Coronavirus Tidbits #144 6/13/21

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Announcements:

First, there is now a Resources Page here for the most commonly asked questions I’m getting.

Happy to continue to answer your questions/concerns as best I can, so don’t be shy about that.

News 

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New Group Will Focus on Shoring Up Drug Supply Chain, White House Says

— 50 to 100 essential drugs will be chosen to bring their production onshore

https://www.medpagetoday.com/publichealthpolicy/healthpolicy/92981?

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States Are Passing Laws That Threaten Public Health, Report Finds

Scary article. Many of the comments are ignorant about the need for public health. Want a resurgence of TB? Typhoid? so many others? The comments focus on “individual” freedom and “liberty” to infect others.

https://www.medpagetoday.com/publichealthpolicy/healthpolicy/92915?

Diagnostics:

still an incredible, negligent last of testing.

Drugs and Vaccines:

J&J’s COVID-19 Vaccine Found to be Effective Against Variants of Concern

This work is published in Nature, in the paper, “Immunogenicity of Ad26.COV2.S vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 variants in humans.

https://www.genengnews.com/topics/drug-discovery/jjs-covid-19-vaccine-found-to-be-effective-against-variants-of-concern/

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SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant: Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine recipients have lower antibody levels

Levels of antibodies in the blood of vaccinated people that are able to recognise and fight the new SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant first discovered in India (B.1.617.2) are on average lower than those against previously circulating variants in the UK, published as a Research letter in The Lancet.

The results also show that levels of these antibodies are lower with increasing age and that levels decline over time, providing additional evidence in support of plans to deliver a vaccination boost to vulnerable people in the Autumn.

people are less likely to develop antibody levels against the B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant as high as those seen against the previously dominant B.1.1.7 (Alpha) variant, first found in Kent.

levels of antibodies alone do not predict vaccine effectiveness and prospective population studies are also needed. Lower neutralising antibody levels may still be associated with protection against COVID-19.

http://outbreaknewstoday.com/sars-cov-2-delta-variant-pfizer-biontech-vaccine-recipients-have-lower-antibody-levels-16909/

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U.S. health officials report higher-than-expected heart inflammation cases following Covid-19 vaccination

The data are preliminary and limited, and experts are still trying to determine if there is indeed a link or if there is no connection at all

https://dataemia.com/2021/06/11/u-s-health-officials-report-higher-than-expected-heart-inflammation-cases-following-covid-19-vaccination/

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Mixing COVID-19 vaccines appears to boost immune responses

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/06/mixing-covid-19-vaccines-appears-boost-immune-responses

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https://twitter.com/Vaccinologist/status/1401608003615350784?s=20

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https://twitter.com/Vaccinologist/status/1400718935528513539?s=20

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In related news, the administration’s efforts to boost vaccinations among Black Americans is falling flat. (Politico)

Devices:

Epidemiology/Infection control:

Speech droplets drive transmission of SARS-CoV-2 most

A new review published in the Journal of Internal Medicine indicates that unmasked speech in confined spaces poses the greatest risk of spreading SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to others.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-speech-droplets-transmission-sars-cov-.html?

 

The four most urgent questions about long COVID

Scientists are starting to get insights into the lingering disorder that affects some people infected with SARS-CoV-2 — but many mysteries remain unsolved.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-01511-z

Immunization Rates Decreased During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Teens and adults potentially missed over 26 million doses of recommended vaccines in 2020. This includes 8.8 million missed adolescent vaccine doses and 17.2 million missed adult vaccine doses.

https://www.precisionvaccinations.com/immunization-rates-decreased-during-covid-19-pandemic

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Japanese scientists warn that Tokyo Olympics could help spread COVID-19

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2021/06/japanese-scientists-warn-tokyo-olympics-could-help-spread-covid-19

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Speech droplets drive transmission of SARS-CoV-2

A new review published in the Journal of Internal Medicine indicates that unmasked speech in confined spaces poses the greatest risk of spreading SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to others.

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2021-06/w-sdd060721.php

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https://twitter.com/Vaccinologist/status/1400031853868953600?s=20

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“The variants we identified in breakthrough cases looked very similar to the ones we identified in our strain surveillance nationwide. There were no red flags.” — Tom Clark, MD, MPH, deputy director of the division of viral diseases at the CDC and lead of the agency’s vaccine evaluation team, on why the agency stopped tracking breakthrough infections unless they cause serious illness.

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China battles an ongoing coronavirus outbreak in Guangzhou, where the entire population of 18.7 million was tested between Sunday and Tuesday. (New York Times)

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An epidemiologist estimates the Delta SARS-CoV-2 variant, first identified in India, to be 60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant that had previously gripped Britain. (Reuters)

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Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings announced plans to defy Florida’s “vaccine passport” rule by requiring passengers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 when it sets sail from the state’s ports. (AP)

Tips, general reading for public:

StayAtHome

Wash your hands.

Rinse and repeat.

Politics:

US has bought and will donate 500 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine worldwide

[Some ask why we are buying Pfizer, when US govt/taxes supported the other vaccines]

The US has purchased and will donate 500 million doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine worldwide as it seeks to be a key player in getting other nations vaccinated, a person familiar with the move told CNN.

President Joe Biden will announce the news at the G7 summit in Cornwall, England, this week, the person said.

Around 200 million doses will go out in 2021 and 300 million will be distributed in the first half of 2022. All doses will go through COVAX, the international vaccine initiative, and will go to 92 low- and lower-income countries, in addition to the African Union.

https://www.cnn.com/2021/06/09/politics/us-buys-pfizer-doses-to-donate/index.html

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In a 94-page opinion on California’s ban on assault weapons, a federal judge claimed that COVID vaccines are killing more Americans than mass shootings. (Slate)

 

Feel good du jour:

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Comic relief:

https://twitter.com/Sundae_Gurl/status/1400567108019310597?s=20

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https://twitter.com/RandyRainbow/status/1391753010200682498?s=20

Perspective/Poem

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Bits of beauty:

 

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