The World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine and recommends two doses, given eight to 12 weeks apart.
Researchers from Pfizer, BioNTech and the University of Texas evaluated the ability of COVID-19 antibodies from 20 serum samples obtained from 15 participants in the pivotal Phase III BNT162b2 trial (NCT04368728) to neutralize the South African SARS-CoV-2 variant (B.1.351 lineage). The serum samples neutralized the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and all mutant viruses tested at titers of 1:40 or greater. The serum samples were about two-thirds weaker in neutralizing the B.1.351 lineage. The researchers concluded that it was unknown how this reduction would affect immunity.
Researches from Moderna and National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases evaluated the ability of COVID-19 antibodies from participants in a Phase I mRNA-1273 trial (NCT04283461), to neutralize pseudovirus designed to mimic the original virus, the United Kingdom SARS-CoV-2 variant (B.1.1.7 lineage) and the South African SARS-CoV-2 variant (B.1.351 lineage). There was no decrease in neutralization of the B.1.1.7 lineage compared to neutralization of the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, but a decrease was seen with the B.1.351 lineage. The researchers concluded that it was unknown how this reduction would affect immunity.
The 15,000 patient RECOVERY trial (NCT04381936) has several arms testing lopinavir-ritonavir, dexamethasone, hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, tocilizumab, convalescent plasma, immunoglobulin (IVIG) and the monoclonal antibody combination REGN-COV2. British researchers reported that mortality was 29% in 2,022 patients that received tocilizumab, compared to 33% that received usual care in COVID-19 patients who required oxygen and had evidence of inflammation. 82% of patients in the trial received dexamethasone. Treatment with tocilizumab also resulted in being discharged alive at 28 days (54% vs 47%). The researchers concluded that adding tocilizumab to dexamethasone reduced the risk of death in COVID-19 patients with hypoxia and significant inflammation.
In an update, the American College of Physician recommend that remdesivir should not be initiated in hospitalized COVID-19 patients receiving mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) because the infection has likely progressed to the inflammatory stage of the disease. ACP recommends consideration of remdesivir for five days in hospitalized patients that do not require ventilation or ECMO. Remdesivir may be given for up to ten days 10 days in patients that progress to mechanical ventilation or ECMO that had already started the drug.
Vitamin D has been suggested as having immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties, so Brazilian researchers evaluated, whether a single dose would have a beneficial effect on patients with COVID-19.