Tulane Outbreak Daily – April 2, 2021

A rise in deaths among younger people prompts alarm over P.1 variant, present in more than 20 countries. Home to less than 3% of the world’s population, Brazil currently accounts for almost a third of the daily global deaths from Covid-19, driven by the new variant. More than 300,000 have died, and daily deaths now top 3,000, a toll suffered only by the far more populous U.S.

Sao Paulo exhumes old graves to make space for surging COVID-19 burials – Reuters

Brazil’s biggest city on Thursday sped up efforts to empty old graves, making room for a soaring number of COVID-19 deaths as Sao Paulo city hall registered record daily burials this week.

Global COVID-19 cases up 5th straight week, deaths follow – CIDRAP

In its weekly snapshot of global COVID-19 activity, the World Health Organization (WHO) said yesterday that new cases rose for the fifth week in a row, an increase that now includes all six of its regions, with deaths accelerating for the second straight week.

COVID-19 pushed total US deaths beyond 3.3 million last year – AP

The COVID-19 pandemic pushed total U.S. deaths last year beyond 3.3 million, the nation’s highest annual death toll, the government reported Wednesday. The coronavirus caused approximately 375,000 deaths, and was the third leading cause of death in 2020, after heart disease and cancer. COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. now top 550,000 since the start of the pandemic.

Can Vaccinated People Spread the Virus? We Don’t Know, Scientists Say – NYT

Researchers pushed back after the C.D.C. director asserted that vaccinated people “do not carry the virus.”

Covid-19 Live Updates: Testing Declines May Be Masking Real Spread of Virus in Parts of U.S. – NYT

Air travel to vacation spots is returning, but some airports are a lot busier than others. New vaccine findings in young people raise hopes for a normal school year.

Pakistan will allow residents to buy a vaccine dose rather than wait in line. – NYT

Pakistan said on Thursday that it would allow Covid-19 vaccine doses to be sold commercially to patients, starting with the vaccine developed in China by CanSino Biologics. The Russian Sputnik V vaccine will also be sold, officials said.

Covid-19 Vaccination Cards Are the Only Proof of Shots, Soon an Essential – Wall Street Journal

Millions of adults vaccinated against Covid-19 have little to prove it beyond a paper card they received at inoculation sites. The U.S. has no central database for immunizations. States maintain an incomplete patchwork of records. Nor is there standard proof of Covid-19 vaccinations like the yellow-fever cards that are required for travel to many countries where that disease remains prevalent.

Italy introduces quarantine for EU travellers – BBC

The Italian government is to introduce a mandatory five-day quarantine for EU travellers over the Easter holidays, amid a third wave of infections in a number of countries.

India fights virus surge, steps up jabs amid export row – AP

There isn’t any room at Sion Hospital in India’s megacity, Mumbai – approximately all 500 beds reserved for COVID-19 patients are occupied. And with new patients coming in daily, a doctor said the hospital is being forced to add beds every second day.

Delta is the last U.S. airline blocking middle seats. That ends May 1. – Washington Post

The last remaining U.S. airline blocking middle seats as a covid safety measure is getting ready to fill its flights again. Delta Air Lines said Wednesday it would make all of its seats available to purchase again starting May 1. The announcement came in a news release that highlighted “more available seats to choose from.”

B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19 spreading rapidly in United States – Science Daily

The faster-spreading B.1.1.7 variant of SARS-CoV-2 first detected in the United Kingdom, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, is quickly on its way to becoming the dominant variant of the virus in the United States, according to a study from scientists at Scripps Research and the COVID-19 test maker Helix.

Vaccine Headlines

Emergent plant that ruined Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses had prior FDA violations – Washington Post

In April last year, an investigator from the Food and Drug Administration reported problems he had discovered at a Baltimore plant operated by Emergent BioSolutions, a major supplier of vaccines to the federal government.

German experts say under 60s should not get second AstraZeneca vaccine – Reuters

Germany’s vaccine commission, known as STIKO, recommended on Thursday that people under 60-years old who have had a first shot of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine should receive a different product for their second dose.

Europe’s vaccine rollout ‘unacceptably slow,’ WHO warns, amid ‘worrying’ surge – CNN

The rollout of vaccines in Europe is “unacceptably slow,” the World Health Organization said Wednesday, delivering a damning evaluation on the region’s Covid response, amid a “worrying” surge in infections.

Pfizer jab ‘stopping 91% of cases in first six months’ – BBC

And a separate study shows even people in their 80s and 90s are producing impressive levels of antibodies after receiving both doses of the vaccine. Only 63% of them, however, also produce the T-cells that help maintain those antibodies in the longer term.

Pfizer’s Covid-19 Vaccine Is Still Highly Effective Six Months After Second Dose – Wall Street Journal

The Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE remains highly effective six months after its second dose, an indication that protection could last for an even longer period. The findings, released on Thursday, emerged from a continuing review of how volunteers in the shot’s late-stage trial were faring and whether they contracted Covid-19 with symptoms.

NIAID doses first patient with Moderna’s variant specific COVID-19 vaccine candidate – European Pharmaceutical Review

The trial will evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of the mRNA-1273.351 vaccine candidate in 200 healthy adult volunteers. The US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) has dosed the first patient in a Phase I trial evaluating mRNA-1273.351, Moderna’s modified COVID-19 vaccine candidate designed to protect against the B1.351 SARS-CoV-2 variant originally identified in South Africa. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19.

Clinical Considerations

COVID-19 is especially harsh on elderly people, and researchers think they know why – ABC News

Australian researchers have been investigating why elderly people respond so poorly to COVID-19, and theorise that it’s linked to their repeated exposure to other seasonal coronaviruses.

Official Reporting for April 2, 2021

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update March 30, 2021

Confirmed Cases: 128 540 982

Deaths: 2 808 308

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 129,475,545
Deaths: 2,826,018

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 30,277,908 (+64,149 New Cases)
Total deaths: 549,098 (+917 New Deaths)

Science and Tech

None Today

Psychological and Sociological Impact

Covid quarantine has some winners: The introverted, the productive and Jeff Bezos – NBC
A field guide to understanding the people who will have trouble letting go of pandemic lockdowns.

Published Research

None Today

Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories

Covid-19 Vaccine Misinformation Spread on Social Media – Bloomberg

Bloomberg’s Sarah Kopit discusses how anti-vaccination groups target women and spread misinformation about the Covid-19 vaccine through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram

Coping in 2020 (and probably most of 2021)

The Viral TikTok That Explains Vaccine Science — And Makes You Laugh – NPR

I’ve spent 30 years trying to make complicated science understandable. Explaining how vaccines work can be especially tricky. Explaining the new technology used in COVID-19 vaccines can be trickier still.

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