Can unprecedented success in COVID vaccine development boost prospects for an HIV vaccine?

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By Mitchell Warren, executive director, AVAC In February 2020, just as the COVID pandemic began its rapid global spread, a major HIV vaccine trial called HVTN 702, or Uhambo, was halted for lack of efficacy. Researchers and advocates had high hopes for Uhambo, building as it did on the RV144 trial, which provided the first […]

What We’re Reading: Why it’s time to pick the next PEPFAR leader

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Leader Needed to Fight Another Pandemic: HIV – While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted HIV services worldwide, the office of U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator has remained vacant since January. This vacancy at the helm of this country’s flagship response to the HIV pandemic “calls into question our commitment to the humanitarian vision and recognition of […]

Bar opening linked to 29 COVID-19 diagnoses among staff and patrons, 17 more across the community affecting school, nursing home

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About a year after community spread of COVID-19 began to be recognized across the United States, and around the time the U.S. death toll from the virus approached a half million people, a bar in Illinois with a capacity for 100 customers celebrated its February opening with an indoor party. Mask-wearing was scarce, as were […]

State Leaders’ Messages on Pandemic Stand in Contrast to Messages from Medical Frontlines

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“Recently, doctors in both Chicago and Nashville described seeing pediatric intensive care beds filled by adult COVID-19 patients . . .” By Barbara D. Alexander, MD, MHS, FIDSA This week, President Biden and members of his administration urged states to maintain or reinstate mask wearing mandates to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They were countering […]

Four problems with the lab origin hypothesis of SARS-CoV-2 and the WHO-China study

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA Today the Joint WHO-China Study 14 January-10 February 2021 for the “WHO-convened Global Study of origins of SARS-CoV-2: China Part” was posted on the World Health Organization’s website.  Zero patients with COVID were reported before December 8, 2021, yet 174 patients were found between Dec. 8 to 31, […]

As Variant B.1.427/B.1.429 spreads in California, Nevada and Arizona, HHS stops direct ordering of the monoclonal Bamlanivimab

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this month has provided helpful updates on its website focusing on SARS-CoV-2 variants and their prevalence state-by-state. This information helps clinicians understand where variants are as well as make decisions on use of monoclonal antibodies that have U.S. Food […]

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

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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?

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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?

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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) […]

Why did the WHO-China team call the lab origin hypothesis “extremely unlikely” when their “Terms of References” did not mention it at all?

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA Following the May 2020 World Health Assembly resolution 73.1 regarding COVID-19 (item 6 on page 6), the World Health Organization and China agreed in writing in a July 31 July 2020 document titled “WHO-convened Global Study of the Origins of SARS-CoV-2 ‘Terms of References for the China Part‘”. […]