The number of covid-19 patients in hospitals in the United States has more than doubled since last Labor Day, a sobering statistic that illustrates how the delta variant has hampered progress in curbing the pandemic even as vaccines became widely available.
The fast-spreading delta variant has flooded hospitals across the South. It’s killed more people in Florida and Louisiana than the darkest days of the pandemic winter, and left so many Covid-19 patients gasping for breath that some places face shortages of medical oxygen.
The former leader on vaccines is now focusing on boosters to protect the vulnerable after cases rose to a record. Israel, once a front-runner in the global race to move on from Covid-19, is now one of the world’s biggest pandemic hot spots.
Vaccines don’t last forever. This is by design: Like many of the microbes they mimic, the contents of the shots stick around only as long as it takes the body to eliminate them, a tenure on the order of days, perhaps a few weeks.
Some scientists have called it “superhuman immunity” or “bulletproof.” But immunologist Shane Crotty prefers “hybrid immunity.” “Overall, hybrid immunity to SARS-CoV-2 appears to be impressively potent,” Crotty wrote in commentary in Science back in June.
At universities, some instructors are finding the return to the classroom a nerve-racking experience. A few have quit — one in the middle of class.
More people in the hospital means more people need oxygen. But treatment plants also need the gas to purify water.
A group of more than 220 children’s hospitals is imploring the Biden administration for help, as a surge of young COVID-19 patients puts an “unprecedented strain” on their facilities and staff across the country.
Cuba on Monday began vaccinating children as young as 2 years old against the coronavirus with a domestically developed vaccine as it seeks to reopen schools.
Covid-19 booster shots are being rolled out in some countries in response to waning antibody levels in already vaccinated individuals, and the increased threat posed by the hyper-infectious delta variant of the coronavirus that causes the disease. Giving a third shot to healthy people is a contentious strategy, since many low- and middle-income countries have yet to immunize even a 10th of their population. From a scientific standpoint, though, there’s mounting evidence that it could help stem transmission of the pathogen.
Brazil’s health regulator suspended the use of just over 12.1 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine manufactured by China’s Sinovac after learning that vials containing the shots were filled at an unauthorized production base.
The Chilean government approved Sinovac Biotech Ltd’s coronavirus vaccine for use on children six-years-old and higher, as the country advances one of the most advanced vaccination programs in the world.
The share of adults saying “no” to getting the COVID-19 vaccine dropped 5 percentage points in a month, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll conducted after the Food and Drug Administration granted full approval to Pfizer’s vaccine.
A new study from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, finds that people who contracted the novel coronavirus and are at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 can avoid hospitalization if doctors treat them with a combination of two monoclonal antibodies approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Official Reporting for September 7, 2021
World Health Organization
Weekly Epi Update August 24, 2021 (latest release)
New Cases: 355,094
Confirmed Cases: 221,134,742
Confirmed Cases: 221,492,037
Total cases: 39,831,318 (+157,997 New Cases)
Total deaths: 644,848 (+1,415 New Deaths)
Science and Tech
During the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the “lab leak” theory gained little traction. Sure, U.S. President Donald Trump suggested SARS-CoV-2 originated in a laboratory in Wuhan, China—and called it “the China virus”—but he never presented evidence, and few in the scientific community took him seriously. In fact, early in the pandemic, a group of prominent researchers dismissed lab-origin notions as “conspiracy theories” in a letter in The Lancet. A report from a World Health Organization (WHO) “joint mission,” which sent a scientific team to China in January to explore possible origins with Chinese colleagues, described a lab accident as “extremely unlikely.”
Without Ian MacLachlan’s innovative delivery system, Moderna and Pfizer couldn’t safely get their mRNA vaccines into your cells.
Psychological and Sociological Impact
Often, doctors call from cars. They’re on their way home from a brutal shift, or on their way in for the next one. Sometimes they weep, like a critical-care physician who spoke recently with Elissa Ely, a Boston-area community psychiatrist.
Hybrid immunity – Science
Hospital admission and emergency care attendance risk for SARS-CoV-2 delta (B.1.617.2) compared with alpha (B.1.1.7) variants of concern: a cohort study – The Lancet
Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories
Over 100,000 Americans are currently hospitalized with Covid-19, and over 1,000 people are dying every day. These are people from all walks of life – rich and poor, white collar and blue collar, old and young. But according to an estimate from the Kaiser Family Foundation, over 98% of them have one thing in common: despite the ready availability of Covid vaccines, they chose not to get them.