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Coronavirus Megahtread 9: Year of Living Dangerously

The prrvious thread way paywalled. I searched but couldn't find anorher thread.

by Anonymousreply 488 hours ago

Sorry for the typo.

by Anonymousreply 105/28/2021

They are finally opening up Oslo after a 6 months long lockdown! Couldn't have come at a better time because today is really nice. I assume lots of people are eating at restaurants and pubs (in Norway it's normal to drink and dine on tables outside in summer).

by Anonymousreply 205/28/2021

Are you drunk OP?

There aren't enough oh dears.

by Anonymousreply 305/28/2021

Should be year and half of living dangerously... this is interminable.

by Anonymousreply 405/28/2021

Will there be another wave of infection in the U.S.? Quite likely, if vaccinations don't pick up.

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by Anonymousreply 505/28/2021

R3 I posted it too fast, sorry. I hate typing on my phone because I always get typos, ugh. You are free to make a new thread.

by Anonymousreply 605/28/2021

Is this only the ninth thread? It seems like a lot more than that!

by Anonymousreply 705/28/2021

BBC: Zero daily Covid deaths announced in the UK for the first time since pandemic began.

by Anonymousreply 806/01/2021

9th of the post-freak-out threads R7.

by Anonymousreply 906/01/2021

anyone talking about fauci's emails?

by Anonymousreply 1006/02/2021

As the world’s less affluent countries scramble for COVID-19 vaccine and contend with deadly surges of the disease, researchers in South Africa have just documented an ominous development: the collision of the pandemic with HIV/AIDS.

Geneticists and infectious disease specialists there have uncovered potentially dangerous coronavirus mutations in a 36-year-old woman with uncontrolled HIV who was unable to shake the SARS-CoV-2 virus for close to eight months. The driving force behind the patient’s rapid accumulation of genetic changes is probably her impaired immune response due to her unsuccessfully treated HIV.

HIV patients whose infections are not controlled with medication could "become a factory of variants for the whole world," said Tulio de Oliveira, a geneticist at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, who led the new research.

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by Anonymousreply 1106/04/2021

[quote]I hate typing on my phone because I always get typos

In that case OP, in the future please proofread or refrain from starting threads. It wounds.

by Anonymousreply 1206/04/2021

[quote] Will there be another wave of infection in the U.S.? Quite likely, if vaccinations don't pick up.

IF that were to happen, the overwhelming majority of people who get it will be the ones who have chosen to remain unvaccinated. I don't have much sympathy for them.

I don't give a lot of credit to all of the "A new wave is a'-comin'" doom and gloom. I started out being really concerned when they would say that, and I'd follow the data . . . and more often than not, there was not a spike as predicted.

by Anonymousreply 1306/04/2021

US to donate 750,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan, senator says

From CNN's Sophie Jeong in Hong Kong

The United States will donate 750,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses to Taiwan as part of its plan to share vaccine doses globally, US Sen. Tammy Duckworth announced upon her arrival in Taipei on Sunday, Taiwan's Central News Agency (CNA) reported.

"It was critical to the United States that Taiwan be included in the first group to receive vaccines because we recognize your urgent need and we value this partnership," Duckworth said at Taiwan's Songshan Airport.

Duckworth, along with Sens. Dan Sullivan and Christopher Coons, arrived at the airport in Taipei on Sunday morning, CNA reported.

The senators' visit is part of a larger visit to the Indo-Pacific region, according to the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT).

"The bipartisan congressional delegation will meet with senior Taiwan leaders to discuss US-Taiwan relations, regional security, and other significant issues of mutual interest," the AIT said on Saturday, without giving more details.

by Anonymousreply 1406/06/2021

US to distribute 25 million Covid vaccines in first tranche of 80 million doses across the globe

From CNN's Nicole Gaouette and Jennifer Hansler

The US will distribute 25 million Covid vaccines as part of an initial tranche of the 80 million doses President Biden has pledged to share internationally, the State Department’s coordinator for global Covid-19 response and health security, Gayle Smith, said in a call with reporters Friday. She offered no timeline for the vaccines’ delivery.

The US will distribute 25% of that first tranche bilaterally, Smith said.

