March 2, 2021

Dr. Stuart Weiss: COVID-19 Update Wednesday 27-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 27, 2021

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

Topics: South African B.1.351 variant can evade antibody treatment, More vaccine coming

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

A new study posted online took a look at how monoclonal antibody treatments do against the B.1.351 variant of SARS-CoV-2. The study was done by a group out of Columbia University and the N.I.H. It was lead by Dr. David Ho, a pioneer virologist who was instrumental in the development of antiretroviral drugs in HIV/AIDS.

According to the study, the South African variant has significant mutations in the spike protein area that make some of the monoclonal antibody treatments ineffective. As you may recall, monoclonal antibodies are given to people who are sick to essentially infuse pre-made antibodies into them to support them while their bodies make their own antibodies. The problem is that these medications are pre-made to the original virus. The newer variants, especially the B.1.351 from South Africa and the B.1.1.28 from Brazil have mutations that make these pre-made antibodies not bind to them. The B.1.1.7 out of Britain is still susceptible to these medications. That is good news as long as the dominant version in the US becomes the B.1.1.7 and not the other ones.

The other problem with the B.1.351 is that the vaccines are also not as effective against the virus.

One of my clients yesterday asked me to explain what was going on with variants. Here is how I explained it. Viruses have sloppy copying mechanisms. As they force our bodies to make millions or billions of copies of themselves, random errors occur. It’s like making a copy of a copy of a copy of a document. As you make more and more copies, you get random dots or the lines aren’t straight. As the virus is copied over and over, random changes are introduced. If a mutation happens to result in a stronger virus, then the new version takes over. This is called antigenic drift and it is expected with viruses. The more people who get infected, the more chances the virus has to make a random mutation that makes a stronger virus able to resist our antibodies and medications.

Its important to remember that viruses depend on living cells to make the copies of itself. The more people who are infected, the more chances for mutations. We must get folks vaccinated so there is less viral spread and less chance for emergence of more dangerous variants. Its a race against nature. This is why is it so good that the US has rejoined the WHO and the global vaccination effort. It doesn’t help us if we vaccinate all Americans and then a resistant variant develops in an underserved or poor region of the world which spreads to the US. This must be a global effort.

More Vaccine Coming

President Biden announced that his team updated their goal to vaccinate all American 16 years old and older by the end of the summer. That is a very ambitious goal but a very valuable one if we can achieve it. Moderna and Pfizer are on track to deliver 200 million doses to the US by the end of March. The Federal government will buy 200 million more doses over the summer.

A third vaccine made by Johnson and Johnson may be ready for review by the FDA in a few weeks and could bring 100 million doses to market in the US by the end of June. This vaccine only requires one dose to be effective.

The Federal Government has promised to be more transparent with Governors on when they are getting vaccine. The administration has committed to 10 million doses per week to States over the next three weeks.

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 27, 2021

World Wide Updates

Covid-19 variant first seen in UK has now been detected in at least 70 countries, WHO says
Israel expands vaccinations to those aged 35 and above
Portugal suspends all flights with Brazil, extends flight ban with UK
Germany considering further travel restrictions and dramatic reduction in air traffic 
Bahrain and Oman tighten restrictions to curb the spread of new coronavirus variants
Global Covid-19 cases decreased 15% in last week, WHO says
British Home Secretary says people need to explain reasons for travel under new border regulations
Madrid suspends vaccination program due to lack of supply
UK prime minister announces 10-day quarantine in government accommodation
Beijing tightens Covid-19 restrictions for arrivals to city ahead of Chinese Lunar New Year
Two hospitals in German state of Bavaria self-quarantine after tests indicate UK variant
Rich countries jumping the queue for vaccines could leave “much of the world” behind, WHO chief warns
French drugmaker to produce 125 million BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine doses for the EU
Nearly 300 Covid-19 cases in South Korea linked to unauthorized religious school
Peru locks down 10 regions due to “extreme” Covid-19 threat
Myanmar kicks off Covid-19 vaccination rollout
Thailand reports more than 800 new Covid-19 cases amid mass testing drive
China has given more than 22 million doses of coronavirus vaccines
Taiwanese man fined $35,000 for breaking home quarantine 7 times
Portugal reports another daily record in Covid-19 deaths
Germans mark a grim year since coronavirus first struck
Mexican President suffering only minor Covid-19 symptoms and remains “in good spirits”
Japan’s Prime Minister Suga apologizes for strained health care system
AstraZeneca CEO defends plans to supply vaccine to UK ahead of EU, amid frustration over delays
WHO team in Wuhan to begin long-delayed coronavirus investigation after clearing quarantine
Global tally of confirmed coronavirus cases surpasses 100 million
900 Holocaust survivors in Israel died from COVID last year
Norway to close borders for all but essential visitors
Czech Republic to halt vaccinations for two weeks to prioritize second doses
Cyprus to ease lockdown amid falling infections
Total Cases Worldwide: 101,324,528
Total Deaths Worldwide: 2,180,209
Total Recovered: 73,185,746

US Updates

CDC stresses people should try to get second coronavirus vaccine dose on time
More than 24.6 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the US, new CDC data shows
Coronavirus variants are impacting tests, FDA official says
CDC watching to see if new Covid-19 variants cause more cases of rare complication in children 
New York governor says there are 42 known cases of the UK Covid-19 variant reported across the state while lifting some Covid-19 restrictions
Oklahoma is trying to return its hydroxychloroquine stockpile
It will “be months” before all Americans can get vaccines, White House Covid-19 adviser says
New federal move will add to list of people who can administer coronavirus vaccines
Republican governor praises Biden team for vaccine allocation response
Risks of contracting Covid-19 are “much higher” than mild risks of vaccines, CDC director says
Walmart says it has thousands of stores ready to administer Covid vaccines
AstraZeneca has completed enrollment in its US Covid-19 vaccine trial
Local policies halting evictions may have helped prevent US Covid-19 cases, according to new analysis
“Supply-demand imbalance” is biggest challenge with vaccinations, New Jersey governor says
Number of people flying in US hits six-month low, TSA data shows
FDA places all alcohol-based hand sanitizers from Mexico on “import alert”
CDC projects up to 514,000 US Covid-19 deaths by February 20
NYC to receive 30% more doses of Moderna vaccine as a result of Biden plan
US consumers may be about to get the first standards for face masks
Donors giving $10,000 to Seattle-area hospital got special ‘invite’ for COVID-19 vaccine, report says
Florida ‘Paramedic of the Year’ arrested for alleged role in COVID vaccine theft
Family outraged after 10 adults and 10 kids kicked off flight in Utah over mask rules
Wisconsin pharmacist accused of destroying dozens of COVID vaccine doses agrees to plead guilty
Chick-Fil-A manager helps distribute drive-thru COVID vaccines in South Carolina
America’s richest individuals tack on more than $1 trillion in cumulative wealth during COVID crisis
NBA reporter Sekou Smith dies after COVID battle at age 48
Total US cases: 26,126,549
Total US deaths: 438,421
Total Recovered: 15,862,409
Total Tested in US: 295,369,233
Total cases in CA: 3,229,570
Total deaths in CA: 38,456
Total cases in TX: 2,297,933
Total deaths in TX: 35,660
Total cases in FL: 1,676,171
Total deaths in FL: 25,837
Total cases in NY: 1,405,227
Total deaths in NY: 42,929
Total cases in IL: 1,112,181
Total deaths in IL: 20,949

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