COVID vaccines important as L.A. 'breakthrough' cases rise

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Los Angeles Times 30 July, 2021 - 11:10am 30 views

The latest figures underscore how the county’s recent coronavirus surge is different from the pandemic’s earlier spikes, both in terms of who is getting sick and how the virus is spreading countywide.

In June, fully vaccinated residents made up 20% of all confirmed coronavirus infections in those 16 and older, according to figures from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

However, that same month, they accounted for only 8% of all COVID-19 hospitalizations.

In June, 20% of Los Angeles County’s coronavirus cases were among fully vaccinated residents. But that doesn’t tell the full story.

That trend has persisted into July. Over the first half of the month, roughly 26% of all diagnosed cases were in fully vaccinated residents, according to figures county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer presented this week.

This means unvaccinated residents still accounted for almost three times as many infections, even though they’ve been a minority of the population since the start of the month.

And despite the uptick in post-vaccination “breakthrough” cases, the proportion of those people becoming sick enough to require hospitalization over the early part of this month remained essentially flat from June.

Those who are unvaccinated, she continued, “simply do not have the same level of confidence if they get infected with this virus that it will lead to mild illness.”

Out of the 504 people who died of COVID-19 countywide from April 1 to June 30, 96% were either unvaccinated or had not completed their inoculation regimen, data show.

County health officials are trying to better understand the factors, such as being immunocompromised, that may put fully vaccinated people at risk of dying from COVID-19, Ferrer said.

The rise of vaccinations is also shifting the trajectory of this summer spike. In previous surges, lower-income, densely populated areas were hardest hit as essential workers got COVID-19 on the job and then spread it at home. Areas such as East Los Angeles, the northeast San Fernando Valley and South Los Angeles saw some of the worst spread.

As of July 17, communities that had high rates of transmission included downtown Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Venice, Hollywood Hills and Studio City, Ferrer said.

“These are different communities from those with high case rates during our previous surges,” she said. “So far, it appears transmission in these areas is being driven mostly by community spread among young adults.”

In some areas, she added, “there were several smaller outbreaks among persons experiencing homelessness that also may have contributed, just slightly, to the higher rates. And we also have noted that there have been outbreaks in some of these communities at food and bar establishments that also are contributing to the higher rates.”

More than 53% of Angelenos have now been fully vaccinated, according to data compiled by The Times.

With California’s coronavirus surge worsening, officials are unveiling new rules and redoubling efforts to get more people to wear masks in an urgent push to boost vaccinations and slow the spread of the Delta variant.

Health officials have said it’s not unexpected that some people would become infected even after being fully vaccinated.

“Infections after vaccination are expected. No vaccine is 100% effective,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious diseases expert, said last week. “However, even if a vaccine does not completely protect against infection, it usually, if it’s successful, protects against serious disease.”

Ferrer said the disparity in infection and hospitalization rates underscores how much higher the risk is for those who have yet to roll up their sleeves — especially in an environment where community transmission is on the rise.

Over the last week, the county has reported an average of about 2,400 new coronavirus cases per day, The Times’ data show. That’s more than six times the rate seen at the beginning of the month.

But if no one was vaccinated, Ferrer said, daily case counts could perhaps be twice as high as they are now.

“So instead of averaging 2,400 daily cases this past week, our daily case numbers might have instead been closer to 5,000,” she said.

Overall, 991 coronavirus-positive patients were hospitalized countywide on Wednesday, a more than threefold increase from the start of the month.

The new recommendation appears to be more expansive than the latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

L.A. County isn’t an outlier. Across the state, health officials are noting the existence of large gaps between the infection and hospitalization rates of those who are vaccinated versus those who aren’t.

From July 14 to 20, the average coronavirus case rate among unvaccinated Californians was 20.7 per 100,000 people per day — about six times the comparable rate of vaccinated individuals, according to the state Department of Public Health.

Dr. Wilma Wooten, San Diego County’s public health officer, employed a common refrain this week: “This is turning into the pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

“The more contagious Delta variant is on the rise, and being fully vaccinated affords the best protections against the disease,” she said in a statement.

