Coronavirus Tidbits #158 9/19/21

Quick links

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.

Betadine Is This Week’s Covid-19 “Cure,” Vying With Ivermectin

Pet Store Puppies Linked to Campylobacter Infections

C auris Transmission Can be Contained in Postacute Care Settings

News 

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Forceful vaccine messages backfire with holdouts: How can it be done better?

With the FDA approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and the continued surge of the delta variant, governments across the world have renewed their push to increase the number of vaccinated individuals by persuading the holdouts. On Sept. 9, 2021, President Joe Biden announced sweeping vaccine mandates, expressing frustration at the vaccine holdouts: “We’ve been patient, but our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us.”

How COVID is derailing the fight against HIV, TB and malaria

The pandemic’s effects on efforts to thwart other infectious diseases could exceed the direct impact of COVID-19.

Nature Leslie Roberts 10 September 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a “devastating” impact on the fight against other deadly infectious diseases, according to a report that compares 2019 and 2020 data on HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria in more than 100 low- and lower-middle-income countries.

The assessment was conducted by the Global Fund, an international organization that funds efforts to tackle these three health challenges.

“COVID-19 has been the most significant setback in the fight against HIV, TB and malaria, that we have encountered in the two decades since the Global Fund was established,” writes the organization’s executive director Peter Sands in an introduction to its Results Report 2021.

As countries went into lockdown and resources were diverted to combat the pandemic, prevention, testing and treatment services for all three dropped precipitously, although the impacts vary for each. In some countries, says Sands, “the knock-on effects on HIV, TB and malaria could exceed the direct impact of COVID-19”.

Diagnostics:

still an incredible, negligent last of testing.

Drugs and Vaccines:

FDA vaccine regulators argue against Covid-19 vaccine boosters in new international review

STAT By Andrew Joseph  Sept. 13, 2021

A group of international experts – including, notably, two outgoing Food and Drug Administration vaccine regulators – argues in a new paper against offering Covid-19 vaccine boosters to the general population.

The paper, published Monday in the Lancet, is based on a review of available data about the durability of vaccine protection. That it was co-authored by Marion Gruber and Phil Krause, two veteran FDA officials who have been leading the agency’s review of Covid-19 vaccine applications, amounts to a strikingly direct rebuff to the Biden administration as it lays plans for booster shots. Gruber and Krause announced last month they would be leaving the agency this fall.

Others authors include experts from the World Health Organization, which has called for countries to delay broad booster plans as many countries are still suffering from a lack of vaccine supply in the face of horrific outbreaks driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant.

“Current evidence does not, therefore, appear to show a need for boosting in the general population, in which efficacy against severe disease remains high,” the authors wrote….

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COVID-19 vaccines protect against severe illness during Delta

A trio of studies in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) today show that COVID vaccines protect very well against the Delta (B1617.2) variant, with unvaccinated people having 5 times the risk of infection and more than 10 times the risk of hospitalization or death compared with vaccinated people.

Researchers analyzed data that included the period of Delta variant dominance in the United States, and their results indicate that the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines all show strong vaccine effectiveness (VE) against severe COVID-19.

The new data join several studies published this week on high COVID-19 VE.

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COVID vaccine effects wane over time but still prevent death and severe illness

Several countries-including the UK-are now offering third COVID-19 shots amid reports of vaccines proving less effective over time. But do these countries really need to embark on widespread booster campaigns? Here’s what research tells us so far about how vaccines are performing.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-09-covid-vaccine-effects-wane-death.html?

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New report shows high, continued vaccine effectiveness against severe COVID-19

A new Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report shows little change in incidence rate ratios for hospitalization and death from severe COVID-19 after the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant reached predominance in 13 U.S. jurisdictions.

From April 4 to July 17, among adults who were not fully vaccinated, there were 569,142 COVID-19 cases (92%), 34,972 COVID-19 hospitalizations (92%) and 6,132 COVID-19-associated deaths (91%). In fully vaccinated adults, there were 46,312 COVID-19 cases (8%), 2,976 COVID-19 hospitalizations (8%) and 616 COVID-19-associated deaths (9%).

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U.S. Government Purchases 1.4 Million Additional Antibody Cocktails

Under the new agreement, Regeneron will supply an additional 1.4 million 1,200 mg doses of REGEN-COV to the U.S. government by January 31, 2022. Regeneron expects to begin delivering the additional REGEN-COV doses in September, with the vast majority delivered in Q4 2021.

The U.S. government confirmed it would continue to provide REGEN-COV at no cost to patients.

