The world’s known Covid death toll passes four million.

Delta, as expected, is now the dominant virus variant in the U.S., the C.D.C. estimates.

The mRNA Vaccines Are Extraordinary, but Novavax Is Even Better

“…In this context, the success of the Novavax vaccine should be A1 news. The recent results confirm that it has roughly the same efficacy as the two authorized mRNA vaccines, with the added benefit of being based on an older, more familiar science. The protein-subunit approach used by Novavax was first implemented for the hepatitis B vaccine, which has been used in the U.S. since 1986. The pertussis vaccine, which is required for almost all children in U.S. public schools, is also made this way. Some of those people who have been wary of getting the mRNA vaccines may find Novavax more appealing…But here’s what we know today, based on information that we have right now:  Among several wonderful options, the more old-school vaccine from Novavax combines ease of manufacture with high efficacy and lower side effects. For the moment, it’s the best COVID-19 vaccine we have.”

Vaccine hesitancy in the COVID-19 era

(J. Harris: Excellent review of what has to be a good book — the entire short review should be read. )

“…With the steady increase in COVID-19 vaccine supplies, hesitancy and refusal to be vaccinated is becoming a problem for high vaccine coverage in many parts of the world. In her book Vaccine Hesitancy: Public Trust, Expertise, and the War on Science, philosopher Maya Goldenberg provides insights into vaccine hesitancy, its genesis, rationale, and potential solutions using a multi-disciplinary approach to ground the arguments….Blaming, shaming, and punishing for their beliefs, or lack of trust on science alienates and deepens the divide. Trust is necessary between experts and the publics and can only be built through an open and honest relationship built on mutual respect. She concludes by highlighting the areas that need attention to strengthen the trust in vaccines including health care provider–patient encounters, public health messaging, vaccine mandates, diversity, inclusion, and representation in health sectors, and industry influence on health care.”


mRNA VACCINE EFFECTIVENESS Researchers from the US CDC COVID-19 Response Team, in collaboration with several US academic institutions, published final analysis from a prospective cohort study evaluating the real-world effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. The study, published in NEJM, included nearly 4,000 participants from the HEROES-RECOVER network—which includes a variety of healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential frontline personnel—across 6 states, who provided weekly nasal swabs, regardless of the presence of COVID-19 symptoms, as well as additional swabs if they became symptomatic. Among the participants, 80% were vaccinated (1+ dose of mRNA vaccine)—with 84% of those participants receiving both doses—and 20% were unvaccinated.

SARS-CoV-2 infection was confirmed by RT-PCR diagnostic tests in 204 participants (5%). Among these infections, 5 were in fully vaccinated participants, 11 were in partially vaccinated participants, and 156 were in unvaccinated participants*. The researchers estimated the vaccines’ combined adjusted vaccine effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2 infection to be 91% for full vaccination and 81% for partial vaccination. Notably, among infected participants, the mean viral RNA load was 40% lower in participants with at least partial vaccination compared to unvaccinated participants. Additionally, the risk of febrile symptoms was 58% lower among participants with at least 1 dose of the vaccine, and the duration of illness was 6.4 days shorter.

(J. Harris: This is a good pieced to show your cantankerous Brother in law who won’t get a vaccination.)


“COVAX is the vaccines pillar of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator

The ACT Accelerator is a ground-breaking global collaboration to accelerate the development, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.

COVAX is co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi and the World Health Organization (WHO), alongside key delivery partner UNICEF. Its aim is to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.

(J. Harris: So “COVAX” is not a vaccine. It’s an attempt to vaccinate the world. I wish them luck, but I’m limiting my active concern to local matters — where I may or may not be able to prevent some Covid cases. What the heck, there have only been 4 million deaths due to Covid, which means there are more than likely twice that many uncounted Covid deaths. As my childhood idol, Alfred E. Newman says: “What, me worry!”)



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