Coronavirus Tidbits #166 11/14/21

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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.

New post:

Covid Vaccine Equity, G20 And Moderna

https://www.forbes.com/sites/judystone/2021/11/13/covid-vaccine-equity-g20-and-moderna/?sh=7f61c64238e4

News 

Almost 80% of Americans believe or are unsure about at least one Covid falsehood

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https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/poll-finding/kff-covid-19-vaccine-monitor-media-and-misinformation/?utm_source=

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Germany joins France and others to advise against Moderna vaccine for people under 30

Germany’s vaccine advisory board issued a recommendation on Wednesday against using Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in individuals under 30.

The Standing Commission on Vaccination, a group of health experts that develops national recommendations for vaccine policy, said only Pfizer’s vaccine should be used for individuals under the age of 30 and pregnant women.

“Current reporting analysis shows that heart muscle and pericardial inflammation in boys and young men and in girls and young women under 30 years of age were observed more frequently after vaccination with (Moderna’s vax)than after vaccination with (Pfizer’s),” a translation of STIKO’s recommendation reads. “People aged 30 and over have no increased risk of developing myocarditis and pericarditis after vaccination with” Moderna’s

STIKO also said that even if one received a different vaccine in their initial shot, further vaccinations should be carried out with the Pfizer vaccine.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/germany-joins-france-and-others-to-advise-against-moderna-vaccine-for-people-under-30/ar-AAQy032?cvid=970c365576bc4fba993a81096f503258&ocid=winp1taskbar

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Full thread at https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1458182891406598147.html

Diagnostics:

still an incredible, negligent last of testing.

Drugs and Vaccines:

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Good thread explaining vaccines for kiddies and why you should get them

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Good explainer about mRNA vaccines 

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Thread on vaccine hesitancy:

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Study shows cancer patients can safely receive COVID-19 vaccines

A study yesterday in the Journal of Clinical Oncology shows COVID-19 vaccines are safe in people undergoing treatment for cancer and produce modestly impaired immune responses. Booster vaccine doses, however, enhance immunity.

The study was based on 762 active oncology patients at Massachusetts General Hospital, who were compared to 1,638 healthy controls. The patients were currently receiving cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, bone marrow transplants, corticosteroids, and radiation. All three vaccines currently used in the United States were included in the study.

The mRNA vaccines elicited a stronger immune response in cancer patients than the Johnson & Johnson adenovirus-based vaccine. But regardless of vaccine type, antibody titers and neutralization were quantitatively lower in cancer patients, the authors said. Prior COVID-19 infection (7.1% of the cohort) was associated with higher immune responses, and older patient age was associated with a diminished vaccine response.

Nov 10 J Clin Oncol study

https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2021/11/news-scan-nov-11-2021

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Mutation Linked to Remdesivir Resistance Found in Covid Patient

(Bloomberg) — Resistance to Gilead Sciences Inc.’s antiviral remdesivir was found in coronavirus samples collected from an immune-compromised patient treated with the drug for a persistent Covid-19 infection, researchers said.

Similar mutations causing resistance have been generated in lab studies, but haven’t been previously reported in patients treated with the injectable medicine, Shiv Gandhi, Akiko Iwasaki and colleagues at the Yale University School of Medicine said. The patient, a woman in her 70s who had been treated for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, caught Covid in May 2020. Remdesivir helped alleviate symptoms, but wasn’t able to completely clear the infection. It persisted for several months, affecting her sense of smell.

Genetic analysis of the virus showed that it acquired a mutation during treatment that appeared to reduce the effectiveness of the drug, the first cleared for Covid-19. The infection was successfully treated with monoclonal antibody therapy, which also led to a recovery of her sense of smell.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/mutation-linked-to-remdesivir-resistance-found-in-covid-patient/ar-AAQzvTg?ocid=msedgdhp&pc=U531

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Mandates. A well-organized campaign. No politics. How Puerto Rico’s vaccine drive turned into a success

Puerto Rico has fully vaccinated a higher percentage of its population than any state. As of last week, 89.7% of adults are fully vaccinated.

https://statnews.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=f8609630ae206654824f897b6&id=8b9aeb0177&e=f4c6ea30a0 ~ ~ ~

Opinion: What Moderna owes the world

Despite receiving so much funding from U.S. taxpayers, Moderna hasn’t lived up to its commitment to end the pandemic “as quickly as possible.” https://statnews.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=f8609630ae206654824f897b6&id=3d94c1aecf&e=f4c6ea30a0 ~ ~ ~

Vaccine hesitant in the US unlikely to change their minds: study

Half of those in the U.S. who are unwilling to be vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 report that nothing will change their mind, according to a representative national survey reported in a study published in Scientific Reports.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-11-vaccine-hesitant-minds.html?

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Multiple factors contribute to COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy among older, ethnic minorities

Older adults from minority ethnic backgrounds are at increased risk of contracting and dying from COVID-19, yet vaccine hesitancy is high amongst individuals from minority ethnic backgrounds. A study publishing November 4th in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine by Cini Bhanu of University College London, United Kingdom, and colleagues identifies thirteen factors influencing vaccine uptake among older, ethnic minority individuals.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-11-multiple-factors-contribute-covid-vaccine.html?

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Study compares decline in effectiveness for Moderna, Pfizer, Janssen vaccines; and mortality consequences

As COVID-19 breakthrough infections continue to emerge in some vaccine recipients and health authorities are developing policies around booster vaccinations, national data on COVID-19 vaccine breakthrough infections is inadequate but urgently needed. Now a study from the Public Health Institute, the Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Texas Health Science Center, published today in the journal Science, has analyzed COVID infection by vaccination status among 780,225 Veterans.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-11-decline-effectiveness-moderna-pfizer-janssen.html?