“More than a year and a half into this pandemic, too many people are still being hospitalized and dying due to COVID-19,” said Leonard S. Schleifer, M.D., Ph.D., President and CEO of Regeneron, in a related press statement.

“While vaccination remains the first line of defense to decrease the burden of COVID-19, REGEN-COV is a key tool that reduces the risk of hospitalization or death by 70% in high-risk individuals when given early in the course of the infection.”

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Monoclonal antibodies

The FDA extended the emergency use authorization for the antibody duo of bamlanivimab and etesevimab to include post-exposure prophylaxis against COVID infection, Lilly announced.

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Bottom line 80M doses already distributed to states. They can’t be sent abroad. Likely to see many of them tossed.

So if FDA finds that boosters work in elderly By all means folks should get them Because those booster doses aren’t going to India They’re getting wasted

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Further evidence that vitamin D might protect against severe COVID-19 disease and death

New research from Trinity College and University of Edinburgh has examined the association between vitamin D and COVID-19, and found that ambient ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation (which is key for vitamin D production in the skin) at an individual’s place of residence in the weeks before COVID-19 infection, was strongly protective against severe disease and death.

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COVID-19 nasal vaccine candidate effective at preventing disease transmission

Breathe in, breathe out. That’s how easy it is for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, to enter your nose. And though remarkable progress has been made in developing intramuscular vaccines against SARS-CoV- 2, such as the readily available Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, nothing yet-like a nasal vaccine-has been approved to provide mucosal immunity in the nose, the first barrier against the virus before it travels down to the lungs.

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Failure to increase vaccine production is a moral failing and epidemiologically short-sighted. The US taxpayers paid for Moderna’s invention, and Moderna now has $12 billion in the bank. It’s way past time for the US to ensure Moderna shares this technology much more widely. 20/

Devices:

Epidemiology/Infection control:

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SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in US was 83% before surge of delta infections

Based on testing of more than 1.4 million blood donationsresearchers estimated that the SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence from infection or vaccination among Americans aged 16 years or older was 83% in May, before the delta variant surge.

Jefferson M. Jones, MD, MPH, a medical officer at the CDC, and colleagues conducted a repeated cross-sectional study each month from July 2020 through May 2021 that tested specimens from 17 blood collection organizations with donations from all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico.

After December, when the FDA authorized the first COVID-19 vaccines for use, they began testing specimens to differentiate whether seroprevalence was from infection or vaccination.

They included 1,443,519 blood donation samples in their analysis. Of these, 50.8% were from women, 12.1% were from people aged 16 to 29 years, and 20.2% were from people aged 65 years or older.

From July through December 2020, the estimated infection-induced seroprevalence among donors increased from 3.5% (95% CI, 3.2%-3.8%) to 11.5% (95% CI, 11.1%-11.8%), Jones and colleagues reported.

By May 2021, the combined seroprevalence among Americans had increased to 83.3% (95% CI, 82.9%-83.7%), and infection-induced seroprevalence increased to 20.2% (95% CI, 19.9%-20.6%), the researchers reported.

“Several large studies have shown that among individuals who are seropositive from prior SARS-CoV-2 infection, COVID-19 incidence is reduced by 80% to 95%, similar to vaccine efficacy estimates,” the authors wrote. “However, infection- and vaccination-induced protection might be reduced in the setting of SARS-CoV-2 variants, and infection-induced protection might wane more quickly than vaccine-induced protection.”

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Fewest Pediatric Deaths Reported in Years from Influenza

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Influenza-Associated Pediatric Mortality data as of September 10, 2021. There were no influenza-associated pediatric deaths reported to the CDC during week #35.

In total, there have been (1) influenza-associated pediatric death during the 2020-2021 flu season reported to CDC.

This good news compares with the past flu seasons, which are as follows:

  • 2019-202 = 198 deaths
  • 2018-2019 = 144 deaths
  • 2017-2018 = 188 deaths

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Long COVID symptoms in children rarely persist beyond 12 weeks

Long COVID symptoms rarely persisted beyond 12 weeks in children and adolescents unlike adults. But more studies were required to investigate the risk and impact of long COVID in young people to help guide vaccine policy decisions in Australia, according to a review led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI).

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American exceptionalism:

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Tips, general reading for public:

StayAtHome

Wash your hands.

Rinse and repeat.

Politics:

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Feel good du jour:

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Nurse Glitzes Up Gloomy Times With Vaccine Chandelier

https://www.medpagetoday.com/special-reports/exclusives/94549?xid=nl_popmed_2021-09-17&eun=g1184564d0r&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=PopMedicine_091721&utm_term=NL_Gen_Int_PopMedicine_Active

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Comic relief:

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Perspective/Poem

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Bits of beauty:

 

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