While cautious, public health officials are beginning to believe we have turned the corner with the pandemic as new global cases fell 21% last week. This is the third week in a row, new numbers and deaths have dropped. For that and more COVID-19 news, keep reading.
New Covid cases fell 21% globally last week, for the third week in a row
According to World Health Organizationnew COVID-19 cases globally fell 21% in the last week, the third week in a row it has fallen. There were more than 12 million new infections last week. Deaths also fell by about 8% to 67,000 worldwide, the first time the death rate has fallen since early January.
WHO Europe chief Hans Kluge, MD, said Europe was now entering a “plausible endgame” for the pandemic. However, public health authorities are wary of declaring an end because BA.2, a sub-variant of the Omicron variant, appears to be on the rise in some parts of the world and may be even more contagious than Omicron BA.1.
Sanofi & GSK are preparing to submit COVID-19 vaccine EUA
Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline expect to submit data from Phase III efficacy trials of their COVID-19 vaccine for regulators, as well as data on their booster shots. The vaccine is a refrigerator temperature stable adjuvanted protein based vaccine. The Phase III VAT08 trial data showed that two doses showed 100% efficacy against severe COVID-19 and hospitalizations, 75% efficacy against moderate or severe COVID-19, and 57.95 against any symptomatic COVID-19. The data also showed that when used as a booster after another already approved mRNA or adenovirus vaccine, the extra shot of neutralizing antibodies increased 18- to 30-fold across vaccines and age groups, and when used as a booster after a two-day vaccine. shot series by itself increased neutralizing antibodies 84- to 153-fold compared to pre-boost levels.
MIS-C has not increased with Omicron Surge
Doctors expected to see one increased number of the rare but dangerous multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) during the Omicron rise. But so far they have not seen it. This may be because MIS-C tends to lag behind infections by a few weeks. Symptoms are inconsistent, but may include abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rash, conjunctivitis, and low blood pressure. It is most common – although still rare – after a mild or asymptomatic case of COVID-19. Pr. January 31, 2021, USA Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported 6,851 cases of MIS-C in the United States, with 59 deaths. That is out of more than 12.3 million COVID-19 cases in children since the beginning of the pandemic. But Omicron has infected nearly 4.5 million of these cases since early January.
Re-infection with Omicron Subvariant is rare
Despite the increased infectivity of the Omicron variants, BA.1 and BA.2, a study from Denmark suggests that it is possible, but rare, to become infected twice with the two variants. It is also not clear whether it is possible to be infected by both. The data suggest that individuals infected with the original BA.1 Omicron variant may become infected with BA.2 shortly thereafter, but this is uncommon. BA.2 today accounts for more than 88% of cases in Denmark. Cases have also started to rise in the UK, South Africa and Norway. Re-infections are primarily in young, unvaccinated people and have only resulted in mild illness with no hospitalizations or deaths.
3 shots of Moderna Vaccine 99% effective against Omicron & Delta hospitalization
ONE examination from Kaiser Permanente Southern California found that three doses of Modern The COVID-19 vaccine was more effective against the Delta variant than the Omicron variant. However, they were 99% effective in preventing hospitalization in both. The test-negative case-control study evaluated 26,683 COVID-19 cases caused by both variants in December 2021; 16% were Delta and 84% were Omicron. A single dose vaccine was 56.7% effective against Delta infection and 20.4% against Omicron infection. Two doses were 44.0% effective against Omicron after 14 to 90 days, but the effect decreased rapidly. Three doses had vaccine efficacy of 93.7% against Delta after 14 to 60 days and 86.0% after 60 days. Three doses were 71.6% effective against Omicron after 14 to 60 days and 47.4% after 60 days.
Alpha and delta variants identified in white-tailed deer
A study identified both Alpha and Delta SARS-CoV-2 variants in white-tailed deer in Pennsylvania. This is the first time the variants were identified in deer, although previous variants have been. It confirms that deer appear to be a reservoir for the virus in the United States. Samples collected from road-killed deer were far more likely to be positive, with 5 out of 13 compared to hunter-gatherers, 11 out of 66 and 1 out of 14 for “other”.
The authors wrote: “Considering that there are an estimated 30 deer [per] square kilometers in PA, and over a million deer in total, this indicates a huge number of infestations and infected deer in the state. “
AstraZeneca-Oxford Vaccine Blood Clot Risk is rare
ONE examination published in PLOS Medicine evaluated the health records of 46 million adults in the UK between December 2020 and March 2021 to evaluate the risk of blood clots in the month following vaccination from either AstraZeneca–Oxford shot or Pfizer–BioNTech shots compared to people who are unvaccinated. The research was conducted by William Whiteley, Ph.D., of the University of Edinburgh and the UK’s BHF Data Science Center. There was no risk of major arterial and venous thrombotic events in persons 70 years of age and older from any of the vaccines. The risk of intracranial venous thrombosis (ICVT) after the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine was almost double in people over 70, but it corresponded to one and three cases per AstraZeneca noted that these data confirmed what was already known about “extremely rare blood diseases after vaccination. The risk of developing this very rare condition remains significantly higher after COVID-19.”