WSJ: are #coronavirus vaccines riskier than advertised?

Wall Street Journal opinion: “not a single published study has demonstrated that patients with a prior infection benefit from Covid-19 vaccination. That this isn’t readily acknowledged by the CDC or Anthony Fauci is an indication of how deeply entangled pandemic politics is in science.”

WSJ Opinion: Are Covid Vaccines Riskier Than Advertised?

 

Israel: 50% vaccine breakthrough for #coronavirus cases in the last month

 

 

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

 

 

Russia: #coronavirus revaccination planned for Moscow

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin has said that revaccination against coronavirus in the capital will take place with the Sputnik Light vaccine, which is also planned to be used to vaccinate labor migrants.

“It is vitally important to start revaccination now. Therefore, we will work with the government so that they quickly make a decision on the timing and technology. Revaccination will be the first component of the vaccine. If there was Sputnik, then the first component of Sputnik. There are no other options yet.” –

He said that the first component of Sputnik Light is planned to begin vaccination of labor migrants working in Moscow.

“Now the production of Sputnik Light has begun. In fact, this is the first component of the classic Sputnik . Most likely, we will receive permission to use it to vaccinate migrants,” Sobyanin wrote. He added that “according to our calculations, this will happen in early July, maybe even earlier.”

The Russian Ministry of Health clarified that Sputnik V and Sputnik Light are suitable for revaccination.

Moscow Mayor’s blog

 

Russia: New “Moscow” #coronavirus strain is Delta – Московский штамм коронавируса – Дельта

 

 

Photo by Nikita Ermilov on Unsplash

Russia: New “Moscow” #coronavirus strain is Delta – Московский штамм коронавируса – Дельта

Russian newspapers are still referring to a new “Moscow” strain of Sars-CoV-2, however it seems that the strain may simply be Delta (B.1.617.2).

Lenta.ru reports:

A modified Indian [Delta] strain of coronavirus was found in Moscow. This was announced by the head of the Gamaleya Center, Alexander Gintsburg”. 

“В Москве нашли измененный индийский штамм коронавируса. Об этом сообщил глава центра имени Гамалеи Александр Гинцбург.” Lenta .ru

 

But an Interfax report states that “Almost 90% of residents of the capital [Moscow] with coronavirus have an Indian [Delta] strain of the disease, said Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin.

“The latest data that we received is that 89.3% have contracted a mutated coronavirus, the so-called ‘Delta’ is an Indian strain,” the mayor said in an interview with Channel One.

Почти у 90% заболевших коронавирусом жителей столицы выявлен индийский штамм заболевания, сообщил мэр Москвы Сергей Собянин.

“Последние данные, которые мы получили, – 89,3% заболели коронавирусом мутированным, так называемая “дельта” – это индийский штамм”, – сказал мэр в интервью Первому каналу.

Interfax.ru report

 

Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin said that this strain spreads faster and is also more aggressive than others. According to the mayor, in order to resist this disease, the level of antibodies in humans must be twice as high as necessary for the “Wuhan” variant of the coronavirus. “In fact, we are starting to go through this story anew and with more serious consequences.”

 

 

Russia: “Moscow” #coronavirus variant – 1,705 new patients, 468 on ventilators, 71 deaths in one city in one day

 

Russia: “Moscow” #coronavirus variant strain announced

Russia: “Moscow” #coronavirus variant strain announced

“In the capital Moscow, there is now an increase in the incidence of COVID-19, which is higher than the average in Russia. According to Russian Immunologist Vladimir Bolibok, the new strain caused the growth of Covid patients. It can be called the “Moscow” strain.
The most important reason for the increase in coronavirus infections, in all likelihood, could be the emergence of our own, Moscow, strain,” says Bolibok.

According to him, this COVID-19 mutation began to spread within Russia. Perhaps the strain did not originate in Moscow itself, but once in a metropolis, it began to spread rapidly.

The immunologist also noted that there may be an increase in the number of deaths due to the fact that the usual treatment regimens do not work. Bolibok cited the words of the head physician of the hospital in Kommunarka Denis Protsenko, who had previously spoken about younger and more severe patients.

