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12

U.S. to distribute 400 million free N95 masks at CVS, Walgreens in COVID fight

The U.S. government will make 400 million non-surgical N95 masks from its strategic national stockpile available for free to the public starting next week, a White House official said, marking the Biden administration’s latest effort to help curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

14

Coronavirus spreading like never before in Americas, health agency says

COVID-19 infections are reaching new peaks in the Americas with 7.2 million new cases and more than 15,000 COVID-related deaths in the last week, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said on January 19.

15

Pfizer Antiviral Brings Game Against Omicron, Genetics for Loss of Smell/Taste ID’d

Pfizer released data from several studies showing that nirmatrelvir, the active main protease inhibitor of the company’s antiviral combination therapy Paxlovid (nirmatrelvir/ritonavir), is effective against the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, a study conducted by 23andMe and published in Nature Genetics identified a genetic risk factor tied to the loss of smell from COVID-19.

16

AstraZeneca Imfinzi-Tremelimumab Combo “Sets New Benchmark” in Liver Cancer

AstraZeneca reported what the company called “unprecedented survival,” in the HIMALAYA Phase III trial using a single priming dose of tremelimumab added to the anti-PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitor Imfinzi (durvalumab) compared to Bayer’s Nexavar (sorafenib) as a first-line treatment for unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients who had not received previous systemic therapy and as a result, were not eligible for localized treatment.