The United States and Europe have begun a new week with surging new coronavirus infection rates, threatening to overwhelm hospitals as the regions start to enter into their colder months. The U.S. reached a record number of daily new cases last Friday, with the virus beginning to reach regions in the Midwest that were yet to be touched by the country's outbreak. The city of El Paso, Texas has become the first in what is expected to be many U.S. cities to issue new curfews on residents after intensive care units in the area have reached full capacities. In Europe, Spain and Italy have reimposed curfews and business closures, and the United Kingdom has put strict restrictions the country's pubs and restaurants.
As another big wave of infections are starting in the U.S. and parts of Europe, the World Health Organization warned on Monday that bringing the coronavirus under control may require, "sacrifice for many, many people in terms of their personal lives."
"It may require shutting down and restricting movement and having stay-at-home orders in order to take the heat out of this phase of the pandemic," Dr. Mike Ryan, the agency's director of emergencies, stated during a press conference.
"It is encouraging to see immunogenicity responses were similar between older and younger adults and that reactogenicity [or adverse side effects] was lower in older adults, where the COVID-19 disease severity is higher," a company spokesperson told CNBC.
AstraZeneca added that "the results build the body of evidence for the safety and immunogenicity of AZD1222," the company's coronavirus vaccine candidate.
AZD1222 was permitted to resume its late-stage clinical trials in the U.S. by the Food and Drug Administration last Friday. The federal health agency stated that it have reviewed all safety data form the drug's global trials and concluded that testing of the shot was safe to continue after trials were halted for several weeks in the U.S.
But not all clinical trials for potential coronavirus treatments have concluded with positive results. Eli Lilly and Company
Eli Lilly stated that the conclusion to discontinue use of the antibody treatment, called bamlanivimab, for advanced COVID infections "was based on trial data suggesting that bamlanivimab is unlikely to help hospitalized COVID-19 patients recover from the advanced state of their disease." The company noted that the differences in safety outcomes between the group given treatment and those who received only standard care was "not significant."
The company said that other trials of the treatment, in people who are not sick or who have been recently exposed to the virus, will continue. Eli Lilly is optimistic that bamlanivimab will work as a treatment against severe COVID infection is given early in the course of the disease.