US coronavirus vaccine poised for final testing: Live updates

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The United States state of Florida surpassed its daily record for coronavirus deaths on Tuesday with 132 more fatalities amid rising global worries of a resurgence, even as researchers say that the first vaccine tested in the US had worked to boost patients' immune systems and is set for final testing.

The blood from seriously ill coronavirus patients on ventilators was found by researchers to be highly inflammatory and harmful to the body, the South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday citing a study by Dutch scientists.

United Nations chief Antonio Guterres said the world is experiencing the sharpest decline in per capita income since 1870 and that "between 70 and 100 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty".

South Africa has surpassed the UK in its number of confirmed coronavirus cases, according to its health ministry and data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. It now has the world’s eighth highest number of confirmed cases with 298,292 and over 4,300 deaths.

More than 13.25 million people around the world have been diagnosed with COVID-19, 7.36 million have recovered, and more than 576,000 have died, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University. The US, Brazil, the UK, Mexico and Italy have recorded the most deaths.

Here are the latest updates.

Wednesday, July 15 00:26 GMT - Coronavirus antibodies 'highly inflammatory' - Dutch scientists

The blood from seriously ill coronavirus patients on ventilators was found by researchers to be highly inflammatory and harmful to the body, the South China Morning post reported on Wednesday citing a study by Dutch scientists.

The scientists, led by Professor Menno de Winther from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, found that the blood from Covid-19 patients struggling for their life on ventilators was highly inflammatory.

They observed during a series of experiments that it could trigger an overreaction of the immune system, destroy crucial barriers in tissues and cause water and blood to spill over in the lungs, the South China Morning Post report said.

00:16 GMT - COVID-19 vaccine test moves forward in the US

The first COVID-19 vaccine tested in the US revved up people’s immune systems just the way scientists had hoped, researchers reported - as the shots are poised to begin key final testing.

"No matter how you slice this, this is good news," Dr Anthony Fauci, the US governments top infectious disease expert, told The Associated Press news agency.

The experimental vaccine, developed by Fauci’s colleagues at the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc, will start its most important step around July 27: A 30,000-person study to prove if the shots really are strong enough to protect against the coronavirus.

But Tuesday, researchers reported anxiously awaited findings from the first 45 volunteers who rolled up their sleeves back in March. Sure enough, the vaccine provided a hoped-for immune boost.

Those early volunteers developed what are called neutralising antibodies in their bloodstream - molecules key to blocking infection - at levels comparable to those found in people who survived COVID-19, the research team reported in the New England Journal of Medicine.

00:01 GMT - US state of Nevada reports record high cases in one day

Officials of the US state of Nevada say a record high in the daily number of positive COVID-19 tests in the state may be the result of people failing to wear masks and keep distances apart during the Independence Day holiday, AP news agency reported.

State coronavirus response chief Caleb Cage said Tuesday a resurgence in hospitalisations continues less than a week after Governor Steve Sisolak cited a spike in cases and again closed bars and restaurants in the Las Vegas and Reno areas.

The more than 1,100 new cases reported statewide on Tuesday brings the total to nearly 30,000. Cage blamed the Fourth of July weekend. The US has 3.4 million cases and over 136,000 deaths.

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Hello and welcome to Al Jazeera's continuing coverage of the coronavirus pandemic. I'm Ted Regencia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Read all the updates from yesterday (July 14) here.

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