Monthly Archives: February 2021

In March NIH will start the first variant-specific COVID vaccine study: Will this B.1.351-variant vaccine also induce some immunity to the P.1 variant?

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA On Friday (Feb. 26) National Institute of Allergy and Intections Diseases Director /NIH Dr. Anthony Fauci, announced plans to start vaccine studies for the first time using the variant B.1.351, now dominant in South Africa and present in the United States. It contains the E484K mutation and also […]

Moderna to test a “multivalent” COVID vaccine as well as single-valent boosters

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA On Wednesday (Feb. 24) Moderna announced a new vaccine strategy against the variant B.1.351 (501Y.V2) now predominant in several nations in southern Africa, and identified in more than 40 nations, as well as multiple U.S. states. Part of this strategy is the first-ever “multivalent” vaccine candidate that “combines […]

Russian and other European H5N8 Avian Flu sequences will inform risk to humans in Astrakhan and beyond

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Vaccine development could also be facilitated By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA Now that the H5N8 avian flu virus whole genome sequence that infected seven poultry farm workers in Astrakhan has been shared by Russia in the GISAID database, a search for other locations in Europe and elsewhere with this same sequence can be […]

Russia shared sequence of mutated H5N8 flu infecting humans with GISAID: Will other nations also develop human tests and vaccines?

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA The Russian News Agency TASS reported on Feb. 20  that Russia had shared the genetic sequence of the mutated H5N8 avian influenza viruses that in December infected seven minimally symptomatic poultry farm workers in Astrakhan, southern Russia. The Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID) is the […]

Has testing of humans for asymptomatic and mild H5N8 bird flu begun in other nations with H5N8 outbreaks after seven infected workers in Russia’s Astrakhan region?

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA On Saturday (Feb. 20 ), the Russian news agency TASS reported: “At the beginning of December 2020, an outbreak of bird flu occurred at a poultry farm in Akhtubinsky district . . . During this period, seven employees of the poultry farm had a slight health disorder (sore […]

Lancet series highlights a vicious circle of inequities hobbling efforts to end disease spread

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Steeped in inequities that include formidable barriers to basic health services for multitudes of its most vulnerable, marginalized and neglected people, the country leading global HIV responses, continues to fall far short of attainable goals to control its epidemic at home, a Lancet series of articles by leading HIV researchers released today shows. While the […]

First-ever human infections with H5N8 bird flu reported by Russia: State laboratory working on a vaccine

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA Today Russian announced that last December seven workers on a poultry farm in southern Russia were infected with H5N8 bird (avian) flu. Although H5N8 avian influenza (“bird flu”) has been found in several avian species in multiple nations on several continents for more than three decades, it has […]

Infectious disease and other medical experts address health workers’ COVID-19 vaccine questions

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Just short of a year since the first COVID-19 outbreak and health worker infections were recognized in a Seattle long-term care facility, an online chat Wednesday addressed questions that have been voiced by medical aides, technicians, nurses and others on the frontlines, about vaccination against the disease. The chat with a panel of infectious diseases […]

FDA-USDA statement timely in light of imminent WHO-China COVID-19 team summary

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA Today this statement (also provided below) from the United States Food and Drug Administration, acting Commissioner Janet Woodcock M.D., and US Department of Agriculture acting Secretary Kevin Shea concluded that there is currently no scientific or epidemiologic basis for the claim that SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 is transmitted via food or […]

WHO posts global maps of three SARS-CoV-2 variants in 88, 37, and 17 nations: Juxtaposition with a vaccine in South Africa?

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA Today the World Health Organization posted its weekly epidemiological update, with a special focus on SARS-CoV-2 variants, that contains a world map (below) showing the 37 nations verified to have the 501Y.V2 variant already dominant in South Africa and some neighboring nations. “Local transmission has been reported in […]