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ASPartOfMe
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25 Nov 2020, 11:51 am

Covid-19 vaccine no ‘walk in the park,’ CDC committee told

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Americans need to be prepared for the possibility that they may feel a little unwell after they get a coronavirus vaccine, if one is authorized, members of a US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisory committee said Monday.

Volunteers in vaccine trials have reported they frequently feel flu-like effects after getting vaccinated, and members of the ACIP — as well as liaison representatives who take part in the discussion — said that could affect people’s willingness to get vaccinated in the first place, or to get the second dose of the two-vaccine regimen.

As a practicing physician, I have got to be sure my patients will come back for the second dose. We really have got to make patients aware that this is not going to be a walk in the park,” Dr. Sandra Fryhofer of the Emory University School of Medicine, representing the American Medical Association, told the meeting.

“They are going to know they got a vaccine. They are not going to feel wonderful.”

The whole point of vaccination is to cause an immune response in the body and that can sometimes cause flu-like symptoms such as body aches, or even fever and a headache.

Public willingness to get a coronavirus vaccine has been steadily dropping since the spring, but it might improve when people start to hear more about the safety and efficacy of the various vaccines in the works, the CDC’s Dr. Sara Oliver told the committee during the five-hour-long meeting.

Oliver said the CDC has been looking at various surveys on attitudes and noted that anywhere between 40% and 80% of those surveyed said they’d be willing to get vaccinated.

“Many adults reported intentions to receive Covid vaccine. But concerns were raised around side-effects, unknown efficacy and the speed of the (authorization) process,” Oliver told the meeting.

Vaccine acceptance was highest among Asian-Americans and lowest among African-Americans, Oliver said.

Any plan for distributing coronavirus vaccine should take into account fair and equitable access to everyone—especially groups that are disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

Fair access is at the top of the list, ACIP committee members said in a document published at the start of the meeting.


Contract tracking scaled back, too many cases
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Early in the pandemic, public health workers all over the United States launched efforts to trace outbreaks back to their origins, whether at busy restaurants or crowded meatpacking plants. But with the virus now spreading rapidly in much of the country, overwhelmed state and local health officials are scaling back those contact tracing efforts, or even abandoning them altogether.

Now, with the United States recording a staggering two million new cases in less two weeks and 42 states recording sustained caseload increases, public health agencies are making hard choices about how much they can still realistically learn, and acknowledging that contact tracing efforts can no longer be expected to contain the virus’s spread.

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidance that called on health departments to focus contact tracing efforts on people who had tested positive within the past six days and especially those who were at the greatest risk of infecting others. Patients infected more than 14 days ago should not be traced, the new guidance says

Minnesota’s Itasca County this month said that it was abandoning contact tracing, advising the public that, “if you are in a group setting, just assume that someone has Covid.”


As COVID cases surge on Staten Island, restaurant declares 'autonomous zone'
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As coronavirus cases continue to surge across New York City and particularly on Staten Island, even prompting the set up of a new field hospital, one restaurant is refusing to comply.

The temporary hospital on the grounds of the South Beach Psychiatric Hospital cared for 200 patients in spring, when hospital wards were overwhelmed with seriously ill and dying patients.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said officials are concerned it might be needed again, and the emergency facility is the first in the state to relaunch since the COVID-19 pandemic was partly tamed over the summer.

On Tuesday, that concern was realized as the first COVID patient was admitted to the emergency field hospital late in the day, and many more are expected.

Businesses are facing new restrictions, but one owner ways he won't close his doors, declaring his Grant City pub an "autonomous zone."

This was a dream for me and my partner, and for it to be stripped away is very tough," Keith McAlarney said. "And it's a very scary time we're in."

Choking back tears, McAlarney said he is desperate and that his year-old Mac's Public House is on the brink of shutting down. Now, he's posted an eyebrow-raising statement plastered on the window, saying "We refuse to abide by any rules and regulations put fourth by the mayor of New York City and governor of New York state."

"It does mean what it says, but we do have proper safety measures in place," he said.


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25 Nov 2020, 7:41 pm

https://covidtracking.com/data/charts/us-daily-deaths

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We're now seeing over 2000 recorded deaths a day again in the US and climbing, something we haven't seen since May. This is going to be an awful winter for a lot of families.