The highly transmissible Delta variant is a more formidable foe than previously believed, largely due to its ability to infect and be spread by people who are fully vaccinated, according to data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A confidential document prepared by the agency cites evidence from a recent outbreak in Massachusetts involving at least 145 people who were infected with the Delta variant, which was first detected in India. In the Massachusetts outbreak, the viral loads of the 80 people who were vaccinated were essentially the same as the viral loads of the 65 people who were not vaccinated.

Over the last week, California has reported an average of nearly 7,500 new coronavirus cases a day — more than eight times the rate from four weeks ago, according to data compiled by The Times.

On Wednesday, 3,605 coronavirus-positive patients were hospitalized statewide, with 784 of them in intensive care. Both those figures have doubled over the last two weeks.

Despite the steep rises, though, California remains well shy of the harrowing heights of the fall and winter surge, when an average of more than 40,000 cases were being reported daily and nearly 22,000 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized.

COVID-19 deaths also have remained relatively low statewide — about 28 per day, on average.

With cases and hospitalizations spiking, the focus is increasingly on ramping up vaccinations to protect as many people as possible against infection and illness.

Officials have said there are probably several factors fueling the latest surge.

A major one is the presence of the Delta variant, which is thought to be twice as transmissible as the conventional coronavirus strains.

That variant has rapidly become the dominant strain circulating in California. Given how readily it spreads, experts say it preys particularly easily on those who have yet to be fully vaccinated.

Another likely contributor, though, is behavior. The pandemic’s latest wave began to materialize in the aftermath of California’s June 15 reopening, which saw the state lift many restrictions that had been put in place to stymie transmission of the coronavirus.

Residents had additional options to mingle and mix — providing more opportunities for the virus to spread, particularly among younger, unvaccinated people.

L.A. will require city employees to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing for the virus.

Earlier this month, Fauci cited data showing the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were 95% and 94% effective, respectively, versus symptomatic COVID-19. And in the United States, the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been 72% effective against clinically recognizable disease.

So far, L.A. County hasn’t seen a huge divergence in breakthrough infections by vaccine type.

As of this week, only 0.27% of people fully vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine had later become infected — compared with 0.15% of Pfizer-BioNTech recipients and 0.09% of those who got Moderna.

Ferrer said the figures are more “compelling evidence on how effective the vaccines are.”

“We can feel very confident saying that all three vaccines continue to perform well protecting people — particularly from serious illness and death and certainly even from getting infected,” she said during a briefing call with reporters.

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Luke Money is a Metro reporter covering breaking news at the Los Angeles Times. He previously was a reporter and assistant city editor for the Daily Pilot, a Times Community News publication in Orange County, and before that wrote for the Santa Clarita Valley Signal. He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Arizona.

Read full article at Los Angeles Times

Fully vaccinated people make up quarter of new COVID-19 infections in Los Angeles County

Yahoo News 30 July, 2021 - 01:20pm

The number of cases among fully vaccinated people has risen slightly since last month, when only 20% of breakthrough cases were reported in vaccinated individuals, according to Fox 11. Still, case rates are rising slower in the vaccinated group, Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told the county's board of supervisors on Tuesday.

"As more people are vaccinated, the number of fully vaccinated people becoming infected will increase, and with the delta variant that’s far more infectious, exposures to infections have also increased," Ferrer said during a virtual meeting.

During a period from July 1 through 16, the county reported 13,598 cases, and the unvaccinated represented 74% of all the cases. Fully vaccinated residents accounted for 26% of infections, or 3,592 cases, Ferrer shared.

"There's not even 1/10th of a hospitalization per hundred thousand people for vaccinated people," Ferrer added.

Vaccines are the most effective defense against infectious diseases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and health officials stress that those who do get COVID-19 while fully vaccinated are unlikely to get very sick.

Nearly 0.27% of people fully vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine tested positive among the group examined through July 16, while just 0.09% of those with the Moderna vaccine and 0.15% of those fully vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine tested positive for COVID-19, according to Los Angeles County Public Health.

