Intergovernmental cooperation between the United States and China was an important part of the fight against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003. Yet serious collaboration to combat COVID-19 is yet to materialise. The state of US–China bilateral relations and the failure to cooperate has arguably worsened the pandemic.
Sending targeted emails, patient portal messages, or text messages designed with behavioral science is inexpensive, scalable, and easily implemented and could be an effective way to encourage vaccination by HCWs and the general public.
The University of Texas Hexapro vaccine candidate—delivered via the UQ-developed and Vaxxas-commercialized high-density microarray patch (HD-MAP) – provided protection against COVID-19 disease with a single, pain-free 'click' from a pocket-sized applicator.
Alors que le Pass sanitaire sera demandé dans la plupart des lieux publics et commerces dès cet été, voici une méthode pour le dégainer plus vite que la lumière.
Noting that they're working on an update against the delta variant, the company says that a booster dose is necessary in 6 months.
The Pfizer/ BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine may be less effective against the Delta variant, suggested data released by Israel's Health Ministry. The country has seen an increase in infections after social distancing restrictions were eased at the beginning of June. The Delta variant, which emerged in India, is more infectious and has been rapidly spreading globally, forcing governments to delay the lifting of lockdown restrictions and use new technologies to scan people for infections.
Researchers and biotechnology company Vaxxas are studying if the new delivery technology, called a high-density microarray patch, can protect participants from diseases including measles and rubella. If successful, the needle-less technology could be used for a number of other vaccinations including influenza and COVID-19.
Amongst other variants, the woman was reported to have had the E484K mutation, which is part of the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7, which was first seen in the UK) and the N510Y mutation, which is part of the Beta variant (B.1.351, which was first seen in South Africa). In total, the virus was reported to have undergone 13 mutations to the spike protein and 19 others that could change its behavior.
According to results of a new JAMA Network Open study, 8 in 10 patients hospitalized with Covid-19 developed neurologic complications, with a subsequent sixfold risk of increased mortality. Patients with neurological complications were more likely to die in the hospital compared to patients with no evidence of neurologic involvement, the study also found.
Dans moins de dix ans, cette nouvelle génération de vaccins, dont certains seront universels et efficaces contre toutes les formes du pathogène ciblé, vont permettre à l’Humanité d’accomplir un nouveau pas de géant en matière de prévention et de lutte contre les maladies les plus répandues et plus mortelles. Dans un tel contexte, il est évidemment capital pour notre avenir que la France, pays de Pasteur et de Yercin, jette sans tarder les bases d’un nouveau et puissant pacte de recherche entre sa recherche fondamentale, qui reste au plus niveau, et doit garder un horizon à long terme, et son industrie pharmaceutique, afin de rester dans cette course scientifique et technologique planétaire qui va bouleverser nos vies et nos sociétés.
Upon execution of the deal, tech transfer will start immediately and Samsung Biologics will perform aseptic fill-finish, labeling, and packaging services from its Incheon, South Korea site, to support the production of hundreds of millions of doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, intended for the supply of markets outside of the US starting in the third quarter of 2021.
In granting China's Sinopharm emergency use authorization, the vaccine can be included in Covax — which is the WHO's global initiative that aims to realize equitable vaccine distribution worldwide. Several well-off countries aren't sharing as many vaccines as they otherwise might. India is a major developer of vaccines, but has halted exports to better confront its exacerbated coronavirus crisis. Additionally, concerns surrounding the safety of using the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines — in light of extremely rare but dangerous side effects observed in some countries — and this has led to temporary halts of both vaccines pending additional guidance.
New variants of the COVID-19 – including a fourth blamed for a surge of infections in India – have raised concerns worldwide that vaccines may be rendered ineffective, restoring lockdowns. The World Health Organization's lead coronavirus adviser, Maria Van Kerkhove, has warned of evidence suggesting variants first identified in the U.K., South Africa and Brazil display "increased transmissibility."But a prominent virologist cited in an article published by MIT Technology Review affirms the conclusion of other researchers that "the virus hasn't fundamentally changed," reports PJ Media's Stephen Kruiser.
The COVID-19 pandemic was and remains a horrible disaster, but it may also have been a preventable one, potentially sparing millions of lives globally, if everyone had reacted more quickly, according to an independent and high-level panel of the World Health Organization initially reported by The Guardian.We're not here to point fingers, but global leaders could do better to ensure that there is no next time for something like the coronavirus crisis. But we also must be wary of overcorrections, where fundamental losses are forced on the quality of human life for the average citizen.
With the Centre decentralising and liberalising their vaccination policy, more than 10 states have decided to float global tenders for foreign Covid jabs to vaccinate its population in the 18-44 age group. That is the category the policy says the Centre will not cover under its free vaccination programme, so the burden of inoculating them for free is on the states. Global shopping began because domestic manufacturers Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech are struggling to meet even the needs of the 45+ group that the Centre is committed to funding for vaccination. The 45+ is the priority group since 85% of all Covid deaths during the first wave happened in that section of the population. But the question is which foreign manufacturer other than Russia’s Sputnik V is prepared to sell at short notice, given the huge back orders they already have from the global North.
