J&J Covid-19 Vaccine Appears to be Safe

A total of 800 adults aged 18 to 55 or aged 65 and up were randomized to various combinations of low-dose or high-dose vaccines or placebo, given 56 days apart.

Adverse events were common, with fatigue, headache, myalgia, and injection-site pain reported most often. At day 29 after the first dose, the seroconversion rate was 99% or more in the younger cohort across dosing groups. Older vaccine recipients had a 96% seroconversion rate. At 57 days after the first dose, antibody titers had increased further.

COVID-19: Single Dose of J&J Vaccine / Plasma / New Testing Requirement — https://www.jwatch.org/fw117413/2021/01/13/covid-19-single-dose-j-j-vaccine-plasma-new-testing

The J&J vaccine is in a multi-center, placebo-controlled, phase 1–2a trial. Here’s the link to the NEJM article https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa2034201

From Stat Phase 3 results are coming soon.

There are two Phase 3 studies running. A 40,000-volunteer study of the one-dose vaccine, conducted in the U.S., is set to read out in the next two weeks. A second, equally big study is being conducted using the same vaccine given as two doses, each administered 57 days apart, in case the vaccine does not prove effective in a one-dose regimen or there are other advantages, such as the durability of the vaccine, to giving a second dose.

https://www.statnews.com/2021/01/13/data-fuel-debate-over-whether-jjs-one-dose-covid-vaccine-will-measure-up/ — Data fuel debate over whether J&J’s one-dose Covid vaccine will measure up

And from the Medscape article.

Unlike the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna messenger RNA vaccines, the Johnson & Johnson product is a recombinant, replication-incompetent adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26) vector encoding a full-length and stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein.

The Next Likely COVID-19 Vaccine Has Its Advantages — https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/944151?src=rss

COVID-19: Study Suggests Durable Immune Response After SARS-CoV-2 Infection

Immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 might last for years, according to a study posted on the preprint server bioRxiv.

Some 185 adults who recovered from COVID-19 (most had mildly symptomatic disease) provided blood samples for analysis. The majority provided a single sample, but roughly 20% provided multiple samples over several months.

The researchers found that levels of spike-specific memory B cells (which make antibodies as needed) increased with time — and were higher at 4–6 months than at earlier time points in most participants who gave multiple samples. In addition, SARS-CoV-2 spike IgG titers were generally stable, showing only modest declines at 6–8 months.

COVID-19: Study Suggests Durable Immune Response After SARS-CoV-2 Infection — https://www.jwatch.org/fw117245/2020/11/17/covid-19-study-suggests-durable-immune-response-after

I hope these findings are replicated in other studies.

The Latest in COVID-19 News: Week Ending 11.07.20 – NEJM Journal Watch

Over the past week, U.S. researchers reported a secondary infection rate of 53% among household contacts of people with COVID-19. In another study, risk factors for transmission among close contacts of infected people — like sharing a vehicle or being spoken to by the infected person within 2 meters — were detailed. Elsewhere, the FDA warned about false-positives with rapid antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2. And in Denmark, all farmed minks were set to be killed after reports that a SARS-CoV-2 mutation had jumped from minks to humans.

https://www.jwatch.org/fw117204/2020/11/07/latest-covid-19-news-week-ending-nov-7

Click on the link above for the NEJM Journal Watch weekly update. 

Meanwhile in El Paso…

A fourth mobile morgue has been sent to El Paso as the Texas border town grapples with an ever-growing COVID-19 crisis.

Citation: El Paso Gets Fourth Mobile Morgue as COVID-19 Deaths Surge – Medscape – Nov 05, 2020. — https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/940459?src=rss

The Latest in COVID-19 News: Week Ending 10.24.20 – NEJM Journal Watch

Click on the link for the NEJM Journal Watch weekly update.  There are no paywalls on any of the links in this article.  The links in this week’s edition are pretty good. https://www.jwatch.org/fw117158/2020/10/24/latest-covid-19-news-week-ending-oct-24

Meanwhile in El Paso…

EL PASO, Texas — The massive Covid-19 surge in El Paso County went from extremely bad to critically worse on Saturday as all-time highs were shattered for a half-dozen critical markers: New cases, active infections, positivity rate, and hospitalizations – along with ICU and ventilator usage.

The health department reported a record 1,216 new cases on Saturday, as well as 75 unreported cases from earlier, increasing the total number of additional cases reported to 1,291. The number of active infections jumped to just shy of 11,000 at a record-level of 10,911.

There were a record 715 patients in El Paso hospitals due to Covid-related illness as of Saturday morning, representing nearly 2% of hospitalizations nationwide. El Paso hospitals have seen a staggering 203% increase in Covid patients over the past two weeks. In addition, record numbers of virus patients Saturday required intensive care (199) and the use of ventilators (85).

El Paso shatters records for new & active virus cases, positivity rate, hospitalizations, ICUs, ventilators — https://kvia.com/coronavirus/2020/10/24/el-paso-shatters-all-time-highs-for-new-active-virus-cases-positivity-rate-hospitalizations-icus-ventilators/

The city just told everyone to stay home.

The Latest in COVID-19 News: Week Ending 09.05.20 – NEJM Journal Watch

Click on the link for the NEJM Journal Watch weekly update.  NO paywalls on any of the links in this article.  (paywalls bother me). There are some really good links in this week’s edition. https://www.jwatch.org/fw117010/2020/09/05/latest-covid-19-news-week-ending-sept-5

Meanwhile in South Carolina…

Shortly after opening its doors to students, the University of South Carolina has recorded 1,026 positive coronavirus tests and in the past week saw a test positivity rate among students and faculty of 26.3 percent, according to its COVID information dashboard.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/university-south-carolina-records-1-026-covid-cases-n1239174

Clusterfuck!

The Latest in COVID-19 News: Week Ending 08.22.20 – NEJM Journal Watch

Click on the link for the NEJM Journal Watch weekly update.  NO paywalls on any of the links in this article.  (paywalls bother me)

https://www.jwatch.org/fw116961/2020/08/22/latest-covid-19-news-week-ending-aug-22

Meanwhile in Harrah, Oklahoma…

The corned beef became an unexpected, additional source of sadness: The flavors I love have become associated with the bitterness of closing down. I can only taste the sourness of worry. I can only smell the rottenness of having to furlough six people who depended on the pub for a paycheck. Years of enjoyment have boiled down to a few long months of anxiety, endless discussions about to close or stay open—and if we can reopen safely, how we will survive.

We own an Irish Pub in Harrah, Oklahoma. When Covid-19 hit, we had to eat our own corned beef and potatoes for weeks. https://thecounter.org/covid-19-essay-irish-pub-harrah-oklahoma-corned-beef-potatoes/

The Latest in COVID-19 News: Week Ending 07.25.20 – NEJM Journal Watch

Click on the link for the NEJM Journal Watch weekly update.  NO paywalls on any of the links in this article.  (paywalls bother me)

The Latest in COVID-19 News: Week Ending July 25

Meanwhile in Imperial County California…

For many decades, a relative few white farmers who tilled vast acreages of winter vegetables, cotton and alfalfa held that power. Ultimately, however, demography shifted power to Latinos, the sons and daughters of field workers from Mexico who are today 80% of Imperial County’s population.

Changing demography didn’t change Imperial County’s basic nature. It exists primarily to grow food and fiber with little economic diversity and always ranks high on California’s lists of unemployment and poverty.

Imperial has another distinction these days — the epicenter of California’s COVID-19 pandemic. Its infection rate is six times as high as California’s as a whole and victims are overwhelming its two hospitals.

Imperial County, the COVID-19 epicenter