Written by Nancy Lapid
(Reuters) – Here is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that requires further study to confirm results and that has not yet been approved by peer review.
Experimental tablet vaccine shows early promise
An experimental COVID-19 vaccine in the form of an oral tablet has shown promising immune responses in a small initial trial designed primarily to assess its safety, according to Vaxart Inc. The South San Francisco, California-based company had previously said the tablet was well tolerated, with no one dropping out of the study due to negative effects. On Tuesday, they reported immune responses in 35 healthy volunteers who received the tablets.
While currently approved vaccines stimulate antibodies in the blood, the tablet causes antibodies in the mucosa — the tissue lining the nose and airways that is the first line of defense against the virus, according to a report on the medical website medRxiv https://www.medrxiv. org/content/10.1101/2022.07.16.22277601v1 before peer review. Nearly half of the volunteers showed an increase in long-acting antibodies able to bind to multiple sites on the delta and omicron variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. Nose and saliva samples showed that half of the study participants had higher antibody levels than similar people whose antibodies were the result of a previous COVID-19 infection. The enhanced neutralizing ability is expected to last for six months, the researchers said.
Going forward, larger studies designed specifically to test the effectiveness of the tablet are needed, as well as studies to test whether the so-called adenovirus vector vaccine would work well in people who have already received mRNA vaccines from Pfizer Inc/BioNTech SE or Moderna Inc.
High blood pressure increases the risk of serious O’Micron’s disease
An American study showed that high blood pressure more than doubles the risk of hospitalization during COVID-19 infection with the Corona virus or Micron, even in fully vaccinated and boosted people.
Doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles studied 912 people with COVID-19 when Omicron was the dominant variant despite receiving at least three doses of the mRNA vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna, including 145 people who needed entry the hospital. The researchers reported Thursday in the journal Hypertension https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1161 that the risk of severe disease increased in people with known risk factors such as advanced age, heart failure or kidney disease. / HyPERTENSIONAHA.122.19694. They added that high blood pressure was “associated with the greatest risk,” which doubles the odds that someone with COVID-19 will be hospitalized. They found that even when looking only at younger people with generally healthy organs, high blood pressure was still associated with “significant and significant risks”.
The study leader, Dr. Susan Cheng said in a statement. “This is concerning when you consider that nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure.”
Omicron infection in the third trimester is associated with premature birth
Israeli researchers said infection with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus in the third trimester of pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of preterm birth.
Doctors compared 2,753 pregnant patients who tested positive for the virus this year with the same number of uninfected pregnant patients. The infection was not associated with preterm birth when diagnosed in the first or second trimester. But nearly half of the women were infected in the third trimester. The study found the rates of preterm birth in this group were 5.8%, compared to 2.3% among unaffected women at the same stage of pregnancy. After accounting for other risk factors, women diagnosed in the third trimester were nearly three times more likely than uninfected women to give birth prematurely, and those diagnosed after 34 weeks of pregnancy were about seven times more likely to have a late preterm birth, according to a report. Published Wednesday in PLOS One magazine https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0270893. Accidental infections increased the risk even more.
“Women during the third trimester of pregnancy, specifically after 34 weeks of pregnancy, should practice social distancing and respiratory protection to reduce the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes,” the researchers wrote. They added that women in the early stages of pregnancy should not let their guard down because the study did not assess “other potential differences in the mother or the newborn.”
Click for the Reuters Global COVID-19 Tracker https://graphics.reuters.com/world-coronavirus-tracker-and-maps/index.html and for the Reuters COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker https://graphics.reuters .com/world-virus-tracker-and-maps/vaccination-startup and access.
(Reporting by Nancy Lapid and Shavana Allen Morris; Editing by Will Dunham)