A version of this story appeared in the November 10 edition of CNN’s Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction newsletter. Sign up here to receive the need-to-know headlines every weekday.
World leaders welcomed the breakthrough and stocks surged in hopes of an economic recovery, as Pfizer said it plans to seek emergency use authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If it “goes along smoothly” then “we may have doses that we’re able to give to people” sometime in December, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN.
The vaccine uses a never-before-approved technology called messenger RNA, or mRNA, to produce an immune response in people who are vaccinated, which bodes well for other vaccine candidates “using the same platform,” Fauci said.
Preliminary results show no safety concerns but more data is needed to determine how long protection from the vaccine could last, Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, told CNN. The company expects to have manufactured up to 50 million vaccine doses globally this year, and 1.3 billion next year. It’s not clear whether the Covid-19 vaccine will become a yearly or season shot, but Bourla says it is likely that periodical jabs will be needed.
But there are a number of logistical challenges to rolling out the vaccine, especially since Pfizer’s shot needs to be kept at -94 degrees Fahrenheit (-70 degrees Celsius). “There’s a whole suite of very experienced and talented people at Pfizer who are solely working on this, an army of people, and so it’s going to be important to work with the authorities with state governments and others to provide that supply chain,” said Dr. John Burkhardt, Pfizer’s vice president of research and development.
YOU ASKED. WE ANSWERED
Q: Will Thanksgiving be a superspreading event?
A: America’s neighbor to the north may offer an answer to that question. Three weeks after Canadians celebrated their Thanksgiving holiday, the country is seeing a national spike in cases.
Countries will also have to prioritize who gets the vaccine first. The UK, which said it would have 10 million doses of the vaccine manufactured and made available by the end of 2020, plans to inoculate the most vulnerable first, like care home workers and the elderly.
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WHAT’S IMPORTANT TODAY
France passed the grim milestone of 40,000 deaths over the weekend. Austria reported a new daily record with 8,241 infections on Saturday, as did India’s capital New Delhi – which recorded a record 7,745 new cases on Sunday. Greece, Latvia, the United Kingdom, Germany and Austria all implemented lockdowns last week, while Mexico nears 1 million cases. As of Sunday, at least 95,027 people in Mexico have died from Covid-19.
Brazil’s health regulator has suspended trials of a Chinese-developed Covid-19 vaccine following a “serious adverse event” involving a volunteer recipient, according to sources cited by CNN Brasil. The pause in testing marks a potential setback for one of China’s leading vaccine candidates, Nectar Gan reports.
An incident reported on October 29 led to the trial being suspended in order to better evaluate the data and assess the risk, according to a note from Brazil’s National Health Surveillance Agency. The note did not provide details on the nature of the serious event or where it took place, citing privacy concerns. Sinovac said in a statement on Tuesday that it was “confident in the safety of the vaccine,” without giving a reason for the reported suspension.
One-fifth of Covid-19 patients get a psychiatric diagnosis within 90 days
People who have had Covid-19 may have an increased risk of being diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder such as anxiety or depression, according to a study believed to be the largest so far on links between the coronavirus and mental health challenges.
In the three months after testing positive for Covid-19, almost one in five survivors (18%) were found to get a psychiatric diagnosis. This is about twice as likely as for other groups of patients with different illnesses and conditions analyzed as part of the study over the same period. “The study reports that patients have a somewhat higher risk of being diagnosed with a psychiatric illness, mainly anxiety or depression, after a Covid-19 diagnosis than after certain other medical events,” said David Curtis, retired consultant psychiatrist and honorary professor at University College London and Queen Mary University of London.
FDA gives emergency OK to Lilly’s antibody treatment for Covid-19
Eli Lilly and Co’s monoclonal antibody therapy, used to treat mild to moderate coronavirus infections in adults and children, was given an emergency use authorization, the FDA said Monday. The single antibody treatment, called bamlanivimab, must be infused in a hospital or other health care setting, Maggie Fox and Jen Christensen report.
It is the first monoclonal antibody to be authorized for Covid-19 treatment.. The idea is to kick-start an immune response against infection. The authorization was based on a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in October, which found the treatment seemed to lower the risk of hospitalization and ease some symptoms in a small number of patients.
ON OUR RADAR
- New Zealand’s Chatham Islands might be the only place in the world experiencing overtourism during the pandemic.
- “Lockdown” is Collins Dictionary’s word of the year.
- Two more people in Trump’s orbit, including Housing Secretary Ben Carson, have caught Covid-19.
- The pandemic reimagined sub-Saharan education, but access to digital technology is urgently needed.
- The University of Notre Dame ordered Covid-19 testing for students after fans rushed the field to celebrate a football win.
- Even if a Covid-19 vaccine is released next year, the hotel industry may not recover until 2023.
- The World Health Organization began a global coronavirus meeting– without Covid-19 success story Taiwan.
- A new variant of Covid-19 found in Danish mink farms is disrupting the plans of international football teams for their upcoming matches.
Here are some steps to follow if you’re interested in donating your hair.
- If different households want to get together indoors, they can all quarantine for 14 days and then get tested.
- That’s going to be very difficult for many people. If that’s not possible, they should see one another outdoors only, with households sitting at least 6 feet apart.
- People should try and reduce nonessential travel.
- Remember things will be better by next Thanksgiving with more vaccines and therapies available. “The best thing we can do for those we love the most may be to not see them, in person, this Thanksgiving.”
. Listen Now.
In today’s episode, CNN’s Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta looks into how universities, nursing homes, and even entire cities are turning to sewage testing to monitor the spread of the virus. Listen Now.