CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 04/08/2021

APRIL 8 HARRIS MAILOUT — PRESS RELEASE FDA Continues to Advance Over-the Counter and Other Screening Test Development Following recent US Food and Drug Administration actions to support test development, the FDA took swift action this week to get more tests for screening asymptomatic individuals on the market. The agency authorized several tests for over-the-counter (OTC) use without a prescription when used for serial screening. In addition to the tests authorized for OTC use, one serial screening test was authorized for use in a point-of-care (POC) setting without a prescription, and an additional screening test was authorized for POC use with a prescription. The addition of the OTC and POC tests for screening will give schools, workplaces, communities and others several options for serial screening tests that are accurate and reliable. These authorizations follow the FDA’s recent actions to advance OTC and other screening test development.

   
   

(J. Harris: Could we miss an Easter/Spring Break increase in Covid in our area? 

Probably not, but one can hope. But why should we be so lucky? We aren’t vaccinated yet — nor do most locals wear masks or keep their distance. The book says we will have more cases; the book is usually correct.)

WALK UP MARION COUNT JOHNSON & JOHNSON VACCINE AVAILABLE:

From the Longview paper and others: Marion County will offer a walk-up COVID-19 vaccine clinic over a three-week period beginning April 12 in Jefferson…The clinic is made possible through a partnership with the county, Texas Department of Emergency Management and the Texas State Guard, said Marion County Judge Leward LaFleur…A total of 100 Johnson & Johnson vaccines per day will be administered Monday through Friday during the three weeks at Heritage Baptist Church, at 1608 U.S. 59 South in Jefferson…

“There is no pre-registration, and we will take anyone eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine… shots will be given on a first-come first-served basis.

Find COVID-19 Vaccines Near You

(J. Harris: The CDC VACCINE FINDER)

UK variant now most common strain in US, CDC head says

The B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant, first identified in the U.K., is now the most common strain circulating the U.S., Rachelle Walensky, MD, director of the CDC, said during an April 7 White House news briefing.

Last week, CDC estimates found the variant accounted for at least 26 percent of all U.S. infections. 

The CDC currently lists the B.1.1.7 variant as a “variant of concern,” and believes it is about 50 percent more transmissible than other previously dominant coronavirus strains. The variant is also likely to have an increased disease severity based on hospitalizations and case fatality rates.

The U.S. has reported 16,275 cases of this variant as of April 6, with Florida (3,192) and Michigan (1,649) recording the highest number of B.1.1.7 cases. 

After months of progress, COVID-19 cases are rising in most states, with many experts pointing to the rapid spread of variants. Ultimately, COVID-19 vaccines are effective, but the variants underscore a renewed need for caution right now. 

Britain will offer alternatives to the AstraZeneca vaccine to adults under 30, and E.U. officials said it had a “possible link” to rare blood clots.

Scientists Race To Develop Next Generation Of COVID Vaccines

(J. Harris: More from U of TX)

Biodefense Commission Warns US Still Vulnerable to Further Biological Threats Even as the United States reels from a year under the thumb of COVID-19, a new analysis from the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense, released this week, warns that without action, the nation remains dangerously vulnerable to another pandemic or biological threat. The report, Biodefense in Crisis: Immediate Action Needed to Address National Vulnerabilities, analyzed progress made since 2015 while blasting the nation for being caught unprepared against a pandemic that was, in the words of Commission co-chair, former Sen. Joe Lieberman, predictable. It warned that the US must learn from its mistakes and take action to fix them. (Homeland Preparedness News, 4/1/2021)

PRESS RELEASE

FDA Continues to Advance Over-the Counter and Other Screening Test Development Following recent US Food and Drug Administration actions to support test development, the FDA took swift action this week to get more tests for screening asymptomatic individuals on the market. The agency authorized several tests for over-the-counter (OTC) use without a prescription when used for serial screening. In addition to the tests authorized for OTC use, one serial screening test was authorized for use in a point-of-care (POC) setting without a prescription, and an additional screening test was authorized for POC use with a prescription. The addition of the OTC and POC tests for screening will give schools, workplaces, communities and others several options for serial screening tests that are accurate and reliable. These authorizations follow the FDA’s recent actions to advance OTC and other screening test development.

FYI: WE’RE CATCHING UP:

Congress allocated $19 billion in federal stimulus money to Texas public education, but schools have yet to see an extra dime

AND LAST BUT NOT LEASED: IT’S CIRCUS DAY?

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