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Member since: Tue Apr 12, 2005, 10:15 PM
Number of posts: 6,091

Journal Archives

Should You Worry About India's Double Mutant Coronavirus Variant? All You Need to Know

As a brutal wave of coronavirus cases batters India, public health experts worry that a new, possibly more virulent coronavirus variant could be racing through the crowded nation of over 1.3 billion people.

The new variant that has a so-called double mutation is said to be fueling this deadlier new wave of infections. With over 200,000 fresh cases for the past three consecutive days, India has surpassed Brazil to be the second worst-affected and has already begun to overwhelm the hospitals and crematoriums.

“This is a variant of interest we are following,” Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization (WHO)’s technical lead officer on Covid, told Bloomberg.

“Having two of these mutations, which have been seen in other variants around the world, are concerning
,” she said. There was a similarity with mutations that increase transmission as well as reduce neutralization, possibly stunting the ability of vaccines to curb them, she added.

Posted by womanofthehills | Mon Apr 19, 2021, 02:00 AM (7 replies)

South African variant may evade protection from Pfizer vaccine, Israeli study says

(Moderna is testing it's South African booster now on it's original study group and Pfizer is working on modifying it's vaccine - luckily the African Strain is not widespread in many areas.)

The study, released ahead of peer review on the medRxiv website on Friday, compared almost 400 people who had tested positive for COVID-19, 14 days or more after they received one or two doses of the vaccine, against the same number of unvaccinated patients with the disease.
It matched age and gender, among other characteristics.

The South African variant, B.1.351, was found to make up about 1% of all the COVID-19 cases across all the people studied, according to the study by Tel Aviv University and Israel’s largest healthcare provider, Clalit.

But among patients who had received two doses of the vaccine, the variant’s prevalence rate was eight times higher than among the unvaccinated - 5.4% versus 0.7%.

This suggests the vaccine is less effective against the South African variant, compared with the original coronavirus and a variant first identified in Britain that has come to comprise nearly all COVID-19 cases in Israel, the researchers said.

Posted by womanofthehills | Wed Apr 14, 2021, 11:19 AM (2 replies)

Factory Mix-Up Ruins Up to 15 Million Vaccine Doses From Johnson & Johnson

WASHINGTON — Workers at a plant in Baltimore manufacturing two coronavirus vaccines accidentally conflated the ingredients several weeks ago, contaminating up to 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine and forcing regulators to delay authorization of the plant’s production lines.

The plant is run by Emergent BioSolutions, a manufacturing partner to both Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, the British-Swedish company whose vaccine has yet to be authorized for use in the United States. Federal officials attributed the mistake to human error.

The mix-up has delayed future shipments of Johnson & Johnson doses in the United States while the Food and Drug Administration investigates what occurred. Johnson & Johnson has moved to strengthen its control over Emergent BioSolutions’ work to avoid additional quality lapses.

The mistake is a major embarrassment both for Johnson & Johnson, whose one-dose vaccine has been credited with speeding up the national immunization program, and for Emergent, its subcontractor, which has faced fierce criticism for its heavy lobbying for federal contracts, especially for the government’s emergency health stockpile.

AND... the Times links to this article they previously posted about Emergent.

How One Firm Put an ‘Extraordinary Burden’ on the U.S.’s Troubled Stockpile

An investigation by The New York Times found a hidden explanation: Government purchases for the Strategic National Stockpile, the country’s emergency medical reserve where such equipment is kept, have largely been driven by the demands and financial interests of a handful of biotech firms that have specialized in products that address terrorist threats rather than infectious disease.

Chief among them is Emergent BioSolutions, a Maryland-based company now manufacturing Covid-19 vaccines for AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. Last year, as the pandemic raced across the country, the government paid Emergent $626 million for products that included vaccines to fight an entirely different threat: a terrorist attack using anthrax.

Throughout most of the last decade, the government has spent nearly half of the stockpile’s half-billion-dollar annual budget on the company’s anthrax vaccines, The Times found. That left the government with less money to buy supplies needed in a pandemic, despite repeatedly being advised to do so.

Under normal circumstances, Emergent’s relationship with the federal stockpile would be of little public interest — an obscure contractor in an obscure corner of the federal bureaucracy applying the standard tools of Washington, like well-connected lobbyists and campaign contributions, to create a business heavily dependent on taxpayer dollars.