Despite numerous warnings, people fail to understand the gravity of the situation and choose to stay out of their homes for no valid reason. Our country is undoubtedly in the midst of a crisis. The number of people that are getting affected by the virus is increasing with every passing day. And, yet, we find people roaming carelessly on streets and not abiding by the basic rules.
We compared COVID-19 deaths, gross domestic product (GDP) growth, and strictness of lockdown measures during the first 12 months of the pandemic for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries that aim for elimination or mitigation (figure). Although all indicators favour elimination, our analysis does not prove a causal connection between varying pandemic response strategies and the different outcome measures. COVID-19 deaths per 1 million population in OECD countries that opted for elimination (Australia, Iceland, Japan, New Zealand, and South Korea) have been about 25 times lower than in other OECD countries that favoured mitigation (figure). Mortality is a proxy for a country's broader disease burden. For example, decision makers should also consider the increasing evidence of long-term morbidities after SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 is more likely to mutate during in vitro passage, which is consistent with the reported outcomes of person-to-person transmission (Gong et al. 2020). It remains largely unknown whether mutations acquired during in vitro passages additionally affect viral intrinsic characteristics. Continuous monitoring of SARS-CoV-2 could benefit not only biological studies of this virus but also vaccine development in the future.
Infectious SARS-CoV-2 has been isolated from the stool of a few COVID-19 patients worldwide. However, there are not yet published reports of infectious SARS-CoV-2 isolation from wastewater. While fecal-oral transmission via wastewater has been hypothesized, the empirical evidence indicates the probability is quite low. The basis for this assertion is summarized in the commentary “Differentiating between the possibility and probability of SARS-CoV-2 transmission associated with wastewater: empirical evidence is needed to substantiate risk” published in FEMS Microbes. Two authors of the study, Aaron Bivins and Warish Ahmed, discuss for the #FEMSmicroBlog how we need to remain focused on airborne transmission via respiratory shedding until empirical evidence establishes otherwise. #FascinatingMicrobes
It is increasingly clear that transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via aerosol is possible and might represent a significant transmission route. However, emerging evidence indicates that many currently defined AGPs are unlikely to play any significant role in generation of infectious aerosol that poses a risk to staff. In view of this, the term AGP has neither face validity nor construct validity. Instead, we should focus on the risk in plain sight: close, physical exposure to people suspected, or known to have, COVID-19 for prolonged time or where ventilation remains poor.
Respiratory viruses are versatile beasts, able to spread by all of the key transmission routes under some circumstances: contact (including indirect contact spread via surfaces), droplet, and airborne routes. This is true of influenza, SARS-CoV-1, SARS-CoV-2 and many others. I wrote a review paper in 2016 reviewing the evidence for the role of contaminated surfaces in the transmission of respiratory viruses. The image below is from that review (dated 2016). I think it’s still helpful to illustrate the various transmission routes for respiratory viruses, but the definitions of “droplets” and “droplet nuclei” now seem rather dated.
In a recent study, researchers have examined the prevalence of COVID-19 in pediatric dentistry by testing children during their visit at the pediatric dentist’s office. The study reported that, although all the children who took part in the study were asymptomatic, some of them tested positive after undergoing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. This suggests that testing pediatric dental patients could help better identify potential SARS-CoV-2 carriers and subsequently reduce transmission rates.
The spike glycoprotein on the viral envelope is the main entry protein of SARS-CoV-2 that initiates viral entry into human cells. Upon binding to the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor on the human cell membrane, the spike protein undergoes a series of conformational changes, which collectively result in viral entry and infection establishment.
A study conducted by researchers in Germany has found that the B.1.617 variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that has emerged in India entered certain types of lung and intestine cells with slightly increased efficiency compared with the original wild-type strain. The B.1.617 variant is the lineage thought to be responsible for the sharp rise in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases and deaths in India over recent weeks.
MUSC Hollings Cancer Center researchers added to the understanding of the protective immune response against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in a study published in April in iScience. The team found that approximately 3% of the population is asymptomatic, which means that their bodies can get rid of the virus without developing signs of illness.
The study is among the first to show an association between COVID-19 vaccination and fewer asymptomatic infections. When the Pfizer-BioNTech BNT162b2 vaccine was authorized for use in the U.S., the vaccine was reported to be highly effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. Clinical trial data suggested that the two-dose regimen reduced symptomatic disease, including hospitalization and death. But an association with reduced asymptomatic infection was unclear.
Researchers in Singapore have investigated the role of SARS-CoV-2-specific antibodies and T-cells in asymptomatic individuals suffering from COVID-19. They found that, contrary to some initial hypotheses, asymptomatic individuals mount an adaptive immune response on par with symptomatic individuals, demonstrating that T cell response does not appear to be correlated with symptom severity.