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coronavirus's weekly COVID-19 news round-up

Image credit: CDC

The past week has continued to see positive COVID-19 news; CytoDyn’s treatment for patients with severe symptoms of the virus has shown promising results in a Phase III trial, Novartis has agreed to manufacture CureVac’s CVnCoV vaccine, and Bharat Biotech’s COVAXIN jab has proven 81% effective in its latest study.

GSK’s Phase II otilimab study on COVID-19 patients promising for over-70s

GSK building

GlaxoSmithKline’s (GSK) Phase II OSCAR study of their otilimab antibody’s effect on COVID-19 patients has shown promising results in older people, the company announced yesterday.

Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine proven 94% effective in biggest study yet

The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been proven to be 94% effective, according to the first major study to evaluate the shot’s efficacy.

UAE rolls out Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine amid conflicting reports of efficacy

Image credit: Tingshu Wang/Reuters

The United Arab Emirates has begun rolling out Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine in its capital Abu Dhabi, despite claims that numerous workers in Uganda who received the Chinese company’s jab later tested positive for the virus.

The widespread inoculation programme is underway just days after the Health Ministry of the UAE approved the vaccine for public use, saying late-stage clinical trials showed it had 86% efficacy.

New coronavirus strain identified in the UK

Image credit: DAVID ILIFF

A new variant of coronavirus has been identified in the UK, and is growing faster in some parts of England, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.

Hancock told MPs yesterday that over 1,000 cases of the new variant – named VUI-202012/01 – has been found “predominantly in the South East”, but that nearly 60 local authorities across the country have reported cases.

Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine side effects feel like a “severe hangover”

Photo by Daniel Paquet from Regina, Canada

Clinical trial participants receiving the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine have said it created side effects that felt similar to a “severe hangover.”

Head of UK vaccine taskforce grilled over government investment into her private equity firm

Photo by Retha Ferguson

Kate Bingham, the Head of the British Government’s vaccine taskforce, is facing further questions over a conflict of interest as a fund run by her private equity firm SV Health Investors is set to receive £49 million in government funding. 

Hotels, gyms and restaurants carry highest COVID-19 spread risk, new study says

Photo by Snehalkanodia

Reopening hotels, gyms and restaurants carries the highest risk of spreading coronavirus, according to a new study. 

Sinovac COVID-19 trial suspended in Brazil due to severe adverse event

Photo by Daniel Paquet from Regina, Canada

Brazil’s health regulator Anvisa has suspended a clinical trial for China’s Sinovac coronavirus vaccine due to the occurrence of a severe adverse event in one of the patients receiving it.  

The regulator said the event occurred on 29 October, but did not say if it had happened in Brazil or on a trial site elsewhere.'s weekly COVID-19 news round-up

The top ten news stories this week focus on regulatory approvals as the European Commission has approved GlaxoSmithKline’s Zeljula as a first line monotherapy maintenance treatment for adult patients with ovarian cancer who are in complete or partial response after receiving platinum-based chemotherapy, while Biogen’s Alzheimer’s drug aducanumab is on track to be approved by the FDA after a successful late-stage clinical trial.

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