“It gives us greater flexibility and as we’ve seen there are a lot of pop-ups and flares in this pandemic and we want to be able to move vaccines on an urgent basis if needed,” Smith said. She added that the “current expectation” is that the vaccines would be produced by AstraZeneca.

The remaining 75% of the first tranche of US vaccines will go to COVAX, the international group focused on the global vaccine distribution, Smith said, and added that the Biden administration has “identified the countries we want these vaccines to go to.”

Roughly 6 million doses will be distributed across Latin America, including the Caribbean, 7 million will go to South and Southeast Asia, and 5 million to Africa, Smith said.

“This is the first round, this is just the beginning,” said Smith. She was not able to say when the 55 million doses that make up the total 80 million vaccines would be delivered.

Going forward, the Biden administration will pursue a three-part strategy to maximize vaccine supply by sharing doses, encouraging US manufacturers to increase vaccine production “by the last quarter, if not earlier, of this year, and well into next year,” Smith said. The administration will also work to improve global vaccine production by increasing production capacity “so there are more places in the world, manufacturing, and able to distribute vaccines,” Smith said.

“Our goal is to end the pandemic and maximize that as quickly as we can,” Smith said. “It's in our interest to do this, our own health security is at risk… none of us is safe until all of us are safe.”

by Anonymousreply 1506/06/2021

CDC study shows how vaccination coverage reduces Covid-19 cases, severe illness and death

From CNN’s Naomi Thomas

Declines in US Covid-19 cases, emergency department visits, hospital admissions and deaths were largest in age groups that were most vaccinated and show how vaccinations are working to fight the coronavirus, according to a new study published Tuesday in the US Centers For Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

CDC researchers calculated the rates of Covid-19 cases, emergency department visits, hospital admissions and deaths by age group between Nov. 29 and Dec.12, before vaccines were available, and April 18 to May 1, after vaccines had been available for several months.

Covid-19 incidence was 69% lower among all adults during April 18 to May 1 when compared with the prevaccination period. For people age 65 and over, 50 to 64 and 18 to 49, it was 79%, 71% and 66% lower, respectively.

Emergency department visits for Covid-19 per 100,000 visits during the latter time frame were 59% lower among all adults when compared to the prevaccination period. People 65 and older had the largest change – 77% lower.

For hospital admissions, when compared with the prevaccination period, overall adult Covid-19 hospital admission rates were 63% lower in April 18 to May 1, again with the largest change – 78% – happening among people age 65 and older.

The study notes that although hospital admissions remained highest among people age 70 and over, the proportion of adult Covid-19 hospital admissions among that age group decreased from 45.6% in the first time period to 27.6% during the second.

People age 65 and older had the highest mortality, but the proportion of Covid-19 deaths that occurred in this group decreased from 84.2% during the prevaccination period to 68%.

“Comparing the 2-week prevaccination period with 2 weeks in late April, declines were significantly greater among older adults, who had higher vaccination coverage, than younger adults, who had lower coverage,” said the report.

The study suggests that tailored efforts from states and local jurisdictions to increase vaccine coverage among all groups could help to further reduce Covid-19 cases and severe outcomes. The efforts should include effective communication of the benefits of vaccination and ensuring equitable access, the study said.

by Anonymousreply 16Last Tuesday at 7:41 AM

Pfizer to trial smaller doses of its Covid-19 vaccine in children 11 years old and younger

From CNN's Nadia Kounang

Pfizer announced it will trial smaller doses of its Covid-19 vaccine for children 11 years old. The company said it is moving to a Phase 2/3 trial, and plans to enroll up to 4,500 children across 90 sites in the US, Finland, Poland and Spain.

“Based on the safety, tolerability and immunogenicity from our Phase 1 study, we’ve select a 10 ug to advance in children from 5-11 and 3 ug between 6 months to below the age of five,” a Pfizer spokesperson said in a statement to CNN on Tuesday.

Children will also be on a two-dose regimen. Currently the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine has emergency authorization in the US for people 12 years and older at 30 micrograms per dose, taken two times, 21 days apart.

by Anonymousreply 17Last Tuesday at 7:42 AM

CDC study finds vaccinated people have milder disease in rare breakthrough infections

From CNN's Maggie Fox

People who have been vaccinated against coronavirus are more than 90% protected against infection and, if they do become infected, they have milder disease than unvaccinated people, a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study shows.

