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Coronavirus updates March 2021...please add yours.

missy

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Happy March everyone. And accordingly we continue "march"ing on during the pandemic. One day at a time. I hope we experience more happy updates and promising news for the hopefully soon (by end of this year maybe?) end of the pandemic.



"

1. Coronavirus​

The US Food and Drug Administration has given emergency use authorization to the Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief signed off on its advisers' nod of approval. Now, 3.9 million doses of the third US Covid-19 vaccine are making their way across the country. The J&J vaccine is different than the other two because it only requires one dose. Which should you get? Dr. Anthony Fauci says, "I would take whatever vaccine would be available to me as quickly as possible." Today, Mexico's President is expected to ask President Biden about the US possibly sharing its vaccine supply. Mexico has several purchase agreements with drug makers, but many have gone unfulfilled. Meanwhile, more than 2,400 cases of the UK, Brazil and South Africa coronavirus variants have been detected in the US, and the CDC warns the actual number could be much higher."



and

 

missy

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"Nancy E. Messonnier, MD is director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and leads the CDC’s efforts on COVID-19 vaccination. She joins JAMA's Q&A series to discuss the agency's response to emerging coronavirus variants, the FDA advisory hearings on the new Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and other agency activities and priorities related to COVID-19 control."
 

missy

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The one-shot vaccine is on its way​

Just one shot is all it takes.
Advisers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted Sunday in an emergency meeting to recommend Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 single-shot vaccine for U.S. adults 18 years old and older.
The 12-0 vote by CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices followed a unanimous recommendation Friday from Food and Drug Administration advisers and agency clearance on Saturday. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky has signed off, which is all that’s needed for distribution of the third Covid-19 vaccine available in the U.S.
The shot differs from those already in use, one from Moderna and the other from partners Pfizer and BioNTech, because of its one-dose regimen and its ability to be stored in a refrigerator, both of which contribute to ease of distribution and administration.
Those features may help immunizations reach some groups disproportionately affected by the pandemic, such as the homeless, rural residents, people with involved law enforcement actions, the disabled and homebound as well as those with limited access to health care, a CDC reviewer said.

Vials containing doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Photographer: PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP
Shots could be administered in doctors’ offices, as well. Biden administration officials who held a briefing call Sunday on condition on anonymity said the government would begin shipping 3.9 million doses that are already available.
But health officials may need to persuade people to take one shot from J&J rather than two doses from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna. A February survey found only 7% of people would choose a single-dose vaccine, compared with 58% who said they prefer a two-dose series, according to a presentation in the online meeting. About one in five said they would take either.
Of those who want a two-dose shot, 28% said they would get a single-dose option one rather than wait a month to get another one. The survey was conducted before all the data on J&J’s inoculation became available, which could affect attitudes.
Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, said Sunday that he wouldn’t hesitate to take J&J’s vaccine. Americans should take any vaccine available to them, Fauci said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”—Angelica LaVito
 

maryjane04

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Just an update in Melbourne, Australia. Seems like we're the last in the world to get vaccinated lol. We just started this week with the aim to vaccinate all high risk hospital and hotel quarantine staff first. Apparently I'll be getting mine in a month's time woohoo.
 

missy

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Just an update in Melbourne, Australia. Seems like we're the last in the world to get vaccinated lol. We just started this week with the aim to vaccinate all high risk hospital and hotel quarantine staff first. Apparently I'll be getting mine in a month's time woohoo.

