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Yesterday marked one year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. (NPR)
As of 8:00 a.m. ET on Friday, the unofficial COVID-19 toll in the U.S. reached 29,286,650 cases and 530,829 deaths — up 131,603 and 1,562 respectively, since this time yesterday.
Adding tocilizumab (Actemra) to remdesivir (Veklury) failed to shorten time to discharge in patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19 pneumonia, Genentech announced.
Following reports of blood clots in people getting the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, several countries have paused use and the European Medicines Agency is launching an investigation. (CNN)
But other nations, including Australia, want the U.S. to send the tens of millions of doses it’s currently sitting on. (Reuters, New York Times)
And this comes as cases in the European Union continue to rise — increasing nearly 6% in the past week — with France seeing more patients in the ICU than in nearly four months. (TIME, Reuters)
Nearly half of U.S. labs testing for COVID-19 are still having trouble getting the necessary supplies. (College of American Pathologists)
Additional phase IIb data on Novavax’s protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate — which is only about 55% efficacious against the South African strain — found there might be a “late protective effect” of previous COVID-19 exposure with an illness rate of only 4.4% in baseline seropositive participants versus 7.9% in baseline seronegative individuals after 90 days.
A 39-year-old mom from Utah, without any known underlying conditions, passed away four days after receiving her second Moderna shot. (New York Post)
The Biden administration pledged to expand the vaccine program to 950 community health centers, mainly serving impoverished and minority communities. (HHS)
Hospitals in Brazil reportedly “buckling” after President Jair Bolsonaro refused to establish a national COVID strategy. (AP)
In other news:
Facing a higher complication rate than white women, many Black mothers are looking to avoid hospital births. (New York Times)The Senate will vote on Xavier Becerra’s nomination as Department of Health and Human Services secretary, and he will likely be confirmed. (Politico)Drivers using adaptive cruise control had 10% higher risk of getting into a fatal car crash. (Reuters)The Supreme Court agreed to a Justice Department request to cancel end-of-month arguments on work requirements for Medicaid recipients. (AP)Surgeons got higher marks on communication from patients if they sported a clear mask. (JAMA Surgery)
Kristen Monaco is a staff writer, focusing on endocrinology, psychiatry, and dermatology news. Based out of the New York City office, she’s worked at the company for nearly five years.