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26 Nov 2020, 6:06 am

jimmy m wrote:
As shown, it's hard to answer this question. A 95% effective vaccine is better than a 62% to 90% effective vaccine, but 200 million doses is better than 20 million to 50 million doses. In short, Pfizer and Moderna are producing fewer but more effective (and pricier) vaccines, while AstraZeneca is making a greater number of less effective (and cheaper) vaccines.



I would be very wary of those figures, they are lab or "ideal" figures.

A drug that is very robust is more likely to maintain lab effectiveness when subjected to the stresses of real world distribution.
One that is super fragile is going to suffer a loss of effectiveness when deployed in "real world" conditions.



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26 Nov 2020, 6:40 am

FDA authorizes new Covid-19 antibody test that quantifies specific levels of antibodies

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The US Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency use authorization for Kantaro Bioscience's Covid-19 antibody test kit, the group announced on Wednesday. The newly authorized antibody test, called COVID-SeroKlir, identifies and measures precise levels of antibodies that are present in a person after Covid-19 recovery.

The FDA confirmed to CNN on Wednesday that the agency had authorized the test. But this is not the first test to estimate a patient's antibodies from a past coronavirus infection. The FDA previously authorized similar tests over the summer.

"There are still many unknowns about what the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies may tell us about potential immunity," Stenzel said at the time. "Patients should not interpret results as telling them they are immune, or have any level of immunity, from the virus."

Kantaro Biosciences -- a joint venture between Mount Sinai and RenalytixAI to scale up innovation and testing efforts -- announced on Wednesday that it has partnered with Bio-Techne Corporation to manufacture its testing kits with an initial capacity of up to 10 million tests per month.

While the newly authorized Covid-19 antibody test is similar to others in that it detects Covid-19 antibody levels, it takes testing a step further by providing a number readout of the level detected -- and not just a simple positive or negative result, said Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security, who was not involved in the Kantaro test.


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26 Nov 2020, 9:20 am

Level of Infection in the U.S.

The spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. may be worse than was previously known. There may have been as many as 53 million coronavirus cases in the U.S. by the end of September, according to a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate. That would be nearly eight times as many cases as had been reported by that time. The CDC estimated that only about 45 million of the 53 million infected people may have been sick from the virus, and only 2.4 million were hospitalized. Health officials have warned that people may carry and spread the coronavirus while showing only minor symptoms or even no symptoms at all.

Source: Coronavirus cases in US may be 8 times higher than previously reported, CDC warns

It really means that COVID-19 is endemic in the U.S. and most likely a great amount of the spread is due to Asymptomatic Carriers.


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26 Nov 2020, 9:25 am

SpiceWolf wrote:
jimmy m wrote:
As shown, it's hard to answer this question. A 95% effective vaccine is better than a 62% to 90% effective vaccine, but 200 million doses is better than 20 million to 50 million doses. In short, Pfizer and Moderna are producing fewer but more effective (and pricier) vaccines, while AstraZeneca is making a greater number of less effective (and cheaper) vaccines.



I would be very wary of those figures, they are lab or "ideal" figures.

A drug that is very robust is more likely to maintain lab effectiveness when subjected to the stresses of real world distribution.
One that is super fragile is going to suffer a loss of effectiveness when deployed in "real world" conditions.


I concur. As said in the article "Shelf-life. Once again, Pfizer's vaccine poses a unique challenge. Once it's out of the deep freeze, it's only good for 5 days. Moderna's does better at 30 days, while AstraZeneca's can last 6 months." Storing something at -94° F is a massive challenge. I wonder if it deals with the thermal shock that one might expect from warming the vaccine up after frozen storage.


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26 Nov 2020, 11:34 am

Long Term Effects

COVID-19 is an unpredictable disease that affects the human body in many different ways. Though it was earlier thought to be a respiratory ailment, as time went by, scientists found that the viral disease also leaves its impact on the brain, liver, kidney and other organs of the body. Even the skin of a patient shows manifestation of this deadly contagion. It can cause kidney damage, delirium and even multiple organ failure and ultimately death in severe cases. Some studies have said that this disease may cause irreparable damage to the lungs of patients infected with the virus. Even asymptomatic people are not immune to the effects. But now a new study says that there may be hope of recovery from lung tissue damage for these patients.

Researchers from Radboud University in the Netherlands have revealed that lung tissue of patients who suffered severely from COVID-19 shows good recovery in three months in most cases. The study is published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. After three months, the researchers took stock, which revealed that the patients’ lung tissue is recovering well. Residual damage in the lung tissue was generally limited and is most often seen in patients who were treated in the ICU. It is encouraging to see that lung after COVID-19 infections exhibit this level of recovery.