The Gamaleya Research Center noted that it is too early to make official statements on the “Moscow” strain of COVID-19. Dr. Anatoly Altstein confirmed the beginning of the third wave of coronavirus, but it may also be caused by imported strains. In any case, the new mutation of the virus is more infectious.

** No details have been released on the lineage of the variant yet. We are assuming the Russians have already ruled out the Delta variant as being responsible for the upsurge.

Pravda.ru report (in Russian)

 

** UPDATE 1 **

Director of the Gamaleya Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology, Alexander Gintsburg, did not answer the question about the effectiveness of the Sputnik V vaccine against the “Moscow” strain of COVID-19. According to him, research is being carried out in this direction.

Pravda.ru again

 

Иммунолог Владимир Болибок рассказал о появлении нового штамма коронавируса в России. По словам врача, его можно назвать “московским”.

В столице сейчас наблюдается рост заболеваемости COVID-19, который выше, чем в среднем по России. По словам Болибока, новый штамм и стал причиной роста “ковидных” больных

“Самой главной причиной роста заражений коронавирусом, по всей вероятности, могло стать возникновение нашего собственного, московского, штамма”, — приводит URA.RU слова Болибока.

По его словам, эта мутация COVID-19 стала распространяться внутри России. Возможно, штамм возник не в самой Москве, но попав в мегаполис, стал быстро распространяться.

Также иммунолог отметил, что может наблюдаться повышение количества смертей из-за того, что привычные схемы лечения не срабатывают. Болибок привёл слова главврача больницы в Коммунарке Дениса Проценко, который ранее говорил о более молодых и более тяжёлых пациентах.

 

Russia: New “Moscow” #coronavirus strain is Delta – Московский штамм коронавируса – Дельта

 

Russia: #coronavirus revaccination planned for Moscow

 

Russia: “Moscow” #coronavirus variant – 1,705 new patients, 468 on ventilators, 71 deaths in one city in one day

 

 

 

Image by Khusen Rustamov from Pixabay

USA: #coronavirus vaccine breakthrough infections are potentially contagious

Researchers reported that among 20 fully-vaccinated healthcare workers with vaccine breakthrough COVID-19 cases, all were infected with coronavirus variants. An earlier study had linked breakthrough infections with low viral loads, suggesting low transmission risks, but “we found many samples in our breakthrough cohort with high viral load,” said coauthor Pavitra Roychoudhury of the University of Washington. CONTAGIOUS: “Our work suggests that not all breakthrough infections are at low risk of initiating transmission and, if they did, these infections could lead to the continued spread of variants of concern, particularly in areas with low vaccination rates.”

The CDC has genetic data for virus samples from 555 vaccine breakthrough infections. Mutated variants of the coronavirus, including those first seen in the UK and South Africa, accounted for 64% of the breakthroughs.

Vancouver Sun report

Medrxix preprint – Variants of concern are overrepresented among post-vaccination breakthrough infections of SARS-CoV-2 in Washington State

VICTIMS: “Vaccine-Induced Covid-19 Mimicry Syndrome”

FT: “the vaccines send the DNA gene sequences of the spike protein into the cell … Once inside the cell nucleus, certain parts of the spike protein splice, or split apart

During the last months many countries have started the immunization of millions of people by using vector-based vaccines. Unfortunately, severe side effects became overt during these vaccination campaigns: cerebral venous sinus thromboses (CVST), absolutely rare under normal life conditions, were found as a severe side effect that occured 4-14 days after first vaccinations. Besides CVST, Splanchnic Vein Thrombosis (SVT) was also observed. This type of adverse event has not been observed in the clinical studies of AstraZeneca, and therefore led immediately to a halt in vaccinations in several european countries.

These events were mostly associated with thrombocytopenia, and thus, similar to the well-known Heparin-induced thrombo­cytopenia (HIT). Meanwhile, scientists have proposed a mechanism to explain this vaccine-induced thrombocytopenia. However, they do not provide a satisfactory explanation for the late thromboembolic events. Here, we present data that may explain these severe side effects which have been attributed to adenoviral vaccines.