The ongoing, real-life study also shows even partially vaccinated people are 81% less likely to become infected than unvaccinated people, the CDC team reported.

The study of more than 3,900 health care staff, first responders and other frontline essential workers who have been tested weekly since December showed that so far 5% have tested positive for coronavirus. Only 16 of the 204 people who became infected had been vaccinated.

The findings are reported in an online preprint on the medrxiv site and have not been peer-reviewed or published in a medical journal.

“This adds to the growing body of real-world evidence of their effectiveness,” the CDC said in a statement.

“Findings from the extended timeframe of this study add to accumulating evidence that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines are effective and should prevent most infections — but that fully vaccinated people who still get COVID-19 are likely to have milder, shorter illness and appear to be less likely to spread the virus to others. These benefits are another important reason to get vaccinated," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky added in the statement.

The workers got either Pfizer/BioNTech’s or Moderna’s two-dose coronavirus vaccine and have been testing themselves weekly since December, regardless of whether they have symptoms. That’s the only way to tell if the vaccines prevent asymptomatic infections.

Those who got “breakthrough” infections after one or two doses of vaccine had 40% less virus in their bodies and were 58% less likely to have fever. They spent two fewer days in bed than unvaccinated Covid-19 patients.

by Anonymousreply 18Last Tuesday at 7:43 AM

I’m calling it: Covid is dead to me.

I’m not going to pay it any attention.

I had sex with 7 men this weekend, all bareback and unmasked.

Life is a vaccinated banquet.

by Anonymousreply 19Last Tuesday at 7:59 AM

Just heard on abc news tonight, the Delta variant is dominant in the UK. They said the pfizer vax is only 33 % effective against this strain!!!!!!!!

by Anonymousreply 20Last Tuesday at 2:34 PM

Sorry, correction, 33% effective after 1 dose of pfizer. 80 something percent after 2nd dose.

by Anonymousreply 21Last Tuesday at 2:35 PM

Are camels the next bats?

New study finds that camel-borne Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) "is just a few mutations away from becoming a serious pandemic threat."

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by Anonymousreply 22Last Wednesday at 5:09 AM

This may an even better incentive than a million-dollar lottery for a lot of folks:

"Joints for Jabs" promotion to give away a free joint for receiving a COVID vaccination shot in Washington state.

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by Anonymousreply 23Last Wednesday at 5:12 AM

How many times a week can I be vaccinated r23?

by Anonymousreply 24Last Wednesday at 5:13 AM

Younger, unvaccinated UKers are driving what might turn out to be a substantial fourth wave there. We can expect the same in the U.S. as vaccinations continue to slow.

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by Anonymousreply 25Last Wednesday at 5:22 AM

Hey Miss OP, typos happen. No prob. Thanks for the new thread. Neighbor has a sign on her lawn. “I CHOOSE FREEDOM OVER FEAR”. Let’s everyone know she won’t vax. Crazy cunt. Masks are “useless” and makes a fuss at the local grocery store. Attitudes like this will keep the virus going into 2023.

She also has a sign in her garage hanging on her small boat….Stop the Steal. And yet, she hasn’t had COVID. Life is so unfair.

by Anonymousreply 26Last Wednesday at 5:41 AM

Well, at least she makes it clear that she is to be avoided r26.

by Anonymousreply 27Last Wednesday at 5:46 AM

R26, she probably had an asymptomatic case of it and spread it all around. One of my right wing idiot customers was like that and then went on a big hunting trip this winter. He brought it home to his wife and nearly killed her and did kill his 65 year old hunting buddy and probably spread it all over town too. His only symptom was that his manic ass had naps 3 days in a row, something he never does.

by Anonymousreply 28Last Wednesday at 6:18 AM

CDC issues new travel advice for more than 120 countries

From CNN's Ryan Prior

As more people get vaccinated the spread of Covid-19 becomes more controlled, public health officials are issuing new travel advice for more than 120 countries.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its international travel guidance on Monday to give specific advice for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers.

The update includes moving 33 countries, including Iceland, Israel and Singapore, into the lowest risk category.

