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Antiviral Treatment Reduces Likelihood of Severe Illness From Omicron

09 Feb 2023

hat you need to know Antiviral drugs can lower the risk of severe illness and death from viral infections. In 2021, a clinical trial showed that Paxlovid — an antiviral treatment known generically as nirmatrelvir and ritonavir — reduces the risk of severe COVID-19. Since then, the antiviral treatment has been administered more than 7.6 million times and is available by prescription at more than 40,000 locations in the United States. The study that showed the effectiveness of Paxlovid occurred when the Delta variant was the dominant strain of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. In a new study supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the National Cancer Institute, researchers have found that the drug still reduces risk of hospitalization and death from the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2.

Bivalent boosters provide better protection against severe COVID-19

08 Feb 2023

To date, more than 80% of people in the U.S. have received at least one dose of a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The original mRNA vaccines, developed by Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech, targeted the initial strain of the virus. Since then, different variants of the virus have evolved. These included Delta in 2020 and Omicron in late 2021. Subvariants of Omicron continue to emerge. Currently, ones called BQ.1, BQ.1.1, and XBB.1.5 predominate in the U.S.

NEWS 02 February 2023 How quickly does COVID immunity fade? What scientists know

03 Feb 2023

Three years into the pandemic, the immune systems of the vast majority of humans have learnt to recognize SARS-CoV-2 through vaccination, infection or, in many cases, both. But just how quickly do these types of immunity fade? New evidence suggests that ‘hybrid’ immunity, the result of both vaccination and a bout of COVID-19, can provide partial protection against reinfection for at least eight months1. It also offers greater than 95% protection against severe disease or hospitalization for between six months and a year after an infection or vaccination, according to estimates from a meta-analysis2. Immunity acquired by booster vaccination alone seems to fade somewhat faster.

Experimental mRNA Vaccine May Protect Against All 20 Influenza Virus Subtypes

06 Dec 2022

Flu season is now upon us, and protecting yourself and your loved ones is still as easy as heading to the nearest pharmacy for your annual flu shot. These vaccines are formulated each year to protect against up to four circulating strains of influenza virus, and they generally do a good job. What they can’t do is prevent future outbreaks of more novel flu viruses that occasionally spill over from other species into humans, thereby avoiding a future influenza pandemic.

Researchers Discover Potential New Antiviral Against COVID-19

30 Nov 2022

What you need to know Antivirals are medications that can help your body fight off viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. They work by preventing the virus from infecting healthy cells, which helps your immune system fight off infection. But viruses like SARS-CoV-2 can mutate, and antivirals may not be effective against viral variants. In a study supported by several NIH Institutes and Centers, researchers used an animal model to identify a drug that can stop SARS-CoV-2 from entering healthy cells in a way that viral variants won’t be able to evade. If it is safe and effective for humans, it may become another powerful tool in the fight against COVID-19, especially as new viral variants arise.


11 clinical trials that will shape medicine in 2023

23 Dec 2023

2022 has been a rollercoaster year for biopharma, as it has faced an industry-wide slowdown and late-stage clinical trial failures, as well as breakthroughs and regulatory approvals. COVID-19 has continued to disrupt nearly all aspects of clinical trial infrastructure, from patient recruitment to supply chains, but despite this, 2023 promises to bring many new readouts from different branches of medicine (Table 1). Nature Medicine asked 11 leading experts for their top clinical trials to watch in the coming year

Association of Baseline Adherence to Antihypertensive Medications With Adherence After Shelter-in-Place Guidance for COVID-19 Among US Adults

20 Dec 2022

Question: Does baseline antihypertensive medication adherence identify individuals at risk for poor adherence during sheltering for COVID-19? Findings This cohort study assessed antihypertensive medication adherence as the proportion of days covered (PDC) from filled prescriptions claims for 6 months before and after COVID-19 sheltering guidance in a random sample of 27 318 US adults. Poor adherence (PDC < 50) during sheltering occurred in 73% with poor baseline adherence, 32% with fair baseline adherence (PDC 50-79), and 10% with good baseline adherence (PDC ≥ 80). These findings suggest that adherence-promoting interventions may be helpful irrespective of sheltering for poor baseline adherence and during sheltering for fair baseline adherence.

Changes in the Relationship Between Income and Life Expectancy Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic, California, 2015-2021

07 Jul 2022

Key Points Question How did the first 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic affect life expectancy in California and the relationship between census tract income and life expectancy relative to prepandemic years? Findings In this retrospective analysis of 1 988 606 deaths in California during 2015 to 2021, life expectancy declined from 81.40 years in 2019 to 79.20 years in 2020 and 78.37 years in 2021. Life expectancy differences between the census tracts in the highest and lowest income percentiles increased from 11.52 years in 2019 to 14.67 years in 2020 and 15.51 years in 2021. Meaning This ecological study of deaths in the state of California demonstrated that life expectancy declines in 2020 increased in 2021 and that the life expectancy gap by income level increased during the first 2 years of the COVID-19 pandemic relative to the pre-pandemic period.

Four Vaccine Doses Prevented Severe Omicron COVID-19 Better Than 3

10 May 2022

Older patients in Israel who received a fourth dose of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) SARS-CoV-2 vaccine were more than 3 times less likely to develop severe COVID-19 than those who received only 3 doses. But while protection against severe disease did not wane during the testing period, protection against confirmed infection appeared short-lived.

Rates of COVID-19 Among Unvaccinated Adults With Prior COVID-19

20 Apr 2022

Risk of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection among unvaccinated people with prior COVID-19 is a subject of debate.1,2 We performed a survival analysis in a large US population to assess the degree and duration of protection associated with natural immunity in unvaccinated individuals.

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