Tag Archives: immunology

Latest: Michigan makes homeless people eligible for vaccines | National news | Instant News

Most major public activities, including dining in restaurants, are available to people who are vaccinated against the coronavirus. Israel has accelerated its immunization campaign. More than 52% of the population has received one dose and nearly 40% has received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, one of the highest rates in the world.

Israel has confirmed at least 799,000 infections in total, including 5,856 deaths.

KATHMANDU, Nepal – Nepal has received 248,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine under a United Nations-supported program known as COVAX.

The shipment, the first of 1.92 million doses to be sent to Nepal, was flown to Kathmandu airport on Sunday when the country began inoculating the elderly population.

Nepal has received 2 million doses of AstraZeneca and another 1 million will arrive within a week. 800,000 more doses of vaccine are also being contributed by the Chinese government in the near future.

Nepal has recorded 274,655 coronavirus cases, including 3,010 deaths.

NICOSIA, Cyprus – Carnival is usually the highlight of the year in Cyprus, when residents shed bizarre and colorful costumes, dance and celebrate with glee during the biggest annual party scene in the Mediterranean island nation.


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COVID-19 variant first discovered in UK confirmed in Douglas County | Country and Regional News | Instant News

The first known Nebraska case of a COVID-19 variant originally identified in Britain has been confirmed in Douglas County, health officials announced on Friday afternoon.

The variant, known as B.1.1.7, was identified through genome sequencing at the Nebraska Public Health Lab on the campus of the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. The variant was detected in a sample from a woman in her 20s living in Douglas County.

Dr. Gary Anthone, Nebraska’s chief medical officer, said health officials had suspected that a new variant of the virus was circulating in Nebraska and has stepped up genome sequencing efforts to quickly identify a variant.

As of Thursday, 2,102 variant cases had been identified in 45 states and territories, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The list includes all of the states around Nebraska except South Dakota.

The variant is easier to transmit than the original strain of the corona virus.

“This is another good reason for people to continue to cover up, practice social distancing and get vaccinated,” Douglas County Health Director Adi Pour said in a statement.


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South African and Brazilian SARS-CoV-2 variants showed resistance to therapeutic antibodies | Instant News

A team of scientists from Germany has decided efficacy therapies currently used in treating a new variant of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), including variants B.1.1.7 (UK), B.1.351 (South Africa) and B.1.1.248 (Brazil) ). Their findings reveal that variants B.1.351 and B.1.1.248 can escape a humoral immune response induced by therapeutic antibodies, vaccinations, or natural SARS-CoV-2 infection. Studies are currently available at bioRxiv* preprint server.


Since its emergence in December 2019, the highly contagious and deadly SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has infected more than 108 million people and claimed more than 2.3 million lives globally. In the global effort to control the spread of the virus, a lot of research has been done to find effective therapeutic strategies against COVID-19. Currently, several antiviral drugs and reused therapeutic antibodies are used to treat critical COVID-19 patients. As a protective measure, several potential vaccines targeting the viral spike protein have received emergency use approval from the relevant authorities.

In the next phase of the pandemic, several new variants of SARS-CoV-2 have emerged, including variants B.1.1.7 (UK), B.1.351 (South Africa), and B.1.1.248 (Brazil). Several mutations found in these variant spike proteins have been found to significantly increase their infectivity. Additionally, there are preliminary studies suggesting that this variant may be more virulent and is likely to increase the mortality rate related to COVID-19. Since most of the antibodies and therapeutic vaccines currently available primarily target the SARS-CoV-2 protein spike, potential concern is increasing about the effectiveness of current therapeutic interventions in preventing the spread and death of the emerging variant.

