Coronavirus News Roundup: US Unveils COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Strategy, AstraZeneca Vaccine Trial Resumes


Here's this week's coronavirus-related news you should know.

COVID-19 test

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has infected an estimated 30,290,791 individuals worldwide, and approximately 6.7 million Americans. The latest COVID-19 related news includes the US government’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook for Jurisdiction Operations debuting its rollout strategy for a COVID-19 vaccine, and a study that assessed Americans’ willingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccine once available.

Here’s a roundup of the latest coronavirus-related news:

US COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Strategy Unveiled

Pharmacies are one of the key commercial partners that the Trump administration included in its new COVID-19 vaccine interim distribution plan.

The government’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook for Jurisdiction Operations provides a strategic distribution overview along with guidelines for state, tribal, territorial, and local public health programs and their partners on how to plan and operationalize a vaccination response to COVID-19.

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Pharmacy Employees: Essential Workers Amid Pandemic but Often Overlooked

“Since I’ve been teaching a class of 55 physician assistants for the past 15 years, I’ve come to know some of them very well. One of my former students and I were discussing COVID-19 mayhem. He said, “It has taught me the difference between essential versus expendable personnel.”

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Quest, Albertsons Make At-Home COVID-19 Tests Available

Labs and drug stores are making at-home COVID-19 tests more accessible.

Quest Diagnostics said consumers can now purchase its QuestDirect COVID-19 Active Infection test online with specimen collection at home or at Walmart Neighborhood Market pharmacies.

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Expert Interview: Medication Adherence Amid COVID-19

Heidi Polek, strategic program manager at DrFirst, discusses with Drug Topics® the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is having on chronic conditions and medication adherence.

Watch the interview

Baricitinib Plus Remdesivir Improves Recovery Time for Hospitalized COVID-19

Baricitinib (Olumiant; Eli Lilly) in combination with remdesivir reduced time to recovery in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 when compared with remdesivir, according to initial data from the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT-2).

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Study Evaluates Americans’ Willingness to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

Results of a recent study showed that approximately 7 in 10 Americans are willing to get a COVID-19 vaccine once available.

This interest is higher than what is typically seen for other vaccines, such as the flu vaccine; however, the investigators noted concerning gaps.

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AstraZeneca Resumes COVID-19 Vaccine Trial After Safety Review

A clinical trial evaluating AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate AZD1222 in the UK has resumed after the study was put on hold last week.

The vaccine trial, which is currently in phase 3 stages, was paused following reports that a serious adverse event hospitalized a UK participant. Trial investigators have resumed clinical trials following confirmation from independent reviewers that it was safe to do so.

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