In case you missed it, here are a few major updates related to COVID-19 vaccine candidates, vaccine distribution in the U.S., and effective treatment options:
- There are now three (!) vaccine candidates who have entered final testing. On Monday, AstraZeneca announced it entered final testing in the U.S. for its vaccine, joining Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna who both began final testing in late July. “To have just one vaccine enter the final stage of trials eight months after discovering a virus would be a remarkable achievement; to have three at that point with more on the way is extraordinary,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.
- The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released draft guidance Tuesday that states initial doses of a vaccine should go to front-line health workers, first responders, and people at serious risk for infection. Final guidance will be released later this fall. This guidance came as the U.S. announced that it would not join an international coalition to find and distribute a COVID-19 vaccine worldwide due to the group’s association with the World Health Organization
- Regarding treatment, clinical trials published on Wednesday confirm that cheap, widely available steroid drugs can help seriously ill patients survive the virus.