The CDC's Covid-19 revised Travel Health Notice guidelines also seek to "better differentiate countries with severe outbreak situations" from countries in which Covid-19 is "sustained, but controlled."

The CDC’s threat levels are determined by the number of Covid-19 cases in a given country. At each level, the CDC recommends getting vaccinated, but its guidance for unvaccinated people varies by how severe the pandemic is in each country.

The CDC recommends avoiding travel to countries at level 4, the highest threat level, which have more than 500 cases per 100,000 residents in the last 28 days. They include nations such as Brazil, India and Iraq.

For countries at level 3, such as Mexico, Russia, and Iran, the CDC recommends against nonessential travel for that those who are unvaccinated. These are currently reporting 100 to 500 cases per 100,000 residents.

At level 2, the agency recommends that unvaccinated travelers who are at severe risk for severe illness from Covid-19 should avoid visiting. These nations, such as Finland, Cambodia and Kenya, are currently reporting 50-99 cases per 100,000.

Finally, countries at level 1, such as Australia and New Zealand, are considered the lowest risk destinations, and have reported less than 50 Covid-19 cases in the last 28 days. The CDC still recommends getting vaccinated before traveling to a low-risk location.

by Anonymousreply 29Last Wednesday at 6:23 AM

Half of those 12 and older in the US now fully vaccinated against Covid-19, CDC says

From CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas

Less than a month after the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine was authorized for use in people as young as 12 years in the US, half of those 12 and older have now been fully vaccinated, according to data published Tuesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC reported that 303,923,667 doses have now been administered, 81.7% of the 372,100,285 doses delivered. That’s 1,071,750 more doses reported administered since Monday, for a seven-day average of more than 1 million doses per day.

The data shows that 140,411,378 people ­– about 50.1% of the eligible population of those 12 and older in the US – are now fully vaccinated.

More than 171 million people ­– about 51.7% of the total US population – have received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose and more than 141 million people – 42.3% of the population – are fully vaccinated.

Remember: Data published by the CDC may be delayed, and doses may not have been administered on the day reported.

by Anonymousreply 30Last Wednesday at 6:24 AM

J&J testing if shelf life can be extended as millions of doses set to expire

Millions of doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine are set to expire this month — leading to urgent trials to see if the shots’ shelf life can be extended, a White House adviser confirmed Tuesday.

Demand for all coronavirus vaccines has plummeted since mid-April, but the drop has been significantly steeper for J&J’s one-dose shot after it was temporarily halted in April over blood-clot fears.

Close to half of the 21 million doses the company has produced for the US now remain unused — with millions set to expire by the end of June, according to the Wall Street Journal.

While demand has also slowed for vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, around 83 percent of the doses produced for the US have been administered, the paper said.

Shots from both companies can be stored for six months, compared to just three months for J&J doses — with the pharmaceutical giant testing to see if that can be extended to save them.

White House COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt also confirmed Tuesday that the Food and Drug Administration is “looking at opportunities for continued storage” of the unused shots.

“I would encourage every governor who has doses that they worry may be expiring to work with the FDA directly on the proper storage procedures as they continue to examine processes that will allow them to potentially last longer,” Slavitt said on a Tuesday press call.

Asked about the WSJ report, Slavitt insisted that it amounted to a “very, very small fraction of doses that have been sent out to states that will ultimately not be used.”

“It’s not realistic to expect that not a single dose will go to waste. I will tell you that a very very small fraction of the doses that have been sent to states that are in the hundreds of millions will end up not being used,” he said.

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by Anonymousreply 31Last Wednesday at 6:39 AM

Slavitt said the government is “working aggressively … to try to get those doses into arms.”

Some states have asked for permission to ship the unwanted doses to developing nations rather than see them wasted, the WSJ said.

However, doing so faces significant logistical and legal hurdles, with many needy nations not having the tools in place to administer them, the United Nations Children’s Fund told the outlet.

More than a dozen states have given at least one COVID-19 shot to 70 percent of adults or more, Slavitt said Tuesday.

However, as of Monday, 63.7 percent of adults in the US have received at least one dose — with plummeting demand threatening President Biden’s goal of having 70 percent of adults vaccinated by July 4.

