There is so much negativity in the news about COVID-19, we want to give you all the positive good news that is happening with research, clinical trials, improvements, vaccines and anything that we can be positive about that you may not have seen.


Latest stories

Blood clots more likely from Covid than J&J shot, says doctor who worked on other vaccine trials


The risk of developing blood clots from Covid-19 is greater than the apparent likelihood of developing them from Johnson & Johnson’s coronavirus vaccine, Dr. Purvi Parikh told CNBC on Tuesday.

Parikh, a New York-based allergist and immunologist, has worked as an investigator for other Covid vaccine trials, including Pfizer.

Looking at Tuesday’s FDA recommendation to pause use of J&J’s one-shot vaccine through that prism, Parikh said the temporary halt indicates that regulators’ “safety checks and balances are working.”

“For now, I would be careful with any of these conspiracy theories and again with the panic,” said Parikh, a clinical assistant professor in Department of Medicine at NYU Grossman School of Medicine.

“You’re much more likely to clot from the real Covid-19 virus, which is about 1 in 20 people hospitalized or even 1 in 100 recovering at home. That’s far more likely,” she added on “Squawk on the Street,” citing data from industry group Thrombosis Canada.


UK – Covid vaccine: All over-50s and high risk groups offered first dose


All over-50s and those in high-risk groups in the UK have now been offered a first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, the government has announced.

It means ministers have met their target of offering a first dose to the top nine priority groups by 15 April.

The government said it was on track to offer a first dose to all adults by the end of July, with those in their late 40s expected to be next in England.

More than 32 million people in the UK have had their first dose.

And on Saturday a record 475,230 second doses were given out, with more than 7.6 million people now fully vaccinated.

Under-50s in Northern Ireland have already been asked to book appointments, and more people in the age group in other parts of the UK are now set to get their invitations.

It comes as England joins Wales and Scotland in giving out its first doses of the Moderna jab, the third Covid-19 vaccine to be administered in the UK.


Uber, Walgreens, PayPal to cover COVID-19 vaccine rides for needy in U.S


Walgreens is partnering with Uber and PayPal in an effort to give needy people rides to pharmacies so they can be vaccinated against COVID-19, the companies said Monday.

The companies announced a Vaccine Access Fund that covers the cost for rides to vaccination sites for people who may not be able to afford them.

The companies said people can donate to the fund directly through the Uber or Uber Eats apps using a new donate feature supported by PayPal Giving Fund. Donations can also be made through PayPal’s website.

The three companies announced they’re making an $11 million joint donation.


UK-made Valneva coronavirus vaccine produces ‘strong immune response’ in early trials, says Matt Hancock


Tests on a new COVID vaccine in the UK have so far shown it produces a “strong immune response”, Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said.

The Valneva COVID-19 vaccine is being developed in Livingston, Scotland, and data from an early-stage phase one/two study involving 153 people showed promising results for the jab, paving the way for a phase three clinical trial.

The vaccine was safe and generally well tolerated, with no safety concerns identified by an independent data safety monitoring board.

The company said the results showed the vaccine was “highly immunogenic with more than 90% of all study participants developing significant levels of antibodies” to the COVID virus spike protein.


Asthma drug ‘speeds up recovery at home’


A cheap drug, commonly used to treat asthma, can help people at home recover more quickly from Covid-19, a UK trial has found.

Two puffs of budesonide twice a day could benefit many over-50s with early symptoms around the world, said the University of Oxford research team.

There are also early signs the drug could reduce hospital admissions.

The NHS says it can now be prescribed by GPs to treat Covid on a case-by-case basis from today.

At present, there are few options for treating people with Covid who are not in hospital, apart from paracetamol.

This widely-available asthma drug works in the lungs, where coronavirus can do serious damage, and could improve the recovery of at-risk patients who are unwell with Covid at home.

Prof Stephen Powis, national medical director of NHS England, said he was “delighted” by the trial results so far and he said GPs could prescribe it after “a shared decision conversation” with patients.