Good luck @maryjane04 ! Australia has done an amazing job keeping Covid 19 infections low so perhaps that’s why the vaccines have been slower to start. Wishing you all much good health and continuing success!
 

missy

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U.S. vaccine program gets back on track​

Severe winter weather is bad enough in any year, but in the middle of the biggest vaccination campaign in U.S. history it's a logistical nightmare.
Before a blast of winter storms hit a large swath of the nation last month, the U.S. had been administering a seven-day average of at least 1.6 million doses a day for 10 straight days. After a rocky start in December, it looked like the nation's massive immunization program was finally on track.
But then came record-breaking low temperatures, ice storms, snow and freezing fog across most of the Great Plains states, including the entire state of Texas.
The impact on the vaccination campaign rippled outward to states that weren't even affected by the weather, as manufacturing and shipping slowed. Immunization programs were upended in about 1 in 5 states, with Arkansas, Indiana, Mississippi and Texas among the worst, according to an analysis by Bloomberg.
Starting Feb. 20, the seven-day average dropped to 1.3 million to 1.4 million doses daily for eight days. That's about 2 million doses delayed, according to the Bloomberg Vaccine Tracker.
But now there are signs that the worst is over. Five days ago, the gap began closing as backlogged doses reached states by the middle of last week.

The biggest gains came through this past weekend with a blockbuster three days of peak doses reported—2.2 million doses delivered on Friday and 2.4 million each on Saturday and Sunday. The push drove the seven-day average back to 1.6 million doses per day.
On Monday, the CDC reported 1.7 million doses administered. It's another good sign, but it still means a shortfall of about 1.1 million doses that hasn’t been made up yet.
Even so, the rapid rebound bodes well as a test of how states are able to respond to interruptions. And it suggests they have the capacity to administer more shots than they have in the past.
That capacity will be tested in the coming weeks amid an anticipated immunization surge, with the recently authorized Johnson & Johnson vaccine added to the mix.
The federal government asked shipping partners to work extra shifts last weekend to dispatch extra doses to states, and encouraged them to get needles into arms by extending hours, working weekends and having more staff on hand.
Spring may not be in the air yet, but when it comes to vaccinations, the worst of winter may be behind us.—Jill Shah

Listen up​

Johnson & Johnson's CEO on the Newest Vaccin‪e‬​

Now that Johnson & Johnson’s Covid-19 vaccine has been cleared by regulators, the company needs to ramp up doses fast. J and J is looking for manufacturing partnerships to increase supply. Riley Griffin spoke to the company’s chief executive officer, Alex Gorsky about his plan to immunize 20 million Americans by the end of the month, and 100 million by the end of June.
 

lovedogs

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It's a few days from the "anniversary" of my work telling us all to "stay home for 2 weeks" LOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL. Not sure why, but I feel grief as it comes up on the "anniversary". I've gotten used to working from home and it's not all that bad anymore, but still the sadness is hard to shake today and yesterday.
 

voce

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I got the Pfizer vaccine dose 1 just now. Other people will start to get vaccinated at work, so I hope we'll all be safer.

I saw the stuff on the J&J vaccine, and FWIW it motivated me to get the two dose vaccine, because I don't want to be infected by an adenovirus altering my cells' nuclear DNA. I feel better psychologically knowing that mRNA vaccines don't rewrite my DNA.
 

Matata

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missy

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Major employers including Hyatt, Target, Starbucks, and CVS are keeping mask requirements in Texas despite Gov. Greg Abbott's plan to lift safety restrictions next week. (Wall Street Journal)

Following criticism of this plan, Abbott blamed infections in Texas on recently paroled migrants. (Forbes)

A new pilot program involving more than a dozen insurance companies aims to vaccinate 2 million of the nation's most vulnerable seniors by assisting them with transportation and registration and addressing vaccine hesitancy. (NPR)
 

missy

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"
Want to find out how and when you or your patients can get a COVID-19 vaccine? Every state has posted information on its plan; many (though not all) list ways to sign up. Here are links to each state's vaccination web page.

