Will Your Vaccine Work Against Delta?

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Bloomberg 04 July, 2021 - 09:33am 22 views

Deborah Carmichael, the mother of now-deceased 45-year-old Tricia Jones, is speaking out and urging those hesitant about the vaccine to get the jab after losing her daughter in June. She spoke to Kansas City's news channel Fox 4 WDAF-TV about her daughter's death and vaccine hesitancy in an interview broadcast this week.

"She was afraid of the side effects, I think. You hear a lot of horror stories. I, myself, when I had the shot, it was rough, so it scared her and freaked her out. So she didn't want to do it. I couldn't convince her," Carmichael told the Missouri news channel.

Jones, who resided in Grain Valley, was a mother of two, including her 18-year-old daughter Adriana, who just graduated from high school. The teen told Fox 4 that her mother was her "best friend."

Carmichael urged everyone to take the pandemic seriously and get vaccinated. "Please take this seriously. You don't want to see a family member you love go through this," she said.

Jones was reportedly hospitalized on May 9. She was then placed on a ventilator and died on June 9.

"After she got it, she said, 'Mom you were right, about the shot, about masks, being diligent and all that.' I was like, 'I don't want to be right. I want you to be well. That's all that matters,'" Carmichael said.

Missouri continues to have one of the lowest vaccination rates in the U.S., ranking above just 11 other states, according to a New York Times tracker. Just under 56 percent of the state's adult residents have received at least one shot of the vaccine while just under 49 percent are fully vaccinated. Comparatively, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont have more than 70 percent of their adult populations fully vaccinated. Experts have posited that about 70 percent of a population needs to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to achieve herd immunity.

A survey conducted by Gallup from May 18 to 23 found that about a quarter (24 percent) of U.S. adults do not plan to get vaccinated. Of those in the vaccine hesitant group, 78 percent said they are "unlikely" to change their mind about the vaccine while 51 percent said they are "not likely at all" to adjust their plans regarding vaccination against COVID-19.

Public health officials, religious leaders and lawmakers have repeatedly assured the public that the vaccines are safe and highly effective at preventing severe COVID-19. Former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden have both received the vaccine and have urged all U.S. adults to follow their example.

Newsweek reached out to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services for comment.

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Delta variant hits the First Coast

First Coast News 04 July, 2021 - 12:06pm

Single Dose Enough For Covid-Survivors: ICMR - Gulte

Gulte 03 July, 2021 - 09:22pm

Until a few days ago, the new Delta Plus variant, which has been formed due to a mutation in the Delta or B.1.617.2 variant, was not a concern due to low incidence. But the rapid increase in the severity of the disease due to the new variant has once again left all of us to where it started.

The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) conducted research and came to a conclusion that all covid-19 survivors who have received one or both doses of vaccine exhibit higher protection against the Delta variant when compared to those who have taken one or two doses of Covishield.

The new study is based on how the humoral and cellular immune response is playing a pivotal role in protection against the Delta variant. The new variant has increased transmissibility and virulence than other mutated strains so far. “Prior vaccination results in less severe disease against subsequent infection provide evidence that both humoral and cellular immune response plays an important role in protection,” the ICMR report stated.

The research suggests that even one dose of vaccine in a Covid-recovered patient is sufficient to protect against a coronavirus re-infection and can also shield an individual against new variants. This is because the survivors will have a high neutralizing antibody count.

The vaccines that are present in the market are also said to have given rise to robust humoral and cellular immune responses against the coronavirus. However, in the Delta variant infecting people, even after two shots of Covid-19 vaccines, it is “crucial to continuously evaluate vaccine-induced humoral immunity to SARS-CoV-2, immunity following natural infection, and the phenomenon of breakthrough infection to understand the immune escape” due to emerging variants of concern (VOCs).

The Delta Plus variant of Covid-19 is the sub-lineage of the highly transmissible Delta variant that was a major contributor to the second wave of infections. The Health Ministry categorised the Delta Plus variant or B.1.617.2.1 of the coronavirus as a Variant of Concern (VOC) and directed states to take up immediate containment measures. Currently, India reported more than 60 Delta Plus cases and this worries it would trigger another wave of infections in the country.

Tags Corona Patients Corona Vaccine Covid-19 ICMR

Europe in vaccination race against COVID-19’s delta variant

Honolulu Star-Advertiser 03 July, 2021 - 02:35pm

People ride the escalator in the subway amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in St. Petersburg, Russia. Countries across Europe are scrambling to accelerate coronavirus vaccinations to outpace the spread of the delta variant in a high-stakes race to prevent hospital wards from filling up again with patients fighting for their lives. Daily new case numbers are already climbing sharply in countries like the United Kingdom, Portugal and Russia.

People wearing face masks to protect against the spread of coronavirus, walk along a commercial street in downtown Madrid, Spain. Countries across Europe are scrambling to accelerate coronavirus vaccinations to outpace the spread of the delta variant in a high-stakes race to prevent hospital wards from filling up again with patients fighting for their lives.