While the J&J shot was allowed to resume on April 23, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still advises women under 50 to “especially be aware of the rare risk of blood clots with low platelets after vaccination.”

by Anonymousreply 32Last Wednesday at 6:39 AM

Plant-based eaters are less likely to get severe COVID: study says

Vegetarians are missing out on more than just meat — and it’s a good thing.

Researchers have revealed a link between diet and COVID-19 which showed plant-based eaters were 73% less likely to come down with the virus compared to those who include animals in their diet. Meanwhile, pescatarians, whose primary protein source is fish, were at a 59% lower risk.

The new study, published in the BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, based these findings on a self-reported questionnaire submitted by a total of 2,884 individuals, all health-care workers, from six European countries, 568 of which had had confirmed cases of the coronavirus during the previous year.

Among those cases, 138 said they suffered moderate to severe symptoms, while the remaining 430 experienced mild effects of the respiratory illness.

Details regarding participants’ eating habits were also included in the survey, which had 10 diet categories: “whole food” diet, keto diet, Mediterranean diet, Paleolithic diet, low fat diet, low carbohydrate diet and high protein diet, all of which include red and white meats, plus plant-based/vegan diet, vegetarian diet, and pescatarian diet, which omit red and white meats. “Other” was also made an option.

Of those who had reported illness, only 41 had claimed to be on a plant-based diet while another 46 were pescatarian. The remaining 481 had all been on some form of meal regimen which included livestock and poultry.

“Our results suggest that a healthy diet rich in nutrient dense foods may be considered for protection against severe COVID-19,” study authors posited in their press release.

It is unclear why seafood and plant-based eaters have potentially fared better during the pandemic as “limited” study can only show an association between the groups and severe COVID-19 illness, “so caution is needed in the interpretation of the findings,” said the deputy chair of the UK’s NNEdPro Nutrition and COVID-19 Taskforce, Shane McAuliffe, in a separate statement attached to the press release.

Added McAuliffe, “This study highlights the need for better designed prospective studies on the association between diet, nutritional status and COVID-19 outcomes.”

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by Anonymousreply 33Last Wednesday at 6:42 AM

Let's hope this is the start of a trend.

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by Anonymousreply 34Last Wednesday at 9:15 AM

I believe Columbia in NY will be making vaccination a job requirement as of the fall.

by Anonymousreply 35Last Wednesday at 9:33 AM

When the virus arrived in New York.

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by Anonymousreply 36Last Thursday at 5:46 AM

Variant first identified in India now comprises 91% of new cases in the UK, health minister says

From CNN's Niamh Kennedy

The B1.617.2 variant — also called the Delta variant, which was first identified in India — now comprises 91% of new coronavirus cases in the UK according to British Health Minister Matt Hancock.

Speaking before a special parliamentary committee on Thursday, Hancock said that he saw the figure in the latest assessment on Wednesday night. The spread of the Delta variant has prompted concerns about the likelihood of the UK lifting its final stage of restrictions as planned on June 21.

Hancock told the committee that the government is "looking at this data every single day" to establish the impact of the variant on government plans. The government still has "a couple more days data to look at" it but will "make the decision very soon," Hancock added.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to address the nation on on Monday about the final stage in the ease of restrictions. Parts of North-East England have observed great surges in cases of the variant prompting the UK government to call in the UK army for assistance.

Troops will be deployed across Greater Manchester and Lancashire to help with testing, door-to-door community engagement, planning and logistics with decisions made based on local needs, according to the UK Health department.

by Anonymousreply 37Last Thursday at 5:58 AM

Moderna asks FDA to OK its Covid-19 vaccine for 12- to 17-year-olds

From CNN’s Ben Tinker and John Bonifield

Moderna has filed with the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use authorization for its Covid-19 vaccine for 12- to 17-year-olds, according to a news release from the company.

Last month, Moderna released results from a Phase 2/3 trial of 3,732 children ages 12 to 17 in the United States; blood tests showed that the vaccine produced an immune response that was equivalent to earlier findings in adults.

In that trial, initial observations found that none of the children who received the vaccine got sick with Covid-19 starting 14 days after their second dose. Four of the children who received the placebo tested positive for Covid-19.

The company has already filed for younger-age vaccine authorization with regulators in Canada and Europe.

