Covid-19 News

  • This is as fringe as the EU vigelence database where at least academics can have access. May be its also incompetence in anonymization of data... Usually it is big

    No I have watched this process in a project I was involved with and I know for a fact that the process I described is how you access research data from medical records and the death database here and I know that they are pretty complete. But as you say they send some hopefully anonymous data to EU for their database else there is a data leak that is not according to how it should work and even maybe against the law here. But I do not know the details.


    Around 100 was reported as dead with covid after getting the shot e.g. not linked to the vaccine and experts say that that's to be expected by having a running pandemic and

    a vaccine that for some very weak does not fully protect, they did not find the numbers glaring. Probably that was mostly the Norwegian cases as well. We had a few Astra Zenica blod cloth deaths in Norway that was linked to the vaccine. We did not have those in Sweden though, but that can be just a coincidence as the number was very few.


    Our medical records are complete and all those that die in their database is also included. Researchers can get hold of that information in the process I described. They do not present the data in the official statistic of deaths that are not linked to vaccines, simply that. What I know they do is they compare with background and they examine the medical records so if they find that 10 young people within a day of a shot dies without a comorbidity they would flag it and they would stop the roll out of the vaccine. So we can safely say that in Sweden at worst we have a few dead healthy young one from the vaccine out of totally 5 millions vaccinated age say > 35.

  • Initial evidence from decent study not great:


    Early use of nitazoxanide in mild Covid-19 disease: randomised, placebo-controlled trial
    Nitazoxanide is widely available and exerts broad-spectrum antiviral activity in vitro . However, there is no evidence of its impact on SARS-CoV-2 infection.…
    erj.ersjournals.com


    But you never know,

  • This is a nonsense Pfizer marketing argument. The same I now said for Pfizer has been said by Pfizer about Sinovac, that was only 62% effective for alpha. So now Pfizer is on Sinovac level and it makes no sense to still use it of you want something like herd immunity...Moderna still is way better. So I just said what Pfizer said.


    Sorry the death rate is 12% ! Mild deaths? We have 50 male!! cases /mio vaccines according US army!

    Consistency of Wyttenfacts would help? In these matters of life and death it even can make a life or death difference.


    50 cases/million - no deaths (not 12%!)


    Overall: 1226 cases, no deaths

    COVID-19 and balancing the risks:  The vaccine or the virus
    Myocarditis 101With recent reports of myocarditis after vaccination in young people after the mRNA vaccines, it is worthwhile to reexamine the risk/benefit…
    sciencebasedmedicine.org


    It will probably be more by now, those figures are maybe 3 weeks old? But that is not consistent with 12% death rate.


    I think you mean 12% death rate for normal myocarditis - which as I'm sure you know, having read about this, has very different presentation from the transient form induced by the vaccine, in children and young adults.


    I know of no deaths yet from this adverse reaction. We will probably get one eventually, but at such a low probability...

  • Major Sub-Saharan ANTICOV Study Drops HCQ & Adopts Nitazoxanide & the Corticosteroid Ciclesonide

    In my archive I find the first Nitazzoxanide studies in April/May/June 2020. Some details are given in: [attach='17868'] It also work for flu/MERS.




    More details in:: [attach=17869] In vitro much less active than HCQ


    Here the first good study comparing with IVR,HCQ :: [attach='17870']

  • I hope it does work, but the study I linked was I think larger and well randomised - which is why I linked it. I'll check your links if you tell me i am wrong.

  • US army 12% deaths... PS: you reference a big pharma fake news portal...

    and you have given no reference at all.




    "big pharma fake news portal" - sure it looks like that to you:



    Exploring issues and controversies in the relationship between science and medicine


    Science-Based Medicine is dedicated to evaluating medical treatments and products of interest to the public in a scientific light, and promoting the highest standards and traditions of science in health care. Online information about alternative medicine is overwhelmingly credulous and uncritical, and even mainstream media and some medical schools have bought into the hype and failed to ask the hard questions.

    We provide a much needed “alternative” perspective — the scientific perspective.

