George Foreman Jr. teams up with lab to offer free COVID-19 testing in Marshall

Texans 50 and older will be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine starting March 15

CDC Interim Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People

(J. Harris: A readable article that also briefly discusses immunity variations with mutants.)


1. Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine May Be Made in Italy as Europe Seeks to Expand Options (Washington Post) The backers of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine signed a deal Tuesday that could pave the way for production in Italy, a potential major step in Moscow’s efforts to expand its vaccine reach in the West.

(J. Harris: Some sources that I trust has stated that the Russian vaccine appears to work in preventing Covid. I haven’t seen much about the few trials or treatment data, however.)

2. Pregnancy and COVID: What the Data Say (Nature) Now, more than a year into the pandemic, research from groups around the world has shown that pregnant women with COVID-19 are at higher risk of hospitalization and severe disease than are women of the same age who are not pregnant. The rates of severe illness and death are also higher in pregnant women from certain minority racial and ethnic groups than in those in non-minority groups, mirroring the situation in the wider population.

3. Convalescent Plasma Strikes Out As COVID-19 Treatment (NPR) More than half a million Americans have received an experimental treatment for COVID-19 called convalescent plasma. But a year into the pandemic, it’s not clear who, if anyone, benefits from it. That uncertainty highlights the challenges scientists have faced in their attempts to evaluate COVID-19 drugs. (J. Harris: We have seen other studies with the same result. Some wonder if there might be some use for this old, old form of therapy if given very early to outpatient Covid patients.)

FROM HOUSTON DEPT HEALTH: The test results suggest there is “ongoing and uncontrolled community spread” of the more contagious variant, the Houston Health Department said March 8. 

Researchers collected water samples from the city’s 39 wastewater treatment plants Feb. 22. Testing detected the B.1.1.7 variant at 31 treatment plants, up from 21 sites as of Feb. 8.   

In total, 19 percent of wastewater samples collected Feb. 22 detected the U.K. variant. 

“The prevalence of the U.K. variant in our wastewater shows it’s actively spreading in our city,” David Persse, MD, Houston’s CMO, said in a news release. “This is another clear indication that we must continue to mask up, practice social distancing, wash our hands, get tested and get vaccinated when possible.”

The city began testing its wastewater in May 2020 to quickly identify and contain emerging COVID-19 outbreaks.

Lease We Forg0t:

   Basic unit of laryngitis: 1 hoarsepower

   Time between slipping on a peel and smacking the pavement: 1 bananosecond

    Weight an evangelist carries with God: 1 billigram


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Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine effective against more contagious Brazil variant, study says

(J. Harris: From the Medical Branch at Galveston)


The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ Interim Recommendation for Use of Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine — United States, February 2021 On February 28, 2021, after a transparent evidence-based review of all available data, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) issued an interim recommendation for use of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in persons aged ≥18 years for the prevention of COVID-19. The Janssen COVID-19 vaccine has high efficacy against COVID-19–associated hospitalization and death. Persons may receive any ACIP-recommended COVID-19 vaccine and are encouraged to receive the earliest vaccine available to them. 


1. Association of State-Issued Mask Mandates and Allowing On-Premises Restaurant Dining with County-Level COVID-19 Case and Death Growth Rates — United States, March 1–December 31, 2020 Mandating masks was associated with a decrease in daily COVID-19 case and death growth rates within 20 days of implementation. Allowing on-premises restaurant dining was associated with an increase in daily COVID-19 case growth rates 41–100 days after implementation and an increase in daily death growth rates 61–100 days after implementation. Mask mandates and restricting any on-premises dining at restaurants can help limit community transmission of COVID-19 and reduce case and death growth rates. These findings can inform public policies to reduce community spread of COVID-19. (CDC MMWR, 2/5/2021)

2. NEW AT HOME TEST: FDA Issues Authorization for First Molecular Non-Prescription, At-Home Test The US Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for the Cue COVID-19 Test for Home and Over The Counter (OTC) Use. The product is a molecular nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) that is intended to detect genetic material from SARS-CoV-2 virus present in the nostrils. The test is the first molecular test authorized for at-home use without a prescription. (FDA, 3/5/2021)

3. Prevalence of Inflammatory Heart Disease Among Professional Athletes With Prior COVID-19 Infection Who Received Systematic Return-to-Play Cardiac Screening (JAMA Cardiology) In this cross-sectional study of RTP cardiac testing performed on 789 professional athletes with COVID-19 infection, imaging evidence of inflammatory heart disease that resulted in restriction from play was identified in 5 athletes (0.6%). No adverse cardiac events occurred in the athletes who underwent cardiac screening and resumed professional sport participation.


When fish are in schools, they sometimes take debate. 

A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months. •


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