Posted by womanofthehills | Fri Apr 9, 2021, 09:38 AM (3 replies)

My area of NM - 50 days with no new Covid cases

I live outside of a small town in the middle of NM and our zip code has not had a case in 50 days. Our whole county -Torrance -is doing really good. Our governor and our town mayor are to thank for our success. So, now our restaurants can open up at 30%. Not too happy about that as Route 60 goes thru our town - travelers could change our success.
Posted by womanofthehills | Mon Mar 15, 2021, 11:13 PM (5 replies)

If you have had Covid, you might only need one shot - NYT

My friend just called the CDC and they agreed with article.

People Who Have Had Covid Should Get Single Vaccine Dose, Studies Suggest

New studies show that one shot of a vaccine can greatly amplify antibody levels in those who have recovered from the coronavirus.

In another new study, researchers at New York University found that a second dose of the vaccine did not add much benefit at all for people who have had Covid-19 — a phenomenon that has also been observed with vaccines for other viruses.

In that study, most people had been infected with the coronavirus eight or nine months earlier, but saw their antibodies increase by a hundredfold to a thousandfold when given the first dose of a vaccine. After the second dose, however, the antibody levels did not increase any further.

Dr. Krammer led another of the new studies, which showed that people who have had Covid-19 and received one dose of a vaccine experienced more severe side effects from the inoculation and had more antibodies compared with those who had not been infected before.

“If you put all four papers together, that’s providing pretty good information about people who already had an infection only needing one vaccination,” Dr. Krammer said.

Posted by womanofthehills | Wed Mar 10, 2021, 09:26 AM (1 replies)

Johnson & Johnson has planned trials of its Covid vaccine that will include infants (and newborns)

What parent would hand over a newborn for a vaccine trial? Where will they get volunteers - third world countries? Flu vaccines are not even recommended by CDC for babies.

Johnson & Johnson plans to test its coronavirus vaccine in infants and even in newborns, as well as in pregnant women and in people who have compromised immune systems.

The bold plan for expanded clinical trials met with the approval of Dr. Ofer Levy, director of the Precision Vaccines Program at Harvard’s Boston Children’s Hospital and a member of the Food and Drug Administration advisory committee that reviewed the company’s vaccine data.

When Dr. Levy saw the outlines of the planned trials, “they turned my head,” he said. They were reported as part of the company’s application to the F.D.A. for emergency use approval and discussed at the F.D.A. meeting.

“They did not get into a lot of detail about it but did make it clear they will be pursuing pediatric and maternal coronavirus immunization studies,” Dr. Levy said. They referred committee members to their briefing materials where, on page 34, the company mentioned the planned studies.

Posted by womanofthehills | Tue Mar 2, 2021, 07:16 PM (3 replies)

Very funny - Trump dancing at Ted Cruz's mariachi party with Bernie & Jr.

Posted by womanofthehills | Tue Feb 23, 2021, 10:14 PM (11 replies)

AOC to Ted Cruz - OMG! I Love her

Posted by womanofthehills | Thu Jan 28, 2021, 04:18 PM (5 replies)

NYT - Emerging Coronavirus Variants May Pose Challenges to Vaccines

Laboratory studies of mutations circulating in South Africa suggest they may dodge some of the body’s immune responses.

The steady drumbeat of reports about new variants of the coronavirus — first in Britain, then in South Africa, Brazil and the United States — has brought a new worry: Will vaccines protect against these altered versions of the virus?

The answer so far is yes, several experts said in interviews. But two small new studies, posted online Tuesday night, suggest that some variants may pose unexpected challenges to the immune system, even in those who have been vaccinated — a development that most scientists had not anticipated seeing for months, even years.

The findings result from laboratory experiments with blood samples from groups of patients, not observations of the virus spreading in the real world. The studies have not yet been peer-reviewed.

But experts who reviewed the papers agreed that the findings raised two disturbing possibilities. People who had survived mild infections with the coronavirus may still be vulnerable to infection with a new variant; and more worryingly, the vaccines may be less effective against the variants.

Posted by womanofthehills | Fri Jan 22, 2021, 11:32 AM (1 replies)

Bernie wearing mittens gets around - watching Giuliani

Posted by womanofthehills | Fri Jan 22, 2021, 12:09 AM (2 replies)
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