    Good science is the best and only way to determine which treatments and products are truly safe and effective. That idea is already formalized in a movement known as evidence-based medicine (EBM). EBM is a vital and positive influence on the practice of medicine, but it has limitations and problems in practice: it often overemphasizes the value of evidence from clinical trials alone, with some unintended consequences, such as taxpayer dollars spent on “more research” of questionable value. The idea of SBM is not to compete with EBM, but a call to enhance it with a broader view: to answer the question “what works?” we must give more importance to our cumulative scientific knowledge from all relevant disciplines.

    SBM’s authors are all medically trained and have spent years writing for the public about science and medicine, tirelessly advocating for high scientific standards in health care.


    and:


    FDA’s Decision to Approve Aduhelm (aducanumab) for Alzheimer’s
    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a complex neurodegenerative disease that causes progressive dementia. Patients have impaired memory and as the disease progresses…
    sciencebasedmedicine.org


    you think that is pro-big-pharma, or fake news???


    Ownership

    SBM is entirely owned and operated by the New England Skeptical Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting science and critical thinking. The NESS does not have any corporate or government sponsorship. It is entirely funded by individual donations. The NESS also co-organizes and operates (with the New York City Skeptics) a yearly science conference, the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism (NECSS) which prominently features SBM content. Admission prices and honoraria are set so that the conference is generally a break-even event.

  • They do not present the data in the official statistic of deaths that are not linked to vaccines, simply that.

    Unluckily this is exactly the problem - not linked. All deaths within 14 days after vaccine must be reported but if there is an executive order no to report them, then you will find none. Canada has issues such an order. Doctors that report death may loose their appropriation... May be you once should ask a doctor.

    Almost all death in Norway were linked to the vaccine as these did occur within hours. The rest is pharma propaganda and bribed doctors.

    You should know how to do proper statistics. If you take 10000 old people and 100 die, then you must randomly select an other 10'000 and look at their death rate for e.g. a 2 days period. This varies with the median age but will always be much much lower than 100.


    From a statistics point of view no death in Sweden simply is a lie. But extreme wonder may happen... Switzerland had about 25 reported/mio. vaccinated.

  • Unluckily this is exactly the problem - not linked. All deaths within 14 days after vaccine must be reported but if there is an executive order no to report them, then you will find none. Canada has issues such an order. Doctors that report death may loose their appropriation... May be you once should ask a doctor.

    Almost all death in Norway were linked to the vaccine as these did occur within hours. The rest is pharma propaganda and bribed doctors.

    You should know how to do proper statistics. If you take 10000 old people and 100 die, then you must randomly select an other 10'000 and look at their death rate for e.g. a 2 days period. This varies with the median age but will always be much much lower than 100.


    From a statistics point of view no death in Sweden simply is a lie. But extreme wonder may happen... Switzerland had about 25 reported/mio. vaccinated.

    There are a lot of factoids here - without links which would be helpful. I'm sure you know there is a lot of false information floating around the internet, much sourced by a few wealthy and influential individuals with extreme antivaxx views.


    Swiss death rate 25/million. I'm glad you have this data, as you should. Could you tell me:

    (1) what is the expected background rate for an age-matched (to those vaccinated) cohort

    (2) how do you decide whether a death within 14 days of a vaccination is related to the vaccine, or part of the background death rate?


    THH

  • UK data on vaccine deaths


    Deaths following receipt of the vaccine in the UK - Office for National Statistics


    Contents    
    Table 12: Number of deaths with ICD-10 codes related to COVID-19 mentioned on the death certificate, by ICD-10 code, deaths registered in March 2020 to May 2021, England and Wales1,2,3,4,5,6,7
             
