The Latest: Scientist says vaccine could halve transmission

By The Associated Press

LONDON — One of the scientists behind the experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer says he’s confident that it could halve the transmission of the virus, resulting in a “dramatic” curb of the virus’ spread.

The chief executive of Germany’s BioNTech said Sunday that it is “absolutely essential” to have a high vaccination rate before next autumn to ensure a return to normal life next winter. He says if everything continues to go well, deliveries of the vaccine will start late this year or early next year.

He says he’s confident that transmission between people will be reduced by perhaps 50% through a highly effective vaccine.

Pfizer and BioNTech said last week that interim results showed the vaccine was 90% effective.



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WASHINGTON — Joe Biden’s scientific advisers will meet with vaccine makers in coming days as the presidential transition remains stalled because of President Donald Trump’s refusal to acknowledge that he lost the election.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert, says the delayed handoff is especially problematic during a public health crisis.

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Fauci, who heads the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been through multiple presidential transitions during 36 years of government service. He likens the process to runners passing on the baton in a relay race, saying, “You don’t want to stop and then give it to somebody. You want to just essentially keep going.”

The president-elect’s outreach to the vaccine manufacturers comes as the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. has entered perhaps its most dangerous phase. The seven-day rolling average for new daily cases stood at 145,400 on Saturday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. That means the U.S. is adding about 1 million new cases a week, and deaths averaged 820 a day as of Saturday, a 33% increase in just two weeks.

Biden’s chief of staff, Ron Klain, says the consultations with pharmaceutical companies will begin this week.


BISMARCK, N.D. — With coronavirus cases soaring in North Dakota, Gov. Doug Burgum moved to allow the state’s beleaguered hospitals to use infected but asymptomatic doctors and nurse to treat COVID-19 patients.

Although hospitals pushed for the right, many nurses say it will make their lives even harder than they’ve been during the pandemic.

Adam Johnston, an emergency room nurse in Fargo, says it will be impossible to not wonder if other nurses in the break room or cafeteria might be infected.

And nurses also questioned why the Republican governor would make such a move when for months he resisted more common steps such as statewide orders requiring masks or limiting the size of gatherings.

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Experts say other states are weighing moves similar to …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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