AstraZeneca's shot may reduce virus transmission; drugmakers partner to combat multiple variants and more — 5 updates on the COVID-19 vaccine

Here are five updates on the COVID-19 vaccine over the past week:

1. Former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said Feb. 7 that Moderna and Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccines are likely to be about 20 percent less effective against variants of the coronavirus that were first discovered in South Africa and Brazil.

2. Johnson & Johnson submitted an application to the FDA for emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine Feb. 4. The FDA will hold a panel to consider that vaccine Feb. 26.

3. Pfizer told USA Today Feb. 7 that it expects to nearly cut in half the amount of time it takes to make a batch of COVID-19 vaccines.

4. The COVID-19 vaccine jointly developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford may reduce transmission of the novel coronavirus by two-thirds.

5. Officials in South Africa said Feb. 7 they are halting the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford after a small clinical trial showed it doesn’t appear to protect against mild to moderate cases from B.1.351, the variant of the novel coronavirus that is circulating in the country.


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