- A new study of MMR antibodies in recovered COVID-19 patients indicates that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine could help protect against getting COVID-19.
- A survey for 800 adults in Europe found that people over the age of 45 are at a higher risk of getting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and more than half have never been tested for an STI.
- A new study looked at the effectiveness of different infection-prevention measures for COVID-19. It found that social distancing was the most universally effective while the use of masks or social bubbles was effective based on the situation and how high or low transmission risk is.
- Researchers in a new study determined that the best way to curb the spread of COVID-19 is through frequent, rapid testing with rapid turnaround times. This type of testing method would be more effective than slower, more sensitive, and accurate tests.
- WHO reports it needs $4.5 billion for its world vaccine-sharing scheme to ensure that poorer countries have equal access to a COVID-19 vaccine.
Race for the Vaccine: Coronavirus Vaccine Updates
Here are the most recent updates from the past week on COVID-19 vaccine development.
German-based IDT Biologika plans to begin Phase II trials for its vaccine candidate by the end of the year, aiming for approval by the end of 2021.
Britain is expected to give regulatory approval to the Pfizer vaccine for use in its country sometime this week, possibly before the United States authorizes it for its own country.
Moderna estimates that it will charge between $25 and $37 per dose of its COVID-19 vaccine. The company is finalizing a pricing deal for $25 or less per dose with the European Commission soon.