Tulane Outbreak – October 22, 2021

49 out of the 50 people who died of COVID-19 in D.C. since June were Black – NPR

The grim numbers coincide with a dramatic rise in cases due to the Delta variant and the latest peak in infections, which came on Sept. 17 in the District. Case numbers generally have been trending downward since then, though the city is still facing high levels of community spread and case counts that are 11 times higher the lowest point in the pandemic, which occurred in mid-June.

Virus may have killed 80k-180k health workers, WHO says – BBC

Healthcare workers must be prioritised for vaccines, WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, and he criticised unfairness in the distribution of jabs. The deaths occurred between January 2020 and May of this year.

CDC confirms presence of Delta sub-variant ‘AY.4.2’ in the US – MedNewsToday

In a recent White House press briefing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have confirmed the presence of a sublineage of the Delta variant — AY.4.2 — in the United States. “Delta remains the dominant variant,” accounting for more than 99.7% of all coronavirus cases in the U.S., said the CDC.

What to Know About the New Delta Sublineage – MedPageToday

The Delta sublineage, known as AY.4.2, is characterized by two “S-gene mutations” on A222V and Y145H, both located on the gene that encodes the spike glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2.

Russia reports cases of more contagious COVID-19 Delta subvariant – Reuters

Russia has reported “isolated cases” of COVID-19 with a subvariant of the Delta variant that is believed to be even more contagious, the state consumer watchdog’s senior researcher said on Thursday.

Mask mandates in school reduced community spread – MedNewsToday

The emergence of the Delta variant, the lack of vaccines authorized for children under 12 years of age, and vaccine hesitancy have meant that discussions about mitigation measures in schools, such as mask wearing, have continued.

New Zealand Extends Auckland Lockdown As Delta Variant Outbreak Continues To Grow – Forbes

New Zealand has extended the ongoing lockdown of its largest city Auckland for two more weeks amid an unrelenting delta variant-fueled Covid-19 outbreak, a move that comes at a time when the country is looking to rapidly vaccinate its population as it moves away from its ‘zero-Covid’ strategy.

Vaccine Headlines

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine appears more than 90% effective in kids 5 to 11 – NPR

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech say their data supports authorization of their COVID-19 vaccine in kids 5 to 11. The Food and Drug Administration released the companies’ briefing document Friday morning in a prelude to a meeting of expert advisers to the agency scheduled for Tuesday.

CDC advisers back the rollout of vaccine boosters from Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – NPR

A panel of experts advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention unanimously backed the rollout of Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine boosters in line with the Food and Drug Administration’s authorizations issued Wednesday. The committee’s actions also support a mix-and-match approach to booster vaccination.

Should You Mix and Match Your Booster Shot? – The Atlantic

In this week’s installment of the booster chronicles, the plot is picking up. An advisory committee to the FDA began a two-day meeting today to formulate recommendations for whether the agency should authorize additional doses of the Johnson & Johnson and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. (The FDA still has to authorize, and the CDC still has to recommend, any new use of boosters before they’ll be readily available.) Committee members have already voted yes on giving boosters to people over 65 and other high-risk adults who received the Moderna vaccine. Meanwhile, the NIH released the results of a long-awaited (and not yet peer-reviewed) clinical trial on the “mix and match” approach to booster shots, in which people receive a dose of a different vaccine from the one they started with. The FDA committee is scheduled to discuss that idea, too, before this meeting ends.

C.D.C. Recommends Covid Booster Shots for Millions of Americans – NYT

Recipients of the Moderna and the J.&J. vaccines may receive extra doses, although the shots continue to prevent illness and death.

U.S. communities want to share unused vaccines with Mexico, but the White House won’t let them – Washington Post

For months, health officials and hospital executives in Southern California watched as unused coronavirus vaccines neared their expiration dates while demand for doses waned.

Clinical Considerations

Scientists search for cause of mysterious Covid-related inflammation in children – NBC News

More than 5,200 of the 6.2 million U.S. children diagnosed with Covid have developed MIS-C, or multisystem inflammatory syndrome.

Official Reporting for October 22, 2021

World Health Organization

Weekly Epi Update October 19th (latest release)

New Cases: 79,237

Confirmed Cases: 240,631,670

Deaths: 4,899,169

Johns Hopkins

Confirmed Cases: 242,796,813
Deaths: 4,934,273

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Total cases: 45,235,796 (+78,101 New Cases)
Total deaths: 731,931 (+1,414 New Deaths)

Science and Tech

Ivermectin for COVID-19 Linked to Severe Toxicity in Small Study – MedPageToday

Ivermectin taken to prevent or treat COVID-19 led to toxic effects, including severe episodes of confusion, ataxia, seizures, and hypotension, a small observational study showed.

Here’s Why Developing Countries Can Make the Top Covid Vaccines – NYT

Across the developing world, hundreds of millions of people are unable to get a vaccine to protect themselves from the ravages of Covid-19, and millions of them have already become infected and died. Depending on wealthy nations to donate billions of doses is not working, public health experts say. The solution, many now believe, is for the countries to do something that the big American mRNA vaccine makers say is not feasible: Manufacture the gold-standard mRNA shots themselves.

Psychological and Sociological Impact

Memes about COVID-19 helped us cope with life in a pandemic, a new study finds – NPR

Researchers with Pennsylvania State University and the University of California Santa Barbara found that memes helped people cope with life during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published this week in the Psychology of Popular Media journal. Researchers found that those who viewed memes — a type of humor they described as funny or cute pictures that reference pop culture — reported “higher levels of humor” and more positive feelings, according to a news release from the American Psychological Association, which publishes the journal.

Published Research

Consuming memes during the COVID pandemic: Effects of memes and meme type on COVID-related stress and coping efficacy – American Psychological Assoc

The Safety and Immunogenicity of Concomitant Administration of COVID-19 Vaccines (ChAdOx1 or BNT162b2) with Seasonal Influenza Vaccines in Adults: A Phase IV, Multicentre Randomised Controlled Trial with Blinding (ComFluCOV) – The Lancet Preprint

Covid-19 Vaccination during Pregnancy and First-Trimester Miscarriage – NEJM

Metoprolol in Critically Ill Patients With COVID-19 – Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Misinformation, Disinformation, and Conspiracy Theories

The origins of ‘one of the biggest frauds in the world’- BBC

In 1998, now-disgraced British doctor Andrew Wakefield wrote a study falsely claiming that the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine caused autism in children. This disinformation generated mass panic, and subsequently a vastly popular anti-vaccination movement that still has major consequences today

China-linked disinformation campaign blames Covid on Maine lobsters – NBC News

The University of Oxford found evidence that pro-China social media accounts are pushing a new thread of propaganda related to the origins of the pandemic.

When Nick Lawyer, a physician assistant in Sanders County, Mont. was asked by local leaders to take on the voluntary position of county public health officer, it felt like the right thing to do to serve his community in a crisis “I kind of think I was one of the few who expressed any interest in the position who had any reasonable qualifications for the job,” Lawyer says.

Coping with COVID

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