Alabama Department of Public Health

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services

Arizona Department of Health Services

Arkansas Department of Health

California Department of Public Health



Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment

Connecticut State's Official Website

Delaware COVID-19 Vaccine Information

District of Columbia

Florida Health

Georgia Department of Public Health

Hawai'i Department of Health

Idaho COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Illinois Department of Public Health

Indiana COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Iowa Department of Public Health

Kansas Department of Public Health and Environment

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Louisiana Department of Health

Maine COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Maryland COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Michigan COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Minnesota Department of Health

Mississippi Department of Public Health

Missouri COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Montana Vaccination Plan

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services

Nevada Health Response

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

New Jersey Department of Health

New Mexico Department of Health

New York COVID-19 Vaccine Information

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

North Dakota Health

Ohio Department of Health



Oklahoma Health Department

Oregon COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Pennsylvania Department of Health

Rhode Island Department of Health

South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control

South Dakota Department of Health

Tennessee Department of Health

Texas Department of Health and Human Services

Utah COVID-19 Vaccine Information

Vermont Department of Health

Virginia Department of Health

Washington State Department of Health

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

Wisconsin Department of Health Services

Wyoming Department of Health

"
 

missy

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"
Israel was fastest out the blocks to inoculate its population against Covid-19, with more than half of its 9.3 million people having received at least one shot since Dec. 20.

But when it comes to approaching herd immunity, when enough of the population is immune to the disease to prevent it from spreading, it could be beaten to the finish line by a tiny Indian Ocean island nation.

Seychelles has only 98,462 residents, 57% of whom have had a first vaccine dose and 25% a second as of Tuesday, and President Wavel Ramkalawan has said the nation is on track to inoculate more than 70% by the middle of this month. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has set a target of vaccinating all those age 16 and older by the end of March.

Anthony Fauci, U.S. President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser for the pandemic, estimates that 70% to 85% of a population needs to be inoculated to reach herd immunity. Israel is unlikely to reach that goal even if all adults are vaccinated because shots haven’t been approved for children, who account for almost 30% of its people, according to Sharon Alroy-Preis, the nation’s top public health official.


Seychelles Minister for Fisheries Jean-François Ferrari awaits his first vaccine dose.

Photographer: RASSIN VANNIER/AFP

While the speed with which countries can distribute vaccines will be a crucial determinant of how quickly they can exit the coronavirus mire, their choice of shot could prove equally important.

Israel has mainly dispensed vaccines made by Pfizer and BioNTech, and a study published last month showed they were 94% effective in preventing Covid-19 infections among 596,618 people who received a double dose. Deaths and hospitalizations of Israeli seniors who were prioritized for inoculation have plunged, providing further evidence that the jabs work.

Seychelles has mainly used a shot from the state-owned China National Biotec Group, a unit of Sinopharm. While the developers say it was shown to be 79% effective, that claim has yet to be subjected to peer review.

The government has also been administering vaccines developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford that trial data showed were 84% effective against the original coronavirus strain. However, a small study showed the shots had little impact on mild infections caused by a variant that was first identified in South Africa late last year and has since been detected in almost 50 other nations.

The effectiveness of Seychelles’s vaccination campaign has yet to be determined but should become evident over the next few months as the archipelago’s crucial tourism industry resumes operating. That will provide critical information as to whether herd immunity is attainable and if so, a possible avenue to get there.—Mike Cohen"
 

missy

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"
While direct comparisons can't be made because head-to-head trials don't exist, people are questioning how the three COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the U.S. stack up.

Below are the key characteristics of each of those vaccines. This list will be updated as additional vaccines become available.

Company: Pfizer/BioNTech

Vaccine Name: BNT162b2

Mechanism of Action: mRNA vaccine

Dosing Schedule: Two doses, 21 days apart (30 μg/dose)



Efficacy: 95% at least 7 days after dose 2

Illness was defined as having a confirmed positive COVID-19 test and at least one of the following symptoms: fever, new or increased cough, new or increased shortness of breath, chills, new or increased muscle pain, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, diarrhea, or vomiting.

Trial Participants: 43,548 people age 16 and up

Side Effects: Most common were fatigue and headache after both doses, with both being more prominent after the second dose. These were milder for participants over 55 compared with those age 16 to 55. In this latter group, the rates of fatigue and headache were 59% and 52%, respectively, after dose 2.