Source: Most patients see good recovery of damaged lung tissue in 3 months after COVID-19 infection


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26 Nov 2020, 11:59 am

Minimizing Aerosol Spread in Buildings

Winter is almost upon us and with it comes the second wave. So how are we going to deal with it? Are we going to the Open Air School philosophy?

Image

Controlling the spread of aerosols in modern society is a function of VENTILATION. So how can you ensure a building is adequately ventilated?

If one accepts that this is an engineering issue, then one can think of other engineering tools that might help solve the problem. Engineer Shelly Miller wrote in The Conversation that it is difficult to measure the amount of virus that is in the air, or if there is enough fresh air, but measuring CO2 levels is a good proxy.

"Since the coronavirus is most often spread by breathing, coughing or talking, you can use CO2 levels to see if the room is filling up with potentially infectious exhalations. The CO2 level lets you estimate if enough fresh outside air is getting in."

CO2 meters are cheap, and they are being used as the "canary in the coal mine" to determine if there is enough fresh air to dilute the virus. Zhe Peng and Jose Jimenez came to the same conclusion in a study, "Exhaled CO2 as COVID-19 Infection Risk Proxy for Different Indoor Environments and Activities," noting that infected people exhale both CO2 and the virus, so if CO2 levels can be reduced by increased ventilation, the virus levels should be as well.

This approach is already being done in schools.

Source: Doctors and Engineers Speak the Same Language on COVID-19 Transmission


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27 Nov 2020, 8:35 am

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Doctors say CDC should warn people the side effects from Covid vaccine shots won't be 'a walk in the park


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KEY POINTS
The CDC must be transparent about the side effects people may experience after getting their first shot of a coronavirus vaccine, doctors urged during a meeting Monday with CDC advisors.

Dr. Sandra Fryhofer said that both Pfizer's and Moderna's Covid-19 vaccines require two doses and she worries whether her patients will come back for a second dose because of potentially unpleasant side effects after the first shot.

Both companies acknowledged that their vaccines could induce side effects that are similar to symptoms associated with mild Covid-19, such as muscle pain, chills and headache.


https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/11/23/cov ... park-.html


Last year I got the vaccine for shingles. I got the newest one called Shingrix that is supposed to be much more effective than the previous version.

I’ve had plenty of vaccines in my lifetime between working in healthcare and living in multiple countries. But this one was very different.

Shingrix is administered in two doses. The first made my arm only a bit sore.
The second does again made my arm tender in the first day. The next day I was so sick - like a very painful, weakness inducing flu, I literally couldn’t get out of bed. It was brutal. 24 hours later I was feeling pretty good and off doing my usual activities.

I will plan on being bed bound whenever I am able to receive the covid vaccine but feel this is a small price to pay for at least some peace of mind.



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27 Nov 2020, 9:33 am

Face Mask Design

One of the things that makes N95s such a good mask is the layer of non-woven polypropylene material used to construct it. It is fine enough to stop viruses from passing through the material including the coronavirus.

In searching face mask material yesterday I came across another interesting material. It is called Halyard Health H600. The material is normally used as sequential sterilization wraps. The material is also made out of non-woven polypropylene.

My wife continues to make face mask that she donates to the community. We have been using fusible interfacing in the middle layer of mask construction. But this material is generally made out of polyester. The interfacing does control flow rates. Otherwise the cloth mask would not pass the candle test. But I am thinking now is about time to move up to Halyard H600.


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27 Nov 2020, 10:00 am

Infection Period

Nearly a year into the pandemic, can we begin to make some definitive statements about the transmission of COVID-19 between individuals, based on a patient’s symptoms or testing? A meta-analysis provides some answers.

The researchers performed a meta-analysis of studies to try and narrow the range of concerns. To give you a sense of the explosion of information and studies, their searches identified 1486 papers, which they winnowed down to 78, the majority from China. They considered adults and children, along with a variety of timeframes. Apply grains of salt as you may feel necessary.

* COVID-19 RNA hung around for about 17 days in general. Shedding of RNA could go on for 83 days in the upper respiratory tracts (nose and throat) and 60 days in the lower respiratory tract (associated with sputum). It could be found for up to 60 days in the blood and 4 months in the stool.
* Shedding duration increased with age but not gender in respiratory samples.
* Shedding, in general, was longer in those severely affected, but not always.

