COVID Antibody Treatments Exceed Expectations

Regeneron’s results were on the first 409 people in a study that has enrolled more than 2,000 so far. All tested negative for the virus but live with someone who has COVID-19.

There were roughly half as many infections among those given the antibody treatment versus a placebo, and none on the drug developed any symptoms, the AP reported. Infections also were shorter and the amount of virus lower among those given the antibodies.

Lilly’s new results were from a study of 1,035 non-hospitalized patients recently diagnosed with COVID-19. About 2% on the drug were later hospitalized or died versus 7% of the placebo group, the AP reported.

Biden sets new vaccination goal

President Joe Biden has upped the country’s daily coronavirus vaccination goal to 1.5 million, even as more infectious variants surfaced across America.

“I think with the grace of God . . . we’ll be able to get that [vaccinations] to 1.5 million a day,” Biden said during a media briefing on Monday.

Initially, Biden had promised 1 million shots a day, or 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days in office, the Washington Post reported. But the country has been meeting that target in the past week.

A million shots a day is still his minimum goal, Biden said, but “I hope we’ll be able to increase as we go along so we’ll get to 1.5 million. That’s my hope.”

By spring, everyone who wants a vaccine should be able to get one, Biden added.

“It’s going to be a logistical challenge that exceeds anything we’ve ever tried in this country, but I think we can do that,” Biden said. “I feel confident that by summer we’re going to be well on our way to heading toward herd immunity. I feel good about where we’re going, and I think we can get it done.”

The ambitious goal was announced the same day that a more contagious coronavirus variant first spotted in Brazil was diagnosed in a Minnesota man who had just returned from traveling to that country, the AP reported. At the same time, a variant that first surfaced in Britain and prompted a nationwide lockdown there has already been detected in 24 U.S. states, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Meanwhile, an even more troubling variant that was first detected in South Africa has shown the ability to lessen the effectiveness of vaccines in testing, but it hasn’t been spotted in the United States yet.

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