    Country ICD-10 Code Description Deaths involving 6 this cause (any mention on the death certificate) of which, deaths due to this cause (underlying cause only)
    England U07.1 COVID-19, virus identified 127,528 113,651
    U07.2 COVID-19, virus not identified 4,184 3,656
    U08.9 Personal history of COVID-19, unspecified 1 :
    U09.9 Post COVID-19 condition, unspecified 119 :
    U10.9 Multisystem inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19, unspecified 0 0
    U11.9 Need for immunisation against COVID-19, unspecified 4 :
      U12.9 COVID-19 vaccines causing adverse effects in therapeutic use, unspecified 3 0
    Wales U07.1 COVID-19, virus identified 7,469 6,535
    U07.2 COVID-19, virus not identified 409 358
    U08.9 Personal history of COVID-19, unspecified 0 :
    U09.9 Post COVID-19 condition, unspecified 13 :
    U10.9 Multisystem inflammatory syndrome associated with COVID-19, unspecified 0 0
    U11.9 Need for immunisation against COVID-19, unspecified 0 :
      U12.9 COVID-19 vaccines causing adverse effects in therapeutic use, unspecified 0 0
    Source: Office for National Statistics - Monthly mortality analysis
    Notes:
    1. Deaths "involving" a cause refer to deaths that had this cause mentioned anywhere on the death certificate, whether as an underlying cause or not. Deaths "due to" a cause refer only to deaths that had this as the underlying cause of death; International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Edition (ICD-10) codes U08.9, U09.9, and U11.9 cannot be assigned the underlying cause of death so this data is marked as unavailable and denoted with :
    2. Figures for 2020 and 2021 are based on provisional mortality data.
    3. Figures are for deaths registered rather than deaths occurring in each period.
    4. Figures exclude non-residents.
    5. Please note that not all of the ICD-10 codes covered in this table are included in our definitions of "deaths involving COVID-19" and "deaths due to COVID-19". U11.9 is an optional code that may be used when a person encounters health services for the specific purposes of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, U12.9 covers deaths caused by an adverse effect of the COVID-19 vaccine, and U08.9 is used to record an earlier episode of COVID-19; these three codes are not included in our numbers of COVID-19 deaths published in other tables. For more information on the definitions of COVID-19 deaths see the Definitions tab.
    6. Deaths may be double-counted in the "involving" column, as a single death can have multiple contributory causes mentioned on the death certificate. Therefore, this column should not be summed.
    7. A death involving U11.9 means a COVID-19 vaccination was mentioned but there is no causal connection to the death.



    Things got worse in late June, with AZ blood clots recognised, but the June/July data are not yet out (will be in a week or so).


    Reactions 'fully evaluated'

    Up to 16 June there were 389 reported cases of blood clots with low platelet levels in people who had the AstraZeneca vaccine in the UK, with 68 deaths.

    Of these, 31 cases and four deaths were reported after a second dose.

    In the same period there were 12 cases in people given the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, with one death, and none in those receiving the Moderna vaccine.

    By this date about 16.8m Pfizer/BioNTech, 24.5m AstraZeneca and 0.73m Moderna vaccine first doses had been administered in the UK.

    The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) said deaths after suspected adverse drug reactions were "fully evaluated".

    "Our detailed and rigorous review into reports of blood clots occurring together with thrombocytopenia is ongoing," a spokesperson said.


    The blood clot AZ figures look like around 10 (upper limit of all could be related events) over 4 jan - 7 july

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1003228/COVID-19_AstraZeneca_Vaccine_Analysis_Print_DLP_07.07.2021.pdf


    The number of AZ vaccinations over that period is difficult for me to find, but with total number fully vaccinated around 50M, 25M is a good guess (it is the vaccine we had most of).


    That would put death rate at 0.4 / 1,000,000.


    Let us round up to 1 / 1,000,000.


    The Pfizer vaccine looks safer than this.


    The Swiss seem to have been very unlucky? Unbelievably so.

  • and you have given no reference at all.

    Sorry we linked the US Army report - go back and read. This is not VAERS like reporting. The US army did report about all 450'000 males they inoculated. So we had 50 cases/ million and the usual 12 % deaths that are known since more than 10 years.


    Soldiers will not report mild forms where as children starts to complain very early so here the figure despite low is higher...


    Of course we can expect more mild forms for children as their viral load is much lower. But what we do not know yet is how much damage these children will carry onward. Here we just started a mass test...We also have no clue which vaccine brand related damage has what long time effect. So we are in a Dr. Mengele experiment. Results expected in 10 years.

    A simple 4% reduction in heart power makes the difference in a potential sports career. But you will not see this in Children.


    Did you never hear that usually all such severe side effect must be carefully evaluated over 10 years before a vaccine is allowed for children?? Big pharma Marketing does not like this.


    (1) what is the expected background rate for an age-matched (to those vaccinated) cohort

    The background rate is in the order of 15..20 out of 100. Reporting is never exact. I would go up to 1/3 in general if reporting is 100%.

    But Switzerland is a bit special: We have no excess mortality among people age <65. So in this class the signal is much stronger.