Storage: Ultra-cold freezer required, -112ºF to -76ºF (-80ºC to -60ºC) for up to 6 months; FDA recently agreed to allow storage of frozen, undiluted vials at standard pharmacy freezer temperatures between -13ºF and 5ºF for up to 2 weeks.



Variants: No clinical data; lab studies have shown that the South African (B.1.351) variant may reduce antibody titers by two-thirds. Pfizer is studying a third "booster" dose of the original vaccine against this variant, as well as evaluating a variant-specific vaccine with a modified mRNA sequence.

Number of Doses Contracted by the U.S.: 300 million

-- -

Company: Moderna

Vaccine Name: mRNA-1273

Mechanism of Action: mRNA vaccine

Dosing Schedule: Two doses, 28 days apart (100 μg/dose)

Efficacy: 94.1% at least 14 days after dose 2

Illness was defined as having a confirmed positive COVID-19 test and at least two of the following symptoms: fever, chills, myalgia, headache, sore throat, new olfactory or taste disorder; or at least one respiratory sign or symptom including cough, shortness of breath, or clinical or radiographic evidence of pneumonia.

Trial Participants: 30,420 people age 18 and up

Side Effects: Overall systemic adverse events including fever, chills, headache, and myalgia were recorded in 60% of participants after the first dose and in 80% of participants after the second dose.



Storage: Frozen between -13ºF to 5ºF (-25ºC to -15ºC); can be stored refrigerated from 36ºF to 46ºF (2ºC to 8ºC) for up to 30 days prior to first use.

Variants: No clinical data; lab studies found no significant impact on neutralizing antibodies with the U.K. variant (B.1.1.7) but a six-fold reduction in neutralizing antibodies with the South African variant (B.1.351). Moderna plans to test a variant-specific booster candidate, a multivalent booster candidate, and a third dose of the original vaccine at 50 μg.

Number of Doses Contracted by the U.S.: 300 million

-- -

Company: Johnson & Johnson/Janssen

Vaccine Name: Ad26.COV2.S

Mechanism of Action: Adenovirus vector vaccine

Dosing Schedule: One dose (two-dose regimen under evaluation)

Efficacy: 72% in the U.S. and 66% globally against moderate-to-severe disease; 85% effective against severe disease, 28 days after a single dose

Moderate illness was defined as a confirmed positive COVID-19 test plus one more of the following: evidence of pneumonia, deep vein thrombosis, shortness of breath or abnormal blood oxygen saturation above 93%, abnormal respiratory rate (≥20); or two or more systemic symptoms suggestive of COVID-19. Severe illness was defined as a confirmed positive COVID-19 test plus one or more of the following: signs consistent with severe systemic illness, admission to an intensive care unit, respiratory failure, shock, organ failure, or death.


Trial Participants: 43,783 people age 18 and up

Side Effects: Most common systemic reactions were headache (39%), fatigue (38%), myalgia (33%), nausea (14%), and fever (9%).

Storage: Stable for 2 years at -4ºF (-20ºC) but can be stored for at least 3 months at typical refrigeration temperatures of 36ºF to 46ºF (2ºC to 8ºC).

Variants: 57% efficacy in South Africa; 66% efficacy in South America (Brazil was among the countries studied, but there were no sequenced cases of the P.1 variant)

Number of Doses Contracted by the U.S.: 100 million

"

vaccinecomparisons.jpg
 

dk168

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Hope it is ok if I do not post about information that is freely available out in the open in advance.

I had my first AZ injection yesterday, apart from the injection site and upper arm being a bit sore, so far so good. =)2

Schools and some higher education institutions will be opening on Monday 08 March, much to the delight of my neighbour's teenage son who can't wait to get back to college to continue with his agricultural engineering course.

The delivery date of my campervan/RV has been further delayed by another week due to complications with the conversion and with graphics that need to be addressed. She should arrive on 20 March 2021. :(2

Not that I could go anywhere, as camp sites are not allowed to re-open until 12 April 2021 for those with their own onboard facilities.