In the current study, scientists have evaluated the effectiveness of viral entry inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies, and vaccines in preventing infection by British, South African, and Brazilian SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Study design

Scientists use human and animal cell lines to do this in vitro trial. To analyze the effectiveness of virus entry inhibitors against the SARS-CoV-2 variant, they used angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), cellular protease inhibitors (TMPRSS2), and membrane fusion inhibitors (EK1 and EK1C4). To determine whether this variant is resistant to the humoral immune response, scientists thoroughly analyzed the efficacy of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies obtained from three types of sources: 1) therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (Casirivimab, Imdevimab, and Bamlanivimab); 2) plasma samples collected from critically ill COVID-19 patients; and 3) serum samples collected from people vaccinated with the BioNTech / Pfizer vaccine (BNT162b2).

An important observation

Although there is evidence to suggest increased transmission of the emerging SARS-CoV-2 variant, current research scientists have not observed any significant differences in host cell entry dynamics between wildtype viruses and British, South African, and Brazilian variants. In particular, the wildtype spike protein and all tested variants of SARS-CoV-2 showed comparable efficiency in entering host cells.

Interestingly, the entry of wildtype variants and mutations into host cells was significantly blocked by dissolved ACE2, TMPRSS2 inhibitors, and inhibitors of membrane fusion. Compared with the wildtype virus, the variant shows a higher susceptibility to soluble ACE2-mediated inhibition. Likewise, the Brazilian variant showed a higher susceptibility to membrane fusion inhibitors. These observations suggest that virus entry inhibitors may potentially be used to prevent infection mediated by the mutated variant of SARS-CoV-2.

Although showing comparable cell-virus interaction dynamics, significant differences in antibody-mediated neutralization were observed between wildtype viruses and mutated variants. Among the monoclonal antibodies tested, Imdevimab demonstrated comparable efficacy in inhibiting entry of host cells by all viral variants. In contrast, the South African and Brazilian variants exhibited partial and complete resistance to Casirivimab and Bamlanivimab. However, all the antibodies tested showed high potency in inhibiting the British variant.

Neutralizing antibodies generated in response to SARS-CoV-2 infection is expected to provide protection against reinfection. To determine efficacy recovery plasma For the treatment of viral variants, COVID-19 plasma samples obtained by patients with high neutralizing properties of the wild-type spike protein were tested against all virus variants. The findings revealed that entry of host cells via spike proteins from the South African and Brazilian variants was less efficiently inhibited by the majority of the plasma samples tested. This suggests that people previously infected with the wildtype SARS-CoV-2 were only partially protected from the South African and Brazilian variants.

Regarding vaccine-mediated protection, the findings reveal that a large proportion of serum samples obtained from BNT162b2 vaccinated individuals had a lower efficiency in inhibiting surge-driven entry of host cells compared to that observed for wild and variant SARS-CoV-2 strains and variants. English.

Learn significance

The study revealed that current therapeutic interventions are less effective in inhibiting the SARS-CoV-2 variants of South Africa and Brazil, and thus, rigorous implementation of non-pharmaceutical control measures is needed to contain transmission.

* Important Notice

bioRxiv publishes preliminary scientific reports that are not peer reviewed and, therefore, should not be considered a convincing guide, guide health-related clinical / behavioral practice, or be treated as defined information.


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British COVID-19 variant found in two Comal County residents | Community Alert | Instant News

A variant of the COVID-19 virus was first discovered in the UK which health experts say spread more easily and quickly than others to Comal County.

District health officials on Wednesday reported two of the confirmed cases identified as a British variant referred to as B.1.1.7.

“This is the first report of a variant strain found in Comal County residents,” said Comal County Public Health Director Cheryl Fraser. “We received this information from the (Texas) Department of State Health Services. Not every specimen is type typed, but samples are randomly selected and sent to the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) for surveillance purposes. Public Health continues to work with the CDC and DSHS to monitor this carefully. “

The two variant cases were among 114 new cases reported Wednesday by district officials.

NEW YORK (AP) – About 1 in 3 Americans say they will or may not get a vaccine for COVID-19, according to a new poll that some experts think is disappointing news if the US hopes to achieve herd immunity and defeat the outbreak. .

