Coronavirus vaccine clinical trials – keeping up with everything out there

coronavirus vaccine clinical trials

This article about coronavirus vaccine clinical trials will be regularly updated as new clinical trials are registered or early results are published about an ongoing trial. Again, this article will focus on coronavirus clinical trials – treatments and diagnostic tests are outside of the scope of this article.

Keeping up with COVID-19 vaccine candidates has gotten out of hand, so for brevity, I’ve created a separate list of coronavirus vaccine clinical trials. The interest in clinical trials for a new vaccine is unprecedented, so I thought this might be the best way to keep loyal readers up-to-date.

Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) has listed over 110 vaccine candidates, which is amazing, but it is way too difficult to tell which ones have any chance of actually becoming a real product.

Right now, there are numerous vaccine candidates in clinical trials – this article will analyze these coronavirus vaccine clinical trials.

Continue reading “Coronavirus vaccine clinical trials – keeping up with everything out there”

Judy Mikovits – another false authority on COVID-19 and vaccines

judy mikovits

If you have been following the detritus of the internet regarding COVID-19, you have probably seen a video called “Plandemic” from Judy Mikovits, another pseudoscientist screaming about conspiracies and nonsense during this pandemic. She has a long history of scams and false information over a few decades, not unlike all of the other false authorities we’ve seen over the years.

In case you don’t know about a “false authority,” formally the “argument from false authoritylogical fallacy, which favors claims from individuals based solely on their credentials rather than the scientific consensus. Credentials don’t matter – I maybe someone who has a Ph.D. in cell biology and biochemistry from a top university, but if I claim that you must believe that Sasquatch because of my background, that doesn’t work. Plus, Sasquatch does not exist.

The anti-vaccine zealots have a long history of relying upon false authorities – Tetyana Obukhanych, Christopher Exley, and Christopher Shaw. None of the individuals have any reputation in vaccines, yet they are deified by the anti-vaxxers. I’m guessing that Judy Mikovits will be joining that crowd soon. Continue reading “Judy Mikovits – another false authority on COVID-19 and vaccines”

COVID 19 conspiracies – debunking the top 6 for entertainment purposes

COVID 19 conspiracies

Since I can only write so much about coronavirus vaccines without going mad, let’s talk about COVID-19 conspiracies. There are so many, but I wanted to focus on the six that are most frequently circulating around the internet.

I wonder what conspiracists before the existence of the internet. It’s possible that they were limited to those awful trash papers you could buy at the grocery story line checkout. Back when we actually stood in grocery store lines.

Today, we can’t have any science without someone inventing some conspiracy to go around it. You know, like vaccines contain nanobots or something. Actually, medical research is studying the use of nanotechnology for treating diseases – can’t wait for the ridiculous myths to surround that when it appears.

I know that 99.9% of the readers of this blog probably reject all conspiracies as pure, unfettered nonsense. But we need to have a little snark and fun during these dystopian times.

One little housekeeping note – I’m not going to link to any conspiracy website or anything. Why give them the clicks?

Continue reading “COVID 19 conspiracies – debunking the top 6 for entertainment purposes”

Coronavirus mutations and vaccines – worse than murder hornets

coronavirus mutations

I am skeptical of the wild claims about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in 12-18 months, and now there is powerful research about coronavirus mutations that makes me very concerned about getting an effective vaccine. And you thought murder hornets were bad? 

These coronavirus mutations could mean a disaster for current vaccine research – if we’re developing vaccines for a previous strain of COVID-19, rather than more current (and apparently, more virulent) coronavirus vaccines.

This makes the murder hornets look like a ladybug.  

A recent paper looks at a particularly dangerous strain of coronavirus mutations that should make us reassess any optimism about getting a new COVID-19 vaccine. Let’s examine the paper. Continue reading “Coronavirus mutations and vaccines – worse than murder hornets”

Coronavirus vaccine race – Operation Warp Speed could be a disaster

coronavirus vaccine race

Donald Trump has recently pushed “Operation Warp Speed” that will speed the coronavirus vaccine race so that we can have a new COVID-19 vaccine by January 2021. This is could end up being a disaster.

