New York: 66,200 vaccine breakthrough cases, 5,604 hospitalizations

New York’s overall vaccine breakthrough case count had reached about 66,200, including 5,604 hospitalizations, newly reported state numbers show.

Earlier in the year, between early May and July 25, 2021, the number of COVID-19 infections among fully vaccinated New Yorkers totalled 9,675, with 1,271 hospitalizations. report




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Cornell University: 95% Covid vaccinated, 322 infections in one week

Cornell University, which has a population of around 40,000 and a 95% Covid-19 vaccination rate, was declared a “yellow zone” after their first week of classes because 322 people there tested positive for the coronavirus during the opening “surveillance testing.”  

During the first week of classes this year, 95% of those tested had both COVID shots. However, last year during the same period, before the rollout of the experimental medical products, five times fewer positive coronavirus cases were recorded. report



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USA: At least 125,000 vaccine breakthrough infections, 1,400 dead

At least 125,000 fully vaccinated Americans have tested positive for Covid and 1,400 of those have died, according to data collected by NBC News.  The total number of breakthrough cases is likely higher than 125,683, since nine states, including Pennsylvania and Missouri, did not provide any information, while 11, like Florida, did not provide death and hospitalization totals. Four states gave death and hospitalization numbers, but not the full tally of cases.

NBC report


WAPO: 35,000 symptomatic Covid-19 infections per week among 162 million vaccinated Americans

Preprint: Cryptic Sars-CoV-2 Lineages Detected in NYC Wastewater – Possible Animal Reservoir Detected

Researchers find signs of Covid-19 mutations in NYC sewage, pointing to possible dog and rat infections.  After months of testing and re-testing, they found four combinations of COVID mutations that, when compared to a global database of more than 2.5 million sequenced variants, had not been seen before. The four variants are at least somewhat antibody-resistant, which could reduce the effectiveness of vaccines, the researchers found.

As with other animals, COVID-19 could be infecting dogs and rats, leading to new mutations and an outbreak in New York City’s sewers. While animal-to-human transmission of the virus is exceedingly rare, it has been seen in the U.S. in minks

These lineages contain mutations rarely observed in clinical samples, including Q493K, Q498Y, H519N and T572N. Many of these mutations were found to expand the tropism of SARS-CoV-2 pseudoviruses by allowing infection of cells expressing the human, mouse, or rat ACE2 receptor. report

MedrXiv paper: Tracking Cryptic Sars-CoV-2 Lineages Detected in NYC Wastewater


USA: Sars-CoV-2 antibodies detected in 33% of White-Tailed Deer samples

USA: Sars-CoV-2 antibodies detected in 33% of White-Tailed Deer samples

Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 33% of the 481 samples collected from January 2020 through 2021. None of the deer populations surveyed showed signs of clinical illness associated with SARS-CoV-2.  Results of the study indicate that certain white-tailed deer populations in Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania were exposed to SARS-CoV-2.

It is important to note that this surveillance was designed to determine exposure of deer to SARS-CoV-2 in their natural environment. It was not designed to determine whether the deer were replicating and shedding SARS-CoV-2. report

UPDATE 22/08/2021

The Biorxiv preprint of the deer study does contain two interesting paragraphs that refer to Sars-CoV-2 positive tests in white tailed deer in 2019 and early 2020:

“Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 were detected in 40% of the 2021 surveillance samples (Table 1).  Antibodies were also detected in three samples from 2020 and one sample from 2019. No detections were observed in samples from 2011-2018. The results from the sVNT screening showed high concordance with those obtained by VNT (Table 1). Specifically, 24/24 of 2021 detections and 24/24 of 2021 negatives were concordant for sVNT compared to VNT.

Most of the positive samples from 2021 had percent inhibition values between 80-100% while the 2019-2020 positive samples had relatively low percent inhibition values (30.03-43.72, Figure 1). Percent inhibition scores ≥30 are considered positive for this assay. Low percent inhibition could represent potential waxing/waning immunity, non-specific antibody binding, or cross-reactivity from exposure to unknown endemic coronaviruses. The three positive samples from 2020 were collected in January, very early in the pandemic. In fact, the majority of the 2020 samples that were available for testing were from January-March, with only 21 samples collected later in the year, 20 of which were collected in October from a single location. Consequently, we have limited information on prevalence over time in 2020. 

Preprint: SARS-CoV-2 exposure in wild white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) 


Gamaleya Institute: ‘The next stage of the epidemic is the infection with the #coronavirus of farm and domestic animals’


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Bruce Springsteen concert – those with Astrazeneca #coronavirus vaccines not invited

Bruce Springsteen has laid down strict rules for attendees of Springsteen on Broadway, which reopens on 26 June at the St James theatre in New York. For admission, ticket holders must be able to prove they have received one of the three Covid-19 vaccinations with emergency use authorisation from the US FDA: the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson.

This means those who have had doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford jab, which is not approved for use in the US but is popular in Canada, the UK and other countries, will not be allowed in for what the show’s producers are billing “an intimate night with Bruce, his guitar, a piano and his stories”.