    So do as I said: Take a period and compare with flu vaccine deaths (under-) reported...

  • I just checked UK data. Compared to the last wave we have about 10x less death for the same amount of new cases. So if we take unvaccinated it still is 5x less. If we adjust to 14 days then it still 3x less with Delta. Same as last time alpha --> beta.


    Same for Germany/France. Cases still increase death decrease. So we have to wait the day deaths increase again to get a good base line.

  • Links please, partly because you are not being precise here, and partly because I'd like to look at the data carefully. To tell the truth - since I don't know what 12..20 out of 100 means in the context of background rate, nor what affects the variation, I need quite a bit more information to decode this. In addition, excess mortality is not relevant to this discussion.


    Re possible long-term effects of mRNA vaccines. The point is that the likely long-term effects from COVID are much larger, including much more serious (per case) myocarditis. So given you child will get vaccinated, or get COVID, the vaccination risks look much lower. That applies to sports careers cut short.

  • I just checked UK data. Compared to the last wave we have about 10x less death for the same amount of new cases. So if we take unvaccinated it still is 5x less. If we adjust to 14 days then it still 3x less with Delta. Same as last time alpha --> beta.


    Same for Germany/France. Cases still increase death decrease. So we have to wait the day deaths increase again to get a good base line.

    I'm sorry to sound like a broken record, but I and others cannot evaluate what you say without more details, and precise links, as I have given.


    For the estimated vaccine protection I'd want to start with a proper study that did it carefully, and then check it for sanity. Too easy for us non-specialists to miss things out.

  • Unluckily this is exactly the problem - not linked. All deaths within 14 days after vaccine must be reported but if there is an executive order no to report them, then you will find none. Canada has issues such an order. Doctors that report death may loose their appropriation... May be you once should ask a doctor.

    Almost all death in Norway were linked to the vaccine as these did occur within hours. The rest is pharma propaganda and bribed doctors.

    You should know how to do proper statistics. If you take 10000 old people and 100 die, then you must randomly select an other 10'000 and look at their death rate for e.g. a 2 days period. This varies with the median age but will always be much much lower than 100.


    From a statistics point of view no death in Sweden simply is a lie. But extreme wonder may happen... Switzerland had about 25 reported/mio. vaccinated.

    No, the data is all there. You will have for a death, an anynomized id, (to run through different tables of information) reason for death code, date of death, medical records of codes for comorbidities, age, sex, date of vaccine, what vaccine, what medicin they are eating, the lot. The actual medical records are a bit more difficult to study, but researchers request them and they validate that the data in the database is correct according to the records by proper sampling methods so they even know how much faulty information there is in the databases. The researchers data analysts and doctors and experts that look at the data will analyse, of cause, for longer duration like 2 weeks as well, you can be assured. I just took the example from one of your suggestion of what you can find in VAERS. The internal databases is complete so that you get this information for the whole country. The officially reported statistic does not include deaths that cannot be linked. As that is very confusing for the general swede and as a big source of miss-information and it is not possible to do that as you need to full databases in order to do a proper analysis and that we cannot make public due to privacy laws here that are very strict for databases about people. There simply is no glaring obvious or even a weakly obvious internal statistic that shows there is a problem except for those reported as there is a mind bogging focus to not screw up when it comes to the vaccines. We have top notch data analysts in Sweden when it comes to education and medical statistics, one of my friends is an expert in the field and I know the education of them as I got the same education (my phd is in mathematical statistic, I ended up doing probability theory as phd). I know that we have plenty of independent folks who's job is to monitor medicals like vaccines. I know for a fact that they are doing their best, not biased or bought by the medical companies as they are completely financed by the state, they are the peasants and they are protected to come forward if there is any bribing of their bosses (which is more likely to have contacts with medical companies if event they have) and information is suppressed. If they are bribed it is a severe crime and it would most likely be found. Heck if you are fired you are most likely safe due to strong union laws and safety net, so the bosses can't threat with that. The only thing I can come to think of is that the real mafia has something nasty on a person that forces them to do some dirty work (databases leak a little perhaps of some of this activity and there has been some case(s) of doctors, which has a very strong protection here, write out suspicious amount of narcotically classed medicine). Sweden is one of the least corrupt countries in the world.Sorry but I cannot fathom how an obvious high death statistic can be missed. What we do not have is hundreds of million people so if there is issues on the probability level much lower than getting hit by a car, we will not find it and that's why the process is repeated in the EU and other bigger countries and there is an open exchange of issues with the vaccine.

