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Week 10: What’s happening in the world of the vaccine?

Dexamethasone Trials Yield Positive Results

An Oxford trial showed that treatment with the steroid drug dexamethasone cut the risk of death from 40% to 28% for patients on ventilators and from 25% to 20% for patients treated with oxygen. Dexamethasone is the first drug shown to significantly reduce deaths due to coronavirus, and it is also available as a relatively inexpensive generic drug.

The Chamber of Commerce Lobbying Group Calls for Transparency in Vaccine Licensing

The United States Chamber of Commerce, a large conservative-oriented business lobbying group, has called for increased transparency in the licensing agreements between universities and pharmaceutical companies working on a coronavirus vaccine. A senior vice president of the Chamber’s Global Innovation Policy Center told The Independent that “this is a unique situation and I feel comfortable saying that a higher level of transparency is warranted, especially given the unusual public sector contribution to some of the efforts that are ongoing.” Seeing this stance from a group typically allied with the pharmaceutical industry is encouraging, especially because they highlight the extent of public funding for coronavirus research. However, the Chamber also argued against calls to make coronavirus-related intellectual property freely available, making their recommendations insufficient to ensure affordable access.

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