According to our results, transcription of wildtype and codon-optimized Spike open reading frames enables alternative splice events that lead to C-terminal truncated, soluble Spike protein variants. These soluble Spike variants may initiate severe side effects when binding to ACE2-expressing endothelial cells in blood vessels. In analogy to the thromboembolic events caused by Spike protein encoded by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, we termed the underlying disease mechanism the “Vaccine-Induced Covid-19 Mimicry” syndrome (VIC19M syndrome).

Researchgate paper “Vaccine-Induced Covid-19 Mimicry Syndrome: Splice reactions within the SARS-CoV-2 Spike open reading frame result in Spike protein variants that may cause thromboembolic events in patients immunized with vector-based vaccines”.

FT Article  “Scientists claim to have solved Covid vaccine blood-clot puzzle”

 

 

Image by v-a-n-3-ss-a from Pixabay

Bahrain: #coronavirus cases surge to new high despite 40% of population being fully vaccinated

Bahrain, a country of just 1.7 million people, recorded 3,177 new COVID-19 infections and 11 deaths on Sunday 23rd May 2021. The country has now had to more than 218,000 coronavirus cases with over 800 deaths. Earlier this month authorities said they would expand the country’s vaccination campaign to include adolescents aged 12-17. There seems to be two main variants in Bahrain – B.1.351 and B.1.617.2 – which account for nearly half of all infections

Bahrain offers citizens and residents four vaccines free of charge: the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, China’s Sinopharm, the AstraZeneca vaccine and Russia’s Sputnik V.  The Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine has also been approved for emergency use.

Reuters report

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image by onasama from Pixabay

 

 

Brazil rejects the Russian Gamaleya Vaccine – “still has replication-competent adenovirus in it”

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.

Sciencemag.org report

Brazil Government slides outlining the decision (PDF)

 

Slovakia: The Sputnik V #coronavirus vaccine batches used in the preclinical tests and clinical studies published in the Lancet do not have the same characteristics and properties as the vaccine batches imported into Slovakia

The vaccine batches used in the preclinical tests and clinical studies published in the Lancet do not have the same characteristics and properties as the vaccine batches imported into Slovakia. According to published reports, Sputnik V should be used in about 40 countries around the world, but these vaccines are only associated with the name. The comparability and consistency of different batches produced at different locations has not been demonstrated. In several cases, they appear to be vaccines with different properties (lyophilisate versus solution, single-dose ampoules versus multi-dose vials, different storage conditions, composition and method of manufacture).

The assessment of quality, efficacy and safety is always performed separately for a specific vaccine in a specific pharmaceutical form and composition. Therefore, information on the use of Sputnik V in other countries cannot be applied to batches of vaccine imported into Slovakia.

Spravy.pravda.sk report

 

Image by Lubos Houska from Pixabay

France: Scientists recommend changing #coronavirus vaccination technique after AstraZeneca thrombosis investigation

Thus, one of the hypotheses linking the vaccine to the occurrence of severe thrombosis could be an accidental intravenous injection which, in the presence of factors not fully identified, would generate a discordant immune reaction with activation of the platelets, potentially associated with a NET effect or with a decrease in the level of ACE2 on the surface of endothelial cells, leading to an increased risk of thrombosis. A simple way to overcome this hypothetical accidental intravascular injection could be to verify the absence of blood return during vaccination [aspiration], which is not currently recommended by the [French] Ministry of Health

 

Original excerpt In French:

Ainsi, l’une des hypothèses liant le vaccin à la survenue de thrombose grave pourrait être une injection intraveineuse accidentelle qui, en présence de facteurs non intégralement identifiés, engendrerait une réaction immunitaire discordante avec activation des plaquettes, potentiellement associé à un effet NET ou à une diminution du taux d’ACE2 à la surface des cellules endothéliales, conduisant à un sur-risque thrombotique.

Un moyen simple de pallier cette hypothétique injection intravasculaire accidentelle pourrait être de vérifier l’absence de retour sanguin lors de la vaccination, ce que ne recommande actuellement pas le ministère de la santé

From a technically detailed report by “Du côté de la science” (On the side of science) – In French

 

See also: Denmark’s SSI recommends changes to syringe injection method for #coronavirus vaccines

See also: Adenovirus-induced thrombocytopenia – aspiration before vaccination with #coronavirus vaccines!

