Coronavirus infection during pregnancy does not appear to affect infants’ brain function, but the pandemic itself may be having an impact, a study published on January 4 in JAMA Pediatrics suggests. Additionally, new laboratory research found the coronavirus can directly damage the kidneys by initiating a cascade of molecular events that leads to scarring.

A U.S. appeals court on December 17 reinstated a nationwide vaccine-or-testing COVID-19 mandate for large businesses, which covers 80 million American workers, prompting opponents to rush to the Supreme Court to ask it to intervene.

A research team at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill (UNC) and Duke University identified an antibody that attacks SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, but also its variants and other types of coronaviruses.

The Delta variant of the coronavirus does not appear to cause more severe disease in children than earlier forms of the virus, a UK study suggests. Another study found that in Covid-19 survivors, important components of the body’s immune response called memory B cells continue to evolve and get stronger for at least several months, producing highly potent antibodies that can neutralize new variants of the virus.

The effectiveness of the Pfizer Inc./BioNTech SE vaccine in preventing infection by the coronavirus dropped to 47 percent from 88 percent six months after the second dose, according to data published on Oct. 4 that U.S. health agencies considered when deciding on the need for booster shots.

Laboratory studies show that Merck & Co.’s experimental oral Covid-19 antiviral drug molnupiravir is likely to be effective against known variants of the coronavirus, including the dominant, highly transmissible Delta, the company said on Sept. 29.

A third shot of Sinopharm’s Covid-19 vaccine leads to a rebound in antibody levels that drop months after a second dose, a small-scale Chinese study showed.

Bharat Biotech’s intranasal Covid-19 vaccine candidate is expected to enter the Phase II portion of a Phase II/III study within the next few weeks. BBV154 marks the second vaccine against the novel coronavirus developed by the India-based company.

Vaccine developer Novavax Inc. said on Sept. 8 the company initiated an early-stage study to test a combination of the flu shot NanoFlu and the Covid-19 vaccine NVX-CoV2373.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will make a $35 million equity investment in privately owned Exscientia Ltd. to fund the development of antiviral drugs including for the coronavirus, the Oxford-based drug developer said on Sept. 8.