  • 0I just checked UK data. Compared to the last wave we have about 10x less death for the same amount of new cases. So if we take unvaccinated it still is 5x less. If we adjust to 14 days then it still 3x less with Delta. Same as last time alpha --> beta.


    Same for Germany/France. Cases still increase death decrease. So we have to wait the day deaths increase again to get a good base line.


    OK - so what we have so far, on the topic of vaccine deaths


    (1) Sweden (as I understand it) UK are either both controlled by Mafia or are showing vaccine deaths very low - much less than your Swiss 15/1,000,000.


    (2) We do not yet have links, or a clear explanation of how you calculated the 15/1,000,000 figure. I suspect there may be an issue to do with background (non-vaccine) deaths being included.


    (3) You now propose a different way to evaluate the relative risk of vaccine vs non-vaccine - conflated a bit with different virus strains. By comparing case numbers with death numbers at different historical times.


    This has changed the topic - so let us leave the matter of vaccine deaths and move on to the equally interesting matter of COVID deaths


    I absolutely agree - we can get useful info out of this for overall mortality: the effects of vaccination will be conflated by the effects of different variants - but not too much I hope.


    UK case number data


    https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/cases



    The first wave (March - May 2020) was original strain - however case numbers were very low relative to infections because of limited UK testing ability


    The second wave (November 2020) was due to rapidly increasing fraction of alpha variant


    The third wave ( peak Jan 1st 2021) was due to alpha, and reduced by serious lockdown.


    The 4th wave (now) is due to delta - and is currently on a sharp upward slope making comparisons difficult.



    The third and 4th wave case numbers are not very reliable due to local lateral flow saturation testing, which when done will inflate numbers with a whole load of asymptomatic positives.


    However, after they started, the ONS infection numbers, based on random sampling, are very reliable - they have identical methodology over the whole time sequence, and accurately represent the level of infection. They are stochastic and therefore less useful when the infection is low.


    The ONS infection data (Oxford University / government COVID testing labs / Office of National Statistics (independent of govt and used to calling government to account when they try to massage figures) / DHSS (not so independent) ) is here

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK - Office for National Statistics


    In addition to overall UK infection numbers, it has genomic testing revealing which variant dominates.


    It is archived and covers from mod 2020 onwards. Note that the weekly infection numbers do not relate exactly to case numbers, because an infection could last less or more than a week.


    Sorry - no time now to sort this all out. W thinking alpha is less severe than original might be because of the anomaly in the first wave case counts which for UK and quite a few other countries were much lower than subsequent case counts. in fcat alpha was 60% more lethal than original (sorry - no time to find and post link here but I have done this previously somewhere).

  • Major ICMR Study Shows Majority of Breakthrough COVID-19 Infections Associated with Delta Variant: Vaccination Ensures Protection


    Major ICMR Study Shows Majority of Breakthrough COVID-19 Infections Associated with Delta Variant: Vaccination Ensures Protection
    A new study out of India indicates the great majority of so-called breakthrough infections are associated with the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2. Sponsored
    trialsitenews.com


    A new study out of India indicates the great majority of so-called breakthrough infections are associated with the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2. Sponsored by the India Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the apex research body of India for biomedical research, this study results indicate that the Delta variant was associated with a majority of infections associated with vaccinated individuals in nearly all of the 17 states and Union Territories covered by the study. Only 9.8% of these breakthrough infection cases required hospitalization, and deaths were associated with only 0.4% of the reported incidences. The takeaway from this study is that vaccination, even with one dose, offers greater protection against severe disease progression than those that are not vaccinated. Importantly, the authors imply that sufficient investment in continuous monitoring of post-vaccination breakthrough infections along with clinical severity needs to be incorporated into vaccination programs worldwide.


    The Background

    This yet-to-be-peer-reviewed study was recently uploaded to the preprint server medRxiv. This study centers on evaluating breakthrough infections, that is individuals who have been vaccinated yet still get infected by SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19. Sponsored by the ICMR Pune Institute of Virology, the vaccinated individuals in the study received one or two doses of either A) Covishield, AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine produced by Serum Institute of India or B) Covaxin, produced by the India biotech company called Bharat Biotech. The study collected 677 samples from individuals infected with breakthrough infections across 17 Indian states and Union Territories. Over 20% of the cases in the study were associated with co-morbidities, such as diabetes, chronic lung problems, and the like.