Guardian report


UK: Eric Clapton had a ‘disastrous reaction’ to AstraZeneca #coronavirus vaccination, made him fear he’d never play again


UK: Princess Michael of Kent is being treated for blood clots after receiving two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine



Image by Craig ONeal – The Boss~Live!, CC BY-SA 2.0,

USA: Breathe – The Covid-19 musical

Why would anyone want to watch a 90-minute theatrical production about Covid-19 — especially one with scenes named after symptoms many of us have experienced firsthand? They are: Fever, Aches, Swelling & Irritation, Fatigue and Shortness of Breath.

About halfway through “Breathe,” a new musical created by the best-selling novelist Jodi Picoult and the veteran playwright Timothy Allen McDonald, a fed-up, locked-down father of three sums up the challenges of the pandemic in a two-word refrain: “It’s brutal!”. 

NYT report



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USA: three #coronavirus vaccine breakthrough cases at the New York Yankees – UPDATED: There are now EIGHT vaccine breakthrough cases at the Yankees

The New York Yankees defied vaccine odds when two coaches and a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 this week despite being fully vaccinated. The Yankees announced third-base coach Phil Nevin’s test results before the team’s 3-1 victory Tuesday over the the Tampa Bay Rays. After the game, the Yankees said first-base coach Reggie Willits and a staff member also had tested positive.

Hartford Health report


Update 13th May 2021: There are now EIGHT vaccine breakthrough cases at the New York Yankees



USA: 3,084 #coronavirus vaccine breakthrough cases in California


USA: 3,084 #coronavirus vaccine breakthrough cases in California



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NEJM: In two #coronavirus vaccine breakthrough cases “examination of the SARS-CoV-2 sequences revealed that both patients were infected with variant viruses” .. “neither sequence precisely fit any known clade”

Examination of the SARS-CoV-2 sequences revealed that both patients were infected with variant viruses. Rapid identification of sequence variants by targeted PCR amplification showed that neither sequence precisely fit any known clade. Some of the substitutions in Patient 1 (T95I, del144, E484K, A570D, D614G, P681H, and D796H) were shared with B.1.526 (T95I, E484K, and D614G6), and three substitutions were shared with Patient 2 (in whom the variants T95I, G142V and del144, F220I, R190T, R237K, R246T, and D614G were detected).

NEJM article  “Vaccine Breakthrough Infections with SARS-CoV-2 Variants”


Image by Daniel Roberts from Pixabay

Event 201 – A pandemic exercise hosted by Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on October 18, 2019, in New York, NY

Event 201 is a pandemic tabletop exercise hosted by The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in partnership with the World Economic Forum and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on October 18, 2019, in New York, NY

New #Coronavirus Variant #B1526 is spreading in New York City

A new form of the coronavirus is spreading rapidly in New York City, and it carries a worrisome mutation that may weaken the effectiveness of vaccines, two teams of researchers have found.

The new variant, called B.1.526, first appeared in samples collected in the city in November. By the middle of this month, it accounted for about one in four viral sequences appearing in a database shared by scientists.

One study of the new variant, led by a group at Caltech, was posted online on Tuesday. The other, by researchers at Columbia University, was published on Thursday morning.

New York Times Report

Caltech paper

Columbia University paper


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New York City #NYC public schools halt in-person classes as #COVID19 crisis deepens

New York City’s school district, the largest in the United States, will halt in-person learning starting on Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced, the latest major restriction as the nation’s COVID-19 infections soar.

“New York City has reached the 3% testing positivity 7-day average threshold. Unfortunately, this means public school buildings will be closed as of tomorrow, Thursday Nov. 19, out [of] an abundance of caution,” de Blasio wrote on Twitter. “We must fight back the second wave of COVID-19.”



Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

#NYC schools could close if #coronavirus positivity rate hits 3%

Facing a second wave of the coronavirus, New York City stands on the precipice of once again closing its classrooms. On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio warned that the public school system could close as early as Monday as the citywide seven-day average rate of positive test results increased to 2.83 percent. He has committed to closing the system if the rate reaches 3 percent.

Parents “should have an alternative plan beginning as early as Monday,” Mr. de Blasio said on “The Brian Lehrer Show” on WNYC.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

New York Times survey of more than 1,700 American colleges and universities reveals more than 252,000 #coronavirus cases and at least 80 deaths since the pandemic began

Thousands of new coronavirus cases continue to emerge on college campuses. A New York Times survey of more than 1,700 American colleges and universities — including every four-year public institution and every private college that competes in N.C.A.A. sports — has revealed more than 252,000 cases and at least 80 deaths since the pandemic began.

Most of the cases have been announced since students returned to campus for the fall term. Most of the deaths were reported in the spring and involved college employees, not students.

But at least three students — Jamain Stephens, a football player at California University of Pennsylvania; Chad Dorrill, a sophomore at Appalachian State; and Bethany Nesbitt, a student at Grace College — have died in recent weeks after contracting the virus.