Covid-19 News

  • South African Covid variant may cut Pfizer vaccine protection by two-thirds


    https://news.google.com/articl…=en-US&gl=US&ceid=US%3Aen


    A laboratory study suggests that the South African variant of the coronavirus may reduce antibody protection from the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine by two-thirds, and it is not clear if the shot will be effective against the mutation, the companies have said.


    The study found the vaccine was still able to neutralise the virus and there is not yet evidence from trials in people that the variant reduces vaccine protection, the companies said.


    Still, they are making investments and talking to regulators about developing an updated version of their mRNA vaccine, or a booster shot, if needed.South African scientists will meet on Thursday to discuss the study. “I do know that our scientists will be meeting to discuss it and they will advise the minister,” health department spokesman Popo Maja said. “We are not going to be releasing a statement until advised by our scientists. We will also be guided by the regulator.”



    For the study, scientists from the companies and the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) developed an engineered virus that contained the same mutations carried on the spike portion of the highly contagious coronavirus variant first discovered in South Africa, known as B1351. The spike, used by the virus to enter human cells, is the primary target of many Covid-19 vaccines.


    Researchers tested the engineered virus against blood taken from people who had been given the vaccine, and found a two-thirds reduction in the level of neutralising antibodies compared with its effect on the most common version of the virus prevalent in US trials

  • FDA could reject AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine on efficacy and manufacturing shortfalls: analyst


    https://www.fiercepharma.com/p…turing-shortfalls-analyst


    It was bad enough when a study released last week concluded that AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine was largely ineffective against the aggressive B.1.351 variant that recently emerged in South Africa. Now, analysts are wondering whether inconsistent manufacturing of the vaccine for the clinical trials may have muddied the results—concerns that could give the FDA pause when considering the vaccine for emergency use.


    That was the conclusion of a note SVB Leerink analysts sent to clients Wednesday, in which they laid out both the bear and bull cases for FDA authorization of AstraZeneca’s COVID vaccine. The bottom line? The bear case is worrisome, they said.


    One major concern SVB Leerink cited is that AstraZeneca is manufacturing its vaccine on a “distributed” basis, meaning it’s not centralized, but spread over multiple sites and contract partners. The material used to make the vaccine for the South Africa trial came from a company in India, and it’s not clear where it was manufactured or whether the results from that trial truly reflect the properties of the vaccine that’s being developed for the U.S.



    They might want to review Pfizer vaccine too!

  • Dr. Paul Marik Discusses Ivermectin and Vitamin D

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  • Some Neandertal genes in people today may protect against severe COVID-19


    https://news.google.com/articl…=en-US&gl=US&ceid=US%3Aen


    Some genetic variants inherited from Neandertals may protect against developing severe COVID-19.


    A new study looked at a stretch of DNA on chromosome 12 where a haplotype — a cluster of genetic variants that are inherited together — that affects susceptibility to the coronavirus is located. For each copy of the Neandertal haplotype a person inherited, the risk of needing intensive care fell approximately 22 percent, researchers report in the March 2 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


    The variants may affect the activity or function of genes involved in a biochemical chain reaction that ends with the destruction of viral RNA, including the coronavirus’s. The protective variants are largely absent among people in sub-Saharan Africa, where few people carry genes inherited from Neandertals. About 25 to 30 percent of present-day people of Asian and European ancestry carry the protective variants. Some Black people in the Americas also inherited the protective haplotype, presumably from Asian, European or Native American ancestors.


    Previously, researchers had found that a different haplotype on chromosome 3 that was inherited from Neandertals increases the risk of severe disease (SN:10/2/20). The results show that genetic inheritance can help or hinder the immune response to disease.

  • How many people get ‘long COVID’ – and who is most at risk?


    https://theconversation.com/am…ho-is-most-at-risk-154331


    Long COVID is similar to COVID-19

    Many long-haulers experience the same symptoms they had during their initial fight with COVID-19, such as fatigue, cognitive impairment (or brain fog), difficulty breathing, headaches, difficulty exercising, depression, sleep difficulty and loss of the sense of taste or smell. In my experience, patients’ symptoms seem to be less severe than when they were initially sick.


    Some long-haulers develop new symptoms as well. These can vary widely person to person, and there are reports of everything from hair loss to rapid heart rates to anxiety.


    Despite persistent symptoms, SARS-CoV-2 – the virus itself – is not detectable in most long-haulers. And without an active infection, they can’t spread the virus to others.


    Who are the long-haulers?

