The Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 received an emergency use authorization from the FDA last Friday, and thousands of doses are being rolled out across the country this week. But the vaccine, which must be stored at between -80 and -60 degrees Celsius, necessitates the utilization of a “cold chain” to keep it within this temperature range from the moment it leaves the manufacturing site to just before it is administered to a patient.
In what could prove to be a turning point in the fight against COVID-19, U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German biotech company BioNTech announced yesterday that one of their coronavirus vaccines is more than 90% effective at preventing the viral disease, according to new data from its Phase III trial. They are predicting that they will have the requisite safety data for an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA before the end of the month.
Researchers at Duke University have developed a simple, low-cost method to assess the efficacy of different face masks at reducing the transmission of respiratory droplets during normal speech. Respiratory droplets are believed to be the primary way that people spread SARS-CoV-2 to one another.
Development of COVID-19 vaccines is moving forward at an unprecedented pace, and the public interest and press coverage are huge. And yet it is not easy for lay person or scientist to keep track of the multitude of vaccine candidates.
If you’ve been following biomedical news on the novel coronavirus over the last several months, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about the potential for antibodies from recovered COVID-19 patients (convalescent antibodies) to help fight the virus and provide temporary immunity to healthcare workers and other persons at high risk of contracting the virus.