“We are pleased to announce that we have submitted for an emergency use authorization for our COVID-19 vaccine with the FDA for use in adolescents in the United States,” Moderna CEO Stéphane Bancel said in the statement. "We will file with regulatory agencies around the world for this important younger age population. We remain committed to helping to end the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine is currently authorized for people ages 18 and older in the United States.

Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine received an EUA for 12- to 15-year-olds on May 10.

The one-shot Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine is still only authorized for people ages 18 and older in the US.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this post incorrectly stated the age of teens covered in the emergency use authorization granted for Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine in May. It was authorized for 12- to 15-year-olds.

by Anonymousreply 38Last Thursday at 5:58 AM

8 states have fully vaccinated more than half of their residents, CDC data shows

From CNN’s Deidre McPhillips

Eight states — all but one of them in the Northeast — have fully vaccinated more than half of their residents against Covid-19, according to data published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

They are: Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Vermont leads the country with nearly 60% of residents fully vaccinated.

Overall, nearly 141 million people – 42.5% of the US population – are fully vaccinated, and about 172 million people – nearly 52% of the population – have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine.

Nearly 305 million total doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been reported administered, about 82% of the 372 million doses that have been delivered, CDC data shows. That’s about 829,000 more doses reported administered since Tuesday, for a seven-day average of about 1.1 million doses per day.

Note: Data published by the CDC may be delayed, and doses may not have been administered on the day reported.

by Anonymousreply 39Last Thursday at 5:58 AM

Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine neutralizes some worrisome variants, study finds

From CNN's Maggie Fox

Two doses of Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine appear to provide good protection against some of the worrisome new variants of the virus that are circulating, including the B.1.617.2 or Delta variant, which was first seen in India, researchers reported Thursday.

Global leaders are warning about the spread of the new variants, some of which seem to be more transmissible, but the study published in the journal Nature indicates full vaccination elicits an immune response that should be expected to protect people well against infection with the new variants.

Researchers at BioNTech, the University of Texas Medical Branch and elsewhere tested lab-engineered viruses against blood taken from 20 fully immunized people – meaning they’d had both doses at least two weeks prior.

The immune cells in the blood neutralized several lab-made versions of the strains, including B.1.617.1, B.1.617.2, B.1.618 (all first identified in India) and B.1.525 (first identified in Nigeria), they reported.

“A recent real-world study in participants who had received two doses of BNT162b2 (the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine) demonstrated an effectiveness of 75% against any documented infection and 100% against documented severe, critical, or fatal disease caused by the variant B.1.351, which showed a similar reduction of neutralization titers as B.1.617.1,” they wrote.

“New variants will continue to emerge as the pandemic persists. To date, there is no evidence that virus variants have escaped BNT162b2-mediated protection from COVID-19,” they added.

“Therefore, increasing the proportion of the population immunized with current safe and effective authorized vaccines remains a key strategy to minimize the emergence of new variants and end the COVID-19 pandemic.”

by Anonymousreply 40Last Thursday at 11:30 AM

It took less than six months for the globe to record more than 1.88 million Covid-19 deaths this year, surpassing the total number of deaths in 2020.

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by Anonymousreply 41Last Thursday at 11:48 AM

Two passengers on first 'fully-vaccinated' post-Covid cruise from US test positive for coronavirus during voyage in the Caribbean

Two passengers on the first 'fully-vaccinated' cruise from the US have tested positive for coronavirus during the Caribbean voyage.

Cruise operator Royal Caribbean said on Thursday that two guests on its Celebrity Millennium ship had tested positive but are asymptomatic and currently in isolation.

The guests, who were sharing a room, are being monitored by the company's medical team, the cruise operator said.

They tested positive during end-of-cruise testing, carried out three days before returning to the US.

Royal Caribbean added that it was conducting contact tracing and expediting testing for all close contacts of the unnamed individuals.

All passengers were required to show proof of vaccination before boarding the cruise in addition to a negative test taken within 72 hours before departure from the island of St. Maarten on Saturday.

The US has no standard proof of vaccination and the system relies on passengers procuring documents form their health providers.

The ship is now docked in Curaço off the coast of Venezuela and will return to St. Maarten on Saturday to disembark.

Celebrity Millennium was one of the first cruises in North America to restart sailing last week, after more than a year of halted operations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Around 600 guests were welcomed on board the week-long voyage - a fraction of the ship's 2,218 capacity.