    Patients who were hospitalized for COVID-19 are the most likely to have persistent long-term symptoms.


    In a study published in July 2020, Italian researchers followed 147 patients who had been hospitalized for COVID-19 and found that 87% still had symptoms 60 days after they were discharged from the hospital. A more recent study, published in January, found that 76% of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Wuhan, China, were still experiencing symptoms six months after first getting sick.

    This Wuhan study was particularly interesting because the researchers used objective measures to evaluate the people reporting lingering symptoms. People in the study were still reporting persistent breathing problems six months after getting sick. When researchers performed CT scans to look at the patients’ lungs, many of the scans showed splotches called ground-glass opacities. These likely represent inflammation where SARS-CoV-2 had caused viral pneumonia. Additionally, the people in this study who had severe COVID-19 could not walk as fast as those whose illnesses were less severe – these lung problems reduced how much oxygen was moving from their lungs into their bloodstream. And remember, this was all measured six months after infection.


    Other researchers have found similar objective health effects. One study found evidence of ongoing viral pneumonia three months after patients left the hospital. Another study of 100 German COVID-19 patients found that 60% had heart inflammation two to three months after initial infection. These German patients were relatively young and healthy – the average age was 49, and many had not needed hospitalization when they had COVID-19.


    The sickest COVID-19 patients are not the only ones to suffer from long COVID. Patients who had a milder initial case that didn’t result in hospitalization can also have persistent symptoms.


    [Deep knowledge, daily. Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter.]


    According to a recent survey done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35% of nonhospitalized patients who had mild COVID-19 cases did not return to baseline health 14 to 21 days after their symptoms started. And this wasn’t just in older people or people with underlying health conditions. Twenty percent of previously healthy 18-to-34-year-olds had ongoing symptoms. Overall, research shows as many as one-third of individuals who had COVID-19 and weren’t hospitalized will still be experiencing symptoms up to three months later.


    To put these numbers in context, only 10% of people who get the flu are still sick after 14 days.

  • oDebilitating’ effects of long Covid to be probed as government pledges £18.5m to support research


    https://news.google.com/articl…=en-US&gl=US&ceid=US%3Aen


    Four major studies into the long-term impact of coronavirus will be boosted by £18.5 million of Government funding as researchers attempt to dig into the causes and potential treatments for the “debilitating” symptoms some are left with long after infection.


    Approximately one in 10 people in the UK who have been infected by the coronavirus continue to experience symptoms such as breathlessness, fatigue and “brain fog” many months after contracting the disease.


    So far in the pandemic the focus has been on life-saving care in hospitals and vaccination, but there has been a growing clamour for more information about the health implications of the long term effects of the condition commonly referred to as long Covid.


    Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I am acutely aware of the lasting and debilitating impact long COVID can have on people of all ages, irrespective of the extent of the initial symptoms.

  • Brazil will vaccinate an entire city's adult population to test the effect on Covid-19 infection rate


    https://news.google.com/articl…=en-US&gl=US&ceid=US%3Aen


    (CNN)Brazil's Butantan Institute kicked off a campaign on Wednesday to vaccinate all of the adult population of a city to see if it's possible to reduce the number of cases.


    The study will involve the city of Serrana, in the southeastern State of Sao Paulo, the research institute said


    "The entire adult population, estimated at 30,000 people, will be immunized in three months, in an unprecedented action," the Butantan Institute wrote via Twitter on Wednesday.

  • A laboratory study suggests that the South African variant of the coronavirus may reduce antibody protection from the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine by two-thirds, and it is not clear if the shot will be effective against the mutation, the companies have said.

    Studies show a 10x reduction in antibody ability to lock the virus.

    A laboratory study suggests that the South African variant of the coronavirus may reduce antibody protection from the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine by two-thirds, and it is not clear if the shot will be effective against the mutation, the companies have said.

    The question is how well are the T-Cell working in ramping up new antibodies. The true risk for here is for high initial dose exposed people that did develop a low anti body titter, 2-3 instead of e.g. 10 to give a relation, after the vaccination.


    The study found the vaccine was still able to neutralise the virus and there is not yet evidence from trials in people that the variant reduces vaccine protection, the companies said.

    AS said its all dose dependent and how good the immune memory works. The main risk with a RNA vaccine is that it potential blocks the bodies own signaling paths. Further the RNA vaccine including the liposome will trigger long time auto immune reactions.

    In the small town I live no general practitioner will get a RNA vaccine! Take the J&J one if you are allowed to choose as it classically has the lowest risk profile. But do so only if you need the vaccine and have no access to ivermectin.

