March 7, 2021

Dr. Stuart Weiss: COVID-19 Update Friday 29-Jan-2021

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By Dr. Stuart Weiss, Intelligent Crowd Solutions – Rapid Test Center of NY 

Rapid Test Center of New York
Dr. Stuart Weiss, FACEP, FAAP, CBCP


January 29, 2021

CoViD-19 News and Information you can trust.Welcome new readers from the Rapid Test Center.

Topics: Weekend update – where are we now?

New Testing Centers coming soon: We are close to opening testing centers in Chelsea in Manhattan and Westchester County.
Where are we now?

Welcome to the weekend. For those of you who were totally engrossed in the craziness happening with Gamestop and AMC as we watched a short squeeze do crazy things in the stock market, let me bring you up to date with where we are with CoViD-19.

According to Dr. David Kessler, President Biden’s lead physician for vaccine manufacturing:
* 49 million vaccine doses have been distributed
* 27.9 million vaccine doses have been given
* 5 million Americans have received two doses of either Pfizer or Moderna vaccine
* We are up to 1.2-1.4 million doses of vaccine given each day
We have two vaccines currently approved for use in the US. One made by Pfizer and one made by Moderna. Both require two doses of vaccine. They are about 94-95% effective in preventing moderate to severe disease. We have data released today by a third manufacturer, Johnson & Johnson who showed that their vaccine was about 66% effective in preventing moderate to severe disease. That is lower than the other two but it also showed that it was 100% effective in preventing severe disease, hospitalization and death. So it might not prevent moderate disease but preventing severe disease and hospitalization and death is a great step forward. It is single dose vaccine which is important for ease of vaccinating the entire world.

We also saw data from a fourth vaccine manufacturer earlier this week. Novavax released its data which showed it also protected around 90% of the people in its trials.

All the vaccines do not do well against the B.1.351 South African variant. The Novavax vaccine, for example drops to about 50% efficacy against the South African variant. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine showed 100% prevention of severe disease, hospitalization and death even in the South African study, so that is good news.

Several manufacturers have said that they are working on tweaking their vaccine or creating a booster shot to cover new variants.

As to who should get vaccine, so far the youngest age is 16 years old. Studies in younger children are going on now. Today, the World Health Organization changed its guidance and now has dropped its opposition to vaccination in pregnant women. They stated that based on what is known about the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, animal studies and the safety record of this type of vaccine technology, the benefits outweigh the risks in pregnant women.

Women should still speak to their obstetrician prior to any vaccination.

Therapeutics and Medications

According to Dr. Kessler, the US has more monoclonal antibody medication than we are using. He said that if a patient is home with CoViD-19 and high risk factors, they should definitely speak with their doctor about starting monoclonal antibody treatment. This can make a huge difference. He also said that research into developing antiviral medication specifically against SARS-CoV-2 is under way.

Antibody Transfers to newborn babies

Several studies published this week showed that IgG antibodies can transfer from the mother to the child while in utero and can protect newborn babies against CoViD-19.

Avian Influenza

Just for completeness, I have been writing about the influenza virus when things change. As you may recall, I have written that many of us always thought Influenza virus would cause the next global pandemic and it still might. Remember that influenza likes to share its genes with other influenza viruses while in pigs. Pigs can catch human influenza and bird influenza and while inside the pigs, it exchanges genetic material and out pops a new virus. That is what has happened in Wisconsin where a new variant of H3N2 has been detected in a child who lives on a farm with pigs. China also reported a new case of H9N2.

Coachella cancelled for a third time

Lastly, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts festival which attracts over 100,000 fans per day is cancelled for the third time. It was cancelled in April 2020, rescheduled for October 2020 and cancelled and now this April is cancelled. New dates have not been announced. Other major music festivals like Lollapalooza, Levitation and Summerfest have also been cancelled. My fingers are crossed that Burning Man will be able to return to Black Rock City but I am not optimistic that we will be okay by the end of August. I miss live events!!

Take care of yourself and get yourself vaccinated, if your eligible, so we can get through this together.

Dr. Stu Weiss

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Coronavirus update for January 29, 2021

World Wide Updates

EU publishes vaccine contract with AstraZeneca amid dispute over delays
WHO says its team in Wuhan will visit labs, markets and hospitals
In a battle over coronavirus lockdowns, some of Israel’s ultra-Orthadox Jews are clashing with authorities
Novavax says Covid-19 vaccine is 89% effective in UK trial, but less so in South Africa
South Korean Christian groups apologize for role in spreading Covid-19
Israel’s health data suggests Pfizer and Moderna vaccines may be more effective than we thought
Bolivia receives first batch of Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines from Russia
EU regulator recommends approval for AstraZeneca vaccine
Maskless crowds pack Australian Open tennis exhibition in Covid-free Adelaide
EU expected to place export restrictions on vaccines
Mexico’s Covid-19 death toll is now third highest in the world
South Korea detects more than 300 Covid-19 cases linked to religious schools
WHO team meets Chinese scientists in Wuhan
Novavax working on booster shot in response to coronavirus variants
European Union adopts measures regulating vaccine exports
Total Cases Worldwide: 102,543,470
Total Deaths Worldwide: 2,213,326
Total Recovered: 74,215,955

US Updates

Johnson & Johnson plans to submit an emergency use application to FDA next week, company official says 
Coronavirus variants can be defeated with the right tools, says senior White House adviser
US reports more than 164,000 new Covid-19 cases
New variants could add up to 85,000 Covid-19 deaths to US toll by May, influential model forecasts
Fauci says Biden’s push to reopen schools in 100 days “may not happen”
For some volunteers helping with the Covid-19 vaccination effort, early vaccination is a bonus
Nearly 28 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the US, according to new CDC data
CDC is currently conducting research to determine if two masks are better than one
The National Guard is supporting US vaccination efforts in 38 states
New York will receive 16% more vaccine doses starting next week, governor says
Coronavirus variants projected to be more dominant in US by the end of March, Fauci says
White House Covid-19 adviser praises 7 states on vaccine administration
CDC director says US is ramping up surveillance and sequencing of Covid-19 variants
Young widows who lost their husbands to Covid-19 are separated by the pandemic but connected in grief
CDC director hopeful US schools can reopen soon as a result of teacher vaccinations and mitigation efforts
Biden “encouraged” by Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine news, White House says
‘The virus will continue to mutate’, Fauci says
Tulane University suspends 6 Greek life houses over COVID violations
NY Cardinal Dolan quarantines after coming in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, officials say
Total US cases: 26,467,385
Total US deaths: 446,534
Total Recovered: 16,162,182
Total Tested in US: 299,065,213
Total cases in CA: 3,269,708
Total deaths in CA: 39,859
Total cases in TX: 2,336,841
Total deaths in TX: 26,530
Total cases in FL: 1,698,570
Total deaths in FL: 26,254
Total cases in NY: 1,430,724
Total deaths in NY: 43,382
Total cases in IL: 1,120,528
Total deaths in IL: 21,146
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