While buoyed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s advancement of the Build Back Better Act, and the offerings therein, the United States COVID-19 Global Vaccination Caucus chimed in last week to note that its offers for vaccine manufacturing are just a beginning.
The caucus consists of... Read More »
According to new data from clinical trials highlighted by Moderna, Inc. this week, its debut COVID-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273, continues to be highly effective against COVID-19, providing 96 percent efficacy against hospitalization and 87 percent against infection.
The data -- from a study at Kaiser... Read More »
Vaccine equity is in need of a boost globally, and in Africa in particular, and unless that changes, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and other health leaders said this week the COVID-19 pandemic may never end.
Cooperation is the key to ending the... Read More »
Through a contract with SIGA Technologies, Inc., the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) has exercised a procurement option to obtain approximately $112.5 million worth of the oral TPOXX smallpox treatment this year.
TPOXX is an orally administered and IV formulation... Read More »
The Biden administration seeks an international summit on COVID-19 pandemic responses and to form a united global front for vaccination efforts, a proposal that could impact vaccine manufacturing, supply chains and even the upcoming United Nations General Assembly.
Closer to home, though, U.S.... Read More »
Novavax, Inc. began enrollment last week of the first participants for a Phase 1/2 clinical trial to assess the safety and immunogenicity of a combination vaccine formed from the company’s seasonal influenza and COVID-19 vaccines.
Each vaccine has already been tested in solo clinical trials up... Read More »
In its latest Supply Forecast, the multilateral vaccine equity program COVAX announced expectations of 1.425 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines available this year, with 2 billion doses available for delivery in the first quarter of 2022 -- a milestone, but still a lagging figure.
Resulting from... Read More »
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas assured Thursday the growing effort to combat domestic terrorism and the mass influx of Afghan refugees will not distract the agency from its ongoing efforts to guard against attacks from international terrorism.
Speaking at the National Press Club... Read More »
A group of lawmakers have forwarded correspondence to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, seeking guidance regarding the evacuation of Americans and others from Afghanistan.
Representatives Ami Bera (D-CA), Zoe Lofgen (D-CA), and Jerry Nadler... Read More »
A new report from Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) has found that 20 years after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, America is not fully prepared for public health emergencies.
The report, 2021 Ready or Not: Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases,... Read More »
The Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense last week applauded the Biden Administration’s work on a new $65.3 billion American Pandemic Preparedness Plan for investments to combat the next biological threat, though it argues that greater funding is necessary to make sufficient plans.
The White... Read More »
In a national first, the House Armed Services Committee voted last week in favor of a bill that would grant the mayor of the District of Columbia authority over the D.C. National Guard, adding that provision to the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act.
Since its inception, the D.C. National... Read More »
Thanks to collaborations with commercial and academic research partners alike, the Argonne National Laboratory has published new research showing the capabilities of artificial intelligence and simulation workflows to provide insight to the SARS-CoV-2 viral genome and potentially fuel drug... Read More »
A new House bill introduced by United States Reps. Mike Turner (R-OH), Jason Crow (D-CO), and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) -- the Havana Syndrome Service Member Support Act -- seeks to provide aid for those with Havana Syndrome-induced brain injuries and initiate federal efforts to address related... Read More »
A group of lawmakers are encouraging the Department of Justice to prioritize investigating hate group networks supporting extremist ideology.
Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Ron Wyden (D-OR) recently joined Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) in forwarding correspondence to... Read More »
Thinking up ways to better address future public health emergencies, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority’s (BARDA) Division of Research, Innovation and Ventures (DRIVe) has expanded a partner program focused on technology development to include digital health tools and... Read More »
Although a United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved prescription medication, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a warning last week that the drug ivermectin is not meant to be used for prevention or treatment of COVID-19.
