Category Archives: COVID-19 Member Posts

The COVID variants arrived at the Navajo Nation: Will it be able to stave off the third wave?

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By Kwan Kew Lai, MD, DMD Navajo Nation had its first COVID wave in May of 2020 and on May 18, it quickly surpassed New York as having the highest infection rate. The second wave started in November and by mid-February 2021, it was slowly brought under control. I had the occasion to volunteer with […]

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 […]

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‘”. […]

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

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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 […]

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 […]