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About COVID-19

Developments during 2019-MAY to 2021-MAR

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2020-MAY-18: Moderna announces results of its clinical trials of a Corona virus vaccine:

Moderna, a biotech company, reported encouraging results from their first phase of their small initial clinical trials of their newly developed COVID-19 vaccine. Some participants in the small trial developed virus-fighting antibodies similar to those found in patients who have recovered from Covid-19. This suggests that the vaccine triggers a level of immunity in some people. 1 Much larger successful trials are needed before a vaccine can be approved.

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2020-MAY-18: Unreliable advice about a cure for COVID-19:

President Trump told reporters that he it taking hydroxychloroquine -- supplemented by zinc -- daily. It is an anti-malaria drug which he believes will prevent him from developing COVID-19. Many of his administration's medical professionals have advised against him taking the drug because it cases significant side effects in some people -- sometimes causing death. It has not been shown to be effective against COVID-19. During April, the Food and Drug Administration warned physicians that it should only be administered for COVID-19 in a hospital or research setting. 2 Unfortunately, many people might be inclined to follow the President's practice, and become ill. Some will die.

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2020-MAY-19: Some retail stores open in Canada:

The provinces of Ontario and British Colombia greatly increased the number of retail stores which can open their doors to the public, starting during the week of MAY-18. This week, Monday was a holiday in Canada celebrating the birthday of Queen Victoria (1819-MAY-24 to 1901-JAN-22) Most stores that reopened did it on Tuesday, MAY-19. 3 Provincial governments are requiring stores to follow strict guidelines, like requiring customers to maintain sufficient distance from each other, installing plexiglas shields in front of cash registers. Some stores will require employees to wear masks, limiting the number of customers in the store at any given time, etc.

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2020-JUN-16: AstraZeneck shows promise as a COVID-19 vaccine:

A UK drug manufacturer, AstraZeneck has developed a potential vaccine which may provide protection from the pandemic for about a year. Human trials are underway. They are gearing up to potentially provide Britain, the U.S., and countries in Europe with a total of many hundreds of million of doses in October. 4

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2020-JUN-17: Steroid treatment for serious COVID-19 cases reduces death rate:

UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, reported that dexamethasone, a steroid drug, has been found useful for treating COVID-19 in some cases. It has reduced death rates by about a third among the most serious cases in hospital. He said:

"It does increase your chances of survival quite significantly. It is one of the best pieces of news we’ve had through this whole crisis. ... It reduces your chances of dying when you are on a ventilator. It is brilliant news for everybody." 5,6

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2021-MAR: Pfizer trial shows vaccine 100% effective in adolescents:


Pfizer and BioNTech announced Wednesday that its COVID-19 vaccine demonstrated 100 percent efficacy among adolescents aged 12 to 15 in a phase 3 study. The vaccine also demonstrated "robust antibody responses, exceeding those recorded earlier in vaccinated participants aged 16 to 25 years old, and was well tolerated."

The trial consisted of 2,260 adolescents between 12 and 15, and there were 18 cases of COVID-19 in the placebo group but none in the group that was vaccinated. BioNTech CEO Ugur Sahin said the initial results suggest "children are particularly well protected by vaccination," which he called "very encouraging" news, and the companies plan to submit this data to the FDA with "the hope of starting to vaccinate this age group before the start of the next school year.

References used:

  1. Paige Cunningham, "The hopeful news about Moderna's coronavirus vaccine is extremely preliminary," Washington Post email, 2020-MAY-19
  2. "Trump says he’s taking malaria drug to protect against virus, The Canadian Press, 2020-MAY-18, at:
  3. " 'Retailers are very good at adapting:' Ontario shops make big changes in order to reopen to public on Tuesday," 2020-MAY-19, at:
  4. "AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine likely to protect for a year - CEO," Reuters, 2020-JUN-17, at:
  5. Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton, " 'Best news so far': UK hails steroid treatment for coronavirus," Reuters, at:
  6. Matthew Herper, "Major study finds common steroid reduces deaths among patients with severe Covid-19, Statnews, 2020-JUN-16, at:

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Copyright © 2020 & 2021 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2021-APR-01
Author: B.A. Robinson

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