This is like the hundredth article I’ve posted on coronavirus vaccines. I just joked with someone that if I wrote an article that conclusively established that aluminum adjuvants in vaccines actually cured cancer, erectile dysfunction, and the inability to hit an inside curveball, the first 30 comments posted at the end of that article would ask, “yeah that’s nice to know, old dinosaur. But does it cure COVID-19?”

Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, whose facial expressions in response to whatever lie that Donald Trump is saying during his daily coronavirus campaign events are meme-worthy, has also said that we might see a vaccine within 12-18 months. Now, Dr. Fauci is a billion times smarter than I ever will be about immunology, infectious diseases, and baseball, but I have numerous reservations about this aggressive timeline. 

Maybe Dr. Fauci has some inside knowledge. Maybe he has seen some secret data only available only to him and Bill Gates. Maybe Trump has a gun pointed at him during these press briefings (really, campaign rallies). 

I don’t know the real answer, but a lot of vaccine experts who have spent their lifetime studying vaccines are very skeptical of this aggressive timeline for a new COVID-19 vaccine. I consider myself a pharmaceutical development expert, and I am unconvinced that this coronavirus vaccine race can be done safely. Continue reading “Coronavirus vaccine race – Operation Warp Speed could be a disaster”

Evaluating coronavirus treatments like remdesivir – only science matters

coronavirus treatments

The ever-evolving world of fake coronavirus treatments, like Donald Trump’s push for hydroxychloroquine, has made it difficult for many people, even those who are well-informed about pharmaceutical research, to see when potential coronavirus treatments are overhyped.

Like my critique of the over-optimistic timelines for vaccines, we need to also carefully examine information about coronavirus treatments, especially antiviral drugs that are currently being rushed through development. 

For example, the antiviral, remdesivir from Gilead Sciences has been in clinical trials as a treatment (I think using the word “cure” might be an overstatement at this time) and has shown good results. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has expressed valid skepticism of every claim from Trump about COVID-19 treatments, has stated that the results are “very optimistic.” In fact, the FDA may authorize the emergency use of remdesivir as a coronavirus treatment.

Let’s take a look at how we should evaluate various coronavirus treatments, using remdesivir as a model. Continue reading “Evaluating coronavirus treatments like remdesivir – only science matters”

Coronavirus vaccine manufacturing – this may slow its availability

coronavirus vaccine manufacturing

Getting a new COVID-19 vaccine has been overhyped recently, but one of the more critical issues is coronavirus vaccine manufacturing. Even if we get a vaccine clinical approved over the next two or three years, can we make enough for the world? The answer to that question is complicated.

I constantly joke that people oversimplify how we get a vaccine – throw some ingredients in a blender and, voila, we’ve got a vaccine. If only it was that easy.

I’m going to give you a brief, high-level view of coronavirus vaccine manufacturing, and some considerations that rarely show up in any analysis of when we will have a vaccine. Continue reading “Coronavirus vaccine manufacturing – this may slow its availability”

Vaccine ingredients are not equal to injecting disinfectants for COVID-19

vaccine ingredients

This article about vaccine ingredients and how they are not equivalent to injecting disinfectants was written by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), who is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law.

Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about the social and legal policies of vaccination. Additionally, Reiss is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable disease.

On April 23, 2020, President Donald Trump speculated about the possibility of hitting people with internal, high doses of ultraviolet light or injecting disinfectant to treat COVID-19, highly dangerous suggestions.  Whatever his intent, the impact was such that companies selling disinfectants felt a need to warn people against injecting it.

At least in part, there is concern that the President’s comments about disinfectant were motivated by lobbying from a group selling a dangerous supplement that is, in essence, industrial-strength bleach,  a supplement touted in the past as a magical cure and used against children with autism by misguided parents and sellers willing to harm them.  A group selling the supplement was recently subject to a court order after touting it as a cure for COVID-19. Continue reading “Vaccine ingredients are not equal to injecting disinfectants for COVID-19”

Dogs, cats, and COVID-19 – what is the effect of the virus on our pets?

