What We're Reading: Fully Vaccinated Designation; COVID-19 Infection, Infertility in Men; Faster, Cheaper Clinical Trials

The CDC is working to change its definition of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19; a study finds that men who tested positive for COVID-19 showed a short-term decline in fertility; a nonprofit group of scientists seeks to optimize the clinical trial process and reduce cost.

CDC to Revise Fully Vaccinated Designation for COVID-19

During a briefing this past Friday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, said the agency is working to change its language on who would fit the criteria of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19. As reported by Fox News, Walensky said the language would be pivoted based on how up to date individuals are with their primary series, including when the shots were initially distributed, the level of antibody protection remaining, and whether one is eligible for a booster. Currently, 210 million Americans are considered fully vaccinated, with 83 million having received a booster dose.

Study Finds COVID-19 May Cause Short-term Infertility in Men

As reported by CBS News, findings of a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology indicated that men who tested positive for COVID-19 showed a short-term decline in fertility. Conversely showing no reduction in fertility among people who received COVID-19 vaccines, the study dispels misinformation that vaccines cause infertility, which was believed by 3 in 10 US adults in a November survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The study also reinforces CDC recommendations for pregnant women to be vaccinated as to protect themselves and reduce risk to their babies.

Scientific Group Seeks to Optimize Clinical Trial Process, Reduce Cost

Through a partnership announced today with Sanofi, a group of scientists from the UK nonprofit Protas will begin working on how to accelerate clinical trials investigating novel treatments for a myriad of common diseases and reduce cost. As reported by STAT, the group had previously studied earlier in the pandemic whether a series of potential treatments helped hospitalized patients with COVID-19, in which they established dexamethasone as an effective therapy. Protas CEO Sir Martin Landray noted that increased investment is still needed and that it will take a few years to build the infrastructure the nonprofit will need.