Author Topic: COVID-19 in America  (Read 5733 times)

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: COVID-19 in America
« Reply #300 on: November 22, 2021, 11:02:44 PM »
Pfizer says Covid shot 100% effective in adolescents after 4 months

Pfizer and BioNTech said Monday their Covid-19 vaccine remained 100 percent effective in children 12 to 15 years old, four months after the second dose.

The companies said that the new data, which involved 2,228 trial participants, will help support their applications for full approval in the United States and worldwide.

No serious safety concerns were observed in individuals with at least six months of follow-up after the second dose.

"As the global health community works to increase the number of vaccinated people around the world, these additional data provide further confidence in our vaccine's safety and effectiveness profile in adolescents," said Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla in a statement.

"This is especially important as we see rates of COVID-19 climbing in this age group in some regions, while vaccine uptake has slowed. We look forward to sharing these data with the FDA and other regulators."

The vaccine was granted "emergency use authorization" for adolescents by the US in May and the companies plan to soon seek full approval. The vaccine is currently only fully approved in people aged 16 and older.

Among the 2,228 participants, there were 30 confirmed symptomatic Covid cases without evidence of prior infection, all in the placebo group.

This corresponds to a vaccine efficacy of 100 percent. Efficacy was consistently high across gender, race, obesity levels and comorbidity status.

The main safety concern among this age group is vaccine-linked myocarditis (heart inflammation) in males.

But such cases are very rare, and the benefits of vaccination continue to strongly outweigh the risks, data has shown. Covid itself can cause myocarditis, both more often and a more severe form.

© 2021 AFP

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: COVID-19 in America
« Reply #301 on: November 23, 2021, 02:00:25 PM »
Just more MAGA Trump supporters making death threats over mask mandates which saves lives.   

'We are going to find your houses': Woman leaves expletive-filled threatening message for school board (audio)
https://www.rawstory.com/we-are-going-to-find-your-houses-woman-leaves-expletive-filled-threatening-message-for-school-board-audio/

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: COVID-19 in America
« Reply #302 on: November 24, 2021, 12:10:46 AM »
If you're ready to get your COVID booster shot you might want to read this article.

Should you mix and match your COVID-19 booster? Experts weigh in
What to know before you mix and match

https://www.today.com/health/you-can-mix-match-your-covid-19-booster-should-you-t239738

Offline Rick Plant

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Offline Rick Plant

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Re: COVID-19 in America
« Reply #304 on: November 24, 2021, 06:06:46 AM »
Arizona reports 120 more COVID deaths as inpatient numbers keep rising

PHOENIX – Arizona on Tuesday had one of its largest daily COVID-19 death reports since last winter and saw the number of hospital inpatients with the coronavirus rise for the 11th consecutive day.

The Arizona Department of Health Services added 120 deaths and 3,057 new cases (in an incomplete report) to its COVID-19 dashboard, pushing the state’s documented totals for the pandemic to 1,248,184 infections and 22,062 fatalities.

The number of deaths reported in a day has been higher than Tuesday’s update only three times since February, most recently on Nov. 3.

The new case batch was lower than what it typically would have been because of a reporting issue with one provider, ADHS said. As a result, Wednesday’s case report is expected to be inflated by the backlog.

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 surged this summer, when the highly transmissible delta variant became the dominant version of the virus, and then tailed off after a mid-September peak. But they started rising again in October and have reached levels not seen in more than nine months.

There were 2,551 confirmed or suspected COVID inpatients recorded in Arizona hospitals Monday, 81 more than the previous day and the most since Feb. 9, when the winter surge was easing but vaccines were in limited supply.

ICU usage for COVID patients dropped to 620 beds Monday, 30 fewer than the previous day, when the number was the highest it had been since Feb. 13.

The inpatient and ICU numbers each have increased by around 40% since the end of October.

“We can’t say exactly why this increase is happening even before the holiday season, though cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to be largely among unvaccinated people,” Jessica Rigler, ADHS assistant director for the Division of Public Health Preparedness, said in a blog post last week.

COVID-19 patients accounted for 29% of all Arizona’s inpatient capacity and 35% of the state’s ICU capacity on Monday. The number of unused hospital beds statewide was at 697 for inpatients and 114 for ICUs.

