J. HARRIS: Likely we have a new but “mild’ variant creeping into our area. Watch SHV counts and Houston, then Austin and Dallas.
Hospital rates are not impacted in our area at this time. … What about in late May? I don’t know but I am worried. We don’t
test much in Harrison County so our initial rates will always be artificially low. I have some doubts about the validity of the available
home administered rapid Covid tests. I don’t find the color codes Threat Warnings of much benefit. They are too slow to be of much value.
FROM THE NYT (Tuesday)
1. This is why a Covid vaccine mandate is unlikely in New York City schools this fall.
”…The American Academy of Pediatrics continues to recommend vaccination for all children and adolescents ages 5 and older, including for those were previously infected. But jumping from that to a mandate is a big step…”
2. A company with an early contract to produce coronavirus vaccine hid evidence of problems.
”…A report sheds new light on Emergent executives’ own worries about deficiencies in the company’s quality control systems at its troubled Baltimore plant; no contaminated doses were ever released to the public.”
1. US may see ‘pretty sizable’ fall COVID-19 surge, Dr. Ashish Jha warns
”The U.S. may see a “pretty sizable wave” of COVID-19 infections this fall and winter as the virus continues to evolve and immunity wanes, White House Covid-19 Response Coordinator Ashish Jha, MD, said May 8 on ABC News’ “This Week.”
Federal health officials are looking at a range of disease forecasting models, which suggest the U.S. could experience a large surge in late 2022, similar to the last two winters, according to Dr. Jha. On May 6, the White House projected 100 million COVID-19 infections could occur this fall and winter, according to The Washington Post….”If we don’t get ahead of this thing … we may see a pretty sizable wave of infections, hospitalizations and deaths this fall and winter,” he said. “Whether that happens or not is largely up to us as a country. If we can prepare and if we can act, we can prevent that….More funding to purchase COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics will be crucial to stave off a potential surge, according to Dr. Jha. The Biden administration is asking Congress for an additional $22.5 billion in emergency aid to support these efforts…If Congress does not do that now, we will go into this fall and winter with none of the capabilities that we have developed over the last two years,” Dr. Jha said.
1. White House Documents Detail a Looming Squeeze on Covid-19 Boosters (STAT News) The White House could run out of Covid-19 vaccines if it moves forward with plans to encourage all adults to get a second Covid-19 vaccine booster dose by roughly Sept. 1, according to a tranche of budget documents sent to Congress that have not previously been made public. Although Food and Drug Administration officials have hinted that all American adults may be encouraged to get second boosters this fall, right now, second booster doses are only available to people over the age of 50.
The budget documents make it clear that if the administration does want to push second boosters, it will need more money to make it happen: it needs at least 87 million more vaccines for adult boosters, and another 5 million more for first boosters for kids.
2. FDA Dramatically Narrows Use of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 Vaccine (POLITICO) The Food and Drug Administration has restricted the use of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine to adults who are unable or unwilling to get the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna mRNA shots. The decision comes after the agency completed an updated risk analysis of developing thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS, a rare and possibly fatal combination of blood clots and low platelet counts one to two weeks after receiving the vaccine, the agency said Thursday. Given the severity and urgency of the syndrome, and the availability of other Covid-19 vaccines, FDA decided that the benefits of Covid-19 protection from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine outweigh the risk of TTS only for those who cannot or will not receive other forms of vaccination.
FROM THE NYT (last week)
The Vanishing Variants: Lessons from Gamma, Iota and Mu
(J. Harris: A readable Mu (and variant) article about why some variants are more “successful” than others and why some of our attempts at control are not likely to be helpful.)
FROM SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN:
A Guide to the Different Omicron Subvariants
(J. Harris: A short readable understandable variant article.)
CDC GUIDELINES FOR LONG COVID DX AND HELP:
Long COVID or Post-COVID Conditions
South Africa Covid-19 Test Positivity Rate Nears Record
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