”…Bharat Biotech is among the world’s leading vaccine manufacturers. Its best known product, Covaxin, is authorized to prevent Covid in India and many other countries. But its experimental nasal vaccine may prove to be the real game changer….There are at least a dozen other nasal vaccines in development worldwide, some of them now in Phase 3 trials. But Bharat Biotech’s may be the first to become available. In January, the company won approval to begin a Phase 3 trial of the nasal spray in India as a booster for people who have already received two shots of a Covid vaccine….”
FROM THE ANNALS OF INTERNAL MEDICINE
Historically High Excess Mortality During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Switzerland, Sweden, and Spain (none of these countries were involved in WWI or WWII)
”…In 2020, the number of excess deaths recorded per 100 000 persons was 100 in Switzerland, 75 in Sweden, and 155 in Spain (Table 2). In proportion to the expected number of deaths, this corresponds to a relative excess of 12.5% in Switzerland, 8.5% in Sweden, and 17.3% in Spain…
The year 1918 was a major mortality event in the 20th century in all 3 countries: Over the entire year, the number of excess deaths recorded per 100 000 persons was 640 in Switzerland, 445 in Sweden, and 1135 in Spain. The number of excess deaths per 100 000 persons was thus 6 to 7 times higher in 1918 than in 2020.
(J. Harris: Have you had your flu shot this year?)
FROM THE LANCET:
(J. Harris: This is the last of the recent vaccine articles from this wonderful source.)
”…To bring this pandemic under control, more than 75% of the global population must be vaccinated.14 This goal becomes increasingly challenging given the unequal distribution and hoarding of vaccines by high-income countries. This inequality could be obviated, however, by strict adherence to the procurement and supply operation under the COVAX initiative…”
”…With its rapid emergence and wide range of symptoms, omicron appears to be tied to one symptom that wasn’t as frequently reported with past coronavirus variants.
Back pain has ranked among some of the most common COVID-19 symptoms in the last few months, CBS News reported.
“Back pain, though common in most viral fevers, but compared to delta, omicron patients tend to have more back pain and less loss of smell and taste,” said Dr. Ann Mary, consultant of general medicine at Amrita Hospital in India, according to Business Standard.
A report from South Africa’s largest health insurer found that a sore throat, congestion, dry cough and lower back pain ranked among the most common early omicron symptoms.
”…Patients who are hospitalized with COVID-19 have elevated rates of postdischarge thrombotic events, but uncertainty exists about whether thromboprophylaxis should continue beyond the hospital stay. In a recent phase 3 trial, continuing thromboprophylaxis after patients hospitalized with COVID-19 were discharged reduced major and fatal thromboembolic events without increasing major bleeding…”
WHAT WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT OMICRON AND LIKELY SUBSEQUENT VARIANTS:”Challenges in Inferring Intrinsic Severity of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant”
Viruses don’t inevitably evolve toward being less virulent; evolution simply selects those that excel at multiplying. In the case of Covid-19, in which the vast majority of transmission occurs before disease becomes severe, reduced severity may not be directly selected for at all…some members of a weary public are understandably eager to ascribe to an intrinsic tendency of this variant to cause less severe illness. Even more than for previous variants, however, caution is warranted when it comes to making inferences about omicron’s intrinsic traits, particularly its severity, on the basis of population-level observations…..”
TOMORROW: THE BEST VARIANT ARTICLE I HAVE READ.
LAST BUT NOT LEASED:
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