There is so much negativity in the news about COVID-19, we want to give you all the positive good news that is happening with research, clinical trials, improvements, vaccines and anything that we can be positive about that you may not have seen.


Latest stories

Daily Covid cases down for third day in UK


Covid cases are down for the third consecutive day in the UK, latest daily figures show.

The UK recorded 36,389 new infections – a further drop from 46,558 logged on 20 July.

It is too soon to say if cases have peaked, however, given that the statistics do not capture the impact of unlocking that happened on 19 July.

One expert said it will take a few weeks after relaxing restrictions to know for certain.

The estimated daily growth rate shows signs of a possible slowdown, however. This week’s estimate is that infections are growing at between 4% and 6% a day, down from between 4% and 7% last week.


99% of COVID deaths are now of unvaccinated people, experts say


COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths are rising again as the extremely contagious delta variant of the coronavirus takes hold as the dominant strain in the US. In some parts of the country, there are more hospitalizations and cases of COVID than there were last winter, the peak of the pandemic.

The vast majority of people being hospitalized with COVID and dying from the disease haven’t been fully vaccinated, according to public health officials. More than 97% of hospitalizations from COVID right now are of unvaccinated people, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, said Friday, adding: “There is a clear message that is coming through: This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated.” In early July, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s chief medical advisor, told CBS that 99.2% of COVID deaths are now in unvaccinated people.

In Texas, 99.5% of people who died from COVID from February through July 14 weren’t vaccinated, per the Texas Tribune’s reporting on preliminary data from the Texas Department of State Health Services. (Vaccines became available to adults in the state at the end of March. At-risk people were able to get them sooner.) In southern Missouri, an area that leads the nation as a delta variant hot spot, “almost every COVID-19 patient in Springfield’s hospitals is unvaccinated,” the Atlantic reported. The dozen or so that were vaccinated, according to the report, were elderly or immunocompromised — people for whom studies have shown vaccines are likely not as effective.


Most vaccines offer protection against Delta variant with just 1 dose: Study


Just one dose of the BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna or Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines offers higher protection against symptomatic illness caused by the Delta variant than previous studies have shown, a Canadian study has reported.

The real world study, which isn’t yet peer reviewed, was announced by AstraZeneca Friday but first published on July 16. It compared the efficacy of the BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines against several variants of concern. The authors found that even a single dose of any of the three vaccines provides “considerable protection against symptomatic infection and severe outcomes.”

In particular, protection against the Delta variant, first identified in India, was 56 percent effective against symptomatic infection after one dose of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine. Moderna was 72 percent effective, and Oxford/AstraZeneca 67 percent.

As for more severe illness resulting in hospitalization or death, the Canadian study indicated that one dose of the BioNTech/Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines was 78 percent, 96 percent and 88 percent effective, respectively, against the Delta variant.


UK sees 17% drop in positive cases vs this time last week


The UK has recorded 39,906 new COVID-19 cases and 84 more coronavirus-related deaths in the latest 24-hour period, according to government data.

The figures compare with 44,104 new infections and 73 fatalities announced on Wednesday, and 48,553 cases and 63 deaths which were reported this time last week.

Some 45,101 people had their first jab yesterday, meaning that 46,433,845 people – or 87.8% of the population – have now received at least one COVID vaccine dose in the UK.

Another 183,338 people had their second jab, bringing the total number of those now fully inoculated against coronavirus to 36,587,904 – equal to 69.2% of the population.


Two doses of AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine effective against Delta – study


Two doses of Pfizer or AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine are nearly as effective against the highly transmissible Delta coronavirus variant as they are against the previously dominant Alpha variant, a study published on Wednesday showed.

Officials say vaccines are highly effective against the Delta variant, now the dominant variant worldwide, though the study reiterated that one shot of the vaccines is not enough for high protection.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, confirms headline findings given by Public Health England in May about the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca, based on real-world data.

Wednesday’s study found that two doses of Pfizer’s shot was 88 per cent effective at preventing symptomatic disease from the Delta variant, compared to 93.7 per cent against the Alpha variant, broadly the same as previously reported.


