CORONAVIRUS INFO PROVIDED BY DR. JIM HARRIS – 08/18/2021
NUMBERS OF NEW CASES CLIMBING BUT AREA G HOSPITALS NOT FULL, YET.
J. Harris: I don’t know the author, but his readable speculative article quotes several good medical folks. I plan to keep my copy of this article around to review again from time to time.
PFIZER-BIONTECH THIRD DOSE Pfizer-BioNTech submitted early-stage clinical trial data to the US FDA on August 16 to seek emergency use authorization for a third SARS-CoV-2 vaccine dose for all people aged 16 years and older. The companies claim the trial data show a third dose administered 6 to 12 months after the second dose generates higher levels of neutralizing antibodies against the Alpha, Beta, and Delta variants of SARS-CoV-2. The companies state that late-stage trial data will be submitted to the FDA and additional worldwide regulatory authorities once available.
The US government is not yet officially recommending third doses of mRNA-based vaccines for the general public despite the recent guidance for booster vaccinations for people with moderate-to-severely compromised immune systems. However, officials are reportedly developing plans to start offering third doses of vaccines to more of the general public as early as the fall. Initial doses given under the plan likely would be reserved for healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents who are at increased risk of severe disease. The FDA must first review the data submitted by Pfizer-BioNTech before an emergency use authorization can be approved and before the US CDC can make an official recommendation.
AND FROM THE NYT: U.S. to Advise Boosters for Most Americans 8 Months After Vaccination (New York Times) The Biden administration has decided that most Americans should get a coronavirus booster vaccination eight months after they received their second shot, and could begin offering third shots as early as mid-September, according to administration officials familiar with the discussions.
OTHER RECENT HOPKINS CITED ARTICLES:
1. Scientists Unlock Clues to Determining how Safe Vaccinated People are from Covid-19 (STAT News) A year and a half into the pandemic, researchers are starting to flesh out exactly what “correlates of protection” look like, a step that could help track the durability of immunity and speed the development of additional vaccines. In a preprint paper last week, a group of researchers from both academia and U.S. health agencies reported their findings of the immune correlates for Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine. The study demonstrated the link between the level of antibodies in a person’s system and how protected they are against Covid-19, validating the hypothesis that antibodies could be used as a measure that signifies overall protection. The team is working on similar studies for the other vaccines that received support from Operation Warp Speed, including Johnson & Johnson’s and AstraZeneca’s, while other research groups are investigating other vaccines used around the world. Additional recent studies have also pointed to using antibody levels as correlates of protection.
2. Effectiveness of COVID-19 Vaccines in Preventing Hospitalization Among Adults Aged ≥65 Years — COVID-NET, 13 States, February–April 2021 Among adults aged 65–74 years, effectiveness of full vaccination for preventing hospitalization was 96% for Pfizer-BioNTech, 96% for Moderna, and 84% for Janssen COVID-19 vaccines; among adults aged ≥75 years, effectiveness of full vaccination for preventing hospitalization was 91% for Pfizer-BioNTech, 96% for Moderna, and 85% for Janssen COVID-19 vaccines. Efforts to increase vaccination coverage are critical to reducing the risk for COVID-19–related hospitalization, particularly in older adults. (CDC MMWR, 8/13/2021)
3. Iran’s Health System ‘Beyond Disastrous’ from Covid Surge (NYT) Iran is under assault from the most cataclysmic wave yet of the coronavirus, according to interviews with physicians and health workers, social media postings from angry citizens, and even some unusually frank reporting in state media. The aggressive Delta variant has led to record numbers of deaths and infections, and appears to be overwhelming the health system of a country that has been reeling from Covid-19 since the scourge began. The official virus death toll is 500 to 600 people a day, but even these record-high figures are disputed as low by some government media. Iran’s state television has said that one Iranian dies every two minutes — at least 720 a day. Frontline doctors in Tehran, Isfahan, Ahvaz and Mashhad told The New York Times that the real death toll was closer to 1,000 a day. Doctors also say that the true rate of infections is likely much higher than the official rate of about 40,000 a day because of insufficient testing and lack of access to care.
3.B. Iran Announces 6-day Lockdown Amid Surge in COVID Cases (Al Jazeera) As Iranians are angry and frustrated with the country’s COVID-19 response, the government has announced a six-day country-wide shutdown to curb an alarming rise in deaths and infections. The national anti-coronavirus task force, led by President Ebrahim Raisi, said on Saturday the nationwide shutdown will begin on Monday and last through Saturday. All offices, banks and non-essential businesses will be shut down. An intra-city travel ban will also be instated from Sunday morning and last through Saturday night.
FROM THE NYT TODAY AREA CASE COUNTS PER 100,000 POPULATION:
THINGS THAT TELL THE TRUTH:
IF YOU ARE IN IT UP TO YOUR EARS
KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT
AND WEAR YOUR MASK
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