Severe obesity may weaken the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines in those who have never been infected with the coronavirus, according to a small Turkish study. Additionally, South African researchers have found infection with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus can significantly improve the immune system’s ability to protect against other variants, but only in people who have been vaccinated.
Two new sublineages of the Omicron coronavirus variant can dodge antibodies from earlier infection well enough to trigger a new wave, but are far less able to thrive in the blood of people vaccinated against COVID-19, South African scientists found.
The head of the World Trade Organization told Reuters on April 14 that negotiations on an intellectual property deal for COVID-19 vaccines were ongoing between the four parties, saying they were seeking to agree on the proposal’s final terms.
The United States, European Union, India and South Africa reached a consensus on key elements of a long-sought intellectual property waiver for COVID-19 vaccines, according to a proposed text reviewed by Reuters.
The Omicron BA.2 sub-variant of COVID-19 appears to be more infectious than the original BA.1 sub-variant, but does not cause more severe disease, the head of Africa’s top public health body said on February 24 citing data from South Africa.
The global project to share COVID-19 vaccines is struggling to place more than 300 million doses in the latest sign the problem with vaccinating the world is now more about demand than supply.
A new study by the American Stroke Association found that the risk of stroke in adults with COVID-19 between the ages of 65 to 74 was highest the first three days after diagnosis. Additionally, investigators at the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ Vaccine Research Center ran tests on primates and found that updating COVID-19 vaccines to focus on the Omicron variant may not provide much benefit.
South Africa’s Afrigen Biologics used the publicly available sequence of Moderna’s COVID-19 mRNA vaccine to make its own version of the shot, which could be tested in humans before the end of 2022, Afrigen’s top executive said on Feb. 3.
Leading South African scientists are set to investigate COVID-19 and HIV in tandem, amid mounting evidence that the collision of the two pandemics could be generating new coronavirus variants.
The Omicron variant appears to result in less severe COVID-19 than seen during previous periods of high coronavirus transmission including the Delta wave, with shorter hospital stays, less need for intensive care and fewer deaths, according to a new U.S. study.