USA, Maryland: “I went to a party with 14 other vaccinated people; 11 of us got COVID”

I’m an epidemiologist at a major medical research university.  I had gone to a house party in Montgomery County. There were 15 adults there, all of us fully vaccinated. The next day, our host started to feel sick. The day after that, she tested positive for COVID-19. At this point, 11 of the 15 have tested positive for COVID.

Baltimore Sun report

 

 

Image by Bruce Emmerling from Pixabay

USA: Washington State Vaccine Breakthroughs by Variant up to 4th August 2021

This week’s update from Washington State showing vaccine breakthrough cases and which Sars-CoV-2 variant is causing them up to 4th August 2021. Of note this week is another big jump for Delta B.1.617.2 vaccine breakthrough cases, which have increased from 254 to 405 in one week. Delta is now responsible for more breakthrough cases in Washington State than any other variant.  There are also further small increases in vaccine breakthrough cases for the Alpha and Gamma variants.

Vaccine Breakthroughs up to 4th August 2021

4th August 2021

Variant
LineageNumber of Vaccine
Breakthrough Cases
With Variant
Percentage of Vaccine
Breakthrough Cases With
Variant
Percentage of
Sequences From
All Covid-19
Cases With
Variant
Increase in
Number of
Breakthroughs
From Previous
Week
DeltaB.1.617.240535%10%151
AlphaB.1.1.734330%41%6
GammaP.117515%9%7
EpsilonB.1.42911610%15%0
IotaB.1.526272%3%1
EpsilonB.1.427111%2%0
BetaB.1.351101%1%0
EtaB.1.52540%0%0
KappaB.1.617.110%0%0
OtherOther504%19%-4
Total1142100%100%161

Vaccine Breakthroughs up to 28th July 2021

28th July 2021

Variant
LineageNumber of Vaccine
Breakthrough Cases
With Variant
Percentage of Vaccine
Breakthrough Cases With
Variant
Percentage of
Sequences From
All Covid-19
Cases With
Variant
Increase in
Number of
Breakthroughs
From Previous
Week
AlphaB.1.1.733734%43%29
GammaP.116817%10%12
EpsilonB.1.42911612%15%3
DeltaB.1.617.225426%7%141
IotaB.1.526263%3%4
BetaB.1.351101%1%0
EpsilonB.1.427111%2%0
EtaB.1.52540%0%0
KappaB.1.617.110%0%0
ZetaP.200%0%0
OtherOther546%18%4
Total981100%100%193

Vaccine Breakthroughs up to 21st July 2021

21st July 2021

Variant
LineageNumber of Vaccine
Breakthrough Cases
With Variant
Percentage of Vaccine
Breakthrough Cases With
Variant
Percentage of
Sequences From
All Covid-19
Cases With
Variant
Increase in
Number of
Breakthroughs
From Previous
Week
AlphaB.1.1.730839%44%-1
GammaP.115620%10%9
EpsilonB.1.42911314%16%0
DeltaB.1.617.211314%4%23
IotaB.1.526223%3%0
BetaB.1.351101%1%-1
EpsilonB.1.427111%2%0
EtaB.1.52541%0%0
KappaB.1.617.110%0%0
ZetaP.200%0%0
OtherOther506%19%0
Total788100%100%30

Vaccine Breakthroughs up to 14th July 2021

14th July 2021

Variant
LineageNumber of Vaccine
Breakthrough Cases
With Variant
Percentage of Vaccine
Breakthrough Cases With
Variant
Percentage of
Sequences From
All Covid-19
Cases With
Variant
Increase in
Number of
Breakthroughs
From Previous
Week
AlphaB.1.1.730941%44%12
GammaP.114719%10%6
EpsilonB.1.42911315%16%0
DeltaB.1.617.29012%4%20
IotaB.1.526223%3%1
BetaB.1.351111%1%0
EpsilonB.1.427111%2%0
EtaB.1.52541%0%0
KappaB.1.617.110%0%0
ZetaP.200%0%0
OtherOther496%20%0
Total757100%100%39

 

 

Image by Deborah Jackson from Pixabay

UK: Is Delta already making way for a fitter variant?

One thing that we have been keeping on eye on recently is the possible successor variant to Delta B.1.617.2 in the UK.  The Alpha B.1.1.7 variant had a shelf life of about 5 months before it was displaced by Delta. Will Delta have a similar shelf life?

Delta seems to have been on the wane in the UK over the couple of weeks, so is it already making way for a stronger, fitter variant? If it is, it won’t be long before that successor variant becomes apparent, and the removal of all Covid mitigations on UK “Freedom Day” has given it plenty of opportunity to spread quickly.

