February 26, 2021

Dr. Stuart Weiss: COVID-19 Update Thursday 28-Jan-2021

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

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

January 28, 2021

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

Topics: South African B.1.351 variant identified in two people in South CarolinaNovavax vaccine 90% effective but only 50% effective against B.1.351

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

South African B.1.351 Variant Update

Today, the South Carolina Department of Health and the CDC announced two confirmed cases of B.1.351 (South African) variant in South Carolina. Both were in people with no travel history to South Africa and no connection between them. One adult was from the Lowcountry region and the other was from the Pee Dee region in the northeast.This strongly suggests that the new variant, now found to be circulating in about 30 countries, is already circulating in the communities of at least South Carolina but perhaps a wider area. We do little viral sequencing in the US so we don’t have great knowledge about variants and their spread.

Today also, Novavax, a little known vaccine manufacturer and one of six in Operation Warp Speed, announced that their vaccine was 90% effective against normal SARS-CoV-2 virus but in a small study in South Africa, the efficacy of their vaccine dropped to around 50% with the B.1.351 variant.This drop in efficacy is also found in the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines although reportedly not as much as the Novavax drop. We are waiting for another vaccine manufacturer, Johnson and Johnson to release its data. It has also tested its vaccine against the South African variant.

According to the New York Times, the data from the Novavax trial in South AFrica also showed that many trial participants were infected with the variant even after they had already had and recovered from CoViD-19. Stanley Erck, the president and CEO of Novavax said the company would soon be testing a new vaccine tailored to protect against the variant from South Africa. He went on to say that in the face of a changing virus, they are going to have to make new vaccines. Earlier, Moderna also spoke about making a booster shot to cover the South African variant.

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 28, 2021

World Wide Updates

Novavax says UK Phase 3 trial shows its coronavirus vaccine has 89% efficacy 
France adapts its vaccination program due to expected shortages
Poland extends coronavirus measures until Feb. 14
Denmark extends coronavirus restrictions until Feb. 28
UK adds UAE, Burundi and Rwanda to travel ban list
EU orders inspection of AstraZeneca’s Belgium site following vaccine delivery delays
German vaccine commission recommends AstraZeneca’s vaccine should not be given to people over 65
Another lab study suggests Pfizer vaccine works against variants identified in the UK and South Africa
As WHO investigators in Wuhan leave quarantine, China says it’ll cooperate on virus tracing
Europe is facing a “pandemic paradox,” WHO director says
Covid vaccinations will not be a prerequisite at the Tokyo Olympics says CEO, as swimming qualifier is postponed
England’s latest lockdown may finally be working, but some regions are seeing a rise in cases, major study shows
Expect “at least another 10 weeks” of vaccine shortages, says German Health Minister
China calls for WHO investigation into Covid-19 origin not be politicized
India eases restrictions on public activities as Covid-19 cases show declining trend
South Korea lays out vaccination plan set to begin in late February 
Head of Africa CDC “surprised” by UK’s Covid-19 travel ban list
Thailand arrests 89 foreigners for violating Covid-19 rules
Colombia suspends flights with Brazil over new strain of Covid-19 New Zealand ranks No. 1 in COVID handling, but US in bottom 5, survey says
Total Cases Worldwide: 101,929,541
Total Deaths Worldwide: 2,197,675
Total Recovered: 73,710,361

US Updates

There’s a chance schools will be able to reopen in the fall, says incoming US surgeon general
Health experts say some people are experiencing “long Covid” months after getting coronavirus
“We’re in a race against the variants,” says incoming US surgeon general
Ohio pulls vaccine from statewide allocation to vaccinate K-12 staff
More than 26 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in the US, CDC data shows
Biden administration expands who can legally give a Covid-19 vaccine
Despite dropping Covid-19 cases, 95% of US population lives in a “sustained hotspot
Covid-19 outbreaks on college campuses put broader community at risk, new CDC report shows
New York City school enrollment drops by 4%
South Carolina detects first US cases of Covid-19 variant first seen in South Africa
Biden officials expected to meet with Covid-19 vaccine distributors today
Department of Defense receives FEMA request for military to boost Covid-19 vaccinations across US
A rural medical center in Georgia is suspended from vaccine program after inoculating school staff
New York undercounted Covid-19 deaths in nursing homes by about 50%, according to report
US infections are decreasing, but 80,000 more Americans could die in the next three weeks
FedEx will delay relocating Hong Kong crews to San Francisco until quarantine rule officially announced
Washington restricts Covid-19 mass vaccination sites to people who live or work in state
Health care workers stuck in Oregon snowstorm give stranded drivers COVID-19 vaccines before the doses could expire
Most US states have identified cases of coronavirus variant first spotted in UK, CDC reports
New Jersey person dies from U.K. COVID variant, first recorded US death from strain
Tampa mandates masks be worn outside Super Bowl weekend
Philadelphia cuts ties with student-run company accused of misusing COVID vaccine doses and patient data
Seniors in Kansas county wait on long line in frigid temperatures for COVID vaccine
Reopening New York City indoor dining will be up to the state, mayor says
Total US cases: 26,287,927
Total US deaths: 442,631
Total Recovered: 16,009,714
Total Tested in US: 296,970,597
Total cases in CA: 3,247,319
Total deaths in CA: 39,101
Total cases in TX: 2,316,494
Total deaths in TX: 36,117
Total cases in FL: 1,687,594
Total deaths in FL: 26,037
Total cases in NY: 1,417,511
Total deaths in NY: 43,192
Total cases in IL: 1,116,372
Total deaths in IL: 21,074
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