Bad-News Mutants; Calif. Lifts Moderna Vax Hold; How to Enjoy Food Again?

Covid-19, News

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Lab experiments suggest that available vaccines may be less effective against new SARS-CoV-2 variants and that COVID-19 survivors may be reinfected. (New York Times)

As of 8:00 a.m. ET Thursday, the unofficial U.S. tally stood at 24,439,427 cases and 406,162 deaths — reflecting increases of 184,690 and 4,385, respectively, from the previous day.

Topline results from the BLAZE-2 trial show bamlanivimab prevented COVID-19 in nursing home residents, said drugmaker Eli Lilly.

The hold on one particular batch of Moderna vaccine — a precaution taken on Sunday due to allergic reactions — has been lifted in California. (KCRA3)

CDC’s Anne Schuchat will be leading a review of all existing COVID-19 guidance under the new CDC director Rochelle Walensky, MD, MPH.

Amazon offered to help the White House with any technologies it needs for its vaccination campaign. The company also said it would help its 800,000 employees get vaccinated. (Axios)

Israeli health officials pushed back on their virus czar’s statement that Pfizer/BioNTech’s first vaccine dose is less effective than previously believed. (BBC News)

Britain’s approval of AstraZeneca’s vaccine was a boon to mass immunization efforts in the U.K. (Wall Street Journal)

Nearly 12,000 doses of Moderna vaccine were spoiled because they got too cold during delivery to Michigan. (Detroit Free Press)

New York City had to cancel 23,000 first-dose vaccine appointments this week when supplies fell short. (NY1)

China is ramping up efforts to beat back its worst COVID-19 resurgence yet. (Wall Street Journal)

A New York Times food critic shared her loss of appetite due to COVID-19 and the Sichuan peppercorns and chiles that brought it back.

In other news:

  • President Biden remains undecided on his official pick for FDA commissioner; Janet Woodcock is acting commissioner for now. (Politico)
  • Micky Tripathi was named the new HHS National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and now leads the development of a national health information technology framework. (FierceHealthcare)
  • Merck KGaA said it halted a phase III trial of its investigational immunotherapy bintrafusp alfa after an interim analysis showed it was unlikely to demonstrate improved progression-free survival in difficult-to-treat cancers.
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    Nicole Lou is a reporter for MedPage Today, where she covers cardiology news and other developments in medicine. Follow

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