 

Below, Alpha had a shelf life of about 5 months in the UK. Delta already seems to be waning. What will take its place?

 

Below, Delta may have peaked worldwide, but there is no clear successor variant yet.

 

Below, It doesn’t look like the successor variant will be Delta AY.3 in the UK from this chart, but it’s too early to tell….

 

Below, Delta peaked in early May 2021 in India, but hasn’t immediately been followed by another stronger variant. The next variant could be waiting for a fall in the population’s antibody levels from the Delta wave which could take 3-6 months, creating an opportunity from August 2021 onwards. The shelf life for Delta in India, in a largely unvaccinated population, was just three months.

The problem for the UK government, though, is that by dropping all mitigations on 19th July 2021, they may have encouraged Delta to peak early and, as a consequence, left enough time for a second larger, and perhaps far worse, autumn or winter wave to form.

As we said in this post in on 16th July:

“According to the UK’s Chief Medical Officer, the idea is that a Covid-19 wave in the summer will prevent an even worse wave in the winter.  Our prediction is that Johnson will simply get two waves for the price of one – the wave he is promoting now, by removing all mitigations, and an even worse winter wave caused by yet another new variant.”

 

 

USA: AY.3 genomes increasing faster than Delta B.1.617.2

USA: Washington State Vaccine Breakthroughs by Variant up to 28th July 2021

This week’s update from Washington State showing vaccine breakthrough cases and which Sars-CoV-2 variant is causing them up to 28th July 2021. Of note this week is huge jump for Delta B.1.617.2 breakthrough cases, which have more than doubled in one week from 113 to 254. There are further increases in vaccine breakthroughs for other variants too.

Vaccine Breakthroughs up to 28th July 2021

28th July 2021

Variant
LineageNumber of Vaccine
Breakthrough Cases
With Variant
Percentage of Vaccine
Breakthrough Cases With
Variant
Percentage of
Sequences From
All Covid-19
Cases With
Variant
Increase in
Number of
Breakthroughs
From Previous
Week
AlphaB.1.1.733734%43%29
GammaP.116817%10%12
EpsilonB.1.42911612%15%3
DeltaB.1.617.225426%7%141
IotaB.1.526263%3%4
BetaB.1.351101%1%0
EpsilonB.1.427111%2%0
EtaB.1.52540%0%0
KappaB.1.617.110%0%0
ZetaP.200%0%0
OtherOther546%18%4
Total981100%100%193

Vaccine Breakthroughs up to 21st July 2021

21st July 2021

Variant
LineageNumber of Vaccine
Breakthrough Cases
With Variant
Percentage of Vaccine
Breakthrough Cases With
Variant
Percentage of
Sequences From
All Covid-19
Cases With
Variant
Increase in
Number of
Breakthroughs
From Previous
Week
AlphaB.1.1.730839%44%-1
GammaP.115620%10%9
EpsilonB.1.42911314%16%0
DeltaB.1.617.211314%4%23
IotaB.1.526223%3%0
BetaB.1.351101%1%-1
EpsilonB.1.427111%2%0
EtaB.1.52541%0%0
KappaB.1.617.110%0%0
ZetaP.200%0%0
OtherOther506%19%0
Total788100%100%30

Vaccine Breakthroughs up to 14th July 2021

14th July 2021

Variant
LineageNumber of Vaccine
Breakthrough Cases
With Variant
Percentage of Vaccine
Breakthrough Cases With
Variant
Percentage of
Sequences From
All Covid-19
Cases With
Variant
Increase in
Number of
Breakthroughs
From Previous
Week
AlphaB.1.1.730941%44%12
GammaP.114719%10%6
EpsilonB.1.42911315%16%0
DeltaB.1.617.29012%4%20
IotaB.1.526223%3%1
BetaB.1.351111%1%0
EpsilonB.1.427111%2%0
EtaB.1.52541%0%0
KappaB.1.617.110%0%0
ZetaP.200%0%0
OtherOther496%20%0
Total757100%100%39

 

USA: Washington State Vaccine Breakthroughs by Variant up to 21st July 2021

 

So what is Plan B if the vaccines fail with a new #coronavirus super-variant?

Image by David Mark from Pixabay

USA: Washington State Vaccine Breakthroughs by Variant up to 21st July 2021

This week’s update from Washington State showing vaccine breakthrough cases and which Sars-CoV-2 variant is causing them. Of note this week is another large jump for Delta B.1.617.2 breakthrough cases, and a further increase for Gamma P1 breakthroughs.