The height of the winter wave saw more than 10,000 new cases reported on some days, with over 5,000 COVID inpatients and 1,100 ICU patients.

Thirteen percent of the completed diagnostic tests for samples taken last week returned positive as of Tuesday’s dashboard update, the highest weekly percent positivity since Jan. 17-23. The winter peak for weekly percent positivity was 19% for Dec. 27-Jan 3.

The state health department’s daily updates present case and death data after the state receives statistics and confirms them, which can lag by several days or more. They don’t represent the actual activity over the past 24 hours. The hospitalization numbers posted each morning are reported electronically the previous evening by hospitals across the state.

Nearly two-thirds of Arizonans eligible for a vaccine have received at least one shot, according to the dashboard.

The minimum age to receive the Pfizer shot is 5, and it’s 18 for Moderna and Johnson & Johnson. The Pfizer version has full Food and Drug Administration approval, while the other two were granted emergency use authorization.

Adults who received their second Pfizer or Moderna doses more than six months ago are eligible for booster shots, as are people who got the Johnson & Johnson shot at least two months ago.

“Vaccines have proven remarkably effective at preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19,” Don Herrington, ADHS interim director, said in a press release last week.

“Now everyone 18 and older can get a safe and free booster dose to make sure they continue to have the best possible protection.”

For details about statewide vaccine availability, the ADHS website has a vaccine-finder page with locations and other information.

For information about metro Phoenix vaccine availability, Maricopa County Public Health has a locator page that lists pharmacies, government-run sites, health clinics and pop-up distribution events. Appointments may be required depending on the provider.

COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, has no impact on some people and is seriously debilitating or fatal for others. Infected people without symptoms — which include but are not limited to cough, fever and difficulty breathing — are capable of spreading the virus.

https://ktar.com/story/4779776/arizona-reports-120-more-covid-deaths-as-inpatient-numbers-keep-rising/

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: COVID-19 in America
« Reply #305 on: November 24, 2021, 06:23:11 AM »
How long does it take for your COVID-19 booster to work?
The COVID-19 booster shots are here. So how long do they need to work?


The coronavirus vaccine booster shots are available to all Americans. But there’s a good chance your shot won’t start working before your family gathers this week.

How long does it take for your booster to work?

Dr. Dan Barouch, director of the Center for Virology and Vaccine Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, told ABC News that the body will start to increase antibodies within a few days of the shot.

But you will still need two weeks for peak immunity to return.

“There is a meaningful increase in antibody titers by one week and peak responses at two weeks following mRNA boosting,” Barouch said.

When are the booster shots most effective?

Dr. Simone Wildes, an infectious disease specialist at South Shore Health in Massachusetts, said that the highest antibody count will come 10 to 14 days after you get the shot, according to ABC News.

“The booster shot will have a similar response as the second dose of the primary series. The highest antibody level will be around 10-14 days and then things will level off. The antibody levels will decline as it would with all vaccines, however the boosters help to stabilize the antibody levels,” Barouch said.

Can you get a COVID booster shot?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for all adults in the country, paving the way for adults to get their jabs.

The CDC’s statement reads: “We also strongly encourage those who were already eligible ­— older populations and individuals with underlying medical conditions ­— to get boosted before the holidays.”
Utah Department of Health spokesman Tom Hudachko told the Deseret News that Utah hopes to see more people get their vaccine booster shots.

“We really hope that over the course of the coming weeks and months, as we start to get into the winter season and people head indoors, and they’re gathering inside for the holidays, that anybody who’s older than 18 should take advantage of the opportunity to get a booster dose,” he said.

https://www.deseret.com/coronavirus/2021/11/23/22798557/covid-booster-shots-how-long-does-it-take-to-work

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: COVID-19 in America
« Reply #306 on: November 24, 2021, 02:08:38 PM »
Jim Jordan blasted after revealing he had COVID and didn’t inform the public



Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) made a stunning revelation Tuesday afternoon: he had contracted COVID-19, but appears to have not made any public disclosures of his health status. Jordan is both anti-vaxx and and anti-mask, and still refuses to reveal his vaccination status.

"I've had the virus, I don't talk about my health status with reporters," Congressman Jordan told a Spectrum News Capitol Hill reporter who had asked if he has been vaccinated since saying over the summer he had not been.