  • The variants may affect the activity or function of genes involved in a biochemical chain reaction that ends with the destruction of viral RNA, including the coronavirus’s. The protective variants are largely absent among people in sub-Saharan Africa, where few people carry genes inherited from Neandertals.

    Neandertal DNA is also not found in Asians, I think. Only northern Europeans!

  • Antibodies respond different to each new variant


    SARS-CoV2 envelop proteins reshape the serological responses of COVID-19 patients


    https://www.biorxiv.org/conten…/2021.02.15.431237v2.full


    Abstract

    The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has elicited a unique international mobilization of the scientific community to better understand this coronavirus and its associated disease and to develop efficient tools to combat infection. Similar to other coronavirae, SARS-CoV-2 hijacks the host cell complex secretory machinery to produce properly folded viral proteins that will compose the nascent virions; including Spike, Envelope and Membrane proteins, the most exposed membrane viral proteins to the host immune system. Antibody response is part of the anti-viral immune arsenal that infected patients develop to fight viral particles in the body. Herein, we investigate the immunogenic potential of Spike (S), Envelope (E) and Membrane (M) proteins using a human cell-based system to mimic membrane insertion and N-glycosylation. We show that both S and M proteins elicit the production of specific IgG, IgM and IgA in SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. Elevated Ig responses were observed in COVID+ patients with moderate and severe forms of the disease. Finally, when SARS-CoV-2 Spike D614 and G614 variants were compared, reduced Ig binding was observed with the Spike G614 variant. Altogether, this study underlines the needs for including topological features in envelop proteins to better characterize the serological status of COVID+ patients, points towards an unexpected immune response against the M protein and shows that our assay could represent a powerful tool to test humoral responses against actively evolving SARS-CoV-2 variants and vaccine effectiveness.

  • Nasal spray blocks COVID-19 infection in ferrets

    https://news.cornell.edu/stori…ovid-19-infection-ferrets


    Researchers at Cornell, Columbia University Irving Medical Center and Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands have developed a nasal formulation that blocks the spread of COVID-19 among ferrets – and are hopeful the formulation could have the same effect on humans, and potentially generate therapeutic treatments as well.


    Ferrets are one of the best animal models for COVID-19, because they take the virus quite readily, and undergo both direct contact and airborne transmission. Ferrets, similar to humans, also generate antibodies against the virus, yet display limited clinical signs.

  • Ferrets are one of the best animal models for COVID-19, because they take the virus quite readily, and undergo both direct contact and airborne transmission. Ferrets, similar to humans, also generate antibodies against the virus, yet display limited clinical sign

    And mustelids, so close cousin to the mink. And we all know what happened to the mfnk farms when this got loose.

  • COVID-19 Genetic Mutation D614G Makes the Virus Up to 8x More Infectious


    https://scitechdaily.com/covid…up-to-8x-more-infectious/


    D614G mutation in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, now ubiquitous, increases virus’ ability to infect human cells.


    A mutation in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2—one of several genetic mutations in the concerning variants that have emerged in the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Brazil—makes the virus up to eight times more infectious in human cells than the initial virus that originated in China, according to research published in the journal eLife.


    The study, led by researchers at New York University, the New York Genome Center, and Mount Sinai, corroborates findings that the D614G mutation makes SARS-CoV-2 more transmissible.


    “In the months since we initially conducted this study, the importance of the D614G mutation has grown: the mutation has reached near universal prevalence and is included in all current variants of concern,” said Neville Sanjana, assistant professor of biology at NYU, assistant professor of neuroscience and physiology at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, and Core Faculty Member at the New York Genome Center. “Confirming that the mutation leads to more transmissibility may help explain, in part, why the virus has spread so rapidly over the past year.”


    The D614G mutation in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein—commonly referred to as the “G variant”—likely emerged in early 2020 and is now is the most prevalent and dominant form of the SARS-CoV-2 virus across the United States and in many countries around the globe. With multiple mutations circulating, researchers have been working to understand the functional significance of these mutations and whether they meaningfully change how infectious or deadly the virus is.


    In this study, the researchers introduced a virus with the D614G mutation into human lung, liver, and colon cells. They also introduced the “wild type” version of the coronavirus—the version of the virus without the mutation found early on in the pandemic—into these same cell types for comparison.

  • (CNN)Brazil's Butantan Institute kicked off a campaign on Wednesday to vaccinate all of the adult population of a city to see if it's possible to reduce the number of cases.


