Coronavirus Now: COVID-19 Updates for November 25

As of November 25, confirmed cases of COVID-19 now number more than 60 million around the world, including more than 12.7 million cases in the United States and more than 265,000 U.S. deaths. You can see a breakdown of coronavirus cases throughout the world and within the U.S. on the map and chart above.

Below you’ll find updates on the latest news about the coronavirus.

November 25 News Updates

Worldwide Coronavirus Cases Surpass 60 Million

The number of coronavirus cases worldwide has now exceeded 60 million. According to Worldometers, the U.S. still leads with more than 13 million cases, and India is second with more than nine million cases. Brazil is third with more than six million and Russia and France both just exceeded two million cases.

BNO News reported on November 23 that every state in the United States except Hawaii now is classified as having uncontrolled spread of the virus.


CDC Director Thinks a Vaccine Will Be Released by the 2nd Week of December

Robert Redfield, CDC Director, said he believes a vaccine will be released by the second week of December, The Hill reported. Redfield said the vaccine would most likely be given to nursing home residents first, then health care providers and high-risk individuals. The decisions are still being finalized. It likely won’t be widely available until the middle of next year.

Oxford/AstraZeneca Vaccine More Effective in People Who Got a Lower Dose

The Oxford vaccine showed it was about 62% effective in people who got two full doses, BBC reported in late November. Another trial showed closer to 90% efficacy in 3,000 people who got a half-dose first and then a full dose the second time rather than two full-sized doses.

Experts say they need to do more research on the Oxford vaccine’s efficacy, which is made from an adenovirus that was modified to help human cells create the spoke protein so the immune system can recognize it, Nature reported. The trial might not have had enough participants to fully judge the difference between the two dose amounts. If the results hold up in larger groups, then other reasons might account for the difference, like a lower first dose might stimulating T cells better.

Vaccine Updates

GettyA woman leaves Life Care Center of Kirkland on February 29, 2020, in Kirkland, Washington.

Early results from Pfizer’s (and Germany’s BioNTech) vaccine trial point to the vaccine being more than 90% effective, The New York Times reported in early November. The trial also didn’t note any serious safety concerns, but as The New York Times pointed out, the details from its clinical trial are “sparse” so far. Pfizer is going to request emergency authorization from the FDA for the vaccine’s use after two months of safety data are collected. Some said the vaccine gave them the symptoms of a severe hangover that subsided in a few days, The Indian Express reported.

In mid-November, company data indicated that Moderna’s vaccine was 94.5% effective, CNN reported. Out of 15,000 participants who got the vaccine, only five developed COVID-19 and none were severely ill. Out of 15,000 given a placebo, 90 developed COVID-19 and 11 had a severe form of the disease. Minor side effects like body aches and headaches in a small percentage were reported.

Both Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines use mRNA, which teaches the body’s immune system to make antibodies to the protein spikes. This would be the first mRNA vaccine on the market.

A 28-year-old in Brazil died from coronavirus complications after participating in AstraZeneca’s vaccine trial in October. It was later determined that the volunteer had received a placebo. As of mid-November, Israel was in negotiations to receive AstraZeneca’s vaccine, which is in the middle of a Phase III trial for AZD1222, JPost reported. This vaccine is co-invented by Oxford’s Vaccitech and “uses a replication-deficient chimpanzee viral vector based on a weakened version of a common cold virus (adenovirus) that causes infections in chimpanzees and contains the genetic material of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spike protein… After vaccination, the surface spike protein is produced, priming the immune system to attack the SARS-CoV-2 virus if it later infects the body.”

On November 19, it was announced that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine clinical trials showed it was safe and triggered a good immune response in people of all ages, CNBC reported. The vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19) had few side effects and prompted a T-cell response within two weeks of receiving the first dose, followed by an antibody response within 28 days of the second dose. 99% of participants had a neutralizing antibody response within 14 days, according to The Lancet. Phase 3 trials will now determine the vaccine’s efficacy, with results expected later this year.

The Oxford vaccine could be as high as 90% effective, with interim results indicating it’s at least 70% effective, BBC reported in late November. The UK has ordered 100 million doses and AstraZeneca believes it can make three billion in 2021. The trial had 20,000 volunteers in the UK and Brazil, and about 30 people with the vaccine still got COVID, while 101 with the placebo got COVID. Everyone who got the vaccine only had a mild to moderate illness and no one needed hospitalization. Another trial showed closer to 90% efficacy in 3,000 people who got a half-dose first and then a full dose the second time rather than two full-sized doses.

Russia’s Sputnik-V vaccine will start trialing in India. Russian authorities say it’s 92% effective after evaluating 16,000 participants, The Indian Express reported.

Novavax announced that in its Phase 1 vaccine trial for NVX-CoV2373, antibodies were induced in 100% of participants, The Motley Fool reported. The vaccine had mild side effects, typically worse with the second dose. On November 9, it was granted fast-track designation by the FDA and is in late-phase clinical development. this vaccine uses a proprietary MatrixM adjuvant. It’s not using an mRNA vaccine that directs protein production like Pfizer and Moderna, ScienceMag reported. Instead, Novavax is using a baculovirus to insert a gene for the spike protein, harvesting the spike proteins and using that in an adjuvant.

Inovio is working on a vaccine called the INO-4800 DNA vaccine. Inovio completed Phase 1 trial for a similar DNA vaccine for MERS. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is backing this trial. Inovio announced positive results from two Phase I clinical trials in early July. The Phase 1 trial was expanded to include older participants in June and July. On November 16, Inovio announced that it was starting the Phase 2 portion of its Phase 2/3 trial. This is a nucleic-based vaccine that will be stable at room temperature for more than a year and doesn’t need to be frozen.

Kaiser Permanente in Washington began enrolling Phase 3 volunteers for Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary Janssen’s vaccine, KPWashington Research reported in late October. These trials are sponsored by NIAID. KPWHRI has also been testing a Moderna vaccine. Janssen’s vaccine uses a human adenovirus to express the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. Johnson & Johnson had to temporarily pause trials for a safety concern for its modified adenovirus vaccine (similar to Oxford’s.) It has a Phase III study in place for 60,000 volunteers, The Indian Express reported.

Coronavirus Trends in the United States

An interactive map from shows recent trends in deaths per state over the last 14 and 7 days, using seven-day averages from Johns Hopkins’ data. You can view the full map here. Green means the trend is decreasing, red means the deaths are increasing. Circles show the prior 14 days and triangles show the prior seven days. When using the map, be sure and read the “Map Tips” in the upper left corner to learn how to turn overlay layers on and off. The map legend can also be found under “Map Tips.”

Open this map full screen.

If you are concerned about your symptoms, talk with your doctor right away.

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