Failing to heed that warning... Read More »
A new policy brief released this month by the advocacy group Pandemic Action Network (PAN) calls on world leaders to create a 100-day action plan toward creating a new financing mechanism at the United Nations General Assembly capable of bolstering pandemic preparedness by at least $10 billion... Read More »
New voices were added to the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Tick-Borne Disease Working Group this week, filling positions left vacant by public members looking to workshop ideas on how best to counter rising cases of tick-borne illnesses.
In all, seven new members... Read More »
New data released by Johnson & Johnson this week showed that using its single-shot COVID-19 vaccine as a booster for the previously vaccinated could provide as much as a nine-fold increase in antibodies for patients at least 18 years old.
The news follows interim reports from July, published in... Read More »
With data from its Phase 3 COVE study showing a COVID-19 vaccine with 93 percent effectiveness, Moderna, Inc. has officially filed for a biologics license application (BLA) to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that would lead to full licensure.
It’s an important step, which... Read More »
A 210-person Phase 2 clinical trial for the COVID-19 vaccine candidate, ABNCoV2, began this week to determine its potential as a booster vaccine for those who have either caught the disease previously or been otherwise vaccinated.
Licensed by Bavarian Nordic A/S and developed by AdaptVac, the... Read More »
Results of a Phase 3 clinical trial have shown that AstraZeneca’s antibody combination for COVID-19, AZD7442, cuts the risk of symptomatic COVID-19 cases by 77 percent for at least three months.
That is dependent on the treatment being taken prior to infection. However, the antibodies used in... Read More »
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Monday granted full approval to Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use among patients 16 years and older, making it the first of the disease’s vaccines to cross beyond conditional use.
Since Dec. 11, 2020, the mRNA-based vaccine had... Read More »
While key federal agencies prepared interagency response plans and conducted 74 interagency exercises from 2009 through 2019 to prepare for and respond to a wide variety of biological incidents, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently determined that the agencies weren’t on the same... Read More »
Utilizing initial funding from the American Rescue Plan, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) unveiled plans this week for a new Center for Forecasting and Outbreak Analytics, focused on forecasts of disease outbreaks and analytics for public health.
The new center will be... Read More »
As part of a new agreement with Gritstone bio, Inc., the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) will provide up to $20.6 million to support the development of a new, self-amplifying mRNA vaccine candidate for the growing number of COVID-19 variants.
These funds will cover a... Read More »
The World Health Organization (WHO) is asking for $7.7 billion in funding for the Rapid ACT-Accelerator Delta Response (RADAR) to help stop the Delta variant and bring about an end to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The funding would allow for increased testing and better surveillance to detect and... Read More »
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week authorized the use of third COVID-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. for patients with compromised immune systems.
The decision follows months of build-up surrounding... Read More »
The more than 25,000 healthcare workers employed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19, adding it to a list of requirements that include influenza and other routine vaccinations.
“Our number one goal is the health and safety of... Read More »
In a letter to federal officials, eight senators from the Western United States called for coordination and development of a strategy to counter jet fuel shortages, which they fear could exacerbate the dangers of wildfire season through grounded aircraft.
“As you are well aware, the 2020... Read More »
Members of Congress this summer ramped up bipartisan efforts with the introduction of at least eight bills that seek to help the United States prepare for and respond to pandemics and other public health emergencies.
Most recently, the Disease X Act, S. 2640, proposed on Aug. 5 by U.S. Sens.... Read More »
A budget push from U.S. Sens. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and Roger Wicker (R-MS) seeks to require the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) to report reconciliation legislation of $50.2 billion for military infrastructure improvements, among other items.
If accepted, their... Read More »
Regulatory approval was granted for two new clinical trials of INO-4800 in China this week, allowing its creator INOVIO and its partners Advaccine Biopharmaceuticals Suzhou Co. Ltd. and Sinovac Biotechnology to investigate the safety, tolerability, and immunogenicity of different... Read More »
President Joe Biden approved more than $3.46 billion Thursday for Hazard Mitigation Grants to increase state’s resilience to the impacts of climate change.
The investment will be available for natural hazard mitigation measures across the 59 major disaster declarations issued due to the... Read More »