Can vaccinated people get long Covid? Doctors say risk is ‘very, very small’


Coronavirus infections leading to long-haul Covid-19 in fully vaccinated people are probably very rare, experts say.

The Covid-19 vaccines have been shown to significantly reduce infections, as well as the risk of severe consequences of the illness, including hospitalization and death. That means that if a fully vaccinated person does become infected, the illness is much more likely to be mild.

But for many Covid-19 long-haulers, it was a mild infection that set off their lingering symptoms, leaving many to wonder whether a mild breakthrough case in someone who is fully vaccinated could do the same.

It is theoretically possible, experts say, for that to occur. But doctors treating Covid-19 patients across the country contend that it doesn’t appear to be a significant risk.

Breakthrough infections resulting in long Covid-19 are “quite rare,” said Dr. Greg Vanichkachorn, an occupational medicine specialist who works with post-Covid-19 syndrome patients at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Vanichkachorn’s observation, while based only on what he’s seen in the clinic, is echoed at other post-Covid-19 clinics.

Dr. Michele Longo, an assistant professor of neurology at Tulane University in New Orleans who works with long-haul patients, said she has not seen such patients following a breakthrough infection. Neither has Dr. Maureen Lyons, medical director of the Care and Recovery from Covid-19 Clinic at Washington University in St. Louis.

Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, a clinical epidemiologist, also at Washington University, is studying the effects of Covid-19 vaccination on the risk of long Covid-19. His research, which is not yet finished, looks at information on more than 5 million veterans within a Department of Veterans Affairs database, including 200,000 who were diagnosed with Covid-19.

“Of the people who get vaccinated and end up with a breakthrough infection, their risk of coming back to the clinic with some long Covid manifestation is very, very small,” Al-Aly said.


Canada to open border to fully vaccinated Americans in August


Canada will open its borders to fully vaccinated Americans next month after a nearly 17-month closure.

The move to ease border restrictions comes after significant gains in the country’s vaccination rate and a steady drop in Covid-19 cases.

If the virus progress continues, Canada will welcome all fully vaccinated international travellers by 7 September.

All travellers will need to present a negative Covid-19 test before entry.

The changes for American travellers and US permanent residents will go into place on 9 August.

The Canadian government first shut its borders in March 2020, barring entry to all non-essential foreign travellers with few exceptions.


Recent study shows oxford vaccine could give long term immune system response


A recent study shows Oxford/ AstraZeneca’s vaccine gives powerful protection and generates robust long-term immune system responses that may last a lifetime! As well as generating virus-busting antibodies, the vaccine also creates “training camps” in the body for for search-and-destroy T-cells (CD8+ T-cells) which can kill even new variants!

What does this mean? It means your immune system can continue making these vital cells long after antibodies have waned- and possibly for the rest of your life! Researchers showed adenovirus vectors can target specific cells- known as stromal cells in tissues such as the lung – generating antigen ‘depots’ in these long-lived cells. These stromal cells were originally thought just to provide an inert scaffold for the tissues, but it appears that they are very dynamic cells with a major role in immune control. The long lived nature of the cells means that the antigen can be ‘shown’ to the immune system many times, effectively boosting the response, a critical element of generation of protective T-cells. They were also able to investigate other mechanisms which may explain the particular efficacy of adenovirus vectors, including the key chemical messenger involved in signalling to T-cells. This is a factor called IL-33 – an “alarmin” that is released when the stromal cells receive signals of distress. IL-33 acts to strongly boost to the metabolism of T-cells, resulting in effectively more energetic cells and a highly protective immune response.

“Adenoviruses have co-evolved with humans over a very long time, and learned a lot about the human immune system in the process. Viruses are always the best teachers, and here they have taught us an important lesson about how best to boost killer T-cell responses. The T-cells that come from these cellular training camps appear to have a very high level of “fitness.”

Study: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41590-021-00969-3

Originally tweeted by Chise 🧬🧫🦠💉 (@sailorrooscout) on July 16, 2021.