 

Two-thirds of epidemiologists warn mutations could render current #coronavirus vaccines ineffective in a year or less

In a survey of 77 epidemiologists from 28 countries, carried out by The People’s Vaccine Alliance, two-thirds thought that we had a year or less before the virus mutates to the extent that the majority of first-generation vaccines are rendered ineffective and new or modified vaccines are required. Of those surveyed, almost a third gave a timeframe of nine months or less. Fewer than one in eight said they believed that mutations would never render the current vaccines ineffective. 

The overwhelming majority —88 percent— said that persistent low vaccine coverage in many countries would make it more likely for vaccine resistant mutations to appear.

Oxfam report

 

Image by Ian Ingalula from Pixabay

Denmark’s SSI recommends changes to syringe injection method for #coronavirus vaccines

“Usually one does not need to aspirate before injecting a vaccine. However, in the context of investigating a possible association between injection of covid-19 vaccine from AstraZeneca and the occurrence of rare but severe cases of blood clots and bleeding, SSI recommends, for the time being, on a precautionary principle, to aspirate before administration. This applies to all the approved covid-19 vaccines, both for injection into the deltoid muscle, but also for the alternative option of injection into the vastus lateralis muscle, if injection into the deltoid muscle is not possible.”

SSI new vaccination recommendations

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Update from Berlingske.dk

After problems with blood clots: Statens Serum Institut recommends new vaccine technology

Several Danish doctors have expressed concern that a widespread technique may have been one of the reasons why several people around Europe have developed fatal blood clots after being injected with the corona vaccine from AstraZeneca.

Corona vaccines must be injected into the muscle, intramuscularly as it is called. And to make sure that the needle has not hit a blood vessel instead, it is now recommended that you pull the plunger back a little to see if blood is included. If this happens, you must insert again before injecting the vaccine.

Usually it is not necessary to withdraw the plunger to give a vaccine, writes SSI, but so far it is the newly recommended method. The Danish Health and Medicines Authority has long recommended the same method.

France: Scientists recommend changing #coronavirus vaccination technique after AstraZeneca thrombosis investigation

Czech president blames country’s #coronavirus deaths on refusal to use Sputnik V and Sinopharm vaccines

President Miloš Zeman is calling for the county’s health minister and state drug agency director to be removed from office for rejecting the use of the Russian coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, which has not yet received EU approval. In an interview on Wednesday, the Czech head of state also advocated not waiting for Brussels to act before using the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm.

Full Radio Prague International report

 

Image by Jakub Hruška from Pixabay

Lancet report: “interim analysis of the phase 3 trial of Gam-COVID-Vac [#SputnikV] showed 91·6% efficacy against #COVID19”

“Between Sept 7 and Nov 24, 2020, 21 977 adults were randomly assigned to the vaccine group (n=16 501) or the placebo group (n=5476). 19 866 received two doses of vaccine or placebo and were included in the primary outcome analysis. From 21 days after the first dose of vaccine (the day of dose 2), 16 (0·1%) of 14 964 participants in the vaccine group and 62 (1·3%) of 4902 in the placebo group were confirmed to have COVID-19; vaccine efficacy was 91·6% (95% CI 85·6–95·2). Most reported adverse events were grade 1 (7485 [94·0%] of 7966 total events). 45 (0·3%) of 16 427 participants in the vaccine group and 23 (0·4%) of 5435 participants in the placebo group had serious adverse events; none were considered associated with vaccination, with confirmation from the independent data monitoring committee. Four deaths were reported during the study (three [<0·1%] of 16 427 participants in the vaccine group and one [<0·1%] of 5435 participants in the placebo group), none of which were considered related to the vaccine.
Interpretation.

This interim analysis of the phase 3 trial of Gam-COVID-Vac showed 91·6% efficacy against COVID-19 and was well tolerated in a large cohort.”

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)00191-4/fulltext

 

Image by Triggermouse from Pixabay