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.

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.

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.”


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

Vaccinations reduce chance of Covid death in India to 0.4%, says ICMR study


Vaccines targeting Covid-19 are able to curb deaths and hospitalization in patients substantially, including those infected by the highly-transmissible delta variant that drove India’s devastating second wave and is now triggering curbs from Los Angeles to Melbourne.

About 0.4% died among those who got infected after inoculation — called breakthrough infections — while nearly 10% needed hospitalization, according to a new study by researchers led by Indian Council of Medical Research’s Nivedita Gupta. The study, which analyzed genome sequencing data of 677 Covid patients, found 86% of the fully-vaccinated cases were due to the delta variant.

The findings underscore the crucial role of shots in preventing extreme outcomes among Covid-19 sufferers and allays doubts around vaccine efficacy, especially with respect to the Delta variant that has rapidly spread to at least 104 countries.

“This clearly suggests that vaccination reduces severity of disease, hospitalisation and mortality,” said the study. “Therefore, enhancing the vaccination drive and immunising the populations quickly would be the most important strategy to prevent further deadly waves of Covid-19 and would reduce the burden on the healthcare system.”

‘Super-antibodies’ could curb COVID-19 and help avert future pandemics

Companies are designing next-generation antibodies modeled on those taken from unique individuals whose immune systems can neutralize any COVID-19 variant—and related coronaviruses, too.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) in late May to sotrovimab, providing a new therapeutic weapon in the fight against SARS-CoV-2—and future coronaviruses with pandemic potential.

According to analysts and researchers alike, so-called super-antibodies such as sotrovimab should have an edge over first-generation monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies for COVID-19 because of their broad neutralization capacity in the face of emerging virus variants. “Physicians aren’t going to sequence what version of the virus people have, so they’ll go for the antibodies that have the higher barrier to resistance or the ones that work on [known] variants,” says Phil Nadeau, an analyst at Cowen.

Washington state reaches COVID vaccine goal: 70% of residents 16 and up have at least one shot


Washington state has reached its goal of 70% of residents 16 years and older initiating vaccination against the coronavirus.

That’s almost 8 million doses to 4.3 million Washingtonians with 3.9 million fully vaccinated people, officials with the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday during a news briefing.

A vaccination rate of 70% had been set as a goal nationally by President Joe Biden and in Washington by Gov. Jay Inslee, who had promised an early reopening of the state if the goal was reached before June 30, which did not happen. The state’s COVID-19 restrictions were eased on the last day of June.

Only 1% COVID Cases And Deaths Occurred In Fully Vaccinated New Yorkers This Year


Since the start of the year, unvaccinated New Yorkers have comprised the overwhelming majority of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. That’s the takeaway from new data released Wednesday by the New York City Department of Health.

Of the half a million cases recorded between New Year’s Day and June 15th, just over 495,000 occurred in people who weren’t fully vaccinated. Compare that against about 5,200 infections in residents with all their shots. Likewise, those without a full course of shots accounted for approximately 8,000 COVID deaths over this period. The fully vaccinated experienced just 94 deaths.

“As the city’s doctor, what keeps me up at night is thinking about those New Yorkers who are still unvaccinated,” Dr. Dave Chokshi, New York City Health Commissioner, said at a press briefing on Wednesday. “I think about how much suffering COVID-19 caused in our city over the past year and a half. I think about the grief and the trauma and the empty chairs around the dinner table. The good news is so much of that suffering is now avoidable because of the vaccine.”

Overall, New Yorkers who weren’t fully vaccinated comprised 98 percent of cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

How effective are coronavirus vaccines against the Delta variant?


As rising coronavirus infections force some countries to reimpose restrictions, scientists and drugmakers are racing to answer a crucial question: how well do the current vaccines protect against the Delta variant?

On one point, most observers agree. The leading shots, studies show, still offer strong protection against severe disease and hospitalisation.

“Real-world effectiveness studies with a number of vaccines show good protection especially against severe disease,” Soumya Swaminathan, chief scientist at the World Health Organization, told the Financial Times. “The most important priority just now is to scale up vaccination coverage in all countries.”

So called “real-world” analysis of 14,019 cases of the Delta variant in the UK, released by Public Health England in June, found the BioNTech/Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines were, respectively, 96 per cent and 92 per cent effective against hospitalisation after two doses.

Late on Thursday, Pfizer reiterated it believed its shot worked against Delta, especially after a potential third booster dose. But it also added it planned to study a variant-targeted inoculation, with trials slated to start as early as next month.