1. Mental Health and Social Support for Healthcare and Hospital Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Healthcare and hospital workers providing care and support to infected patients during a pandemic are at increased risk for mental distress. Factors impacting their mental health include high risk of exposure and infection, financial insecurity due to furloughs, separation from and worries about loved ones, a stressful work environment due to surge conditions with scarce supplies, traumatic experiences due to witnessing the deaths of patients and colleagues, and other acute stressors. Finding ways for institutions to support the mental wellbeing of healthcare and hospital workers in an acute pandemic-related crisis situation is of critical importance.

2. Clinical Practice

Remdesivir Reduces Covid Hospitalizations When Given Early, Study Shows (STAT News) Gilead’s Covid-19 drug remdesivir appeared to reduce hospitalizations by 87% in high-risk patients diagnosed early in the disease in a new study, the company said Wednesday. The new results, which were issued in a press release, could help shore up the perception that the medicine is effective. They also could boost hopes for the use of oral antiviral drugs being developed by drug companies including Pfizer and Merck to treat people in the early stages of Covid-19.

What is the R.1 variant? Here’s what you need to know about the mutated COVID strain

(J. Harris: The R.1 has been in the US but is not expected to be a significant Covid problem.)

Safety and Efficacy of NVX-CoV2373 Covid-19 Vaccine

‘…Early clinical data from studies of the NVX-CoV2373 vaccine (Novavax), a recombinant nanoparticle vaccine against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that contains the full-length spike glycoprotein of the prototype strain plus Matrix-M adjuvant, showed that the vaccine was safe and associated with a robust immune response in healthy adult participants. Additional data were needed regarding the efficacy, immunogenicity, and safety of this vaccine in a larger population… A post hoc analysis showed an efficacy of 86.3% (95% CI, 71.3 to 93.5) against the B.1.1.7 (or alpha) variant and 96.4% (95% CI, 73.8 to 99.5) against non-B.1.1.7 variants. Reactogenicity was generally mild and transient. The incidence of serious adverse events was low and similar in the two groups. 


A two-dose regimen of the NVX-CoV2373 vaccine administered to adult participants conferred 89.7% protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection and showed high efficacy against the B.1.1.7 variant.

(J. Harris: So NVX has developed a safe, effective vaccine to add to our other excellent vaccines.)

Public & Global Health

Assessment of a Program for SARS-CoV-2 Screening and Environmental Monitoring in an Urban Public School District (JAMA Network Open) In this quality improvement study, weekly school-based saliva polymerase chain reaction testing at 3 urban public schools was associated with increased case detection among staff and students compared with symptom-based strategies, exceeding county-level case rates. SARS-CoV-2 was detected in school wastewater samples each week as well as air and surface samples from choir classrooms.  This study suggests that routine SARS-CoV-2 testing may identify infected staff and students who are not identified through conventional case detection and may provide insight into disease burdens of undertested communities.


”…Taken together, the analysis presented here, made possible by broad participation of a few hundred therapeutic candidates in a global study, offers a detailed structural and competitive landscape of key antibody binding sites on Spike. The results of this effort can be used to predict and interpret effects of VOCs, and for strategic selection of durable therapeutics and cocktails against emerging variants…”

(J. Harris: Just thumb through this article and look at the pictures, none of which you will understand and thank God we haved brilliant scientists and physicians and great institutions — all over the world — working together to control Covid and similiar maladies.You will definitely feel encouraged.)



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