"I've had the coronavirus and recovered," Jordan said, adding that he's had his antibodies tested and is eligible to "donate plasma."

Asked if he knew when he had COVID-19 Jordan said, "I believe it was back early in the summer." It's unclear why he would say he "believes" it was early in the summer.

Former federal prosecutor (and former Republican) Ron Filipkowski blasted Jordan.

"The highly deceptive, secretive and experienced cover-up artist that is Jim Jordan reveals that he had covid this summer. What are the odds he told everyone about it that he had close contact with back then?" Filipkowski asked.

Jordan says he had coronavirus in the early summer, but just before that, in April, he was blasted for posting this "snarky" tweet:

"How many masks are we supposed to wear this week?"

Last month The Daily Beast published a piece on the Ohio Republican titled: "Jim Jordan Makes His Move to Be the Most Batshit Anti-Vaxxer of All" after he had declared, "Ohio should ban all vaccine mandates."

Others also chastised the Trump acolyte for hiding his COVID status, with some bringing up allegations he ignored reports a team doctor was se**ally harassing or abusing his wrestlers when he was an asst. coach at Ohio State:

https://www.rawstory.com/jordan-cases/

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: COVID-19 in America
« Reply #307 on: November 25, 2021, 12:53:48 AM »
Federal agencies close to 100% compliance with vaccine mandate as enforcement begins

The federal government is at 96.5% compliance with the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate for employees and contractors, including civilian and military personnel.

Monday was the deadline to get vaccinated, and as of yesterday, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the departments of Commerce, Transportation, the Office of Personnel Management and the Small Business Administration all have at least 99% compliance with the mandate among employees. That includes the percentage of agency employees covered by a vaccination requirement with at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, or a pending or approved exception or extension. Again, that’s for compliance — when it comes to actual vaccination or employees with at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, the compliance rates hovered between 86.1% and 97.8%.

The agency with the highest vaccination rate was USAID, while the lowest was in the Agriculture Department, according to the data. Overall, 92.0% of federal employees have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination dose.

The Office of Management and Budget released new agency compliance data today, and said it would update the numbers as more employees become compliant or receive exemptions.

OMB said that for those who are not yet in compliance, agencies are beginning a period of education and counseling, followed by additional enforcement in keeping with guidance from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force and OPM.

“At any point, if an employee gets their first shot or submits an exception request, agencies will pause further enforcement to give the employee a reasonable amount of time to become fully vaccinated or to process the exception request. This next stage of the process will not result in disruptions to government services and operations and will result in more employees becoming vaccinated,” OMB said.

Some agencies, including the Veterans Health Administration, had their own mandates or earlier deadlines, while federal buildings owned or leased by the General Services Administration are not requiring employee or contractor vaccination status as a condition of entry. However, as of last week, most of the 12,000 companies who do business with the government via the GSA schedules had agreed to implement the mandate, Federal News Network previously reported.

The President of the National Treasury Employees Union Tony Reardon said in a statement that his organization had long-encouraged employees to get vaccinated and that they welcomed the compliance rates.

“Frontline federal employees are fully aware of the unique role they play in delivering government services to the American people, especially during a global health crisis,” he said. “For those who have raised religious or medical reasons that they should remain unvaccinated, we hope the agencies process those requests quickly and provide whatever accommodations are necessary to maintain employee safety in the workplace. For the small minority who have not requested an exemption and are still unvaccinated, there is still time for them to change their minds and avoid potential disciplinary action.”

Chairman of the House Government Operations subcommittee Gerry Connolly, whose Virginia district includes many federal employees, also reacted to the news:

“As we have seen throughout the pandemic, federal employees remain ready to serve — with public health at the forefront. Nearly all federal employees (92%) are vaxxed – with a vaccine developed in part by their fellow federal employees. Civil servants hold positions of public trust and are meeting this moment. Feds are role models ready to tackle any challenge,” he said in a statement.

https://federalnewsnetwork.com/workforce/2021/11/federal-agencies-close-to-100-compliance-with-vaccine-mandate-as-enforcement-begins/

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: COVID-19 in America
« Reply #308 on: November 26, 2021, 10:52:52 AM »
Scientists uncover coronavirus-related SARS-CoV-2 in Cambodian bats sampled more than 10 years ago



Coronaviruses very closely related to SARS-CoV-2, which can lead to COVID-19, was uncovered in a pair of bats sampled in Cambodia more than 10 years ago.

