COVID-19 live updates: Total number of cases passes 207 million

  • The coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
  • Known as SARS-CoV-2, the virus has resulted in more than 207 million infections and more than 4.3 million deaths.
  • SARS-CoV-2 infection causes COVID-19.
  • COVID-19 has now been reported on every continent.
  • Keep up to date with the latest research and information about COVID-19 here.
  • For vaccine information, visit our live vaccine updates article.

08/17/2021 15:18 GMT — UK approves Moderna COVID-19 vaccine for 12–17-year-olds

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in the United Kingdom has approved the use of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine — also called Spikevax — in people aged 12–17 years.

Read more on this story in our live vaccine updates article.

08/17/2021 12:31 GMT — A readily available drug may help fight COVID-19

Laboratory studies indicate that a cheap, generic drug reduces SARS-CoV-2 infection in human cells by up to 70%. The drug, called fenofibrate, regulates cholesterol levels but also destabilizes the spike protein on SARS-CoV-2 and inhibits binding to human cells.

Read more about the research here.

08/17/2021 12:30 GMT — Has the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 made herd immunity impossible?

Scientists hoped that following vaccination, populations would develop herd immunity to SARS-CoV-2, reducing the risk of infection, even for people without antibodies against the virus.

However, the head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, Prof. Andrew Pollard, says herd immunity is “not a possibility,” given the increased transmissibility of the Delta variant.

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