    The study will involve the city of Serrana, in the southeastern State of Sao Paulo, the research institute said

    That's a really good idea. A gigantic case study. The population is not so large that keeping track of everyone would be unwieldy. The city is fairly isolated, so there will not be many people coming in or going out. Anyone who is infected can be case tracked. I expect they will find all cases come from outside.

  • Merck Says Covid Hammered 2020 Sales By $2.5 Billion — Is Merck Stock A Buy?

    No

    https://www.investors.com/news…logy/merck-stock-buy-now/

    Just saying "ivermectin does not work" will not actually stop it from working. It will not stop the competition from selling ivermectin.

    Depends on how much publicity Merck can get for saying 'fake news'. Desperate times. Desperate measures

  • Depends on how much publicity Merck can get for saying 'fake news'. Desperate times. Desperate measures

    This would not work. They could not fool the people at J&J, or any of their other competitors. Merck might fool the general public, but J&J experts can tell fake news from real news. If ivermectin works, they will know that. Even if Merck was telling the world ivermectin turns you into a vampire, J&J would know the truth, and they would tell the public.


    These companies are competitors. They do not help one another. They do not work together in a conspiracy. Their goal is to put the others out of business. If J&J sees Merck doing something fishy, or unethical, or illegal, they will tell the whole world immediately, and inform the FDA and the Congress. Every day the back pages of the Wall Street Journal are filled with stories about companies doing fish, unethical and illegal things. Where do you think that news comes from? Do you think they issue press releases describing their own criminal activity? It usually comes from competing companies, who poach employees and dig up the dirt.


    Also, no pharma company is desperate. They are all doing well financially. They don't need to do things that will bring them bad press. It may be their management is unethical -- I wouldn't know about that -- but they are not stupid. They are not going to endanger next-quarter profits by lying about ivermectin and drumming up bad press.


    There are large companies run by stupid people. They are run into the ground, the way GE was in the last few years.

  • They could not fool the people at J&J,

    J&J .. MERCK and any of Bigpharma view ivermectin merely as a competitor.

    not as a lifesaving drug. Efficacy for ivermectin is opportunity lost for Big pharma.

    MERCK isn't fooling anybody except the occasional ignorant journailst,,

    who parrots the bizarre MERCK anti-ivermectin statement ..

    but neglect to say that there is no supporting data..... and that MERCK have ignored

    the substantial ivermectin Covid efficacy data accruing over the last year around the world

    https://ivmmeta.com/

    Meantime more meaningful ivermectin data is accumulating..

     but not from any of Bigpharma of course.

    The latest is from Nigeria. https://c19ivermectin.com/babalola.html

    Collectively, these results demonstrate a likely beneficial treatment effect of
    Ivermectin, to reduce the duration of illness, elicit faster recovery and diminution of qualitative
    indices of SARS-CoV-2 viral load compared to the usual treatment.
    These results are consistent with those of Ahmed et al who demonstrated a significant
    reduction in time to COVID 19 virological clearance with Ivermectin of 3 days on average,
    albeit at a higher dose of 12mg daily for 5 days in Bangladesh. Similar findings were reported
    by Elgazzar and colleagues in Egypt.

    "

    Ivermectin was remarkably well tolerated and there was no adverse drug event reported
    spontaneously or in response to inquiry.

    In conclusion, Ivermectin exhibited a dose-dependent significant inhibitory effect on SARSCoV-2. This study provides support for the translation of the in vitro findings of Caly et al12 at
    doses that were initially thought to be suboptimal in humans. The 12mg twice weekly regime
    appears to confer a superior efficacy.

    https://academic.oup.com/qjmed…b035/36309840/hcab035.pdf

  • San Diego County reports 1st fully vaccinated person to test positive for COVID-19


    https://news.google.com/articl…=en-US&gl=US&ceid=US%3Aen


    SAN DIEGO (KSWB) — A health care worker is San Diego County’s first known case of a fully vaccinated individual to test positive for COVID-19, local health officials said Wednesday.


    The positive case was reported this week, Dr. Eric McDonald, medical director of the County Epidemiology and Immunization Services branch, said at the county’s Wednesday update on efforts to control COVID-19. The health care worker showed minimal symptoms and had known exposure to the virus.


    While not the first ever case of a fully vaccinated person to test positive for the virus, it is the first such case reported in San Diego County. Last week, four people in Oregon tested positive for the virus at least two weeks after receiving their vaccines, the Associated Press reported.