"While there are small differences in these numbers, they may be in part due to differences in the risk of people who received different vaccines and differences in the timing of each vaccine's rollout," the health agency told the local Fox affiliate. "And because these are all very small numbers, all of the vaccines safely provide excellent protection against COVID infection, hospitalization, and death."

The Washington Examiner contacted Los Angeles County Public Health but did not immediately receive a response.

Los Angeles County officials announced a new mask mandate for residents in indoor public locations regardless of vaccine status earlier this month.

Tags: News, Coronavirus, Los Angeles, Vaccination

Original Author: Kaelan Deese

Original Location: Fully vaccinated people make up quarter of new COVID-19 infections in Los Angeles County

The latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people who are fully vaccinated should get tested three to five days after a potential exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms. In May, the CDC said vaccinated people face very little risk of serious illness and don’t need to be tested in most cases, even if exposed to someone who was sick. The COVID-19 vaccines are still very good at protecting people from getting seriously ill, but the CDC says new data shows vaccinated people infected with the delta variant could spread it to others.

Dr. Priscilla Frase said people are concerned how their loved ones will react if they find out they got the vaccine.

The spread of the Delta variant seems to be convincing some vaccine skeptics to reconsider getting the COVID-19 vaccine, even if that means being inoculated in secret.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered his government on Wednesday to open the coronavirus vaccination campaign to anyone who wants a shot as his country scrambles to protect the population from more transmissible variants. With only 6% of the Philippines' 110 million people fully vaccinated against COVID-19, millions remain vulnerable to infection. "Give the vaccines to those who want to be vaccinated," Duterte said in a late-night address, expressing concern over the contagious Delta variant, which is ripping through Southeast Asia, now a global epicentre for the virus.

Rodrigo Duterte also said the police would send unvaccinated people back to their homes if they stepped out "because you are a walking spreader."

Six passengers on Royal Caribbean International's Adventure of the Seas, which departed from Nassau Saturday, have tested positive for COVID-19.

After surging for months because of the hypercontagious Delta variant, COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom are rapidly plummeting, raising the question of whether America’s Delta wave could also peak sooner than expected.

Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill said the NFL is pressuring players to get the coronavirus vaccine.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to release data later Friday about the spread of the delta variant of COVID-19 that informed its decision earlier this week to recommend that even vaccinated people resume wearing face masks in public settings in areas with high rates of transmission.

The “Venturer” mask is designed for performance and breathability.

A human-rights group said Sun Dawu's sentence was punishment for his association with rights advocates.

President Joe Biden snapped at a reporter who asked him about past assurances that those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no longer need to wear protective face masks.

Five Republican senators are questioning why the Department of Health and Human Services redacted a portion of an email between Dr. Anthony Fauci and Peter Daszak, the president of a research organization that worked with the Wuhan Institute of Virology on coronavirus studies before the pandemic.

The first COVID-19 vaccine was distributed under an Emergency Use Authorization. More than seven months later, actual approval hasn’t been granted.

Air traffic control told pilots to keep an eye out for a person being compared to Iron Man

Agnes Velasquez, mom to 15-year-old Paulina, is also battling COVID, but has milder symptoms after getting vaccinated

A Florida school board voted Wednesday to require all students and faculty to wear masks inside schools for the fall semester, a policy at odds with Gov. Ron DeSantis's stance against making face covers compulsory.

The CDC is now urging vaccinated people who've been around someone with COVID-19 to "get tested 3-5 days after," even if they don't develop symptoms.

WASHINGTON - The delta variant of the coronavirus appears to cause more severe illness than earlier variants and spreads as easily as chickenpox, according to an internal federal health document that argues officials must "acknowledge the war has changed." The document is an internal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention slide presentation, shared within the CDC and obtained by The Washington Post. It captures the struggle of the nation's top public health agency to persuade the public to e

A coronavirus variant discovered in Colombia is showing up among patients in South Florida, increasing infections and putting health officials on alert as calls grow louder for unvaccinated individuals to get inoculated. Carlos Migoya, CEO of Jackson Health System, told WPLG in Miami earlier this week that the B.1.621 variant has accounted for about 10% of coronavirus patients, trailing behind delta, the now dominant variant in the United States that's been ravaging the nation's unvaccinated, an

The state of COVID-19 in Tennessee

WBIR Channel 10 30 July, 2021 - 01:20pm

New COVID-19 Cases Around St. Cloud Double This Week as State Continues to See Rise in New Infections, Hospitalizations

KNSI 30 July, 2021 - 01:20pm

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There were also 18 more COVID deaths reported in the state this week. None of those deaths occurred in the five-county St. Cloud area, but the region did confirm 314 new cases — more than double the number of cases confirmed last week.