The discovery, outlined in the journal Nature Communications, further supports theories that the global pandemic was the result of a “spillover of a bat-borne virus.”

In December 2019, government officials in the Chinese city of Wuhan confirmed that health authorities were treating several cases of pneumonia of unknown cause. Just a few days later, researchers in China identified a new virus that had infected dozens of people across Asia. In the months since, there has been some mystery surrounding the origin of COVID-19.

Health experts, world leaders and internet users alike have floated varying hypotheses regarding the coronavirus source. Most infectious disease experts agree however, that it jumped undetected across the species barrier from bats to another animal, which then passed it to humans.

In the recent study, scientists relied on metagenomic sequencing to identify “the nearly identical viruses” in two Shamel’s horseshoe bats, initially sampled in 2010. According to the authors, the findings suggest “the current understanding of the geographic distribution of the SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 lineages possibly reflects a lack of sampling in Southeast Asia.”

In addition to bats, authors warned that certain species of cat, civet, and weasels found in the region are susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and could ultimately serve as intermediary hosts for transmission to humans. What’s more, groups of pangolins seized during anti-smuggling operations in 2020 showed signs of viruses of the SARS-CoV-2 sublineage.

While it’s unclear where exactly the animals became infected, authors noted the pangolin species involved also “corresponds to Southeast Asia and not China.”

“Southeast Asia hosts a high diversity of wildlife and an extensive wildlife trade that puts humans in direct contact with wild hosts of SARS-like coronaviruses,” said Lucy Keatts of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s (WCS) Health Program and a co-author of the study.

“The region is undergoing dramatic land-use changes such as infrastructure development, urban development, and agricultural expansion that can increase contacts between bats, other wildlife, domestic animals and humans. Continued and expanded surveillance of bats and other key wild animals in Southeast Asia is a crucial component of future pandemic preparedness and prevention.”

https://www.nydailynews.com/coronavirus/ny-covid-bats-cambodia-closely-related-virus-decade-ago-20211125-hgfemusxlbaopbof3c7focvmgq-story.html

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: COVID-19 in America
« Reply #309 on: November 26, 2021, 10:56:18 AM »
South Africa detects new COVID-19 variant but the implications are not yet clear

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) -South African scientists have detected a new COVID-19 variant in small numbers and are working to understand its potential implications, they said on Thursday.

The variant - called B.1.1.529 - has a "very unusual constellation" of mutations, which are concerning because they could help it evade the body's immune response and make it more transmissible, scientists told reporters at a news conference.

Early signs from diagnostic laboratories suggest the variant has rapidly increased in the most populated province of Gauteng and may already be present in the country's other eight provinces, they said.

In a regular daily update on confirmed cases countrywide, the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) later reported 2,465 new COVID-19 infections, slightly less than double the previous day's infections. The NICD did not attribute the latest resurgence to the new variant, although some leading local scientists suspect it is the cause.

South Africa has confirmed around 100 specimens as B.1.1.529, but the variant has also been found in Botswana and Hong Kong, with the Hong Kong case a traveller from South Africa. As many as 90% of new cases in Gauteng could be B.1.1.529, scientists believe.

"Although the data are limited, our experts are working overtime with all the established surveillance systems to understand the new variant and what the potential implications could be," the NICD said in a statement.

South Africa has requested an urgent sitting of a World Health Organization (WHO) working group on virus evolution on Friday to discuss the new variant.

Health Minister Joe Phaahla said it was too early to say whether the government would impose tougher restrictions in response to the variant.

South Africa was the first country to detect the Beta variant last year.

Beta is one of only four labelled "of concern" by the WHO because there is evidence that it is more contagious and vaccines work less well against it.

The country detected another variant, C.1.2, earlier this year, but that has not displaced the more common Delta variant and still accounts for only a small percentage of genomes sequenced in recent months.

(Reporting by Alexander WinningEditing by Angus MacSwan, Mark Potter and Frances Kerry)

Reuters

 

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