Since fall, the CDC says several new variants have been identified around the world: the British variant, the South African variant (B.1.351) and the Brazilian variant (P.1).

The first known case of a British strain of coronavirus reported in Texas occurred in an adult male in Harris County in early January.

“Genetic variation is the norm among viruses, and it’s no surprise that it appears (in Texas) given how fast it spreads,” said Dr. John Hellerstedt, commissioner of the DSHS, in a statement made in January in response to the first variant case. . “This should make us all redouble our commitment to infection prevention practices that we know work: masks whenever you’re around people you don’t live with, social distancing and personal and environmental hygiene.”

Of the newly reported cases in the district on Wednesday, 74 were confirmed and 37 probable. Three suspect cases.

District officials also reported 80 recoveries, bringing the number of active cases to 622.

No deaths were reported Wednesday.

Additional recoveries from viruses took the total to 7,794.

Seventy-seven of the new cases were from New Braunfels, with 19 from the Bulverde / Spring Branch area, eight from south of Canyon Lake, six from southern Comal County and Garden Ridge, and four from north of Canyon Lake.

The largest number of new cases came from people in their 30s and 40s with 39, followed by people in their 50s and 60s with 35, people in their 20s and people under 20 with their respective 17 and people 70 and over with six.

As of Tuesday, the state has reported 2.2 million confirmed cases in 254 counties and 326,984 possible cases in 223 counties since the pandemic began.

Comal County officials have reported 8,685 cases during that time.


The percentage of hospital beds used by COVID-19 patients across the region on Wednesday fell below the 15% threshold which triggered tighter state restrictions late last year, which closed bars and lowered capacity limits at other businesses.

The percentage of hospital beds taken by COVID-19 patients in the 22-county region, which includes the Comal and Guadalupe regions, reached 14.99 percent as of Wednesday.

Tighter restrictions in the region will be lifted once hospitalizations drop below 15% for seven consecutive days.

Of the active cases in the district, 73 patients were admitted to hospital as of Wednesday. Comal County Hospital reports treating 54 COVID-19 patients, with 23 of them in intensive care and 19 on ventilators.

Local hospitals treat a mix of local and outside patients, and officials say some of the patients may be admitted to an outside hospital.

As of Tuesday, there were at least 9,401 hospitalized patients in Texas with confirmed coronavirus infections. The state reports there are 12,414 hospital staff beds, including 879 ICU staff beds available statewide. COVID-19 patients currently occupy 14.1% of total hospital beds across the state.

The seven-day molecular positivity rate in the district on Monday was 58.83%, while the antigen positivity rate was 7.6%. Health officials say that the molecular level, a test that is more accurate but takes longer to process, could be misleading because fewer people are taking it. The antigen test is faster but less accurate.

As of Wednesday morning, public health had received reports of 63,700 tests carried out, with 4,554 confirmed cases, 4,112 possible cases and 19 suspected cases.

Those wishing to be tested for COVID-19 can call the district-specific hotline, 830-221-1120, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday to schedule an appointment.


District alert lists for the COVID-19 vaccine were closed after being capped at 12,000 people, but officials say it may reopen as vaccine supplies increase. District officials said call center operators continued to schedule appointments for vaccination clinics this week after receiving more doses from the state.

Those listed on the standby list could receive calls this week, and officials are asking people to respond to the calls as quickly as possible.

District officials also asked people on alert lists who receive the email and which contain links or phone numbers to schedule appointments for future vaccination clinics not to share that information with the public.

Citizens interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, which meet the criteria in Phases 1A and 1B of the state’s vaccination plan, can check the district’s website and Facebook page for information on when the alert list will reopen.

People are not required to be vaccinated in their country of residence.

CVS Health will begin administering the COVID-19 vaccine to eligible people starting Thursday at locations in Texas, including San Antonio and Canyon Lake.

