Georgia officials are moving away from large COVID-19 vaccine clinics and focusing on smaller venues, along with offering incentives, to increase vaccination rates. As of last week, 52% of state residents had received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, compared with a national average of 63%.
Clinical trial participants are mostly white males, rather than representative of the general population or people affected by a particular condition, and women, the elderly and people of color are habitually underrepresented. To address these inequities, researchers should set intentional recruitment goals for clinical trials, use patient registry datasets and access patients beyond traditional academic medical centers, write Kathy Giusti, Mark Krasnow and Richard Hamermesh.
Although the origin of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has become politically divisive, scientists say that finding the root source--whether from a lab or from a wild animal--is vital to predicting, preventing and containing potential future pandemics. "The question isn't who to blame--it's whether you want another virus to kill millions more people in the next decade," said Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.
The US COVID-19 death toll reached about 600,000 on Monday, although the true toll is thought to be significantly higher, and racial disparities remain even as the pace of mortality declines. The weekly average for daily COVID-19 deaths has dropped nearly 90% since hitting record levels in January, and daily COVID-19 case reports have been dropping since March as vaccination continues.
The FDA is launching the Generic Drug Cluster to improve alignment of scientific and regulatory approaches to generic drug development among global regulators. The new cluster will serve as a "confidential forum for exchange of discussion on policies in development," the agency said.
New York City-based Mount Sinai Health System is debuting its "We Find a Way" campaign, part of a new branding strategy that shows Mount Sinai clinicians interacting with patients. The campaign includes print, television, online and radio advertisements.
-- Marla Kaplowitz, CEO of the 4A's, commenting in a Digiday article about diversity leadership at ad agencies.
USA Swimming and BD are collaborating to provide COVID-19 testing at USA Swimming events. BD's Veritor Plus System will be used along with PCR testing at Olympic trials as well as at 2021-2022 USA Swimming events where COVID-19 testing is required.
Twist Bioscience has announced its collaboration with Regeneron for the production of a custom next-generation sequencing genotyping assay that shows diverse genetic sequence variations. "Leveraging Twist's custom NGS panel design capabilities, the RGC developed a first-of-its-kind, proprietary population genotyping assay that includes DNA probes that capture globally diverse genetic sequence variations," said John Overton, vice president and chief sequencing officer at the Regeneron Genetics Center.
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