Pharma News for November 23, 2020

AstraZeneca has announced that they are investigating why a half dose that was administered accidentally during one of its COVID-19 vaccine trials seems to work better against the virus than a full dose. (Fiercebiotech)

Quantas, the Australian airline, is going to the first to require COVID-19 vaccination verification before people will be allowed to fly on its planes internationally. Alan Joyce, the CEO of Quantas, believes that all of the airlines will require the verification once the vaccine becomes widely available. (Forbes)

Some think that a vaccine might start being distributed as soon as December 10th, given that any vaccine will have emergency clearance from the government so Health and Human Services Secretary, Alex Azar, is conducting a dry run to try and identify any potential supply system issues for the COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available. All manners of transportation and distribution will be tested given that different vaccines will require different handling methods. (CNBC)

Lucira Health has been granted approval by the federal government for the first at home COVID-19 molecular diagnostic kit. Though there are other testing kits available, the Lucira testing kit is the first that will tell you whether you are infected with the COVID-19 virus within 30 minutes without having to take the sample to a lab. The kits are expected to start rolling out nationally this spring, but some experts are worried that there won’t be enough kits to conduct the large-scale testing needed to cut down on the spread of the virus. (Healthcaredive)

Moderna has announced that their experimental vaccine, once thawed, remains stable at 35.6 – 46.4 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a huge advantage because this indicates that their vaccine can be stored at pharmacies, doctor’s offices, hospitals and other places where the general public can obtain the vaccine, which eliminates having to have specialized distribution centers. Other manufacturers of a potential vaccine have only achieved a five-day viability after their vaccine is thawed. (Healthcaredive)