Health worker infections and deaths: PAHO COVID-19 data from 18 nations in the Americas

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA In its Wednesday Feb. 9 epidemiologic update, the Pan American Health Organization published an 18-nation listing of health care worker infections and deaths due to SARS-Cov-2 as of the day before. As seen in the PAHO/WHO table below (page 18 of 21), the largest number of reported infections […]

COVID vaccines in HIV-Positive recipients: Need for more data from the Novavax South Africa study and with other vaccine platforms

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA The Jan. 28 Novavax press release that included preliminary results from its COVID-19 vaccine Phase 2b trial in South Africa appears to contain a significant difference in efficacy between volunteers who were HIV-positive and HIV-negative. If verified, then the implications warrant sustained attention for this protein-based adjuvanted COVID-19 […]

COVID “Mega-variant” and eight criteria for a template to assess all variants

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By Daniel R. Lucey MD, MPH, FIDSA Building on the Dec. 22 South African variant may be worse than UK variant: A template is needed for the variants to come post here, the following eight criteria are proposed to help create a template to assess the many variant SARS-CoV-2 viruses already found and those to come. […]

What We’re Reading: How inequities driving COVID-19 in Black communities now drive inequities in COVID-19 access

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Structural racism and inequitable access to health services have driven disparate rates of COVID-19 infections, illnesses and deaths in Black communities. The same forces are hindering vaccine access. We’re reading what has to change. Demographic Characteristics of Persons Vaccinated During the First Month of the COVID-19 Vaccination Program — United States, December 14, 2020–January 14, […]

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. […]