On Thursday, we were down to 22 ICU Beds in our area. It’s up a bit on Saturday. 

Measles Deaths Soared Worldwide Last Year, as Vaccine Rates Stalled

Biden forms special 52-person COVID transition team

From Johns Hopkins

1. Fluvoxamine vs Placebo and Clinical Deterioration in Outpatients With Symptomatic COVID-19 (JAMA) In this randomized trial that included 152 adult outpatients with confirmed COVID-19 and symptom onset within 7 days, clinical deterioration occurred in 0 patients treated with fluvoxamine vs 6 (8.3%) patients treated with placebo over 15 days, a difference that was statistically significant. In this preliminary study, adult outpatients with symptomatic COVID-19 treated with fluvoxamine, compared with placebo, had a lower likelihood of clinical deterioration over 15 days; however, determination of clinical efficacy would require larger randomized trials with more definitive outcome measures..(J. Harris: This is a commonly used antidepressant medication.)

2. New Airflow Videos Show Why Masks With Exhalation Valves Do Not Slow the Spread of COVID-19 (NIST) Masks with exhalation valves do not slow the spread of the disease, and now, new videos from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) show why. The videos, which show airflow patterns through masks with and without exhalation valves, were created by NIST research engineer Matthew Staymates. The videos were published, along with an accompanying research article, in the journal Physics of Fluids.

3, An Outbreak of Covid-19 on an Aircraft Carrier (NEJM) An outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) occurred on the U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with a crew of 4779 personnel. Over the course of the outbreak, 1271 crew members (26.6% of the crew) tested positive for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection by rRT-PCR testing, and more than 1000 infections were identified within 5 weeks after the first laboratory-confirmed infection. An additional 60 crew members had suspected Covid-19. Among the crew members with laboratory-confirmed infection, 76.9% had no symptoms at the time that they tested positive and 55.0% had symptoms develop at any time during the clinical course. Among the 1331 crew members with suspected or confirmed Covid-19, 23 (1.7%) were hospitalized, 4 (0.3%) received intensive care, and 1 died. Transmission was facilitated by close-quarters conditions and by asymptomatic and presymptomatic infected crew members.(J. Harris: Below the chart shows the various symptoms these young, healthy sailors had. Note that fever was uncommon.)


The Sputnik V vaccine efficacy amounted to 92% (calculation based on the 20 confirmed COVID-19 cases split between vaccinated individuals and those who received the placebo). Currently 40,000 volunteers are taking part in double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled Phase III of Sputnik V clinical trials, out of which over 20,000 have been vaccinated with the first dose of the vaccine and more than 16,000 with both the first and second doses of the vaccine.

Efficacy was demonstrated on the basis of a first interim analysis obtained 21 days after the first injection.

There were no unexpected adverse events during the trials. Monitoring of the participants is ongoing.

The world’s first registration of COVID-19 vaccine, done in Russia on the 11th of August under the emergency use authorization mechanism, enables the Russian Federation to administer the vaccine outside of the clinical trials to volunteers such as medics and other high-risk groups. Trials conducted under the civil use of the vaccine in Russia (not being a part of clinical trials) based on the monitoring of additional 10,000 vaccinated confirmed vaccine efficacy at a rate of over 90%.

The interim research data will be published by the Gamaleya Center team in one of the leading international peer-reviewed medical journals. Following the completion of Phase III clinical trials of the Sputnik V vaccine, Gamaleya Center will provide access to the full clinical trial report.

Currently Sputnik V Phase III clinical trials are approved and are undergoing in Belarus, UAE, Venezuela and other countries, as well as Phase II-III – in India.

The Sputnik V vaccine is based on a well-studied human adenoviral vector platform that had proven safe and effective with no long-term side effects in more than 250 clinical trials globally conducted during the past two decades (while the history of use of human adenoviruses in vaccine development started in 1953). More than 100,000 people have received approved and registered drugs based on the human adenoviral vectors.

The uniqueness of the Russian vaccine is in using two different human adenoviral vectors that enable  to provide strong and long-term immune response after the second injection.

(J. Harris: Many or most American vaccine experts have serious reservations about this vaccine trial. We’ll see.)


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