Study bolsters the case that antibody drugs can protect against Covid-19


A monoclonal antibody cocktail developed by the drug maker Regeneron offered strong protection against Covid-19 when given to people living with someone infected with the coronavirus, according to clinical trial results announced on Monday. The drug, if authorized, could offer another line of defense against the disease for people who are not protected by vaccination.

The findings are the latest evidence that such lab-made drugs not only prevent the worst outcomes of the disease when given early enough, but also help prevent people from getting sick in the first place.

Using the cumbersome drugs preventively on a large scale won’t be necessary: Vaccines are sufficient for the vast majority of people and are increasingly available.

Still, antibody drugs like Regeneron’s could give doctors a new way to protect high-risk people who haven’t been inoculated or who may not respond well to vaccination, such as those taking drugs that weaken their immune system. That could be an important tool as rising coronavirus cases and dangerous virus variants threaten to outpace vaccinations.


Israel may have reached a ‘sort of herd immunity’ from COVID, expert says


Israel may have reached “a sort of herd immunity” and can safely ease further restrictions, a top expert said Saturday.

With over 4.9 million Israelis fully vaccinated, the number of daily coronavirus cases has plummeted by 97 percent, Eran Segal, a computational biologist at the Weizmann Institute of Science, told Channel 12.

“It is possible that Israel has reached a sort of herd immunity and regardless, we have a wide safety net,” Segal said. “I think that makes it possible to remove some of the restrictions immediately.”

Segal underlined that with most Israelis immunized, the reopening of swathes of the economy and gatherings over the Purim and Passover holidays did not contribute to a spike in cases.

If confirmed, Israel could be the first country in the world to hit the milestone of herd immunity.


Nearly half of California adults have received a vaccine shot


Nearly half of Californians 18 and older have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot, an encouraging metric as some experts watch with concern spiking case rates in Michigan, New Jersey and elsewhere in the country.

So far, 46.8 percent of adults in California have received at least one vaccine shot, and 25.5 percent have been fully vaccinated, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among residents 65 and older, 81.5 percent have received at least one shot, and 57.4 percent are fully vaccinated.

The state has now administered 22 million doses, about 80 percent of those delivered to California, and is averaging 371,510 daily injections, an 11 percent increase from a week ago. On Thursday, California will expand eligibility to anyone 16 and older, although the state is also anticipating a significant decline in new doses from the federal government in the coming week, including an 88 percent decline in doses from the one-and-done Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Meanwhile, case rates have remained steady, with counties reporting 3,545 new cases Friday for a seven-day average of 2,580 daily cases, according to data tracked by this news organization. Los Angeles County, the largest and hardest hit in the state, reported 712 new COVID-19 cases, followed by Sacramento County with 400 and Kern County with 260. They were followed by Santa Clara, San Diego and San Bernardino counties.

Hospitalizations from the deadly virus have also continued to decline in the state. As of Thursday, there were 1,930 patients hospitalized with confirmed cases of COVID-19, a 1.5 percent decline from the preceding day. That is the fewest number of confirmed hospitalized cases since at least April 8, 2020.


15% of Germans have been vaccinated, says RKI


More than 15% of Germans have now received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for disease control revealed on Sunday.

The figure represents a more than 25% increase compared with a week earlier, and is the latest sign that a sluggish start to Germany’s vaccine rollout is over.

RKI data showed some 12.7 million people had received the vaccine, of which almost 5 million had received the required two shots.

Several studies indicate a single dose already gives some level of protection against the virus.

General practitioners in Germany joined the country’s rollout on Wednesday and now that more vaccines are available, an increase in the number of daily doses administered has climbed, peaking at more than 700,000 on Thursday.


UK sets new record for Covid jab second doses


More than 400,000 second doses of Covid vaccines have been given in the UK for the fourth consecutive day, according to the latest government data.

A record total of 475,230 second doses were administered on Saturday – along with 111,109 first doses.

On Friday, 450,136 second doses and 106,878 first doses were received.

There were 1,730 new infections recorded in the past 24 hours and a further seven deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

That is the lowest daily death toll by this measure since 14 September 2020. However, there can be a lag in reporting coronavirus statistics during weekends.