A small-scale study on 113 healthcare workers who had received at least one vaccine dose at a private hospital in Delhi found that 18 tested positive for Covid but all except one had mild symptoms. Of the 113 in the study, 107 had received the second dose of the vaccine.
Taken in percentage form, the study found that breakthrough infections — Covid infection in vaccinated individuals — occurred in 15.9 per cent (18 persons) of the vaccinated individuals and 95 per cent had mild symptoms. Of these, 17 incurred the infection after the second dose. According to the study, of the breakthrough infections in 18 persons, 17 incurred the infection after the second dose. These 17 had got their second dose after a mean of 34.8 days following the first jab.
The Maldives Health Protection Agency revealed on Sunday that three out of five samples tested in Greater Male’ Area result in a COVID positive case. Within a two week period, HPA said, the positivity rate at flu clinics have increased by four times.
Maldives is currently in its worst COVID wave to date. With 9,433 active cases, this is the highest the figure has been. Currently, 250 people are hospitalized, Maldives have seen 84 fatalities so far. In February 2020, Maldives started it’s vaccination program, and so far 300,906 people from a population of 531,000 have been given the first dose of the vaccine while 130,886 people have received the second dose.
On average, 80 children below the age of 10 are found to be positive EVERY DAY. This includes 4 to 5 children who are less than a year old.
Definitely a new strain. Looks more infective. Affecting the lungs more vigorously. Deteriorates faster.
1. Reduce your contact bubble.
2. Mask up Maldives!
3. A clean hands.
Above all pray to Allah#MaskupMaldives
— Dr. Mohamed Ali (@Moxamedalu) May 7, 2021
Five residents of a care home in Borsbeek in Antwerp province have been infected with the so-called Indian variants of Covid-19, according to the Flemish Agency for Health and Care. One of those affected has died. All of the home’s residents have been fully vaccinated.
In three of the cases involved in the new outbreak, the Indian variant has been confirmed, and it is supposed the same goes for the other two. One has since died, and another is in hospital.
Between Jan. 1 and April 28, California public health officials recorded 3,084 breakthrough cases of COVID-19 in people who were fully vaccinated. That’s out of 12.9 million people who were fully vaccinated. “As more time passes and more people are fully vaccinated, it is likely that additional post-vaccination cases will occur,” the California Department of Public Health said in a statement. “The number of post-vaccination cases remains small.”
Early indications from an analysis of the growth of the B.1.617 variant of the Covid-19 virus has shown it to be at least twice as infectious as the UK variant and thrice as infectious as the variant behind last year’s Covid-19 wave.
Scientists involved in the whole genome sequencing as part of the Centre’s Covid-19 genomic surveillance exercise told The New Indian Express that this conclusion is based on the growth of this mutant, as compared to others, in districts where B.1.617 has been identified along with other variants in samples collected from infected individuals.
“We have been examining this data carefully and the way this lineage of virus, also called the double mutant, is growing as compared to others is remarkable,” said a senior scientist involved in the INSACOG project, a consortium of several institutions under the National Centre for Disease Control that carry out an extensive genomic surveillance. “For the public, what needs to be communicated very clearly is that there is a greater need to double mask and maintain social distancing as this virus is highly infectious.
** Update ** Tom Wenseleers: “Based on this data, the new variant from India has a very big transmission or growth advantage,” even over B.1.1.7, he says. “It’s kind of like the U.K. variant squared.”
“As part of the review of the regular pandemic summary safety reports for Vaxzevria, AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine, the PRAC is analysing data provided by the marketing authorisation holder on cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS)  reported following vaccination. GBS is an immune system disorder that causes nerve inflammation and can result in pain, numbness, muscle weakness and difficulty walking. GBS was identified during the marketing authorisation process as a possible adverse event requiring specific safety monitoring activities. PRAC has requested the marketing authorisation holder to provide further detailed data, including an analysis of all the reported cases in the context of the next pandemic summary safety report.”
The Seychelles, which has fully vaccinated over 60% of its population against Covid-19, is bringing back restrictions amid a rise in cases. The archipelago of nearly 100,000 people recorded close to 500 new cases in the three days to 1 May and has about 1,000 active cases. A third of the active cases involved people who have had two vaccine doses, the country’s news agency said. The rest had either had a single dose or were unvaccinated.
