October 14 coronavirus news

By Jessie Yeung, Adam Renton and Angela Dewan, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, October 15, 2020
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11:13 p.m. ET, October 13, 2020

Pfizer to start testing its Covid-19 vaccine in children as young as 12

From CNN's Maggie Fox

Drugmaker Pfizer has plans to start testing its experimental coronavirus vaccine in children as young as 12, and parents have already expressed interest in enrolling their kids, the researcher leading the trial told CNN Tuesday.

It will be the first coronavirus vaccine trial to include children in the United States.

A team at Cincinnati Children's Hospital will begin vaccinating teenagers aged 16 and 17 this week, and will move to enroll 12-to 15-year-olds later, said Dr. Robert Frenck, director of the Vaccine Research Center at the hospital.

The company confirmed on its website it has approval from the US Food and Drug Administration to enroll children as young as 12 in its trial.

"We really think a vaccine for adolescents and children is going to be critical for getting Covid under control," Frenck told CNN in a telephone interview.
"I think one of the things that is important to remember is that although the death rate for children with Covid is lower than in older adults, it's not zero," he saId, noting that more than half a million children have been diagnosed with coronavirus in the US. "It is not a nonexistent infection in children."

Read the full story:

10:52 p.m. ET, October 13, 2020

Labor secretary's wife, who was at Rose Garden event, tests positive for coronavirus

From CNN's Kaitlan Collins

The Labor Department announced in a news release Tuesday night that Secretary Eugene Scalia's wife, Trish, has tested positive for coronavirus. The announcement said that Eugene Scalia has tested negative so far but will work from home "for the time being."

Both Eugene and Trish Scalia attended the Rose Garden event where President Donald Trump announced Judge Amy Coney Barrett was his pick to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. They were seated in the second row, directly behind first lady Melania Trump and next to former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway -- both of whom would later test positive for Covid-19.

"This afternoon, doctors confirmed that U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia's wife, Trish, tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Mrs. Scalia is experiencing mild symptoms but doing well," the release stated.
"This evening, Secretary Scalia received a test and the results were negative; he has experienced no symptoms. The Secretary and Mrs. Scalia will follow the advice of health professionals for Trish's recovery and the health of those around them. For the time being, the Secretary will work from home while continuing to carry out the mission of the Department and the President's agenda."

It's not clear if Trish Scalia contracted the coronavirus at the Rose Garden event. Her positive test comes more than two weeks after the event, but it's unknown when she was last tested. The virus' incubation period can be as long as 14 days.

Read the full story:

9:00 p.m. ET, October 13, 2020

Global coronavirus cases surpass 38 million

From CNN's Sugam Pokharel

At least 38,006,121 cases of Covid-19 have so far been recorded globally as of 6:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.   

The global death toll stands at 1,083,875.  

The United States leads with the most known Covid-19 infections and deaths worldwide.

There are at least 7,850,829 cases and 215,775 deaths from the disease in the country, according to JHU.

The US, India and Brazil together account for more than half of the world's coronavirus cases, the figures show.  

CNN is tracking worldwide cases:

9:13 p.m. ET, October 13, 2020

Eli Lilly pauses trial of its monoclonal antibody to treat coronavirus

From CNN's Maggie Fox

In this May 2020 photo provided by Eli Lilly, a researcher tests possible Covid-19 antibodies in a laboratory in Indianapolis.
In this May 2020 photo provided by Eli Lilly, a researcher tests possible Covid-19 antibodies in a laboratory in Indianapolis. David Morrison/Eli Lilly via AP

Drugmaker Eli Lilly said Tuesday it is pausing its trial of a combination antibody treatment for coronavirus for safety reasons.

Usually, clinical trials are paused because a volunteer has suffered a side effect or become ill, but the company did not say what happened.

"Safety is of the (utmost) importance to Lilly," a spokesperson told CNN by email.

It said the trial's Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB), an independent group of medical experts who monitor clinical trials, recommended the pause.

"The trial, evaluating Lilly's investigational neutralizing antibody as a treatment for COVID-19 in hospitalized patients, is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Lilly is supportive of the decision by the independent DSMB to cautiously ensure the safety of the patients participating in this study," the company said in the statement.

Lilly is testing a combination of two lab-engineered immune system proteins called monoclonal antibodies to treat severely ill patients with coronavirus. It is similar to the treatment made by Regeneron that was given to US President Donald Trump earlier this month.

The idea behind monoclonal antibody treatments is to give the immune system a head start on fighting the virus. The treatments use antibodies demonstrated to home in on the coronavirus and neutralize it the most effectively. They are infused and patients can have reactions to the infusions.

9:13 p.m. ET, October 13, 2020

Johnson & Johnson learned of "unexplained illness" in Phase 3 coronavirus trial on Sunday

From CNN'S Wes Bruer

This September 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows a single-dose Covid-19 vaccine being developed by the company.
This September 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows a single-dose Covid-19 vaccine being developed by the company. Cheryl Gerber/Courtesy of Johnson & Johnson via AP

Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday that it learned of the “unexplained illness,” which caused it to pause its Phase 3 coronavirus vaccine trial in the United States, on Sunday and immediately informed the Data and Safety Monitoring Board, or DSMB, which monitors clinical trial developments.

The drugmaker said it did not know whether the volunteer who became ill had received the vaccine or placebo.

“We are now awaiting further medical information and evaluation, which we will then forward to the DSMB for further independent recommendations,” said Mathai Mammen, global head of research and development at Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen, on the company’s third quarter earnings call Tuesday.
“It’s not at all unusual for unexpected illnesses to occur in large studies over their duration,” Mammen said. In some cases, these are called serious adverse events, or SAEs, and may have something or nothing to do with the drug or vaccine being investigated,” Mammen said.

Mammen said the company has “very little information right now” regarding the illness which paused the trial, but said that the DSMB has submitted a number of specific questions for them to answer.

As of Tuesday morning, the trial remains blinded, meaning that participants and those administering the vaccine candidates are unaware if they are receiving the vaccine or a placebo. Mammen added that the DSMB has the ability to unblind the study in order to investigate the unexplained illness if necessary.

Johnson & Johnson announced the clinical trial pause on Monday, making it the second Phase 3 coronavirus vaccine trial to be paused.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine trial was paused last month because of an a neurological complication in a volunteer in the UK. While the trial resumed there and in other countries, it remains paused in the US while the US Food and Drug Administration investigated.