Note that Shreveport, Tyler, and Dallas are at a High Level of Covid danger. Follow “Daily /100,000 in the chart below.

CDC raises Dallas, Collin, Tarrant Counties’ COVID-19 risk level to red

5 things to know about the COVID-19 red risk level in North Texas

”…The CDC is at red…The CDC measures community spread level using a combination of three metrics: total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, total new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 people, and percentage of inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients…“Transmission is definitely increasing a lot, hospital numbers are going up, and people should be more cautious,” Huang said. “I wouldn’t say it’s an inconsistent message. I think they’ve got a different scoring system.

Mask up indoors

Under the red designation, which signifies high community spread, the CDC recommends everyone wear masks indoors when in public and on public transit. That a step up from the yellow designation, which recommends indoor masking only for people with a high risk of severe illness.


Novavax’s latecomer Covid-19 vaccine gets U.S. authorization.

”…The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday authorized a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Novavax, a biotechnology company in Maryland that received significant federal funding to produce the shot. The vaccine will be a new option for Americans as vaccination rates stagnate…..After two years of development, the vaccine has finally overcome manufacturing problems to become the fourth shot to earn clearance in the United States….The two-dose vaccine was authorized as a primary immunization series for adults, rather than a booster, which is likely to limit its market at first. …Novavax’s vaccine, given in [two] doses spread three weeks apart, works differently from mRNA vaccines. It provokes an immune response with nanoparticles made up of proteins from the surface of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. Similar protein-based vaccines have been widely used around the world for decades….The authorization comes with a warning that Novavax’s vaccine is linked to an elevated but small risk of forms of heart inflammation known as myocarditis and pericarditis. In their review of Novavax’s data, F.D.A. scientists identified six cases of the side effect in about 40,000 trial volunteers…In a number of clinical trials, Novavax found that its vaccine was highly protective against symptomatic infection. But the original formulation is probably not as effective against the Omicron variant, which emerged in November and has evaded some of the protection afforded by authorized vaccines from other companies…..The company says it plans to accelerate its research on shots specifically tailored for two newer versions of Omicron, known as BA.4 and BA.5….Trials have also shown that Novavax’s shot works well as a booster, and the company is expected to seek authorization for boosters soon. The company may then be able to attract vaccinated people who want to switch to a new option to protect against new variants…Dr. Moore speculated that some people might switch to Novavax for a booster this fall because it produced relatively few cases of aches, fatigue and other passing side effects in clinical trials. ..”


BA.5 is here. Time to ride the wave

”…BA.5 has arrived. An estimated 10-15% of Americans will be infected. Unfortunately, hospitalizations and death will follow, albeit at lower rates than we’ve seen before…Do not use the CDC community levels for masking… This tells us when to take collective action so the hospitals don’t surge. ..This does not tell us when to wear a mask for individual protection. The old CDC transmission map is painted red (which doesn’t even take into account under-reporting) and shows 98% of Americans should wear a mask in crowded, indoor spaces if they don’t want to get sick. Transmission is high across the states and will get higher.

(J. Harris: This is a good, understandable read and goes stepwise through what you need to do if you get sick now.)


Coming Soon: More Breathable, More Comfortable Face Masks

FROM nature:

Wastewater sequencing reveals early cryptic SARS-CoV-2 variant transmission

(A PREPRINT: …”…We develop and deploy improved virus concentration protocols and deconvolution software that fully resolve multiple virus strains from wastewater. We detect emerging variants of concern up to 14 days earlier in wastewater samples, and identify multiple instances of virus spread not captured by clinical genomic surveillance. Our study provides a scalable solution for wastewater genomic surveillance that allows early detection of SARS-CoV-2 variants and identification of cryptic transmission…”


”…COVID-19 hospitalizations have nearly doubled in the Houston area over the last month, according to re-published Texas Medical Center data, which paints a clearer picture of the risk associated with newer, increasingly transmissible versions of the virus…


1. Risk of Myocarditis and Pericarditis Following BNT162b2 and mRNA-1273 COVID-19 Vaccination (Vaccine) Evidence indicates that mRNA COVID-19 vaccination is associated with risk of myocarditis and possibly pericarditis, especially in young males. It is not clear if risk differs between mRNA-1273 versus BNT162b2. From December 14, 2020 – January 15, 2022 there were 41 cases after 2,891,498 doses of BNT162b2 and 38 cases after 1,803,267 doses of mRNA-1273. Cases had similar demographic and clinical characteristics. Most were hospitalized for ≤1 day; none required intensive care. Both vaccines were associated with increased risk of myocarditis and pericarditis in 18-39-year-olds. Risk estimates were modestly higher after mRNA-1273 than after BNT162b2.