Bottom line, if you have had direct contact with an individual positive for COVID-19, your period of risk transmission is from a day before they became symptomatic until a week later. More importantly, those with a positive PCR are not likely to remain transmitters after 9 days; that should be sufficient self-isolation.

Source: COVID-19, Viral Load And Shedding: An Update


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28 Nov 2020, 2:54 pm

Effect of Isolation on Society

More people died of suicide in Japan in one month than the entire coronavirus pandemic

Japan is struggling with a mental health crisis as the coronavirus pandemic rages on, with more people dying in one month from suicide than from COVID-19 all year long. The National Police Agency said suicides surged to 2,153 in October alone, with more than 17,000 people taking their own lives this year to date, CBS reported. By comparison, fewer than 2,000 people in the country have died from COVID-19 in 2020. Experts say the pandemic has exacerbated mental health issues due to prolonged lockdowns, isolation from family members, unemployment and other financial concerns, and a lack of school structure.


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28 Nov 2020, 4:27 pm

jimmy m wrote:
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This is a nice chart, however, they don't know the effiacy.

The effiacy percentages are based on assuming vaccinated trial subjects didn't get the virus because of the vaccine.

However, it's possible that many vaccinated trial subjects would of got the virus, if they didn't shelter at home , social distance and/or wear a mask.


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28 Nov 2020, 5:44 pm

Pfizer and BioNTech Conclude Phase 3 Study of COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate, Meeting All Primary Efficacy Endpoints

For Pfizer vaccine:
* Primary efficacy analysis demonstrates BNT162b2 to be 95% effective against COVID-19 beginning 28 days after the first dose;170 confirmed cases of COVID-19 were evaluated, with 162 observed in the placebo group versus 8 in the vaccine group
* Efficacy was consistent across age, gender, race and ethnicity demographics; observed efficacy in adults over 65 years of age was over 94%
* Safety data milestone required by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) has been achieved

When testing, the world is not a perfect place. There are always other variables. Therefore testing will never be ideal; but it does meet the benchmarks of being practical.
* Data demonstrate vaccine was well tolerated across all populations with over 43,000 participants enrolled; no serious safety concerns observed; the only Grade 3 adverse event greater than 2% in frequency was fatigue at 3.8% and headache at 2.0%


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28 Nov 2020, 8:49 pm

The US Recorded More Than 4 Million COVID-19 Cases In The Month Of November

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The US recorded 4 million coronavirus cases in the month of November as the country enters a terrifying new phase of the pandemic, with public health experts warning of another big surge in cases and hospitalizations following Thanksgiving weekend travel.

Data from Johns Hopkins University show that 4.02 million cases were recorded from Nov. 1-28, bringing the country's total COVID-19 cases to more than 13 million, the highest of any nation. Case counts in November are more than double the 1.87 million cases recorded in October.

In California, a stay-at-home order was issued for Los Angeles County on Friday evening, the day after Thanksgiving, beginning Nov. 30. On Saturday, San Francisco was placed on a curfew and lockdown, also beginning Monday.

South Dakota also recently joined the ranks of states that has at least one COVID-related death for every 1,000 residents. Its governor, Kristi Noem, has refused to implement a statewide mask mandate, saying it should be a "personal decision."

On Saturday, the US surpassed 91,000 current hospitalizations from COVID-19 — the highest yet since the start of the pandemic. Hospitals in more than two dozen states have warned that they are running short on healthcare workers and hospital beds as the number of COVID-19 patients increase.


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29 Nov 2020, 6:27 pm

British hospitals could get first coronavirus vaccine doses next week

The U.K. government has agreed to buy more than 350 million doses of vaccines from seven different producers, should they prove effective, as it prepares to vaccinate as many of the country’s 67 million people as possible.

The Moderna vaccine is expected to be referred soon to the U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, to see if it is safe and effective. Two other vaccines — one developed by Pfizer and German firm BioNTech, the other by Oxford University and AstraZeneca — are already being assessed by the regulator, the final stage before being rolled out.

Hospitals in England have been told they could receive the first doses of the Pfizer shot as early as the week of Dec. 7 if it receives approval, the Guardian and Financial Times reported. The government says frontline health care workers and nursing home residents will be the first to be vaccinated, followed by older people, starting with those over 80. The plan is to work down the age and risk groups until everyone 18 and over has been inoculated.


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