Over the past seven days, roughly 3.5 COVID tests out of every 100 processed in Minnesota are coming back positive.

Across the state, 231 people are hospitalized due to COVID-19. Sixty-four of those patients are receiving intensive care.

Meanwhile, 3,152,764 Minnesotans have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine. The state is closing in on having 3 million residents fully vaccinated. In Stearns County, 51 percent of residents 12 and older have gotten at least one shot.

Amid the rise in cases, largely driven by the very transmissible Delta variant, Minnesota health and education leaders this week said they’re recommending universal mask wearing in K-12 schools, and Gov. Tim Walz has introduced a $100 Visa card vaccination incentive for folks who get their first dose by mid-August.

'Breakthrough' COVID-19 cases rising in L.A., but the vaccinated are still protected, data show

KING 5 30 July, 2021 - 07:00am

The latest figures underscore how the county’s recent coronavirus surge is different from the pandemic’s earlier spikes, both in terms of who is getting sick and how the virus is spreading countywide.

In June, fully vaccinated residents made up 20% of all confirmed coronavirus infections in those 16 and older, according to figures from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

However, that same month, they accounted for only 8% of all COVID-19 hospitalizations.

In June, 20% of Los Angeles County’s coronavirus cases were among fully vaccinated residents. But that doesn’t tell the full story.

That trend has persisted into July. Over the first half of the month, roughly 26% of all diagnosed cases were in fully vaccinated residents, according to figures county Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer presented this week.

This means unvaccinated residents still accounted for almost three times as many infections, even though they’ve been a minority of the population since the start of the month.

And despite the uptick in post-vaccination “breakthrough” cases, the proportion of those people becoming sick enough to require hospitalization over the early part of this month remained essentially flat from June.

Those who are unvaccinated, she continued, “simply do not have the same level of confidence if they get infected with this virus that it will lead to mild illness.”

Out of the 504 people who died of COVID-19 countywide from April 1 to June 30, 96% were either unvaccinated or had not completed their inoculation regimen, data show.

County health officials are trying to better understand the factors, such as being immunocompromised, that may put fully vaccinated people at risk of dying from COVID-19, Ferrer said.

The rise of vaccinations is also shifting the trajectory of this summer spike. In previous surges, lower-income, densely populated areas were hardest hit as essential workers got COVID-19 on the job and then spread it at home. Areas such as East Los Angeles, the northeast San Fernando Valley and South Los Angeles saw some of the worst spread.

As of July 17, communities that had high rates of transmission included downtown Los Angeles, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Venice, Hollywood Hills and Studio City, Ferrer said.

“These are different communities from those with high case rates during our previous surges,” she said. “So far, it appears transmission in these areas is being driven mostly by community spread among young adults.”

In some areas, she added, “there were several smaller outbreaks among persons experiencing homelessness that also may have contributed, just slightly, to the higher rates. And we also have noted that there have been outbreaks in some of these communities at food and bar establishments that also are contributing to the higher rates.”

More than 53% of Angelenos have now been fully vaccinated, according to data compiled by The Times.

With California’s coronavirus surge worsening, officials are unveiling new rules and redoubling efforts to get more people to wear masks in an urgent push to boost vaccinations and slow the spread of the Delta variant.

Health officials have said it’s not unexpected that some people would become infected even after being fully vaccinated.

“Infections after vaccination are expected. No vaccine is 100% effective,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the U.S. government’s top infectious diseases expert, said last week. “However, even if a vaccine does not completely protect against infection, it usually, if it’s successful, protects against serious disease.”

