“…lthough the number of coronavirus infections has risen sharply in recent weeks, hospitalization rates remain low. ..The Delta variant, which is now responsible for most coronavirus infections in England, is not driving a surge in the rate of hospitalizations there…The data suggest that countries with high vaccination rates are unlikely to see major surges in hospitalization rates from Delta. Nearly 75 percent of adults in England — including 95 percent of those who are 80 or older…
ON THE OTHER HAND FROM HOPKINS CITATIONS:
“AZD1222-induced Neutralising Antibody Activity Against SARS-CoV-2 Delta VOC (The Lancet) The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 Delta variant of concern (VOC) continues to drive a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK, with a current doubling time of 3·5–16 days,1 consistent with previous pandemic waves during 2020–21, and a sustained increase in the reproduction number (R) to 1·2–1·4.2 Daily hospital admissions and the number of patients requiring mechanical ventilation are now increasing in both England and Scotland, despite the ongoing roll-out of widespread vaccination in the UK.
(J. Harris:So, don’t get complacent about Delta, yet! Darn it.)
(Unpublished data from company reported in the NYT)
(“…The vaccine showed a small drop in potency against the variant, compared with its effectiveness against the original virus, the company said….Antibodies stimulated by the Johnson & Johnson vaccine grow in strength over time, researchers also reported….In the United States, the variant now accounts for one in four new cases….Some people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine said that they felt cheated by experts who had said the vaccines were equally good…
(J. Harris: So what should you do if you took the JNJ vaccine? Now take a Pfizer or Moderns “chaser.” Then take the second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine 3-4 weeks later???? I don’t know. Ask your doctor. I have a young female family member who only took the JNJ. She travels frequently. She also has school age children. If we were talking about a much older patient of either sex, I’d advise an additional vaccine. I don’t know about a healthy young woman. Obviously, she needs to remain vigilant with preventative measures.)
FROM HOPKINS TWO TESTING CITATIONS:
1. Testing Update: NIH-funded Screening Study Builds Case for Frequent COVID-19 Antigen Testing (NIH) In a highly anticipated study that compares rapid antigen and laboratory PCR approaches for COVID-19 serial screening, researchers affiliated with the National Institutes of Health’s Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative reported results from 43 people infected with the virus. They found that both testing methods were equally effective in detecting SARS-CoV-2 infection when tests were given on a regular cadence every three days. While individual PCR tests are more sensitive than antigen tests, particularly early in infection, the results showed that both testing approaches can give 98% sensitivity when taken regularly as part of a screening program. Because antigen tests at the point of care or at home can deliver immediate results and are less costly than laboratory tests, these results suggest that they could be a highly effective screening tool to prevent disease outbreaks.
2. Is it a Virus or Bacteria? New Tech Rapidly Tests for COVID-19 and More Tools that can quickly detect the presence or absence of previously unknown pathogens are critical in an effective defense against future pandemics. As a first step towards using such tools, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) is investing in a new technology that can discriminate between bacterial and viral infections using only a single drop of blood per patient. To make this a reality, S&T is working with the Cross-Border Threat Screening and Supply Chain Defense (CBTS) Center of Excellence and two leading biotechnology companies to develop a virus-versus-bacteria detection/diagnostic platform called the Host Response Test System (HRTS). It comprises a ruggedized portable device that can differentiate between bacterial and viral infections within an hour, even in pre-symptomatic patients. S&T’s main interests in funding the HRTS effort are to help accelerate the development of pathogen-agnostic detection technology and to support interagency partners that have medical authority. (DHS, 6/24/2021)
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