CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 06/28/2021

NYT AND WORLD PRESS, 28 JUNEX;

J. Harris: I can’t find the above cases. 

FROM THE MARSHALL-HARRISON COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT

Do you have a business, civic or church group that would like to get the COVID 19 vaccine? Give our office a call at 903-938-8338 or email vaccine@mhchd.org to get more information. We can come to you! Help us spread the word that we are scheduling COVID 19 vaccine clinics…….(THANK YOU JENNIFER HANCOCK, RN, FOR THIS AND ALL YOUR OTHER PRODIGIOUS WORK DURING THIS PANDEMIC.

“… in people who had survived Covid-19, immune cells that recognize the virus remained in the bone marrow for at least eight months after infection. A study by another team indicated that so-called memory B cells continue to mature and strengthen for at least a year after infection…Based on those findings, researchers suggested that immunity might last years, possibly a lifetime, in people who were infected and later vaccinated. But it was unclear whether vaccination alone might have a similarly long-lasting effect…”

In India, concern mounts over a variant called Delta Plus“…The new variant carries a spike protein mutation that is also found in the Beta variant, first identified in South Africa, though it’s unclear how that shared mutation might affect the variant’s function…Officials at the Indian Health Ministry emphasized that both Covid vaccines in wide use in the country — the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and the Covaxin shot made by the Indian company Bharat Biotech — are likely to be effective against variants, including Delta Plus…Reports suggest that cases of Delta Plus have been found in nearly a dozen countries, including the United States.”

From CDC via Hopkins:

1. The CDC updated its SARS-CoV-2 genomic surveillance data, adding official data for May 23-June 5 and projections for June 6-19. Including the new projection period, the Delta variant (B.1.617.2) prevalence has increased from less than 1% to 20.6% over a period of 8 weeks, more than doubling in every 2-week period. Based on the current projection, the Delta variant is now the #2 variant nationwide. Gamma variant (P.1) prevalence also continues to increase steadily, now up to 16.4% of new cases. While still technically dominant based on the estimated prevalence, Alpha variant (B.1.1.7) prevalence has noticeably decreased over the past 2 reporting periods, down from a high of 70% to 52.2% in the June 6-19 projection. Combined, the Alpha, Gamma, and Delta variants account for more than 90% of all new cases in the US. These genomic data provide further evidence that the Delta variant is poised to become the dominant variant in the US over the coming weeks. In fact, the projection indicates that Delta is already the dominant variant in HHS Regions 7 (Central; 47.5%) and 8 (Mountain; 46.4%).

MORE HOPKIN CITATIONS:

1. Missouri Sees Rise in Severe COVID-19 Cases Among the Young, Unvaccinated as Delta Variant Spreads (ABC News) Health care workers in southwest Missouri are sounding the alarm over a wave of young, unvaccinated COVID-19 patients who are now filling hospital beds.Leanne Handle, an assistant nurse manager of a medical surgical COVID-19 unit at CoxHealth in Springfield, Missouri, said she and her staff have seen the patient population over the past year go from elderly people who are immunocompromised or have multiple other conditions to, more recently, younger individuals who “don’t think COVID is real” and haven’t been vaccinated against the disease.

1. U.S. to Split 55 Million Covid Vaccine Doses Between Latin America, Asia and Africa (CNBC) The Biden administration announced it will send 55 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to countries in Latin America, Asia and Africa as the coronavirus continues to rapidly spread in low- and middle-income nations. The 55 million vaccine doses are the remaining portion of 80 million shots President Joe Biden has committed to donating abroad.

2. World Bank Grants for Global Vaccination — Why So Slow? (Nature) Some day, my grandchildren will read how teams of scientists around the world developed vaccines against COVID-19 within a year. They will also read a sadder history: how millions of people in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) died after those vaccines came to market. Part of the reason, they’ll learn, was the lack of financing to buy vaccines. 

3. PHILIPPINES VACCINATION According to multiple news media reports, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte recently indicated that he could begin arresting individuals who refuse SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. President Duterte is known for “brash rhetoric,” but he has demonstrated the willingness to take extreme measures to combat other threats, such as his “war” on drugs. The extent to which President Duterte can or will implement efforts to mandate vaccinations remains unclear. In comments earlier this week, he indicated that he would direct local government officials to compile lists of individuals who refuse vaccination. Mandatory vaccination policies pose a number of practical and ethical challenges, and many experts argue that they may not necessarily be the best option for increasing vaccination coverage, particularly from the perspective of establishing trust in the government and response. The Philippines has administered at least 1 dose of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine to approximately 5.7% of its population, and nearly 2% are fully vaccinated

4. [THE GERMAN VACCINE THAT WORKS POORLY} CUREVAC VACCINE CLINICAL TRIAL On June 16, CureVac announced preliminary efficacy results from a Phase 2b/3 clinical trial of its candidate SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. CureVac is based in Germany, but the studies included approximately 40,000 participants from across 10 countries in Europe and Latin America. The vaccine demonstrated an overall efficacy of 47% against any COVID-19 disease severity, falling short of the 50% threshold established early in the pandemic.

While the CureVac candidate vaccine uses an mRNA platform similar to those used in the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, the estimated efficacy is much lower, approximately half of what was observed in those vaccines’ Phase 3 clinical trials. The exact cause for the lower efficacy is unclear; however, there are some potential factors that could contribute to the disparity. First, the CureVac clinical trials were conducted at a time when variants of concern (VOCs) are more prevalent around the world, and lower efficacy against these variants would impact the overall estimate. Additionally, the CureVac product uses a much smaller dose than other mRNA vaccines—12μg compared to 30μg or 100μg in the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, respectively—which could potentially limit the magnitude of the immune response. One researcher who led one of the trials in Germany indicated that the lower efficacy is “very likely due to the dose.” The mRNA used in CureVac’s vaccine was slightly different from those in other vaccines, and it did not allow for higher doses due to increased risk of adverse events.

*125 of 134 total cases have genomic sequence data available for the interim analysis.

The CureVac press release indicates that final analysis is still underway, and the company will assess potential regulatory options once that is complete. While the vaccine’s performance may be viewed as disappointing compared to similar products already authorized for use, this example illustrates the extreme difficulties in developing novel vaccines, particularly on an accelerated timeline, and it should serve as a reminder of how fortunate we are that multiple of the early vaccine candidates successfully demonstrated such high efficacy.

WHAT’S SO FUNNY?

MY NEXT TO THE LAST BLOND JOKE: Did you hear about the two blondes who froze to death in a drive-in movie?They had gone to see ‘Closed for the Winter.’

FROM NY CITY: 453.6 graham crackers = 1 pound cake

• A boiled egg is hard to beat. 

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