Monthly Archives: January 2021

COVID Multivalent vaccines for multivariant viruses

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Preventing re-infections, more variants, and a prolonged pandemic By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA Emerging data since mid-January from South Africa and northern Brazil signal it is imperative to develop multivalent COVID vaccines (bivalent, trivalent, quadrivalent) for international use. An alternative strategy that is unlikely to succeed internationally is monovalent “booster” vaccines containing either […]

P.1 variant in Manaus, Brazil linked with COVID resurgence now despite reportedly crossing “theoretical herd immunity threshold” in October

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When will new vaccines include the P.1. variant? By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA The resurging epidemic in the northern Brazil city of Manaus, Amazonas state, is another of the many cautionary lessons in humility this pandemic has shown the world over the past 13+ months.  On Jan. 26 the Pan American Health Organization […]

South Africa COVID vaccine results cause Novavax to begin work immediately on ”a booster and/or combination bivalent vaccine”

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA Today the U.S.-based Novavax announced the results in a press release that its COVID-19 vaccine had 49.4% vaccine efficacy (95% Confidence Interval: 6.1 – 72.8) in its overall trial population in a Phase 2b trial in South Africa. Novavax stated that “approximately 90% of COVID-19 cases attributed to […]

First long-acting injectable treatment for HIV represents an exciting step forward, should be optimized with equity, investment

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First long-acting injectable treatment for HIV represents an exciting step forward, should be optimized with equity, investment Dr. Rajesh Gandhi is the Co-Director of the Harvard Center for AIDS Research and the site leader of the MGH Clinical Research Site in the Harvard/Miriam AIDS Clinical Trials Unit and a scientific member of the Department of […]

Bivalent COVID vaccines: When will studies begin in order to stay ahead of the multiple known (and unknown) variants?

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA The New York Times reported Monday (Jan. 25) that: “As a precaution, Moderna has begun developing a new form of its vaccine that could be used as a booster shot against the variant in South Africa . . . Moderna said it also planned to begin testing whether […]

Nosocomial COVID spread by variants: A Berlin hospital stops admissions and puts staff under “shuttle quarantine”

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA For the past three days the Vivantes Humboldt-Klinikum hospital in Berlin, Germany announced that due to nosocomial spread to patients and staff of the variant virus B.1.1.7, it would not accept new patient admissions and would place all roughly 1,700 employees on “shuttle quarantine” between home and hospital. […]

UK data on a “realistic probability” of increased risk of death due to variant B.1.1.7

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA On Friday (Jan.22) the United Kingdom government website posted a paper by Peter Horby and eight co-authors from the “New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG)” concluding for the first time that “there is a realistic probability that infection with VOC B.1.1.7 is associated with an […]

If the next pandemic has already begun today, how would WHO recognize it?

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA One year ago today the World Health Organization convened the first meeting of its emergency committee to advise on whether or not to declare the outbreak first reported in Wuhan a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)” under the International Health Regulations. Only the WHO director general […]

COVID-19: FDA advisory committee needed before more EUAs for monoclonals

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Press release claims benefit in nursing home COVID prevention study By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA  In a press release today Lilly reported that its “neutralizing antibody bamlanivimab (LY-CoV555) prevented COVID-19 at nursing homes in the BLAZE-2 trial, reducing risk by up to 80% for residents”.  The release states that the intravenous dose used […]

COVID-19: Key points from S.Africa scientists regarding variant “501Y.V2” — not more severe, but convalescent sera may be less effective

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA On Jan. 18 an excellent online conference by scientists in South Africa and the Minister of Health Dr. Zweli Mkhize provided updates (below) on five key points regarding the virus variant “501Y.V2” that is spreading rapidly in South Africa. Between minutes 45:40 and 47:46 of this two-hour conference […]