Royal Caribbean started sailing this month after meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) comprehensive guidelines that included a fully vaccinated crew and requirements for everyone over 16 to present proof of vaccination against Covid-19.

Cruise operators are among the last to return to their pre-pandemic operations as the CDC laid out strict guidance earlier this year for the cruise industry for resuming trips, after some ships became hotbeds for the virus last year.

Ocean voyages were suspended in March last year as the pandemic cut a devastating path around the world, with hubs like Florida losing an estimated $5.6 billion.

News of the cases came as US-based cruise lines are chafing to resume voyages from Florida ports in July as the pandemic wanes - but for vaccinated passengers only - yet the state and its governor won't let them demand proof of inoculation.

So far, neither side has blinked, even as two guests on one of the first cruise ships to sail from North America since the Covid pandemic tested positive on Thursday.

Florida 'is the cruise capital of the world,' with billions of dollars of revenue and thousands of jobs at stake, said Doug Parker, editor of the Cruise Radio website.

'It would be a big blow if they couldn't come to terms.'

If neither side gives in, Parker said, cruise ships 'would have to start sailing out of other ports that would accept them... because these ships are trying to do the right thing.'

The CDC currently requires that more than 95 percent of passengers and crew be vaccinated in order for cruise lines to bypass a requirement for trial voyages.

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by Anonymousreply 42Last Friday at 6:46 AM

The chief obstacle now for cruises departing from Florida comes from Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, who made his tourism-dependent state one of the first to drop its pandemic restrictions.

Last month he signed into law a bill barring businesses from demanding vaccination 'passports,' stopping them from requiring that employees provide proof of vaccination - and threatening fines for noncompliance that could amount, for cruise lines, to $5,000 per passenger.

The measure takes effect July 1, just when cruise lines hope to resume operations after a year in which Covid played havoc with their industry.

'While the governor, on the one hand, wants to see jobs back and tourism back... (he) is kind of his worst enemy, because he's also saying, you can't ask for that same proof,' Parker said.

The governor's terse response: 'Our state policy is our state policy.'

To DeSantis's critics, his is a political decision aimed at winning the votes of Donald Trump sympathizers - many of them vaccine skeptics - ahead of a possible re-election campaign in 2022.

With the world's three biggest cruise lines all based in Miami, the coming months offer a calendar of confusing and shifting health requirements, with conflict a near-certainty.

Carnival Cruise Line will require vaccination on cruises leaving from Texas - another Republican-led state that has been quick to drop Covid curbs - but Carnival has provided no detailed information on a cruise set to leave Miami on July 4.

This Monday, Norwegian Cruise Line - which has threatened to abandon Florida ports altogether - directly defied the governor by saying it would demand proof of vaccination on all its cruises.

'We are currently in communication with his (DeSantis's) staff and legal counsel to ensure that we can offer the safest cruise experience for our passengers departing from the cruise capital of the world,' the company's CEO, Frank Del Rio, said.

The third big cruise line, the Royal Caribbean Group, meantime reversed itself.

Having initially announced that it would demand proof of vaccination, it said Friday that passengers and crew were only 'strongly recommended' to get the vaccine, and that anyone unvaccinated would face 'other protocols.'

Celebrity Cruises (part of Royal Caribbean) will launch the first trip from Florida, sailing out of Fort Lauderdale on June 26. A 'test' cruise six days earlier will depart from Miami.

'It's confusing,' Jim Walker, a maritime lawyer, told AFP. His Cruise Law News blog last year provided daily updates on the distress of those on cruise ships stranded at sea by the pandemic.

Now, he said, there's 'different companies trying to solve a problem differently.'

'The impression that the public have is that the cruise line is not taking appropriate steps to send out a message that their ships are safe,' said Walker, pointing to a survey by CruiseCritic.com that found that 80 percent of potential passengers would prefer to travel on ships that demand vaccination proof.

He also pointed out that ships making Caribbean port stops could spread Covid to islands lacking the vaccine access enjoyed by the US - 'although quite frankly,' he added, 'very few cruise lines seem to express concern about that potential.'

And cruise lovers, Walker continued, 'don't really seem to care if they infect people in the Bahamas or throughout the Caribbean.'

