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Top COVID-19 Research: Timely, Curated and Vetted by Experts
Vaccination Reduces Long COVID Risk
More than half a billion COVID-19 cases have been reported worldwide. While many recover within a few weeks, some individuals have lingering symptoms for weeks to months. The World Health Organization classified these effects as post-COVID-19 condition, also known as "long COVID." Symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, cognitive dysfunction and multi-organ impairment. Published this week in Nature Medicine, Al-Aly, Z., et al. found vaccination reduced the risk of post-COVID-19 symptoms. The authors analyzed data from over 13 million people, noting those with breakthrough infections after vaccination reported ~15% lower rates of lingering symptoms compared to infected individuals who were not previously vaccinated. Published in The BMJ, Ayoubkhani, D., et al. also observed a decrease of post-COVID-19 symptoms in individuals vaccinated after infection. Together, these data suggest vaccines may reduce the chance of long COVID. However, how vaccines help lessen these symptoms and how long these symptoms may last are unknown.
Novel Plant-based Vaccine Protects Against COVID-19
Almost 12 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered, but barriers to vaccine access have resulted in inequitable distribution. New vaccines that are easy to produce, distribute and store are critical to increasing global vaccinations. In this week’s curator commentary on ASM Connect, Dr. Catherine Pachuk, Chief Science Officer, Marizyme, Inc., highlighted a new type of vaccine described in The New England Journal of Medicine article "Efficacy and Safety of a Recombinant Plant-Based Adjuvanted Covid-19 Vaccine." The plant-based vaccine COVIFENZ® contains coronavirus-like particles with the spike protein from the original SARS-CoV-2 strain produced entirely in plants combined with a historically safe adjuvant. Based on a phase 3 trial of over 24,000 individuals, Hager, K., et al. reported the efficacy of 2 doses of COVIFENZ® to be 69.5% against preventing symptomatic infection and 78.8% against preventing moderate to severe COVID-19. This vaccine is also stable at refrigerator temperatures for at least 6 months, which Pachuk noted makes this vaccine and vaccine-type a promising option for resource-limited countries.
Vaccines for Children Under 5 are Highly Effective
Vaccines for children under 5 years old may soon be available. This week, Pfizer & BioNTech announced their 3-dose mRNA vaccine for children under 5 was 80% effective at preventing symptomatic infection when the Omicron variant was dominate. The companies plan to submit these data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for Emergency Use Authorization. Additionally, Jara, A., et al. estimated in Nature Medicine that 2 doses of the inactivated CoronaVac vaccine provided high protection against hospitalization (64%) and ICU admission (69%) for children ages 3 to 5. For older children 6 to 11, Creech, C. et al. reported 2 doses of the Moderna mRNA vaccine were 88% effective at preventing symptomatic infection when Delta was the predominate variant in The New England Journal of Medicine. Increasing vaccinations worldwide, including for children and the Global South, will be necessary as we work to contain this pandemic.Lynn Enquist, Ph.D.
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How is the genome of SARS-CoV-2 evolving? What mechanism does the coronavirus use to target human cells? How does the immune system react to SARS-CoV-2?
Will serology provide the ultimate answer? Does the existence of the antibody equal protection due to antibody neutralization? How often should patients be tested?
What are the results of the newest treatment? What drugs are in the pipeline? What are the latest outcomes from clinical trials?
What are the different kinds of vaccines? Do coronaviruses evolve to escape vaccines? What have we learned from work with Ebola virus and SARS vaccines development?
How does a pandemic start? How long will this pandemic last: can data models give us some hints? COVID-19 affects people differently depending on their age, how does this affect transmission? How does social distancing influence transmission rates?
Scientifically speaking, what is a coronavirus? What are the similarities and differences in structure and activities of SARS, MERS and SARS-CoV-2? What is the PK/PD of Remdesivir?
Biweekly Commentary Letter
By Catherine J. Pachuk, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer, Marizyme, Inc., Jupiter, Fla. Pachuk is a curator of the registry.
View the Commentary on ASM Connect View Past Commentaries
- Audio Interview: "Understanding the Omicron Variant of SARS-CoV-2" Feb. 24, 2022.
- Audio Interview: "Covid-19 Vaccination and the Omicron Variant" Dec. 30, 2021.
- "How booster shots can help protect you from Omicron" Dec. 17, 2021.
- Audio Interview: "The Omicron Variant of SARS-CoV-2" Dec. 2, 2021.
- Coronapod: "Everything we know about the new COVID variant" Nov. 26, 2021.
- "Are COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters Needed? The Science behind Boosters" Nov. 24, 2021.
- Dr. Vaughn Cooper: "Evolutionary biology of SARS-CoV-2" March 23, 2021 (YouTube 1:01:46).
