Preliminary data from a study conducted at the University of Oxford indicates that the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca PLC is effective against the P1, or Brazilian, variant, a source with knowledge of the study told Reuters on Friday. The data indicates that the vaccine will not need to be modified in order to protect against the variant, which is believed to have originated in the Amazonian city of Manaus, said the source, who requested anonymity as the results have not yet been made public.
The source did not provide the exact efficacy of the vaccine against the variant. They said the full results of the study should be released soon, possibly in March. Early results indicated the AstraZeneca vaccine was significantly less effective against the South African variant, which is similar to P1. South Africa subsequently paused the use of the vaccine in the country.
Cue Health’s COVID-19 Cartridge Test Authorized for Home Use with No Prescription
One year into the pandemic, the FDA has authorized its first molecular COVID-19 diagnostic that can be performed completely at home and purchased without a prescription. Cue Health’s cartridge-based nasal swab test can be used solo or for children as young as two with adult supervision, regardless of whether a person is showing symptoms or suspects that they’ve been exposed directly to the coronavirus.
The kit includes a single-use test and sample collecting wand as well as a battery-powered cartridge reader that connects to a smartphone app. Results are expected within 20 minutes. “For the first time, consumers can access laboratory-grade testing at home,” said Ayub Khattak, co-founder and CEO of Cue Health, which was recently named one of Fierce Medtech’s 2020 Fierce 15. “With this FDA authorization, we are one step closer to achieving our mission of making molecular diagnostic testing available to anyone, anywhere, at any time through a connected healthcare delivery ecosystem,” Khattak said.