'It's so reckless and dangerous and irresponsible,' he said.

The cruise industry is hugely important to the Florida economy, generating yearly revenues of $9 billion and providing jobs for 160,000 people, according to the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).

Since ocean voyages were suspended in March last year as the pandemic cut a devastating path around the world, Florida has lost an estimated $5.6 billion.

Both sides in the current standoff, Parker said, 'have a lot to lose.'

by Anonymousreply 43Last Friday at 6:47 AM
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by Anonymousreply 44Last Friday at 12:03 PM

Chicken egg vaccine finally in phase 1 clinical trial. Fingers crossed

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by Anonymousreply 4512 hours ago

Novavax says a version of its vaccine targeting the B.1.351 variant shows positive results in animal studies

From CNN's Jacqueline Howard

Biotechnology company Novavax said Friday that studies in mice, baboons, and humans suggest that a version of its coronavirus vaccine specifically developed to target the B.1.351 variant first identified in South Africa can elicit "strong" immune responses.

That may indicate it protects against both the B.1.351 and the B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in the United Kingdom, the company said.

The studies compared data on the B.1.351-directed vaccine with data on Novavax's original coronavirus vaccine, the company noted, and the vaccines were tested on their own, in combination, and as primers or boosters. The findings published in a preprint paper on the medical server biorxiv.org and the company said the data have been submitted for peer review.

"These data suggest that not only could one booster dose of this variant-directed vaccine potentially provide a robust, protective immune boost after vaccination against the original SARS-CoV-2 virus, but also the potential to provide broad protection against various virus strains if used as a primary vaccine regimen," Dr. Gregory Glenn, president of research and development at Novavax, said in a statement.

"This broad immune coverage is vital to controlling the pandemic as variants of concern continue to emerge worldwide that could jeopardize the protection created through ongoing COVID-19 vaccination efforts," Glenn said.

In the rodent study, mice were immunized with either the B.1.351 or original vaccine alone, in combination, or in a prime-boost series. Novavax announced that whether immunized with any of those options, mice were protected when challenged with live strains of the B.1.1.7 or B.1.351 variants.

In the baboon study, the animals that had been immunized with the original vaccine a year before were boosted with one or two doses of the B.1.351 vaccine. Seven days after a first boost, the baboons exhibited a strong immune response and the results suggest one dose of the B.1.351 vaccine "may be sufficient" for boosting after previous immunizations with vaccines that are based on the original virus strain, the company said.

In the human study, researchers analyzed serum samples collected from 30 people participating in Phase 2 clinical trials of Novavax's original vaccine. The serum samples demonstrated neutralizing capacity against the B.1.1.7 variant, but there was a "modest reduction in neutralizing capacity" against the B.1.351 strain, the company noted, adding that the finding supports the development and production of a B.1.351 vaccine.

by Anonymousreply 4610 hours ago

United Airlines planning to bring most employees back by the fall

From CNN's Greg Wallace

United Airlines said Friday it expects to have most of its workforce back on the job by this fall, and the union representing its flight attendants says it understands the airline will not furlough any employees.

The airline said it is “accelerating our business to meet a resurgence in customer demand,” including adding hundreds of flights this month.

“When Payroll Support Program funding expires on Oct. 1, 2021, we plan to have welcomed the vast majority of our employees back to work,” United spokesperson Leigh Schramm told CNN.

The Payroll Support Program was part of the federal stimulus plans and paid the airlines billions of dollars to keep on the job employees who would have been furloughed as the aviation sector slumped due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The surge in travel demand is showing across the industry. Representatives for ultra-low-cost carriers say their businesses are already back at between 95% and 100%, and the air carrier group Airlines for America says domestic departures and passengers are each down about 25%. (International travel is worse off.) The Transportation Security Administration last weekend recorded the busiest day in more than a year, when it screened nearly 2 million people.

The Association of Flight Attendants, which represents employees at United and other airlines, called United’s announcement a victory for the massive federal investment in airlines.

“We proposed the PSP to keep workers whole AND to keep our industry solvent and ready to fly. Simply put, PSP delivered,” Association of Flight Attendants President Sara Nelson said in a statement.

by Anonymousreply 4710 hours ago
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