Vaccine factories, a promising new treatment, and more COVID-19 updates

A roundup of the top stories you may have missed this week.

The coronavirus crisis is unique. Addressing it will require new ideas, new perspectives, and new voices. That’s our mission at Freethink.

In our weekly “Coronavirus News Roundup,” we’re highlighting the most important stories from the frontlines of the fight against COVID-19. Stories that inform, challenge, and inspire.

Here are our must reads for today, April 11, 2020.

1. Bill Gates Is Spending Billions to Produce Seven Coronavirus Vaccines

The Gates Foundation is building seven vaccine factories to help in the fight against the novel coronavirus. We explain what those are — and why Bill Gates expects to “waste” a few billion dollars on the initiative.

2. A Promising COVID-19 Treatment Gets Fast-Tracked

Johns Hopkins Hospital has received FDA approval to begin testing the efficacy of convalescent plasma therapy on humans to both prevent and treat SARS-CoV-2 infections. This JHU article explains how the therapy works — and when it might be available for the masses.

3. Tyler Perry Pays Grocery Bills for Elderly and High-Risk Shoppers

Some grocery stores have begun opening an hour early so that seniors and other vulnerable populations can shop solo — and on April 8, filmmaker Tyler Perry paid for all the groceries bought during that hour at 73 grocery stores in Atlanta and New Orleans.

4. Group Coronavirus Testing Helps Make the Most of Limited Kits

Researchers in the United States, Israel, and other nations are turning to group testing as a way to cope with a shortage of coronavirus testing kits  — and they’re finding the method to be incredibly effective.

5. Contact-Tracing Apps Could Help End Coronavirus Lockdown

A new University of Oxford study has found that contact-tracing apps could play a major role in bringing the coronavirus pandemic to an end — without forcing people to give up their privacy.

When an antibiotic fails: MIT scientists are using AI to target “sleeper” bacteria
Most antibiotics target metabolically active bacteria, but AI can help efficiently screen compounds that are lethal to dormant microbes.
The threat of avian flu — and what we can do to stop it
Avian flu is infecting cows on US dairy farms, and now a person has caught it — but new research could help us avoid a bird flu pandemic.
What’s next for COVID-19 drugs?
Paxlovid may have underperformed in a new trial, but other promising COVID-19 drugs are being authorized or in the works.
New antiviral shortens COVID-19 by 1.5 days
People taking simnotrelvir, a new antiviral treatment for COVID-19, felt almost immediate symptom relief and got better 1.5 days faster.
A dietician explains “Zepbound,” the newest weightloss drug
Zepbound recently joined the list of obesity-fighting drugs administered as injections that has been approved by the FDA.
Up Next
ICUs for Coronavirus Patients
Subscribe to Freethink for more great stories