A judge says Texas’ ban on mask mandates violates the rights of students with disabilities.

Evaluation of the BNT162b2 Covid-19 Vaccine in Children 5 to 11 Years of Age


A Covid-19 vaccination regimen consisting of two 10-μg doses of BNT162b2 administered 21 days apart was found to be safe, immunogenic, and efficacious in children 5 to 11 years of age.

How Easily Can Vaccinated People Spread COVID?

‘‘’…even if vaccinated and unvaccinated people have the same viral load, it may not necessarily mean they are just as likely to spread the virus…. One reason for this may be that vaccinated people carry less infectious virus particles, as (not-yet-peer-reviewed) research from the Netherlands has recently illustrated. Although it’s widely assumed that virus particles carried by the vaccinated and unvaccinated are the same, basic principles of immunology actually predict otherwise… Virus particles expelled by a vaccinated person are thought to be coated in antibodies—some of which are produced in the nose and mouth and are considered part of “mucosal” immunity—so “we can expect less of a downstream transmission,”…. A recent paper …showed that vaccinated people shed less virus, stop shedding virus sooner than the unvaccinated, and shed particles that are less infectious—supporting the notion that they’re less likely to transmit disease. One study from the Netherlands found a 63 percent reduction in household transmission among the vaccinated… (However, another recent study didn’t find a statistically significant difference in household transmission between vaccinated and unvaccinated people.)

”Ultimately… you can certainly say the transmission risk for vaccinated people is lower, “but I don’t really know how you define ‘low.’”…. The new research so far hasn’t swayed the CDC, which remains cautious….[The CDC Says] that the data that have come out since the Provincetown study make it clear that fully vaccinated people with a breakthrough infection can spread the virus to other people, including the vaccinated. Although the science is still emerging, “it seems that at least early after infection, fully vaccinated people with breakthrough infection can be equally as infectious, and [probably] somewhat less infectious to others than unvaccinated people who are infected…

‘’… All the researchers [contacted said] Vaccination is still the best way to protect against infection and transmission. The vaccines may not be perfect, but they are by far the best tool we have in the fight against COVID-19—for protecting both yourself and others. Moreover, vaccinated people can tamp down on spreading the virus by steering clear of situations in which that’s more likely to happen…. The “million-dollar question” now…is how often we’ll need boosters in the months and years ahead…

(J. Harris: Should I find myself in a ” bad crowd” I would also continue to wear my top-of-the-line mask. Maybe people will think I’m sick and stay away from me?)

 Germany debates imposing tighter rules as infections surge.

Nearly 40,000 new cases were registered in the country on Tuesday — the third time a daily record has been set within a week. And 236 people died of the disease in that 24-hour period….Experts say that the recent surge in infections has resulted from the relatively low vaccination rate in some regions of Germany and the slow rollout of booster shots. About 67 percent of the country’s population is fully vaccinated….Another factor is the waning immunity from the vaccines, and Germany’s booster campaign is running behind some wealthy countries. Only about 3.4 percent of the population has received a booster shot, compared with about 7.6 percent in the U.S. (and the weather is colder).


1. Novel Suction-based In Vivo Cutaneous DNA Transfection Platform (Science Advances) This work reports a suction-based cutaneous delivery method for in vivo DNA transfection. Following intradermal Mantoux injection of plasmid DNA in a rat model, a moderate negative pressure is applied to the injection site, a technique similar to Chinese báguàn and Middle Eastern hijama cupping therapies.Specific utility was demonstrated with a synthetic SARS-CoV-2 DNA vaccine, which generated host humoral immune response in rats with notable antibody production. This method enables an easy-to-use, cost-effective, and highly scalable platform for both laboratorial transfection needs and clinical applications for nucleic acid–based therapeutics and vaccines.

(We looked at this last week. I hope it works in humans, and it probably will.)

2. How An Outbreak Became a Pandemic: a Chronological Analysis of Crucial Junctures and International Obligations in the Early Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic (The Lancet) Understanding the spread of SARS-CoV-2, how and when evidence emerged, and the timing of local, national, regional, and global responses is essential to establish how an outbreak became a pandemic and to prepare for future health threats. The retrospective analysis of the chronology shows a dedicated initial response by WHO and some national governments, but also aspects of the response that could have been quicker, including outbreak notifications under the International Health Regulations (IHR), presumption and confirmation of human-to-human transmission of SARS-CoV-2, declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, and, most importantly, the public health response of many national governments. The chronology also shows that some countries, largely those with previous experience with similar outbreaks, reacted quickly, even ahead of WHO alerts, and were more successful in initially containing the virus. Mapping actions against IHR obligations, the chronology shows where efficiency and accountability could be improved at local, national, and international levels to more quickly alert and contain health threats in the future.

 Association of Self-reported High-Risk Allergy History With Allergy Symptoms After COVID-19 Vaccination

”…Conclusions and Relevance  This cohort study found that self-reported history of high-risk allergy was associated with an increased risk of self-reported allergic reactions within 3 days of mRNA COVID-19 vaccination. However, reported allergy symptoms did not impede the completion of the 2-dose vaccine protocol among a cohort of eligible health care employees, supporting the overall safety of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

(J. Harris: So allergic people had a little bit more trouble with vaccine, but not enough to prevent completion of the vaccine series.)

Evaluation of a COVID-19 Vaccine Campaign and SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Mortality Among Adults Aged 60 Years And Older in a Middle-Income Country


The present analysis shows that the pragmatic implementation of a vaccination plan including 3 different vaccine options in older adults in the City of Buenos Aires was associated with a significant reduction in documented COVID-19 infection and death from any cause as well as death presumably associated with COVID-19. These results suggest the need to implement mass vaccination strategies with the vaccines that each country has available in the shortest possible time.

(These were “Brand X” vaccines and they still helped.)

Estimating the early impact of the US COVID-19 vaccination programme on COVID-19 cases, emergency department visits, hospital admissions, and deaths among adults aged 65 years and older: an ecological analysis of national surveillance data

(J. Harris: Yeah! The vaccines work. This complicated and complete article proves it, once again. Why don’t our elderly neighbors get vaccinations, locally? What can I do to help? What can you do? 

”…In conclusion, we found that the initial phases of the US COVID-19 vaccination programme were associated with reductions in COVID-19 cases, emergency department visits, and hospital admissions among older adults, a group prioritised for vaccination and at higher risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19. Our findings, which are consistent with the established high effectiveness of available vaccines,… reinforce the importance of increasing vaccination coverage among all eligible people and support continued investment in COVID-19 vaccination. Nationally, as of June 8, 2021, more than 86% of people aged 65 years and older had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, but this figure varied widely by state. Among all US people aged 12 years and older, 61% had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and 50% were fully vaccinated. Continued monitoring will be important to further evaluate the impact of the COVID-19 vaccination programme on outcomes in younger adults and children, in addition to the impact of booster doses. The present methodology, with some modifications, might provide important insight into these new situations as they unfold.



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