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womanofthehills

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Member since: Tue Apr 12, 2005, 11:15 PM
Number of posts: 5,977

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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.

https://www.news18.com/news/india/should-you-worry-about-indias-double-mutant-coronavirus-variant-all-you-need-to-know-3651353.html
Posted by womanofthehills | Mon Apr 19, 2021, 03:00 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.
https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-health-coronavirus-israel-study/south-african-variant-may-evade-protection-from-pfizer-vaccine-israeli-study-says-idUSKBN2BX0J

Posted by womanofthehills | Wed Apr 14, 2021, 12:19 PM (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.


https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/31/us/politics/johnson-johnson-coronavirus-vaccine.html
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.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/06/us/emergent-biosolutions-anthrax-coronavirus.html
Posted by womanofthehills | Fri Apr 9, 2021, 10:38 AM (3 replies)
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