Dogs, cats and COVID-19

As a result of a story where a Malayan tiger in the Bronx Zoo contracted COVID-19, many people have begun worrying about dogs, cats, and COVID-19. Is there a worry? Can our pets get sick from the virus? Can they infect humans with it?

Of course, like everything in science, the evidence is not completely clear, especially since this virus has only been recognized since early December 2019. We still don’t have a complete picture of the pathophysiology of the disease, so answering questions about dogs, cats, and COVID-19 is going to be somewhat difficult.

However, we do have some early data, so I’m going to review it as best as I can. Continue reading “Dogs, cats, and COVID-19 – what is the effect of the virus on our pets?”

Judge orders the Genesis II Church to stop marketing MMS for COVID-19

mms for COVID-19

This article about MMS for COVID-19 was written by Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, Professor of Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law (San Francisco, CA), who is a frequent contributor to this and many other blogs, providing in-depth, and intellectually stimulating, articles about vaccines, medical issues, social policy, and the law.

Professor Reiss writes extensively in law journals about the social and legal policies of vaccination. Additionally, Reiss is also a member of the Parent Advisory Board of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable disease.

On April 17, 2020, a Federal judge issued a temporary order prohibiting the Church of Genesis II from selling its Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) for COVID-19 – in reality, MMS is a dangerous industrial-strength bleach. The order is a response to an action by the FDA based on the Church’s promotion of MMS for COVID-19. The response of most reasonable people familiar with MMS is, probably, “about time.”

Miracle Mineral Solution is an industrial-strength bleach. As far as I know, it has no proven benefits, and obviously, ingesting concentrated, industrial-strength bleach – or worse, taking it as an enema – can cause harm.

It has been sold by the Genesis II Church both as a sacrament and as a miracle cure for all ills. Among other uses, it has been used by parents of children with autism against their autistic children, either by providing it orally or as an enema, with harmful results

The FDA has warned about MMS in the past and conducted several investigations and actions addressing it.

On April 8, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning letter to the Genesis II Church stating that:

[b]ased on [FDA’s] review, MMS is an unapproved new drug sold in violation of section 505(a) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act), 21 U.S.C. § 355(a)…

They also demanded that the Church,

cease the sale of such unapproved and unauthorized products for the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of COVID-19. Further, FDA has previously warned consumers about the dangerous and potentially life-threatening side effects of MMS…

In other words, the FDA concluded that MMS, to be sold, needs to be licensed as a drug – which would require the sellers to provide evidence that it’s safe and effective (which they’re unlikely to be able to do, but they have as much chance of trying as any other sellers). Since MMS has not gone through the approval process, it’s in violation of the act.

On the FDA’s site, the FDA Commissioner, Stephen M. Hahn, MD, added more:

Despite previous warnings, the FDA is concerned that we are still seeing chlorine dioxide products being sold with misleading claims that they are safe and effective for the treatment of diseases, now including COVID-19. The sale of these products can jeopardize a person’s health and delay proper medical treatment. We continue to take action and keep up our efforts to monitor for fraudulent treatments during this public health emergency and remind the public to seek medical help from their health care providers. 

After the Church, apparently, did not stop selling and promoting MMS, the FDA went to court. Under the Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act,  the FDA can request an immediate temporary restraining order in situations like this, for the public health, and does not have to meet the high bar regular civil plaintiffs would have to meet to get such an order.

The Court granted the order, ordering the church, among other things, not to:

directly or indirectly, label, hold, and/or distribute any drug, including but not limited to MMS, that does not have an approved new drug application pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 355(b) or abbreviated new drug application pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 355(j), or an investigational new drug application in effect for its use pursuant to 21 U.S.C. § 355(i), or any drug that is misbranded within the meaning of 21 U.S.C. § 352.

This means that the Church is not supposed to sell MMS for any use, not just as a (fake) treatment for COVID-19 for the moment. The next step is a preliminary injunction hearing, and it may end with the prohibition extending until the end of the case (though it can be lifted). 

As I said, about time. Here is hoping the prohibition becomes permanent, and that appropriate sanctions be imposed on those promoting MMS for COVID-19, a dangerous substance, as a cure.