What We're Reading: GSK, Sanofi COVID-19 Vaccine; Long-term Symptoms of Severe Coronavirus Cases; Surge in Public Health Interest

Production will begin within weeks on the GlaxoSmithKline/Sanofi COVID-19 vaccine candidate; nearly 3 of every 4 people who had severe cases of COVID-19 experience at least one long-term symptom; US colleges and universities report stark rise in applications in the public health field.

Production to Begin on GSK, Sanofi COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate

GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi announced today that production of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate will begin within weeks, and will be assessed in a large clinical trial of 35,000 adult volunteers in the United States, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. The vaccine candidate’s safety and efficacy will be tested against the original coronavirus originating from Wuhan, China, along with the variant first discovered in South Africa, according to Associated Press. Pending positive results, both pharmaceutical firms noted that regulators could approve the vaccine for use in the last 3 months of this year.

Majority of Severe COVID-19 Cases Linked With Long-term Symptoms

CNN reported that a study published yesterday in JAMA Network Open found nearly 3 of every 4 (73%) people who had a severe case of COVID-19 experience at least one long-term symptom in the 60 days after diagnosis, symptom onset, or hospital admission. Conducting a review of 45 studies that followed 9751 patients in the months after being infected with the virus, researchers additionally found that 40% experienced fatigue, 36% had shortness of breath, and 25% reported an inability to concentrate, also known as brain fog.

US Colleges, Universities Report Surge in Public Health Interest

In what is being coined the “Fauci effect,” as a reference to the influence of the chief medical advisor to President Joe Biden, Anthony Fauci, MD, on nationwide interest in health care, an article by Axios highlighted the surge in students who are pursuing the public health field, particularly crisis communication, after the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, between March 2020 and March 2021, there was a 40% spike in applications for public health graduate-level degree programs like epidemiology and health policy.