Author Archives: IDSA Contributor

“The mutating H5N8 strain of avian flu has a high risk of human-to-human transmission” Russian authorities warn March 12.   

By on .

By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA On Feb. 20, 2021 Russia reported the first-ever human infections with H5N8 avian influenza involving seven poultry farm workers in the southern region of Astrakhan Oblast.  They were infected after a Dec. 3-11, 2020 outbreak of H5N8 on a poultry farm. Although Russia reported a government lab was […]

Will the next “WHO-convened Global Study of the origins of SARS-CoV-2” be in SE Asia, Europe, or the Americas?

By on .

By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA By July 31, 2020 the World Health Organization and China had agreed in writing to a highly-consequential document with long-term implications titled “WHO-convened Global Study of the Origins of SARS-CoV-2: Terms of References for the China Part”. This title, as well as multiple statements in the text such […]

First multivalent vaccine with a variant (B.1.351) begins: Will it protect against other E484K variants?

By on .

By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA On March 10 Moderna announced that it had begun vaccinating volunteers in a study of 60 persons previously “vaccinated with mRNA-1273 to receive a single booster dose of either: 20 µg of a variant-specific booster candidate, mRNA-1273.351, based on the B.1.351 variant first identified in the Republic of South Africa (N=20) […]

Brazil’s Minister of Health works to purchase more COVID Vaccine doses

By on .

By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA On Thursday (March 4) a release on the PAHO COIVD-19 website stated: “The Brazil Ministry of Health announced the purchase of new COVID-19 vaccines; 138 million doses are expected to be incorporated in the National Immunization Program starting May 2021.” The day before (on March 3) the Brazil Ministry of Health […]

Ghana kicks off Africa’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout

By on .

by Bertha Serwa Ayi, M.D., FACP, FIDSA, MBA With eyes tightly shut in anticipation of his injection, Dr. Frederick Kwarteng, Head of Department of the Orthopedics, Accident and Emergency at the Korlebu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana became one of the first medical doctors in Africa to receive the first dose of COVISHIELD. Ghana became […]

Will survivors of variant P.1 have antibodies that also neutralize B.1.351 — and vice versa?

By on .

By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA The SARS-CoV-2 variants first described in Manaus, Brazil “P.1.” and in South Africa “B.1.351” share at least five mutations including the antibody-evading changes at amino acids 484 and 417 in the spike protein. Potential cross-protection against the P.1 variant by the new Moderna-NIH B1.351 variant vaccine has been […]

The new Moderna/NIH B.1.351-specific vaccine study should add the P.1 variant

By on .

By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA Two manuscripts from Brazil, newly posted by accomplished researchers on preprint servers, report that the P.1 variant “associated with rapid transmission in Manaus” (by Faria N.  et al.) and reported in the U.S. and 28 other nations, “may escape from neutralizing antibodies generated in response to polyclonal stimulation […]

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?

By on .

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

By on .

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

By on .

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 […]