Patients should register as early as possible CVS.com or through the CVS Pharmacy application. People who do not have online access can contact CVS customer service at 800-746-7287.

Christus Santa Rosa has an appointment system for several clinic sites. Visit the website at christushealth.org and use the online chat function to be filtered for eligibility and to check availability.

As of Tuesday, 3.4 million doses have been administered, with 2.5 million people receiving a single dose and 842,870 people, or 2.9% of the Texas population, fully vaccinated. The two vaccines currently available – Pfizer and Moderna – require two doses, and there is no approved vaccine for children under 16 years of age.

In Comal County, 12,979 people have received one dose and 3,836 people have received both doses, according to State Health Services Department data.

Find more information about the COVID-19 vaccine at dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/immunize/vaccine.aspx. The website includes links to maps and vaccine availability providers.

The Texas Tribune contributed to this story.


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Official: Deaths from COVID-19 highlight the need to control diabetes on the islands | Guam News | Instant News

Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, rates of diabetes and other chronic diseases were already high in the US-affiliated Pacific islands, regional health officials told the Rotary Club of Northern Guam on Wednesday.

But with many of the more than 100 deaths from COVID-19 in Guam linked to diabetes, the need to control diabetes has become much more urgent, they said.

Two officials from the Pacific Island Health Care Workers Association, or PIHOA, shared with Rotarians how prevalent diabetes, hypertension, cancer, heart disease, obesity and other non-communicable diseases are in the US-affiliated Pacific islands.

These islands include Guam, CNMI, American Samoa, Palau, Marshall Islands, and the Federated States of Micronesia.

There is well-established documentation in Guam that comorbidities such as diabetes and other chronic illnesses increase the risk of death from COVID-19, according to Janet Camacho, PIHOA deputy director of programs and operations for Honolulu.

From 2001 to 2019, the number of diabetes cases “has increased steadily” and has become one of the leading causes of death in Guam, said Cerina Mariano, PIHOA program and administrator of Guam operations.

This is based on data from the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services, he said.

The behavioral risk survey, he said, also showed that 84% of respondents said they had never been told by a doctor that they had diabetes.

“Since this is a self-report, it is most likely underestimated,” said Mariano.

Risk factors

In Guam, diabetes risk factors include age, ethnicity, and education as well as income, he said.

According to the survey, more men than women have diabetes, and those 55 and over make up 50% of those with diabetes, Mariano said.

As far as ethnicity goes, being a Pacific islander – compared to white, black, American Indian or Native Alaskan and other ethnic groups – means a much higher risk of being diagnosed with diabetes, he said.

Socio-economic factors such as education and income also play a role due to limited access to health services and affordable healthy food.

Diabetes and other chronic diseases are not only common among adults on Guam, but also tend to start at a young age.

“About 40% of youth in Guam in 2019 reported being overweight or obese, and that number has been increasing over the years,” said Mariano.

A hybrid survey over the past five years among most of the US-affiliated Pacific islands shows that the prevalence of diabetes in adults on these islands is much higher than in the United States.

That’s mainly because of the island’s geographic isolation and limited resources, Mariano said.

1 in 4 people are treated

Only about one in four of those diagnosed with diabetes are on treatment, and of those on treatment, less than 10% are controlled on the islands, Mariano said.

“The situation is big enough to attract international attention,” he said.

Through partners such as the World Health Organization, Mariano said, FSM can receive more than 9,000 doses of insulin for diabetes from a company in Denmark.

But even just bringing insulin to the islands is a challenge. It had to be sent to Australia first, and then sent to San Francisco and then Guam, and finally to FSM, Mariano said.

Control diabetes

Hermie Queja, president of the Rotary Club of Northern Guam, said they plan to help raise awareness about diabetes among young people and look forward to partnering with entities like PIHOA.

PIHOA officials say diabetes awareness, prevention and treatment programs need more help.

The simplest steps a person can take to prevent diabetes or control it is to eat a healthy diet and be physically active, Mariano said.


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