    Methodology

    ICMR’s Department of Health Research capitalized on what is known in India as a network of Viral Research and Diagnostic Laboratories (VRDLs) as a means to track the breakthrough infections. The sponsors defined breakthrough infections as “the detection of SARS-CoV-2 RNA or antigen in a respiratory specimen collected from a person ≥14 days after receipt of all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.” Leveraging these VRDLs, the study team capitalized on “clinical and demographic” meta-data as well as “nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal swabs (NPS/OPS)” in associated COVID-19 patients identified as positive (e.g. breakthrough infection) via “real-time RT-PCR” across 17 states and Union Territories (UTs) from April to May 2021. The study team reported that actual clinical specimens were “sequenced using next-generation sequencing (NGS)” in the effort to assess nucleotide variations in the SARS-CoV-2 genome associated with the specific variant strains.


    The Study

    Sponsored by ICMR Pune Institute of Virology, the study was led by Dr. Priya Abraham along with senior scientist Dr. Pragya Yadav and the results were reported widely in India across media, including The Times of India. Again, the study team conducted a genomic analysis of 677 COVID-19 cases who became infected even after receiving one dose of the vaccine (note that in India, at least four vaccines are in use).


    Key Findings

    As reported in multiple India press, a number of key takeaways include:


    86.09% of the breakthrough infections were caused by B.1.617.2—the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2

    ICMR reports that individuals with at least one infection are getting infected by this particular mutant strain

    The death rate among vaccinated individuals is very low—lower than those unvaccinated, indicating vaccines most certainly reduce hospitalization rates and death

    More specifically, of those vaccinated individuals infected with the Delta variant, only 9.8% required hospitalization while the mortality rate was 0.4%

    Delta is the primary driver for breakthrough infections

    The Delta variant dominates most regions of India except for the northern region where the Alpha variant is most common

    Importantly, the study turned up a couple of new variants known as Delta AY.1 and AY.2. Both of them are associated with the K417N mutation “known to disrupt receptor-binding domain (RBD) binding capacity” thus establishing these variants as more transmissible in vaccinated individuals. According to the study authors, this indicates that SARS-Cov-2 is evolving to “evade immune responses and survive against the vaccines.”


    Summary

    The Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 is associated with the majority of breakthrough infections (86.09%). The good news, however, is that vaccination is conferring considerable protection based on the subject sample of the study. Of the entire sample, only 9.8% of cases required hospitalization while mortality was only observed in 0.4% of the cases.


    Funding

    This study was funded via intramural financing associated with the ‘Molecular epidemiological analysis of SARS-CoV-2 circulating in different regions of India’ thanks to the ICMR, New Delhi—funds were transferred to ICMR National Institute of Virology, Pune.


    Lead Research/Investigator

    Dr. Priya Abraham, ICMR Pune Institute of Virology


    TrialSite Comment

    Note importantly what isn’t discussed are the hospitalization and mortality rates overall. For example, even prior to vaccines, a majority of cases—about 90% of COVID-19 cases—are recorded as either asymptomatic or mild-to-moderate. That means that the 9.8% hospitalization rate may not be too material a number. The overall mortality rates of COVID-19 vary from country to country. For example, in America, with approximately 34 million COVID-19 cases and 620 thousand deaths, the approximate mortality rate is around 2%. In India, with approximately 31 million recorded cases, the current reported total morality figure now stands at 414 thousand, meaning that the approximate mortality rate there is less than America at about 1.3%. These numbers are based on World Meters. These types of analyses need to be further investigated for a more granular understanding of protection on a country-by-country basis.


    Call to Action: The study indicates that those individuals vaccinated, even with one dose, have more protection against COVID-19 than those that do not, based on the findings from this specific set of samples. Thus the study authors declare that continuous monitoring of post-vaccination breakthrough infections in association with clinical severity of disease must be incorporated into vaccination programs around the world. This will help public health authorities and research agencies better understand how to modify existing vaccines while informing the development of novel, superior vaccines of the future.