Ferrer said the disparity in infection and hospitalization rates underscores how much higher the risk is for those who have yet to roll up their sleeves — especially in an environment where community transmission is on the rise.

Over the last week, the county has reported an average of about 2,400 new coronavirus cases per day, The Times’ data show. That’s more than six times the rate seen at the beginning of the month.

But if no one was vaccinated, Ferrer said, daily case counts could perhaps be twice as high as they are now.

“So instead of averaging 2,400 daily cases this past week, our daily case numbers might have instead been closer to 5,000,” she said.

Overall, 991 coronavirus-positive patients were hospitalized countywide on Wednesday, a more than threefold increase from the start of the month.

The new recommendation appears to be more expansive than the latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

L.A. County isn’t an outlier. Across the state, health officials are noting the existence of large gaps between the infection and hospitalization rates of those who are vaccinated versus those who aren’t.

From July 14 to 20, the average coronavirus case rate among unvaccinated Californians was 20.7 per 100,000 people per day — about six times the comparable rate of vaccinated individuals, according to the state Department of Public Health.

Dr. Wilma Wooten, San Diego County’s public health officer, employed a common refrain this week: “This is turning into the pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

“The more contagious Delta variant is on the rise, and being fully vaccinated affords the best protections against the disease,” she said in a statement.

The highly transmissible Delta variant is a more formidable foe than previously believed, largely due to its ability to infect and be spread by people who are fully vaccinated, according to data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A confidential document prepared by the agency cites evidence from a recent outbreak in Massachusetts involving at least 145 people who were infected with the Delta variant, which was first detected in India. In the Massachusetts outbreak, the viral loads of the 80 people who were vaccinated were essentially the same as the viral loads of the 65 people who were not vaccinated.

Over the last week, California has reported an average of nearly 7,500 new coronavirus cases a day — more than eight times the rate from four weeks ago, according to data compiled by The Times.

On Wednesday, 3,605 coronavirus-positive patients were hospitalized statewide, with 784 of them in intensive care. Both those figures have doubled over the last two weeks.

Despite the steep rises, though, California remains well shy of the harrowing heights of the fall and winter surge, when an average of more than 40,000 cases were being reported daily and nearly 22,000 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized.

COVID-19 deaths also have remained relatively low statewide — about 28 per day, on average.

With cases and hospitalizations spiking, the focus is increasingly on ramping up vaccinations to protect as many people as possible against infection and illness.

Officials have said there are probably several factors fueling the latest surge.

A major one is the presence of the Delta variant, which is thought to be twice as transmissible as the conventional coronavirus strains.

That variant has rapidly become the dominant strain circulating in California. Given how readily it spreads, experts say it preys particularly easily on those who have yet to be fully vaccinated.

Another likely contributor, though, is behavior. The pandemic’s latest wave began to materialize in the aftermath of California’s June 15 reopening, which saw the state lift many restrictions that had been put in place to stymie transmission of the coronavirus.

Residents had additional options to mingle and mix — providing more opportunities for the virus to spread, particularly among younger, unvaccinated people.

L.A. will require city employees to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing for the virus.

Earlier this month, Fauci cited data showing the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were 95% and 94% effective, respectively, versus symptomatic COVID-19. And in the United States, the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been 72% effective against clinically recognizable disease.

So far, L.A. County hasn’t seen a huge divergence in breakthrough infections by vaccine type.

As of this week, only 0.27% of people fully vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine had later become infected — compared with 0.15% of Pfizer-BioNTech recipients and 0.09% of those who got Moderna.

Ferrer said the figures are more “compelling evidence on how effective the vaccines are.”

“We can feel very confident saying that all three vaccines continue to perform well protecting people — particularly from serious illness and death and certainly even from getting infected,” she said during a briefing call with reporters.

Get breaking news, investigations, analysis and more signature journalism from the Los Angeles Times in your inbox.

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.

Luke Money is a Metro reporter covering breaking news at the Los Angeles Times. He previously was a reporter and assistant city editor for the Daily Pilot, a Times Community News publication in Orange County, and before that wrote for the Santa Clarita Valley Signal. He earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Arizona.

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