- COVID-19 Conversations: "Variants and Vaccines" March 17, 2021 (1:27:06).
- Scientific panel discussion on the new variant, 501Y.V2 Jan. 18, 2021 (1:58:28).
- Dr. Vaughn Cooper: "The ongoing evolution of SARS-CoV-2" April 1, 2020 (YouTube11:21).
- Dr. Pamela Bjorkman: "Intro to Viruses, Antivirals, and Vaccines" April 10, 2020 (YouTube 52:57).
- Dr. Scott Page: "Understanding Fatality Rate Models" April 3, 2020 (YouTube 10:12).
- Minute Physics: "How to tell if we’re beating Covid-19" March 27, 2020 (YouTube 7:15).
- 3 Blue 1 Brown "Simulating an Epidemic" March 27, 2020 (YouTube 2:07).
- Dr. Britt Glaunsinger: "Coronaviruses 101, Focus on Molecular Virology" March 25, 2020 (YouTube 1:02:18).
- Dr. Vaughn Cooper: "Evolutionary Biology of Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2" March 24, 2020 (YouTube 11:48).
- Pennings and colleagues: "How does SARS-CoV-2 spread?" March 24, 2020 (Vimeo 8:25).
- Dr. Nick Jewell: "The Exponential Power of Now" March 19, 2020 (YouTube 1:06:00).
- Online Marty: "Disease Spread Simulation" March 18, 2020 (YouTube 2:52).
- Pennings and colleagues: "Coronavirus in numbers" March 11, 2020 (Vimeo 10:18).
- Pennings: "SARS-CoV-2 and phylogenetic trees" March 2, 2020 (Vimeo 14:15).
- University of Pennsylvania: "Coronavirus Outbreak Symposium" April 3, 2020 (YouTube).
- Audio Interview: "Vaccine Efficacy and Boosters in Covid-19" Sept. 23, 2021.
- This Week In Virology: "COVID-19 clinical update #79 with Dr. Daniel Griffin" Sept. 11, 2021.
- Audio Interview: "Another New Covid-19 Vaccine" July 1, 2021.
- Coronapod: "CureVac disappoints in COVID vaccine trial" June 18, 2021 (13:29).
- Coronapod: "The variant blamed for India's catastrophic second wave" May 14, 2021 (8:36).
- Audio Interview: "The Real-World Effectiveness of Covid-19 Vaccination" Feb. 25, 2021.
- Audio Interview: "Covid-19 in South Africa and a New SARS-CoV-2 Variant" Jan. 14, 2021.
- Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (AAC) Podcast: "Therapeutic approaches for COVID-19: Myths and Facts" May 5, 2020.
- DIY Transcriptomics.
- "COVID-360: A Collaborative Effort to Develop a Multidisciplinary Set of Online Resources for Engaging Teaching on the COVID-19 Pandemic" March 2021 (J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ.).
- "Analysis of a COVID-19 Clinical Trial to Emphasize Experimental Design and Quantitative Reasoning in an Introductory Biology Course" March 2021 (J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ.).
- "Genome Analysis of SARS-CoV-2 Case Study: An Undergraduate Online Learning Activity To Introduce Bioinformatics, BLAST, and the Power of Genome Databases" March 2021 (J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ.).
- "COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 and the Pandemic" (MIT Free Course).
- Coursera: "Fighting COVID-19 with Epidemiology: A Johns Hopkins Teach-Out" (Free Course).
- "COVID vaccine immunity is waning — how much does that matter?" Sept. 17, 2021.
- "Evolution of the COVID-19 vaccine development landscape" Sept. 4, 2021.
- "Not just antibodies: B cells and T cells mediate immunity to COVID-19" Aug. 24, 2021.
- "How the coronavirus infects cells — and why Delta is so dangerous" July 28, 2021.
- "A correlate of protection for SARS-CoV-2 vaccines is urgently needed" July 8, 2021.
- "How Immunity Generated from COVID-19 Vaccines Differs from an Infection" June 22, 2021.
- "Antibody (Serology) Tests for COVID-19: a Case Study" May 12, 2021.
- "What scientists know about new, fast-spreading coronavirus variants" May 24, 2021.
- "Pfizer COVID vaccine protects against worrying coronavirus variants" May 6, 2021.
- "One million coronavirus sequences: popular genome site hits mega milestone" April 23, 2021.
- "Pandemic Response Catalyst Conversations: Validating & Sharing Scientific Information" Oct. 13, 2020.
- Atul Gawande: "Amid the Coronavirus Crisis, a Regimen for Re-entry" May 13, 2020.
- Dougan and Holt: “How to make a new COVID-19 vaccine starting from scratch” April 9, 2020.