The Oxford University coronavirus vaccine trials will resume after being halted Sunday after an unexplained illness in one of its volunteers, the university said in a statement today.
The university, which is working with drug giant AstraZeneca, did not say what day the trial would resume.
“Globally some 18,000 individuals have received study vaccines as part of the trial. In large trials such as this, it is expected that some participants will become unwell and every case must be carefully evaluated to ensure careful assessment of safety,” the statement said.
The United Arab Emirates reported 1,007 new cases of Covid-19 in the past 24 hours, which is the highest daily number of infections recorded since the beginning of the pandemic, the country’s health ministry said.
The country’s total case count is now77,842, according to the ministry.
“Today, we have recorded the highest daily number of new cases. It is everyone’s responsibility to work together and overcome this stage,” the country’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) wrote in a tweet today. “12% of cases and infections during the past two weeks were discovered in individuals coming from outside the UAE, despite having negative results in their country of departure.”
There was also one new death recorded in the last 24 hours, raising the national death toll to 399, the ministry reported.
Major League Baseball is considering a postseason bubble plan in California and Texas, a source with direct knowledge of the situation told Bioreports.
The American League playoffs would be held in Southern California (Anaheim, Los Angeles, and San Diego) while the National League playoffs would take place in Texas (Arlington and Houston).
The World Series would be played in Arlington, the source said. Any deal must be approved by MLB and the players’ union.
Baseball’s regular season is scheduled to conclude on September 27 with postseason play beginning two days later.
Vaccine clinical trials are notoriously difficult to conduct. They involve thousands, or even tens of thousands, of participants, and typically go on for years. The chances that one or more of these study volunteers will develop a health issue is quite high.
Most of the time, that health problem is not related to the vaccine being investigated, and the trial can continue. But sometimes there is a chance that the issue — called an “adverse event” in medical parlance — could be related to the vaccine.
On Wednesday, it came to light that pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca had paused its coronavirus vaccine trial not once but twice because of adverse events. The second pause is still in effect while researchers look into one volunteer’s “unexplained illness.”
While Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on Wednesday implied that pausing a Phase 3 trial was a somewhat common occurrence, vaccine trial experts interviewed by Bioreports say it is not common.
“It’s unusual to pause a Phase 3 trial on a safety basis,” said Dr. Carl Fichtenbaum, an infectious disease expert at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. “It’s uncommon.”
Even children with mild or no symptoms can spread Covid-19, according to contact-tracing data from three Utah child care facilities released Friday.
Twelve children, including one eight-month-old, got Covid-19 in a child care facility and spread it to at least 12 people outside the facilities. The data shows children can carry the virus from child care settings to their homes, the researchers wrote in a report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CDC’s Cuc Tran and colleagues at the Salt Lake County Health Department wrote in their report:
COVID-19 is less severe in children than it is in adults, but children can still play a role in transmission.”
Half a million US children have now been diagnosed with coronavirus, with a 16% increase between August 20 and September 3, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association.
Though fewer children appear to experience severe illness from the virus than adults, one question that has loomed large, especially for those grappling with decisions about reopening schools and day cares, is exactly what role children play in the transmission of the virus. The CDC report suggests that they can and do spread coronavirus.
Read the full story here.
For an all-too-brief a time, the Italian summer offered a glimmer of hope. After emerging from what was in early 2020, one of the world’s harshest coronavirus lockdowns, the country managed to dust itself down in time to welcome visitors.
But as the sun begins to cool, so do hopes of a full recovery for the Italy’s decimated 2020 tourism season. Winter is coming, and with it what is expected to be a full-blown economic catastrophe.
“The projected 2020 loss from overseas visitors to Italy is €24.6 billion and even domestic traveler spending is down €43.6 billion,” says Giorgio Palmucci, president of the Italian national tourist board, ENIT.
Even with hopes of growth and recovery two years down the line, the pain, he adds, is likely to be widespread.
The Czech Republic has reported 1,447 new coronavirus cases on Friday, the country’s largest ever spike in cases in one day, according to data released by the health ministry on Saturday.
Case numbers have been rising steadily in the Czech Republic and have now surpassed 1,000 for four consecutive days. The previous daily record — 1,381, was set on Thursday.
The country has reported a total of 33,860 confirmed cases, and the death toll stands at 460.
Czech Republic was among the least affected countries in Europe during the spring epidemic, thanks to an early intervention. It was one of the first countries to make masks compulsory.
However, the government has lifted most of the restrictions over the summer and is now seeing the consequences. Health Minister Adam Vojtech announced on Thursday people will be required to wear masks indoors, citing the “worst epidemiological situation” in the country.
White molds wearing disposable gloves whizz by on a conveyor belt in a promotional video for the world’s biggest glove maker, Top Glove.
“Gloves can keep us out of harm’s way, wherever we may be and whatever we may be doing,” the narrator says, his voice booming over the company’s logo and its motto, “Top quality, top efficiency.”
Demand for disposable gloves — the kind often associated with sterile hospital rooms — has surged during the coronavirus pandemic as health care workers rush to secure the supplies they need to treat the disease and protect themselves.
The Malaysia-based Top Glove and its local rivals have benefited enormously from that need: Some 60% of the world’s glove supply comes from Malaysia, according to the Malaysian Rubber Glove Manufacturers Association (MARGMA).
More than a third are exported to the United States, which for months has led the world in coronavirus cases and deaths. But with extra demand comes renewed scrutiny of how these Malaysian companies treat their workers, particularly foreign staff recruited from neighboring countries.
Labor rights activists who spoke to Bioreports Business said practices reported by former workers contain elements of forced labor. Some authorities have taken note of such concerns, putting pressure on Top Glove and other manufacturers to ensure their workers are treated well.
Read the whole story here.
At least 14 people were arrested in Melbourne on Saturday after nearly 100 people took to the streets to protest against the city’s lockdown policies.
“Despite all the warnings, it was disappointing to see individuals turn out to protest in the city today, putting the lives of Victorians at risk,” Victoria Police said in a statement to Bioreports.
Aside from the 14 arrests, the police issued at least 51 infringement notices for breaching health rules.
Melbourne has been under severe restrictions with a curfew in place. The government announced these “stage 4” restrictions would begin to ease starting September 13, with an easing on curfew time and allowing gatherings of two people.
A Facebook event title “Melbourne Freedom Walk” was posted by the “Melbourne Freedom Group” to demonstrate against Covid-19 lockdown measures. “A legal walk, allowing citizens to come together, get healthy and talk about getting our freedoms back,” the event description read.
As of Saturday, Australia’s Victoria State has 19,800 confirmed cases of Covid-19, with Melbourne accounting for 886 of those cases, according to Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services. The state’s death toll is 716.