There are currently 1,068 active Covid cases in the Seychelles, of which a third have been detected in people given two doses of either AstraZeneca’s or China’s Sinopharm’s vaccine. It unclear what has triggered the surge in cases but testing has detected the South African variant spreading on the islands. (Daily Mail report)
Graph courtesy of Ourworldindata.org
A veterinary pharmaceutical company has developed a coronavirus shot for animals, and ZooTampa at Lowry Park plans to protect the wildlife in its care with the vaccine. Zoo leaders recently decided to use a coronavirus shot developed by veterinary pharmaceutical company Zoetis.
“We’re not worried about birds, we’re not worried about reptiles; we’re only looking at mammals,” said a zoo spokesperson. “We are told dozens of animals could be on that list to get the vaccine, including primates, felines, bats, and smaller mammals related to the mink family.”
Alexander Gintsburg, head of the Gamaleya institute that developed Russia’s Sputnik V human vaccine, was quoted in Izvestia newspaper as saying COVID-19 was likely to hit animals next. “The next stage of the epidemic is the infection with the coronavirus of farm and domestic animals,” Gintsburg said.
Russia has produced the world’s first batch – 17,000 doses – of COVID-19 vaccines for animals, its agricultural regulator said on Friday. Russia registered Carnivac-Cov in March after tests showed it generated antibodies against COVID-19 in dogs, cats, foxes and mink.
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). Whole viral genome sequencing revealed several additional substitutions, including D796H, present in a guanine–cytosine–rich region not identified by targeted PCR. These substitutions may decrease sensitivity to convalescent serum11 and may have some unique noncoding changes as compared with the clades first identified in Wuhan, the United Kingdom, and New York City.
Although more detailed analysis of whole-genome sequencing from Patient 1 was undertaken, we could not conclude that the variant in this patient was a Pango lineage because it was only present in a single person.
Its closest links on the phylogenetic tree were the variant first identified in the United Kingdom (B.1.1.7) and the variant first identified in New York City (B.1.526), but with considerable differences. It will be of interest to determine whether this may have resulted from a recombination event between B.1.1.7 and B.1.526, as has been recently reported for recombination between the B.1.1.7 lineage and the “wild-type” lineage first identified in Wuhan. Alternatively, shared substitutions may be the result of convergent evolution.
In this study, we conducted genetic surveillance and identified R.1 lineage harboring E484K mutation in RBD by whole genome sequencing. The R.1 lineage was observed in three patients and transmitted among relatives in Japan. To investigate the global distribution of R.1 lineage, we next collected registration data from the EpiCoV of GISAID database . As of March 5, 2021, a total of 305 samples of R.1 lineage had been registered from all over the world, with the majority spread in the USA (44%, 135/305) and Japan (28%, 84/305) (Figure 1A and Table 1). R.1 lineage was first reported in Texas, USA at the end of October 2020, and was found in Japan at the end of November 2020. The number of detected lineages has changed in a similar trend between the USA, Japan and other countries (Figure 1A), implying that SARS-CoV-2 R.1 lineage may have emerged in several regions at approximately the same time.
It is important to note that reported vaccine breakthrough cases will represent an undercount. This surveillance system is passive and relies on voluntary reporting from state health departments which may not be complete. Also, not all real-world breakthrough cases will be identified because of lack of testing. This is particularly true in instances of asymptomatic or mild illness. These surveillance data are a snapshot and help identify patterns and look for signals among vaccine breakthrough cases.
New Hampshire has identified 52 vaccine breakthrough cases with additional suspected cases under investigation, said Jake Leon, spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services. Of those 52 cases, two people have died, Leon said.
Nationally over 7,157 of the 87 million people vaccinated had a breakthrough illness as of April 20 and one percent of that group had died, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC says women make up 64 percent of the breakthrough cases; above age 60 it was 46 percent of the cases, and having an asymptomatic infection was found in 31 percent of the cases.
Brazil have turned down the Russian Gamaleya Sputnik V vaccine. There are questions raised about the manufacturing and scale-up processes. Anvisa, the Brazilian drug agency, also said that every single lot of the AD5 Gamaleya Sputnik V shot that they have data on appears to still have replication-competent adenovirus in it.