(J. Harris: This study indicates virtually no significant risk for vaccine induced pericarditis or myocarditis due to vaccine and only mild cases if is shoud, rarely, occour.)

2.  PFIZER-BIONTECH VACCINE FOR ADOLESCENTS The US FDA last week expanded full approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine to adolescents aged 12 to 15 years. The vaccine, known as Comirnaty, has been available for this age group since the FDA provided emergency use authorization (EUA) in May 2021, and the agency originally approved the vaccine for individuals aged 16 years and older in August 2021. To date, more than 9 million 12-15-year-old children have received the 2-dose primary series. Pfizer and BioNTech indicated they have also filed clinical trial data for approval among this age group with the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and other regulatory agencies around the world.

3. Pandemic Fueled Surge in Superbug Infections and Deaths, CDC Says (Washington Post) The coronavirus pandemic caused a surge in superbug infections and deaths in U.S. hospitals, reversing years of progress fighting one of the gravest public health challenges in modern medicine, according to a new analysis released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2020, the first year of the pandemic, infections and deaths among several serious pathogens increased about 15 percent overall from 2019, the report said. In 2020, more than 29,400 people died of antimicrobial-resistant infections commonly associated with health care, the report found. Of these, nearly 40 percent acquired the infection while hospitalized. The remaining infections occurred outside the hospital, including in nursing homes and other community health-care facilities.


Long-term Immune Response to SARS-CoV-2 Infection Among Children and Adults After Mild Infection

”…n this cohort study, we evaluated the dynamic changes of the SARS-CoV-2 binding antibody titers in 252 family clusters mostly affected by asymptomatic or mild COVID-19 up to 12 months after initial infection. The findings suggest that anti–SARS-CoV-2 S-RBD IgG may persist more than a year from infection in all age groups, with antibody titers that inversely correlate with age….randomly determined; having a random probability distribution or pattern that may be analyzed statistically but may not be predicted precisely….”


1. What BA.2.75 means for COVID-19 vaccines: 2 notes

”…A new COVID-19 omicron subvariant, BA.2.75, has appeared amid a rising case count spurred by other variants, and early data suggests it’s more transmissible than other strains. Here’s what that could mean for vaccines. … Before BA.2.75 entered the stage, on June 30 the FDA recommended vaccinemakers to prioritize omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 as they test modified vaccine compositions for this fall. It may be too early to point to which subvariant to be most concerned for, but playing catch up is a slow process, experts warn….”The virus has almost been quicker than we are,” Stanford (Calif.) University Professor of Medicine Dean Winslow, MD, told CBS News. “We can’t really spool out vaccine production in just a couple of weeks. It takes quite a while to actually spool out vaccine production for some of these newer variants.”

2. Though health experts are wary to draw conclusions before more data is available for the subvariant, which has been spotted in only three U.S. cases as of July 8, Glenn Wortmann, MD, infectious diseases section chief at MedStar Washington (D.C.) Hospital Center, told radio station WTOP the current COVID-19 vaccine should be effective against any subvariants, including BA.2.75.

3. Moderna’s omicron-targeted vaccine nearly twice as effective against BA.4, BA.5

”…As vaccine-makers race to show promising results for their updated, omicron-targeted vaccines set to debut this fall, Moderna forged ahead to prove its candidate is nearly twice as effective as its original vaccine…In a phase 3 trial, Moderna’s updated vaccine candidate increased neutralizing antibody titers 6.3-fold against omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, while its original vaccine increased neutralizing antibody titers 3.5-fold, according to a July 11 press release….Moderna said it shared the data with regulators and is awaiting peer-review for publication..”


Which Form of Immunity Fared Best Against Symptomatic Omicron Infection?”…Importantly, against severe COVID-19 outcomes, all forms of immunity[natural or either vaccine] were highly effective — the silver lining of successive pandemic waves…”


Why can’t a green chili pepper shoot an archery bow?

No habenero


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