Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and President Joe Biden’s chief medical officer, said Wednesday the vaccines that have received emergency use authorization to treat COVID-19 are protecting against new, more infectious variants of the virus. Speaking at a regular press briefing, Fauci said there are two mechanisms protecting against variants; a high titer of antibody and a T-Cell response. Fauci cited a paper that was published on Tuesday, and showed that individuals who have been vaccinated have a T Cell memory response against variants and not just against the virus they have been vaccinated against. “In their study of recovered COVID-19 patients, the researchers determined that SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T-cell responses remained largely intact and could recognize virtually all mutations in the variants studied,” said the paper, which was written by a research team led by NIAID’s Andrew Redd, Ph.D., and included scientists from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Immunomics-focused company, ImmunoScape. “While larger studies are needed, the researchers note that their findings suggest that the T cell response in convalescent individuals, and most likely in vaccinees, are largely not affected by the mutations found in these three variants, and should offer protection against emerging variants,” said the paper. Fauci also said the blood clotting issue that has been reported in some cases of people who have been dosed with the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca PLC and Oxford University are at the same level as in the general population. The White House coronavirus team reiterated that they are accelerating the nation’s vaccine drive and are now expecting that 90% of American adults will be eligible for a vaccine by April 19, ahead of an earlier target of early May. “We’re facing an accelerating threat and we’re accelerating the response even more,” said Andy Slavitt, the White House’s senior advisor for the COVID-19 response. President Joe Biden is asking of governors, mayors and local leaders in return that they maintain or reinstate face mask mandates, he said. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and President Joe Biden’s chief medical officer, said Wednesday the vaccines that have received emergency use authorization to treat COVID-19 are protecting against new, more infectious variants of the virus. Speaking at a regular press briefing, Fauci said there are two mechanisms protecting against variants; a high titer of antibody and a T-Cell response. Fauci cited a paper that was published on Tuesday, and showed that individuals who have been vaccinated have a T Cell memory response against variants and not just against the virus they have been vaccinated against. “In their study of recovered COVID-19 patients, the researchers determined that SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T-cell responses remained largely intact and could recognize virtually all mutations in the variants studied,” said the paper, which was written by a research team led by NIAID’s Andrew Redd, Ph.D., and included scientists from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Immunomics-focused company, ImmunoScape. “While larger studies are needed, the researchers note that their findings suggest that the T cell response in convalescent individuals, and most likely in vaccinees, are largely not affected by the mutations found in these three variants, and should offer protection against emerging variants,” said the paper. Fauci also said the blood clotting issue that has been reported in some cases of people who have been dosed with the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca PLC and Oxford University are at the same level as in the general population. The White House coronavirus team reiterated that they are accelerating the nation’s vaccine drive and are now expecting that 90% of American adults will be eligible for a vaccine by April 19, ahead of an earlier target of early May. “We’re facing an accelerating threat and we’re accelerating the response even more,” said Andy Slavitt, the White House’s senior advisor for the COVID-19 response. President Joe Biden is asking of governors, mayors and local leaders in return that they maintain or reinstate face mask mandates, he said.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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