Tulane Outbreak Daily – May 28, 2021

Featured Headlines

Immunity to the Coronavirus May Persist for Years, Scientists Find – NYT

Important immune cells survive in the bone marrow of people who were infected with the virus or were inoculated against it, new research suggests.

Japan Extends Emergency – Bloomberg

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga extended a state of emergency that includes Tokyo and other major cities, in a last-ditch effort to rein in Covid infections ahead of the capital hosting the Olympics in less than two months.

Australia’s Victoria state to enter COVID-19 lockdown after ‘highly-infectious’ outbreak – Reuters

Australia’s second most populous state of Victoria will enter a one-week COVID-19 lockdown forcing its near seven million residents to remain home except for essential business as authorities struggle to contain a highly-infectious outbreak.

Why the Wuhan lab-leak theory is being taken seriously – BBC

Nearly a year and a half since Covid-19 was detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the question of how the virus first emerged remains a mystery.
But in recent weeks the controversial claim that the pandemic might have leaked from a Chinese laboratory – once dismissed by many as a fringe conspiracy theory – has been gaining traction.

If the Lab-Leak Theory Is Right, What’s Next? – The Atlantic

We know enough to acknowledge that the scenario is possible, and we should therefore act as though it’s true. Last summer, michael imperiale, a University of Michigan virologist and 10-year member of the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, published an essay on the need to “rethink” some basic research-safety practices in light of the coronavirus pandemic. But he and his co-author—another biosecurity-board veteran—did want to make one thing clear: There was no reason to believe that sloppy or malicious science had had anything to do with the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus; to suggest otherwise was “more akin to a conspiracy theory than to a scientifically credible hypothesis.”

Timeline: How the Wuhan lab-leak theory suddenly became credible – Washington Post

The source of the coronavirus that has left more than 3 million people dead around the world remains a mystery. But in recent months the idea that it emerged from the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) — once dismissed as a ridiculous conspiracy theory — has gained new credence.

With herd immunity elusive, vaccination best defense against COVID-19, Stanford epidemiologist says – Stanford University

Epidemiology expert Julie Parsonnet warns that COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy has probably made herd immunity unattainable, which makes vaccination all the more important for personal health.

Data on Pfizer’s COVID Vaccine in Teens Published – MedPageToday

Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine was safe and effective in adolescents, with non-inferior immunogenicity compared with a sample of younger adults, according to the first data on the vaccine in this population published in a peer-reviewed journal.

To Test Covid Protocols, Cruise Lines Turn to Volunteer Guinea Pigs – NYT

Hundreds of thousands of cruise lovers have signed up to take part in sailings designed to test new health and safety measures. Since March of last year, cruise ships carrying more than 250 people have been prohibited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from sailing in U.S. waters. To start again, they need to follow a complex process that, in some cases, involves simulated cruises designed to test Covid-19 protocols. Hundreds of thousands of frustrated and restless cruise fans have lined up to be guinea pigs.

Can people vaccinated against COVID-19 still spread the coronavirus? – PBS Newshour

When the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidelines about mask-wearing on May 13, 2021, plenty of Americans were left a little confused. Now anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing.

The unseen covid-19 risk for unvaccinated people – Washington Post

The country’s declining covid-19 case rates present an unrealistically optimistic perspective for half of the nation — the half that is still not vaccinated. As more people receive vaccines, covid-19 cases are occurring mostly in the increasingly narrow slice of the unprotected population. So The Washington Post adjusted its case, death and hospitalization rates to account for that — and found that in some places, the virus continues to rage among those who haven’t received a shot.

Vaccine Headlines

U.S. Covid cases down more than 50% since start of May as the country averages 1.7 million daily vaccine shots – CNBC

Average daily Covid case counts in the U.S. are at less than half of the level recorded at the start of May, data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows.

China’s Sinopharm Publishes Awaited Covid Vaccine Study Details – Bloomberg

Vaccines from China’s Sinopharm successfully contained Covid-19, according to a study published in a prestigious U.S. medical journal, the first time detailed findings from a late-stage trial of a Chinese shot have appeared in the scientific literature.

Moderna Announces TeenCOVE Study of its COVID-19 Vaccine in Adolescents Meets Primary Endpoint and Plans to Submit Data to Regulators in Early June – Moderna

Moderna, Inc. (Nasdaq: MRNA), a biotechnology company pioneering messenger RNA (mRNA) therapeutics and vaccines, today announced that the Phase 2/3 study of its COVID-19 vaccine (mRNA-1273) in adolescents has met its primary immunogenicity endpoint, successfully bridging immune responses to the adult vaccination. In the study, no cases of COVID-19 were observed in participants who had received two doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine using the primary definition. In addition, a vaccine efficacy of 93% in seronegative participants was observed starting 14 days after the first dose using the secondary CDC case definition of COVID-19, which tested for milder disease. This study, known as the TeenCOVE study, enrolled more than 3,700 participants ages 12 to less than 18 years in the U.S. The Company plans to submit these data to regulators globally in early June.

Clinical Considerations

CDC Offers Details on SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Breakthrough Infections – Physicians Weekly

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine breakthrough infections occur in a small percentage of vaccinated individuals, according to research published in the May 25 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. [Link to CDC MMWR Report] [Related: Why CDC Changed Its ‘Breakthrough Case’ Definition]

Stroke Can Signal VITT After COVID Shot – MedNewsToday

Ischemic stroke was a presenting feature of vaccine-induced thrombosis and thrombocytopenia (VITT) in three patients who received the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, researchers in England said.

FDA Allows New Antibody in Less-Severe COVID-19 – MedPageToday

FDA authorized another monoclonal antibody, sotrovimab, for emergency use in COVID-19 patients at high risk of severe disease, the agency announced on Wednesday.

Official Reporting for May 28, 2021

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update May 25, 2021

Confirmed Cases: 168 040 871

Deaths: 1 545 967 545

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 169,021,406
Deaths: 3,512,719

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 33,018,965 (+23,511 New Cases)
Total deaths: 589,547 (+577 New Deaths)

Science and Tech

German researchers tie cold viruses used to deliver COVID-19 vaccine to rare blood clot risk – Reuters

German researchers on Wednesday said that based on laboratory research, they believed they have found the cause of the rare but serious blood clotting events among some people who received COVID-19 vaccines made by AstraZeneca Plc (AZN.L) and Johnson & Johnson

Published Research

SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern partially escape humoral but not T-cell responses in COVID-19 convalescent donors and vaccinees – Science

Same-day SARS-CoV-2 antigen test screening in an indoor mass-gathering live music event: a randomised controlled trial – Lancet

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in vaccinated and unvaccinated healthcare personnel in a Veterans Affairs healthcare system – Cambridge Press

Prevalence of Clinical and Subclinical Myocarditis in Competitive Athletes With Recent SARS-CoV-2 Infection – JAMA

Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories

Seychelles’s Covid Mysteries Pit Anti-Vaxxers Against Scientists – Bloomberg

Cases in the world’s most vaccinated nation are ticking up, forcing researchers to wage war against misinformation on whether jabs are effective.

Coping in 2020 (and probably most of 2021)

The Man Who Is Actually Getting a Free Krispy Kreme Vax Doughnut a Day – Slate

Is he embarrassed? Yes. Is he worried about calories? No. Do the employees hate him? Unclear.


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