  • Bush Medicine’ Under Study at Uganda’s Gulu University Thanks to $1m from President But Under Wary Regulatory Authority


    ‘Bush Medicine’ Under Study at Uganda’s Gulu University Thanks to $1m from President But Under Wary Regulatory Authority
    Some political tensions appeared to influence a clinical trial planned by Uganda’s Gulu University as the study team now fundraises to support study
    trialsitenews.com


    Some political tensions appeared to influence a clinical trial planned by Uganda’s Gulu University as the study team now fundraises to support study startup of what most certainly will be considered by the West as a controversial clinical trial involving what’s known as a bush medicine, that is, a concoction of indigenous African herbs here in Uganda. The Ugandan National Drug Authority (NDA) ordered the immediate halt to the production of the study drug, a concoction called Covilyce-1, declaring that this compound consisting of several herbs wasn’t approved by the governing authorities. Two days later, however, the nation’s president, Yoweri Museveni, met with a group of the Gulu University scientists behind the proposed study; the head of the government went ahead and authorized the study, thus superseding that national regulatory authority. Apparently, the investigational team, led by Dr. Alice Veronica Lamwaka, already announced that 100 COVID-19 patients administered this Covilyce-1 had recovered from their illness. Thus the investigational team sought to commence the formal assessment of this herbal medicine. Can such a bush medicine be used as an effective means to combat COVID-19? Well, randomized controlled trials take money, lots of it. So, the university scientists met with the Ugandan parliament to raise such funds to conduct the study and, apparently, according to local media, the President authorized $1m for the effort—a lot of money there.


    Background

    Reports in various press in Africa are that this indigenous Ugandan regimen actually works to treat SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19. Called Covilyce-1, the regimen is made up of a concoction of various indigenous herbs and then processed into powder, nasal drops, suppository, and syrup form for administration.


    Local media such as The Independent report that Dr. Lamwaka, part of the Bio-technology and Pharmaceutical Studies (PharmBiotec) investigational group from Gulu University, now seeks sufficient funds to produce enough investigational product for the COVID-19 herbal regimen randomized controlled trial.


    In Uganda, apparently, the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology was empowered to coordinate fast-track processes involving regulatory review during a public health emergency such as COVID-19. A recent entry by The Independent reports that the nation’s present went ahead and gave 3.7 billion Ugandan Shillings to the study effort—this equals U.S. $1,041,185.


    COVID-19 in Uganda

    This African nation of 44.2 million inhabitants has approximately 90.300 thousand total COVID-19 cases with approximately 2,300 deaths. The nation’s population has just experienced the worst spike of the pandemic starting in late May due to the Delta variant; the number of cases rose to 1735 in one day on June 12. The total number of daily cases has now declined to 460, reported on July 17, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The total death tally here is relatively low except for some sort of anomaly reported on July 5 when there were 855 recorded deaths. The overall death rate based on the recorded cases is just under 3% in Uganda.


    According to a recent report by the United Nations, the Delta variant was a cause of the surge starting late May across Africa.


    Vaccination rates in Uganda remain abysmally low. According to Our World In Data, only 2.5% of the entire 44.2 million population have received one dose and 0% have received two doses. This type of result indicates the true challenges of mass vaccination in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs) and why early treatment options are so important.


    Initial Real World Evidence?

    The basis for this study is an effort at Gulu University where, since January 2021, the research team there have successfully treated over 100 patients with the COVID-19 indigenous concoction. The Gulu University researchers observed some positive findings, including the 100 COVID-19 patients’ results presented to the president, who heard of the activity and wanted to learn more.


    So, most recently, as reported in The Independent and other press in Africa and even in Turkey, the research team met and interacted with members of the Uganda Parliament’s COVID-19 task force. The indigenous treatment was developed at the university located in the northern part of the country. The scientists here wanted to do the right thing and study the indigenous inspired regimen under controlled conditions but needed money for that. Of course, proper randomized controlled trials are expensive.


    The investigator pleads her case:


    “This is a unique research experience which is difficult to cover and keep underground, particularly where there is evidence of massive full recovery from clients, coupled with a dramatic reduction in infection rate in the Acholi-sub-region where the formulations were done.”


