Relaunching the NBA, repairing medical devices, 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.

This week, we’re highlighting some of the most interesting perspectives and opinions about the fight against COVID-19.

Here are our must reads for this week.

1. U.S. Gives up to $1.2 Billion to AstraZeneca for COVID-19 Vaccine

The day before kicking off a combined Phase 2/3 coronavirus vaccine trial with Oxford University, biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca landed a $1.2 billion contract with the U.S. government. The terms? Deliver at least 300 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine to the U.S. by October.

2. Introducing the World’s Largest Medical Repair Database, Free for Everyone

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, iFixIt — an online database of user manuals and repair instructions for various gadgets and electronic gear — pivoted its attention to medical equipment. This week, it made the massive library of documentation available to anyone who needs it.

3. ‘How Could the CDC Make That Mistake?’

The CDC has stumbled more than once while responding to the coronavirus pandemic. Now, The Atlantic has discovered that the agency has been combining figures for two very different types of COVID-19 tests — one designed to track active infections and the other past cases — leaving health experts baffled.

4. The Testing Plans at the Center of the NBA’s Relaunch Efforts

The National Basketball Association’s season was cut short by the coronavirus pandemic. This piece by The Ringer takes a look at the league’s ideas for getting the season going again, which include holding all games in one location and a whole lot of testing.

5. The World May Be Overestimating the Power of COVID-19 Vaccines

The development of an effective coronavirus vaccine has taken center stage in the battle against COVID-19, with seemingly expert after expert emphasizing the importance of inoculation. This STAT article aims to temper expectations on just how big a role a vaccine could play in bringing the pandemic to an end.

Did we leave something off this list? We want to hear about what you’re reading and any interesting ideas you’d like us to cover. Drop us a line at [email protected].

I’ve had COVID and am constantly getting colds. Did COVID harm my immune system?
Does COVID somehow weaken the immune system to make us more prone to other infectious diseases? Here’s what scientists know.
Long COVID: Self-targeted immune attacks may lurk behind it
Researchers are working to get a more complete understanding of the cells and antibodies behind long COVID.
Newly discovered antibody neutralizes all variants of the coronavirus 
Using modified mouse models originally designed for HIV, researchers have discovered an antibody that stops all known strains of COVID-19.
FDA authorizes updated COVID-19 boosters
The FDA has authorized Pfizer-BioNTech’s and Moderna’s updated COVID-19 boosters, which target the now-dominant Omicron subvariants.
Researchers may have created a universal coronavirus vaccine
All currently licensed COVID-19 vaccines target the spike protein’s S1 region, which is prone to mutations. We need a universal vaccine.
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