I booked a camping trip immediately after my first monthly hair cut since early November 2020. I may grow my hair longer and have it cut into a bob of some sort, as it would not take that much longer to do so! :roll2:

The local town's annual beer festival in early July 2021 that I was involved with the organisation in the past has officially been cancelled. :(2

One of the theatre trips for Sister Act in August 2021 has been postponed to 2022, and Whoopi Goldberg would not be able to participate as Delores due to scheduling clashes which is a real shame. :(2

My favourite watering hole in town are unlikely to be able to re-open until June or July as they do not have seating outside. :roll2:

There are some good news entertainment wise, in that a local music festival is planning to go ahead during the last weekend of August 2021, pending on the success of UK's vaccine rollout, my fingers are firmly crossed that it will go ahead.

Conditions may not be favourable for me to go abroad this year to visit my folks in Canada or to go over to France for a camping trip.

I have no qualms about getting a proof of Covid immunisation in whatever form if it makes international travelling easier. =)2

Looking forward to the Easter weekend at home, and I shall take the pressure washer out to blast the patio and gravels in readiness of spending time in the garden. I shall camp in my van outside my house too, primarily to get used to her functionalities, and to pretend I am camping somewhere else as a change of scenery from being cooped up at home. :lol-2:

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it is not a train.

Hang in there for a bit longer, everyone, and stay safe!

DK =)2
 

MakingTheGrade

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My coworkers and I were talking about how a year ago when this was first getting bad, the hospital had surveyed all the MDs about our comfort level flexing into ICU care to help in case staffing got overwhelmed. Luckily it never came to that here.

Now our systems are feeling the effects of the mental health pandemic that’s happening. We can’t ask other docs to suddenly step in as psychiatrists even if we had the rest of the infrastructure in place, and this is not something that a vaccine will fix or that mask wearing can mitigate. Sigh.
 

missy

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FYI from the JAMA: Frequently asked Covid vaccine questions.


About the J&J Vaccine.

 

missy

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More about the Johnson & Johnson vaccine:



J&Jvaccine.png
 

missy

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missy

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“ Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and his colleagues from the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Latvia and Croatia are demanding a European Union summit on what they claim is uneven distribution of vaccines in the bloc.

Their demand, set out in a letter to EU Council President Charles Michel, comes after Kurz complained Friday that some countries get more than others and that there’s an opaque “bazaar” for doses.



The EU and countries including Germany rebuffed Kurz and said the distribution is running as designed among member states to increase the inoculation rate and to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

An EU official confirmed Michel had received the letter from the leaders of the six nations. Michel, who chairs EU leaders’ meetings, has already convened a summit for March 25 and 26, during which Covid-19 coordination will also be discussed, the official said.”
 

missy

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Hong Kong sent hundreds of people, including a playgroup of infants, into quarantine and locked down more residential areas as it tried to contain a coronavirus outbreak that began in a gym in the city center last week.

The number of confirmed cases linked to the outbreak has spiked to 109 since the first infection was reported on March 10 at Ursus Fitness in Sai Ying Pun, a gym popular with expatriates. About 750 close contacts of people infected have been sent to quarantine, the Health Department said at a press conference on Sunday.


Among the quarantined is playgroup of eight 11- to 18-month-old babies and their caregivers, according to parents. The measure was taken after the children attended a music playgroup last week, and a parent was later confirmed positive in connection to the gym cluster.


The city reported 24 new cases on Sunday, 10 of which are linked to the gym outbreak. Authorities ordered compulsory testing at 90 residential locations and 60 work sites, and closed seven schools, as a result of the spread, the department said.

Kylie Davies-Worley, a mother in quarantine with her 15-month-old son and husband, said that while conditions may be bearable for adults, “it’s just really not equipped for children.”

“The menu is definitely not baby appropriate -- no designated baby food at all,” said Davies-Worley. “He literally will be living on snacks for the next 10 days.”

Hospital Authority Chief Manager Dr Linda Yu said at the press conference that she needs more information on the quarantined infants before she can comment.”
 
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