    Thus Dr. Lamwaka is trying to do the right thing—getting this bush medicine out in front of the government for study. She also seeks the ongoing support of this nation’s pharmaceutical lobby called the Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda.


    The politicians were quoted in The Independent suggesting that the majority of research funds get allocated to the predominant research center, Makerere University. Jonam County MP Emmanuel Ongiertho suggested funds should be allocated to other universities such as Gulu University. Again, according to a report from The Independent, on July 15th the first funds were released


    The Goal

    Dr. Lamwaka and team plan on conducting the clinical trials to assess whether the regimen can work in a controlled environment. If that’s the case, then they would submit the treatment for regulatory approval. Their goal is to set up a traditional medicine hospital in the northern part of Uganda adjacent to modernized health facilities.


    Regulatory Authority

    In Uganda, before a study even falls under the regulatory body there, its protocol first must be scrutinized and approved by an Ethics Committee then cleared by the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology. Thereafter, the study is submitted to the regulator for oversight.


    TrialSite suggests that the regulators in Uganda will wield considerable authority even if the president authorized such a trial. In fact, a spokesperson for the Uganda NDA, Abiaz Rwamwiri, reminded all that each and every step along the drug development trajectory falls under their control, declaring, “If she is to go for a clinical trial, NDA will be involved as we are mandated to approve and monitor clinical trials to be undertaken in Uganda.”


    Gulu University

    Gulu University is one of nine public universities in this nation of about 44.2 million people. Their Bio-Technology and Pharmaceutical Studies or “PharmBiotec” is their department focusing on medical research.


    Lead Research/Investigator

    Dr. Alice Veronica Lamwaka, PhD

  • off subject but interesting as I have been playing with a model I designed based on hope Simpson.


    Sky-mapping system can predict whether cancer treatment will work


    Sky-mapping system can predict whether cancer treatment will work
    Using image analysis tools developed for astronomy, researchers are predicting cancer therapy responses.
    bigthink.com



    This article was originally published on our sister site, Freethink.


    Can a system for charting the stars be used to treat cancer? (And no, I don't mean astrology.) Researchers at Johns Hopkins think so. Using a sky-mapping algorithm developed by astronomers, the scientists have found a way to predict whether cancer will respond to immunotherapy.


    "This platform has the potential to transform how oncologists will deliver cancer immunotherapy," Drew Pardoll, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, said in a Johns Hopkins' release.


    Predicting the future is life or death: Immunotherapy harnesses the body's own immune system to attack cancerous tumor cells. But tumors have a multitude of nasty tricks to evade our immune system.


    Immunotherapy needs to get around these tumor defenses, allowing our own powerful weapons to fight back.


    An immunotherapy treatment for melanoma can block a protein called PD-1, helping the immune system spot and destroy cancer cells. But only some melanoma patients will respond well to anti-PD-1 drugs, and time is of the essence with an aggressive cancer like melanoma.


    "The ability to predict response or resistance is critical to choosing the best treatments for each patient's cancer," the researchers state.

    Lighting the way: To build their prediction model, the researchers took melanoma biopsies — about 127,400 mosaic images, comprising a million cells — and used immunofluorescence to highlight proteins in the tissue.


    Immunofluorescence works via antibodies that glom on to certain proteins and glow, revealing their targets.


    Using their tags, the researchers were able to illuminate the tumor's microenvironment by examining the immune cells in and around the melanoma. From there, they located six biomarkers that, taken together, were "highly predictive" of a cancer's response to anti-PD-1 therapy.


    "The data outputs were linked to patient outcomes, informing in a clinically relevant way how cancer evades the immune system," the team wrote in their Science paper.


    The fault in melanoma's stars: The key to this cancer-prediction algorithm was imaging techniques originally developed for astronomy.


    Using a sky-mapping algorithm developed by astronomers, the scientists have found a way to predict whether cancer will respond to immunotherapy.

    The image analysis tools were created for the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, a map of the universe spearheaded by Alexander Szalay, professor of physics, astronomy, and computer science.


    "The sky survey 'stitched' together millions of telescopic images of billions of celestial objects, each expressing distinct signatures — just like the different fluorescent tags on the antibodies used to stain the tumor biopsies," Johns Hopkins explains.


    The algorithm, called AstroPath, is already being applied to lung cancer, and the team hopes it will lead to therapeutic guidance for other cancers as well.