LISBON, PORTUGAL >> Countries across Europe are scrambling to accelerate coronavirus vaccinations and outpace the spread of the more infectious delta variant, in a high-stakes race to prevent hospital wards from filling up again with patients fighting for their lives.

The urgency coincides with Europe’s summer holidays, with fair weather bringing more social gatherings and governments reluctant to clamp down on them. Social distancing is being neglected, especially among the young, and some countries are scrapping the requirement to wear masks outdoors.

Incentives for people to get shots include free groceries, travel and entertainment vouchers, and prize drawings. The president of Cyprus even appealed to a sense of patriotism.

The risk of infection from the delta variant is “high to very high” for partially or unvaccinated communities, according to the European Centre for Disease Control, which monitors 30 countries on the continent. It estimates that by the end of August, the variant will account for 90% of cases in the European Union’s 27 nations.

“It is very important to progress with the vaccine rollout at a very high pace,” the ECDC warned.

The World Health Organization is also concerned. The variant makes transmission growth “exponential,” according to Maria Van Kerkhove, its technical lead on COVID-19.

Daily new case numbers are already climbing sharply in countries like the United Kingdom, Portugal and Russia.

In the U.K., cases of the delta variant have increased fourfold in less than a month, with confirmed cases Friday up 46% on the previous week.

Portuguese health authorities this week reported a “vertiginous” rise in the delta variant, which accounted for only 4% of cases in May but almost 56% in June. The country is reporting its highest number of daily cases since February, and the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals has surpassed 500 for the first time since early April.

Reports of new infections in Russia more than doubled in June, topping 20,000 per day this week, and new deaths hit 697 on Saturday, the fifth day in a row that the daily death toll set a record.

Still, “no one wants any lockdowns,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov at a briefing, although he admitted that the virus situation in a number of Russian regions is “tense.”

In some countries, the virus is spreading much faster among younger people. In Spain, the national 14-day case notification rate per 100,000 people rose to 152 on Friday. But for the 20-29 age group, it shot up to 449.

Those numbers have triggered alarm across the continent.

The Dutch government is extending its vaccination program to those aged 12-17 to help head off a feared new surge. Greece is offering young adults 150 euros ($177) in credit after their first jab. Rome authorities are mulling the use of vans to vaccinate people at the beach. And Poland last week launched a lottery open only to adults who are fully vaccinated, with new cars among the prizes.

Portuguese authorities have extended the hours of vaccination centers, created new walk-in clinics, called up the armed forces to help run vaccination operations, and reduced the period between taking the two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from 12 weeks to eight weeks.

“We’re in a race against the clock,” Cabinet Minister Mariana Vieira da Silva said.

In the fight against vaccine hesitancy across Europe, the appearance of variants has fed public uncertainty about how effective the shots are. In Madrid this week, Claudia Aguilar, a 58-year-old archaeologist, got her second Pfizer-BioNTech jab at an auditorium that is expanding its working hours overnight.

Nevertheless, she said she is “not sure I’ll really be immune” against future variants.

“I mean, I’m a bit skeptical that this is going to do any good,” Aguilar said.

Bartender Yevgeniya Chernyshkova lined up for a shot at Moscow’s GUM department store just off Red Square after the Russian government required vaccinations for workers in some sectors.

“Now, it’s becoming mandatory and we all understand why — because the third wave of the pandemic has started here,” she said.

Fifteen months after WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic, some governments appear more open to rewarding public patience than thinking about bringing back restrictions.

Some 40,000 fans went to England’s European Championship soccer match against Germany at London’s Wembley Stadium last week. In Portugal, new restrictions have been half-hearted, such as limiting restaurant opening hours on weekend nights.

In Moscow, however, restaurants, bars and cafes on Monday began admitting only customers who have been vaccinated, recovered from COVID-19 in the past six months or can provide a negative test in the previous 72 hours.

France lifted the last of its major restrictions Wednesday, allowing unlimited crowds in restaurants, at weddings and most cultural events despite fast-rising cases of the delta variant.

Tiago Correia, an associate professor at Lisbon’s Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, detects a mood of public impatience, especially among young people keen to enjoy warm summer nights.

“People want to return to normal more quickly than the vaccination rollout is happening,” he said.

The emerging variants have shone a light on the unprecedented scale of the immunization programs. The ECDC says in the countries it surveys, 61% of people over 18 have had one shot and 40% are completely vaccinated.

But Dr. Hans Kluge, the head of the WHO’s Europe office, cautioned this week that the delta variant is poised to become dominant by August in the 53-country region his office covers. And he notes that 63% of people in that region haven’t had a first jab.

“The three conditions for a new wave of excess hospitalizations and deaths before the (fall) are therefore in place: New variants, deficit in vaccine uptake, increased social mixing,” Kluge said.

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