The Covid stats from the state should be caught up by tomorrow, I expect. We must have   Omicron in the area but it hasn’t overloaded the hospitals yet. However, with only 37 percent of our county population vaccinated, we are vulnerable, again. Notice the case counts below from Houston/Harris County.



1. U.S. caseloads surpass the winter pandemic peak of early 2021.

”…The highly transmissible Omicron variant is sending daily caseloads in parts of the United States soaring to levels higher than last winter’s pandemic peak…Delaware, Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Puerto Rico are among the areas that have reported more coronavirus cases in the past week than in any other seven-day period, data show….Experts warn that the surge of hospitalizations are up, too, although not as much as cases. Nearly 71,000 Americans are hospitalized with Covid-19, 8 percent higher than the previous week but still well below previous peaks. infections, combined with the fact that tens of millions of Americans remain unvaccinated, could still create a severe strain on the U.S. health system and lead to many more deaths…Still, only 62 percent of Americans are fully vaccinated, and the nation’s medical infrastructure is dangerously frayed two years into the pandemic as hospitals contend with staff shortages fueled by burnout and early retirements…”

2. South Korea approves Pfizer’s coronavirus pill for emergency use

”…South Korea has given emergency-use approval of Pfizer’s oral treatment for Covid-19, the first pill approved in the nation to treat symptoms of the coronavirus…the treatment, Paxlovid, would “diversify the types of treatment” for the virus and is expected to “prevent serious deterioration of health in patients.”…Supplies of the medication are expected to arrive in the country by mid-January….Paxlovid appears to be substantially more effective than a similar antiviral pill from Merck, known as molnupiravir, which was narrowly recommended by the F.D.A.’s advisers for emergency use….Pfizer expects to manufacture 120 million Paxlovid treatments next year. The company has indicated that the pill would be effective against the Omicron variant…”

U.S. Covid hospitalizations are rising among children. New York urges parents to vaccinate the young.

”…The New York State Department of Health is urging parents to get all children who are 5 and older vaccinated, citing a jump in pediatric hospitalizations associated with the coronavirus…Beginning the week of Dec. 5 through the current week, there has been a fourfold increase in Covid hospital admissions among children in New York City, where the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly, the department said in an advisory on Friday. About half were under the age of 5, and not eligible for vaccination….The New York State advisory reported that during the week that preceded Dec. 19, none of the 5- to 11-year-old Covid patients admitted to the hospital had been fully vaccinated. In the same period, one-fourth of the 12- to 17-year-old hospitalized Covid patients had been fully vaccinated. 


1. Omicron Symptoms Usually Appear Like This

2. 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID

NFL chief medical officer says ‘symptomatic’ players are responsible for COVID-19 spread

”…players who had symptoms but initially tested negative appear to be the biggest offenders because they contribute their symptoms to something else go about their day…”We were seeing people walk around for two or three days and expose others because they didn’t speak up about their symptoms because they had gotten that negative test,” he said. “So we’re at our best when we’re testing at the onset of symptoms.”

Protection against Covid-19 by BNT162b2 Booster across Age Groups

(Israel, 60 Y/O got third Pfizer jab at 5 months or more since the second jab.)

”After promising initial results from the administration of a third (booster) dose of the BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccine (Pfizer–BioNTech) to persons 60 years of age or older, the booster campaign in Israel was gradually expanded to persons in younger age groups who had received a second dose at least 5 months earlier….


”Across the age groups studied, rates of confirmed Covid-19 and severe illness were substantially lower among participants who received a booster dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine than among those who did not.”

(NOTE: In the last day or two, some experts speculate that crowded-up vaccinations too closely might impede the body’s ability to make lasting antibodies.)

AstraZeneca and Oxford making version of coronavirus vaccine that targets omicron

”…AstraZeneca and Oxford University have started developing a version of their coronavirus shot that targets omicron, as researchers study the efficacy of existing vaccines against the latest variant…

“Together with Oxford University, we have taken preliminary steps in producing an Omicron variant vaccine, in case it is needed and will be informed by emerging data,”…..U.S. biotech firm Moderna and pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, along with its German partner BioNTech, have said they are tailoring their vaccines and working to understand the level of protection they provide….The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, widely used in European countries and others such as Canada and India, is not approved in the United States…adenovirus-based vaccines, such as the Oxford-AstraZeneca shot, “could in principle be used to respond to any new variant more rapidly than some may previously have realized.”…Moderna said earlier this week that a booster dose of its vaccine significantly raised antibody levels against the omicron variant, according to preliminary data, though it did not have the clinical data to speak to its vaccine’s protection against hospitalization or death….”



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