CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 06/24/2021

No surge of Area G Covid Cases Noted in Hospitals

FROM THE NYT TRACKER 24 JUNE: PERHAPS REFLECTS BOOKKEEPING CLEAN UP?

Nearly 900 Secret Service employees were infected with the virus, a watchdog group finds.

Effect of Vaccination on Household Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in England

(J. Harris: Your vaccination dramatically reduces the chance that you will bring home Covid to your family. Piece of mind for you and your family is a great reason to get vaccinated. )

Convincing the hesitant

(J. Harris: I plan to keep a copy of this short article on my desk. The remaining unvaccinated are going to be a hard sell, and if they don’t get vaccinated, we may have a Delta Dawn in our hospitals before fall [with apologies to Tonya Tucker].)

HOPKINS CITATIONS:

1. Future of Covid-19 Vaccine Pricing: Lessons from Influenza (BMJ) The increasing availability of covid-19 vaccines has signalled to many the beginning of the end of a devastating pandemic. Yet evidence is emerging that the novel coronavirus will continue to evolve and that immunity from vaccines is likely to be time limited, requiring use of booster doses or modified vaccines. Bilateral bulk purchasing agreements between individual countries and manufacturers have allowed vaccines to be procured at lower prices and dispensed to patients without charges. After the pandemic, however, the future pricing landscape of covid-19 vaccines remains unclear.

2. Opinion: Vaccine Hesitancy In The U.S. Is A Peculiar Privilege (NPR) “I want to wait and watch.” This is a peculiar response I receive from my friends and some family members in the United States when I ask them about their thoughts on COVID vaccination. This is a peculiar response for a couple of reasons: COVID vaccines are exceptionally effective, they are now readily available and they are the best way to end the pandemic and return to normalcy. This skeptical response is reflective of broader trends in the U.S.: an NPR/Marist poll this spring revealed that up to one-fourth of the national population would decline to get vaccinated even when offered.

3. US Hits Encouraging Milestones On Virus Deaths and Shots (Associated Press)

COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have dipped below 300 a day for the first time since the early days of the disaster in March 2020, while the drive to put shots in arms hit another encouraging milestone Monday: 150 million Americans fully vaccinated. The coronavirus was the third leading cause of death in the U.S. in 2020, behind heart disease and cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But now, as the outbreak loosens its grip, it has fallen down the list of the biggest killers. CDC data suggests that more Americans are dying every day from accidents, chronic lower respiratory diseases, strokes or Alzheimer’s disease than from COVID-19.

FUNNY?:

A blonde goes into work one morning crying her eyes out.

Her boss asked sympathetically, ‘What’s the matter?’

The blonde replies, ‘Early this morning I got a phone call saying that my mother had passed away.’

The boss, feeling sorry for her, says, ‘Why don’t you go home for the day? Take the day off to relax and rest.’

‘Thanks, but I’d be better off here. I need to keep my mind off it, and I have the best chance of doing that here.’

The boss agrees and allows the blonde to work as usual.

A couple of hours pass and the boss decides to check on the blonde.

He looks out from his office and sees the blonde crying hysterically…

‘What’s so bad now? Are you gonna be okay?’ he asks.

‘No!’ exclaims the blonde.’

‘I just received a horrible call from my sister. Her mother died, too!’

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CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 06/23/2021

A review of the state Covid data shows that no additional “active” cases have been added since the 56 that were added on 19 June, apparently due to  a bookkeeping procedure. 

Hospital data in area G looks good. If we don’t get a Delta event with Juneteenth and July 4th we should be doing well. J. Harris

TEXAS COVID DATA

*****

FROM HOPKINS: DELTA DATA:

DELTA VARIANT OF CONCERN Experts predict the highly transmissible Delta variant of concern, also known as B.1.617.2, will become the dominant strain in the US in the near future. As select states roll back pandemic guidelines and restrictions on social gatherings, the number of Delta variant cases has roughly doubled every two weeks in the US, raising concerns among experts over the potential for breakthrough infections and localized outbreaks. US CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky warned that transmission of the variant coupled with stagnating vaccination rates in some states could allow the variant to mutate enough to evade protection offered by the vaccines. Dr. Walensky and other experts continue to urge the public to get fully vaccinated, while others note an alarming trend in some states: people skipping their second dose. According to one study (preprint), 2-dose effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 87.9% with the Delta variant, but only 33.5% after 1 dose. 

According to data from the CDC and the US Department of Health and Human Services, 5 states—Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Utah—have experienced increases of 37% or more in their 7-day daily case averages over the last two weeks. Notably, the vaccination rates in those 5 states are lower than the national average. Currently, 45.7% of the US population has been fully vaccinated. States with higher vaccination rates, including Vermont, Hawaii, and Massachusetts, have achieved levels of population immunity that could be more successful at keeping the Delta variant at bay.

Internationally, COVID-19 cases attributable to the Delta variant are rising sharply in parts of Indonesia, including the capital Jakarta, which has seen an increase in the number of severe cases among younger adults. In Europe, experts are closely watching spikes in SARS-CoV-2 cases driven by the Delta variant. Officials in the UK and Portugal have reimplemented or held off on lifting lockdown measures due to an increasing number of cases, and experts in France, Germany, and Spain are monitoring clusters of Delta cases. The greater transmissibility and disease severity of the Delta variant could cause outbreaks to grow more serious more quickly than surges caused by previous variants.

From Other Hopkins Citations:

1, Rapid Displacement of SARS-CoV-2 Variant B.1.1.7 [ALPHA] by B.1.617.2[DELTA]( and P.1 [GAMMA] in the United States (MedRxiv) The SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern B.1.617.2 displaced B.1.1.7 as the dominant variant in England and other countries. This study aimed to determine whether B.1.617.2 was also displacing B.1.1.7 in the United States. We analyzed PCR testing results and viral sequencing results of samples collected across the United States, and showed that B.1.1.7 was rapidly being displaced and is no longer responsible for the majority of new cases. The percentage of SARS-CoV-2 positive cases that are B.1.1.7 dropped from 70% in April 2021 to 42% in just 6 weeks. Our analysis showed rapid growth of variants B.1.617.2 and P.1 as the primary drivers for this displacement. Currently, the growth rate of B.1.617.2 was higher than P.1 in the US (0.61 vs. 0.22), which is consistent with reports from other countries. Lastly, we showed that B.1.617.2 was growing faster in counties with a lower vaccination rate. 

2. Covid-19 Delta Variant Threatens to Set Back Europe’s Recovery (WSJ) The Delta variant of the coronavirus is spreading rapidly across continental Europe, raising the risk of a rebound in infections and a delay to the region’s economic comeback. The variant, first discovered in India late last year, has prompted Portugal to seal off its capital city of Lisbon on weekends. In Germany, where Delta is still rare, scientists expect it to make up the majority of Covid-19 infections in the coming months. In France and Italy, the prevalence of the variant is still below 5%, according to official figures, but has at least doubled in recent weeks.

COVID-19 may cause loss of brain tissue; Delta variant fuels steep infection rise in England

Our Pathetic Herd Immunity Failure 

(J. Harris: An opinion piece that makes a lot of sense to me. I’ve had it a while)

A LITTER VIEW:

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