Moderna vaccine is second to exceed expectations; mutated virus may be more vulnerable to new vaccines
By Nancy Lapid (Reuters) - The following is a roundup of some of the latest scientific studies on the novel coronavirus and efforts to find treatments and vaccines for COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus. Vaccine from Moderna is second to exceed expectations in pivotal trial Moderna Inc's experimental vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing COVID-19 based on interim data from a late-stage trial, the company said on Monday. That followed last week's news that Pfizer Inc's vaccine was also more than 90% effective based on initial data
By Nancy Lapid
Vaccine from Moderna is second to exceed expectations in pivotal trial
Mutated virus may be more vulnerable to new vaccines
The mutated form of the new coronavirus that is now the most common strain worldwide is more infectious but may also be more vulnerable to vaccines under development, new research suggests. In experiments reported on Thursday in Science, researchers saw that the newer strain, which originated in Europe, is more efficient at infecting airway cells and at making copies of itself, although it does not appear to produce more severe illness. The D614G mutation causes a "flap" to open on the tip of a spike on the surface of the virus, improving its ability to break into cells, but also creating a pathway for antibodies in vaccines to enter the virus and disable it, the researchers explained in a statement. New SARS-CoV-2 mutations are continually emerging, "like the recently discovered mink SARS-CoV-2 cluster 5 variant in Denmark that also encodes D614G," coauthor Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina School of Medicine said in the statement. "We must continue to track and understand the consequences of these new mutations on disease severity, transmission, host range and vulnerability to vaccine-induced immunity," he added. (https://bit.ly/32QCdK5)
Paper forms pose coronavirus risk for lab staff
When laboratory personnel are processing COVID-19 tests, there is a small risk that the paper forms accompanying the specimens can be contaminated with the new coronavirus , a new report cautions. Researchers at the Birmingham Public Health Laboratory in the UK analyzed randomly selected paper forms and specimen packaging during a period when the team was processing about 700 COVID-19 tests daily. Of the 37 items they tested, one piece of paperwork carried genetic material from the coronavirus . The form had come from a low-risk hospital ward, and the specimen from the patient was negative for the virus, "indicating contamination may be occurring as a result of environmental or healthcare worker contamination," the researchers wrote on Thursday in the Journal of Hospital Infection. They call for "stringent laboratory practices" - hand hygiene, appropriate personal protective equipment - and "use of electronic test requesting where possible."(https://bit.ly/2IKc1Ke)
Open https://tmsnrt.rs/3a5EyDh in an external browser for a Reuters graphic on vaccines and treatments in development.
(Reporting by Nancy Lapid, Julie Steenhuysen and Michael Erman; Editing by Bill Berkrot)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
ADDIS ABABA/NAIROBI (Reuters) - Ethiopia's military is fighting battle-hardened troops in the northern Tigray region, threatening stability around the Horn of Africa. Here are some facts on the forces: THE NATIONAL MILITARY: THE ENDF The Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) has around 140,000 active personnel, the vast majority of them in the army, according to the Janes security data group. Its troops have been tested by Islamist militants in Somalia and rebel groups in Ethiopia's border regions, as well as a two-year border war with Eritrea followed by an 18-year standoff that only ended in 2018.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that the government will impose tighter measures to fight with the coronavirus and impose partial lockdowns on weekends across the country. Speaking after the cabinet meeting, Erdogan also said all schools will remain closed until the year-end and all restaurants will only work by delivery
BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said on Tuesday his government in coming days will name countries that are importing wood illegally extracted from the Amazon. Addressing a BRICS summit of big developing economies, Bolsonaro said Brazilian police had developed a way of tracking wood exported from the Amazon using isotopes.