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COVID-19: Governments must stop vaccine cost secrecy

Globally affordable COVID-19 vaccines will not be accessible until governments stop allowing vaccine companies to keep their manufacturing costs secret, according to a new paper published by the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-11-covid-vaccine-secrecy.html?

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Devices:

Epidemiology/Infection control:

Bad news, not entirely explained, except perhaps by waning immunity:

As of November 6, 2021, the official UK government website for COVID-19 vaccination data shows about 80% of its eligible population has received two doses, and 17% a third ‘booster’ dose.

Recent, real-world data demonstrated the vaccines deployed in the UK to be highly effective against COVID-19, severe disease, and death.

Despite successful vaccinations, COVID-19 related deaths in the UK are now increasing.

https://www.precisionvaccinations.com/2021/11/07/despite-high-vaccination-rates-covid-19-deaths-increase-uk

Daily numbers of deaths of people whose death certificate mentioned COVID-19 as one of the causes, and the 7-day rolling average increased 8.1%.

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Finland: 80% are fully vaccinated, COVID-19 infections on the rise

The Finland National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) reports 86 per cent of the target population for vaccinations, ie those aged 12 and over, have received at least the first dose of vaccine and 80 per cent two doses of vaccine on 10 November.

121,799 people have received the third dose of the vaccine.

Officials say it is still very important that everyone takes the vaccine if they have not already done so. Vaccination protects very well against serious coronavirus disease and also helps to protect loved ones.

However, achieving this milestone alone will not be enough to turn infections and the need for hospitalization downwards.

During the first week of November,  5,100 new COVID-19 cases were reported, compared to 3,700 to 4,200 cases per week in the previous three weeks.

http://outbreaknewstoday.com/finland-80-are-fully-vaccinated-covid-19-infections-on-the-rise-39487/

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Germany is similar, though not as high vax rate:

 “Combined with the lack of contact restrictions, this is allowing the virus to spread almost exclusively among the unvaccinated.”

In addition to the unvaccinated, German officials also point to the waning immunity of the vaccines, less contact restrictions, the contagiousness of the Delta variant and the seasonality of the virus.

http://outbreaknewstoday.com/germany-records-covid-19-daily-record-we-have-very-difficult-weeks-ahead-of-us-says-the-health-minister-26084/

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Women with long COVID-19 may need targeted rehabilitation to help counter problems with physical activity tolerance

Women with long COVID experience heart rate irregularities in response to physical exertion, and this has the potential to constrain not only exercise tolerance but free-living physical activity.

In perspective of the greater prevalence of age-related physical disability among women, compared to men, these findings highlight a need for targeted rehabilitation programmes to manage the consequences of persistent heart and lung problems in women with lingering COVID-19 related symptoms.

That’s according to new research published today in The Physiological Society’s journal Experimental Physiology.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-11-women-covid-counter-problems-physical.html

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Why Kids Should Get the COVID Vaccine

https://www.medpagetoday.com/special-reports/exclusives/95436? however

Study finds that in much of the US, virtual school did not lower COVID-19 case rates in surrounding communities

Since March 2020, parents, educators, and politicians have debated whether to send children to school in person during the COVID-19 pandemic. New research suggests that in most regions, with the exception of the South, opening schools for in-person learning was not associated with an increase in COVID-19 case rates in the community. The results of the nationwide study, published in Nature Medicine, included 895 school districts across the United States.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-11-virtual-school-covid-case.html?

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Online tool effective in triaging nearly all COVID-19 patients

An automated, online triage tool developed by Penn Medicine categorized nearly every one of the patients who used it into a safe severity level, a new study shows. Published today in Applied Clinical Informatics, the study analyzing the COVID-19 Triage Tool found that just six patients of the 782 analyzed had symptoms that were more severe than what the system assessed. But even in those cases, clinicians working alongside the system were able to upgrade the patients’ assessment to the proper level of severity and attention.

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-11-online-tool-effective-triaging-covid-.html?

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The Mu variant of SARS-CoV-2

was found to be 10.6 times more resistant to vaccine serum neutralization than its parental B.1 virus, and 1.5 times more resistant than Beta — previously considered the most resistant variant. (New England Journal of Medicine)

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2114706?

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Tips, general reading for public:

StayAtHome

Wash your hands.

Rinse and repeat.

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Politics:

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Tennessee Bills Would Shield Docs Who Spread COVID Misinformation

– Would dampen state board efforts to discipline such physicians

State representatives Chris Todd (R) and Debra Moody (R) introduced the bills on October 28. Rep. Todd’s bill, the Tennessee COVID-19 Treatment Freedom Act, would prevent the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners from disciplining doctors for anything “solely related to the physician’s prescription, recommendation, use, or opinion relative to a treatment for COVID-19,” including treatments that aren’t approved by the state’s health department or the FDA. https://www.medpagetoday.com/special-reports/exclusives/95355? ~ ~ ~

In Georgia, Doctors Still Free to Peddle COVID-19 Falsehoods

As more members of the medical community call for their own profession to be held accountable for spreading dangerous falsehoods about COVID-19, doctors in Georgia remain free to do so, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

In the state, the Georgia Composite Medical Board “hasn’t issued any public statements or guidance to physicians to counter misinformation or disinformation, much less handed out any discipline,” the AJC reported.

https://www.ajc.com/news/coronavirus/georgias-medical-board-mum-as-doctors-spread-covid-19-misinformation/CRWP7IZFBBEBPFSAVIW7AGD7CM/

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Feel good du jour:

Safe in Sweden:

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Comic relief:

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https://twitter.com/_Tom_Malone_/status/1458266055252525057?s=20

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Perspective/Poem

Bits of beauty:

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