News Picture: Another COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Begins Final Clinical TrialsBy Ernie Mundell HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, Dec. 29, 2020 (HealthDay News)

Vaccine maker Novavax, together with federal well being researchers, introduced Monday {that a} section 3 trial will start on the protection and effectiveness of one other COVID-19 vaccine — the fifth shot to succeed in this closing stage of improvement.

“We’ve come this far, this fast, but we need to get to the finish line,” Dr. Francis Collins, director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), mentioned in an NIH assertion.

Novavax will enroll 30,000 individuals from 115 testing websites throughout the United States and Mexico, and testing is already underway in Britain. The vaccine — which proper now is named NVX-CoV2373 — is available in two doses and is designed to reinforce the physique’s immune response to the coronavirus’ distinctive spike protein.

The Novavax shot is considerably completely different from permitted vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, in that it manufactures its personal antigens that mimic the coronavirus’ spike protein. However, these antigens “cannot replicate and cannot cause COVID-19,” the NIH mentioned within the assertion.

If section 3 trials show the Novavax vaccine to be secure and efficient, the shot has one large benefit over the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines: It wants solely normal refrigeration, not the freezing or ultra-cold temperature storage required by the primary two vaccines.

According to CBS News, two different pharmaceutical corporations, Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen and AstraZeneca, even have section 3 COVID-19 vaccine trials underway within the United States.

Uptick in vaccine acceptance

When queried in polls carried out earlier this yr, solely about half of American adults mentioned they deliberate to get any vaccine towards the brand new coronavirus. But after a largely profitable rollout this month of two secure and efficient photographs, a lot of these preliminary doubters now say they will line as much as get their vaccine doses when their flip comes.

According to The New York Times, polls carried out by Gallup, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Pew Research Center all present vaccine acceptance charges rising from about 50% this summer season to greater than 60% and, in a single ballot, 73%.

That final quantity approaches the edge scientists have deemed obligatory for herd immunity, the place sufficient of a inhabitants is immune and the unfold of the coronavirus begins to recede.

“As soon as it is my turn to get the vaccine, I will be there front and center! I am very excited and hopeful,” Joanne Barnes, 68, a retired elementary faculty instructor from Fairbanks, Alaska, advised the Times.

Earlier this summer season, Barnes had advised the paper the other; that she would not get the shot. The game-changers for her, Barnes mentioned, have been “the Biden administration, returning to listening to science and the fantastic stats associated with the vaccines.”

With greater than 19 million COVID-19 instances within the United States by Tuesday and greater than 335,000 Americans now killed by the illness, extra individuals than ever have now been personally affected by the brand new coronavirus. That harsh actuality may additionally be driving some to rethink getting the shot.

“More people have either been affected or infected by COVID,” Rupali Limaye, an knowledgeable on vaccine habits on the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, advised the Times. “They know someone who had a severe case or died. They are fatigued and want to get back to their normal lives.”

Media campaigns, together with on-camera moments with politicians and scientists — equivalent to Vice President Mike Pence, President-Elect Joe Biden and Dr. Anthony Fauci — all rolling up their sleeves for the photographs might have additionally helped enhance acceptance.

Still, giant pockets of skepticism and resistance to vaccination stay. According to the Times, distrust of the vaccine is greater amongst Blacks than whites, amongst Republicans in comparison with Democrats, and amongst individuals residing in rural areas versus these in cities.

Still, resistance is fading slowly amongst most teams, the Times mentioned.

One Black American, Mike Brown, runs a barbershop in Hyattsville, Md. This summer season he mentioned he would not get any COVID-19 vaccine, however has since modified his thoughts.

“The news that it was 95% effective sold me,” Brown advised the Times. “The side effects sound like what you get after a bad night of drinking and you hurt the next day. Well, I’ve had many of those and I can deal with that to get rid of the face masks.”

Experts say new COVID variant might already be in U.S.

In different information, U.S. consultants final week warned that the brand new, extra infectious variant of the coronavirus not too long ago found in Britain might already be circulating within the United States.

“We don’t know that for absolutely certain, but it is reasonable to assume that is going on,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, mentioned final week. “It very well might be here for all we know.”

Several infectious illness consultants mentioned final week that the variant might not have even originated within the United Kingdom, the Washington Post reported. Instead, it could have been recognized there first as a result of the British authorities has a robust monitoring system that has tracked tens of 1000’s of genomic sequences of virus samples. The United States has lagged in sequencing and doesn’t have almost the identical degree of virus surveillance, the newspaper mentioned.

“It may very well be here. It may have even started here. The sequencing in the U.S. is so sporadic,” Jeremy Luban, a virologist on the University of Massachusetts Medical School, advised the Post.

According to Angela Rasmussen, a virologist on the Georgetown Center for Global Health Science and Security, in Washington, D.C., “It makes sense that it was detected first in the U.K. because they have probably the world’s best surveillance program. It would not shock me at all to find out that it also is circulating in the U.S.”

Even although this variant, formally often known as B.1.1.7, is regarding and would require shut monitoring, it’s unlikely to undermine the United States’ mass coronavirus vaccination marketing campaign, careworn William Hanage, an epidemiologist on the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

“The vaccine is a pretty thorough thing,” Hanage defined. “Whether or not the existing vaccines are less effective against B.1.1.7 is at the moment not known. I think there is good reason to think they will not be severely impacted.”

On Thursday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention introduced a brand new rule that air passengers coming to the United States from the United Kingdom should present documentation proving that they’ve examined adverse for the brand new coronavirus inside 72 hours of departure.

A world scourge

By Tuesday, the U.S. coronavirus case rely handed 19.3 million whereas the loss of life toll handed 335,000, in accordance with a Times tally. On Tuesday, the highest 5 states for coronavirus infections have been: California with greater than 2.2 million instances; Texas with over 1.7 million instances; Florida with nearly 1.3 million instances; Illinois with over 944,000 instances; and New York with nearly 939,000 instances.

Curbing the unfold of the coronavirus in the remainder of the world stays difficult.

In India, the coronavirus case rely was over 10.2 million on Tuesday, a Johns Hopkins University tally confirmed. Brazil had over 7.5 million instances and over 191,500 deaths as of Tuesday, the Hopkins tally confirmed.

Worldwide, the variety of reported infections handed 81 million on Tuesday, with almost 1.8 million deaths recorded, in accordance with the Hopkins tally.

More data

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has extra on the brand new coronavirus.

SOURCES: Washington Post; The New York Times

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