Vaccine Breakthroughs up to 21st July 2021

21st July 2021

Variant
LineageNumber of Vaccine
Breakthrough Cases
With Variant
Percentage of Vaccine
Breakthrough Cases With
Variant
Percentage of
Sequences From
All Covid-19
Cases With
Variant
Increase in
Number of
Breakthroughs
From Previous
Week
AlphaB.1.1.730839%44%-1
GammaP.115620%10%9
EpsilonB.1.42911314%16%0
DeltaB.1.617.211314%4%23
IotaB.1.526223%3%0
BetaB.1.351101%1%-1
EpsilonB.1.427111%2%0
EtaB.1.52541%0%0
KappaB.1.617.110%0%0
ZetaP.200%0%0
OtherOther506%19%0
Total788100%100%30

Vaccine Breakthroughs up to 14th July 2021

14th July 2021

Variant
LineageNumber of Vaccine
Breakthrough Cases
With Variant
Percentage of Vaccine
Breakthrough Cases With
Variant
Percentage of
Sequences From
All Covid-19
Cases With
Variant
Increase in
Number of
Breakthroughs
From Previous
Week
AlphaB.1.1.730941%44%12
GammaP.114719%10%6
EpsilonB.1.42911315%16%0
DeltaB.1.617.29012%4%20
IotaB.1.526223%3%1
BetaB.1.351111%1%0
EpsilonB.1.427111%2%0
EtaB.1.52541%0%0
KappaB.1.617.110%0%0
ZetaP.200%0%0
OtherOther496%20%0
Total757100%100%39

Spain: 5th wave of coronavirus storms across the country, curfews set to be reintroduced

The Covid-19 incidence in Spain has soared above 368 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. The Valencian Community has approved curfews in 32 municipalities, the Canary Islands also requests curfews and Catalonia advances the closure of activities and limits social gatherings.

“Covid does not give truce in Spain and the epidemic curve continues unbridled in this fifth wave of explosive growth . The accumulated incidence at 14 days has shot up 80% in the last week and, in the absence of two communities (Balearic Islands and Catalonia) that this Monday have not reported the data, it already reaches 368 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

The vaccination campaign has become the key factor that marks the evolution of the pandemic and, with about 46% of the Spanish population with the complete schedule, infections are primed with those under 30 years of age, the population group that has not yet has had massive access to the vaccine: thus, the cumulative incidence in twentysomethings has skyrocketed to about 800 cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

With this scenario on the table, the communities rush the implementation of new measures and return the toughest restrictions to the game board: the Valencian Community, for example, has already obtained the endorsement of justice to decree a new curfew in 32 municipalities and the limitation of meetings throughout its territory.

The Canary Islands have also asked for the restriction of night mobility and Catalonia, which last week closed nightlife, has approved bringing the closure of non-essential activities forward to 0.30 and limiting social gatherings to a maximum of 10 people. In a similar vein, from this Tuesday Asturias closes the interior of nightlife. Other communities, such as Madrid, rule out applying new restrictions at this time. “

El Pais report (in Spanish)

 

Greece: A Delta-like wave of infections caused by a resurgent Alpha variant

Greece’s daily coronavirus cases passed the 3,000 mark on Tuesday, recording a two-month high, as the country struggles with a new surge in infections.  In its bulletin, the National Organization for Public Health (EODY) said it had confirmed 3,109 cases in the past 24 hours, which is the highest number since May 11.  EODY said four patients died of Covid-19 with the number of fatalities since the start of the pandemic reaching 12,806. At the same time, there are 133 intubated patients in the Intensive Care Units from 139 on Monday.

The Delta variant still hasn’t made much of an impact in Greece yet. The dominant variant is still the Alpha variant B.1.1.7, with some case of B.1.1.318 being found.

Ekathemrini.com report

 

 

 

Charts courtesy of OurWorldinData.org and Outbreak.info

Belgium: 90-year-old woman coinfection with Alpha and Beta coronavirus variants

Researchers in Belgium report on the case of a 90-year-old woman who was simultaneously infected with two different variants of concern (VOCs) of COVID-19, in a Case Report being presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) held online this year.

On March 3 2021, the woman, whose medical history was unremarkable, was admitted to the OLV Hospital in the Belgian city of Aalst after a spate of falls. She tested positive for COVID-19 on the same day. She lived alone and received nursing care at home, and had not been vaccinated against COVID-19.

Initially, there were no signs of respiratory distress and the patient had good oxygen saturation. However, she developed rapidly worsening respiratory symptoms, and died five days later.

When the patient’s respiratory sample was tested for VOCs with PCR, they discovered that she had been infected by two different strains of the virus–one which originated in the UK, known as B.1.1.7 (Alpha), and another that was first detected in South Africa (B.1.351; Beta).

The presence of both strains was confirmed by PCR on a second respiratory sample, by sequencing of the S-gene and by whole genome sequencing.

Eurekalert.org report

 

 

Image by trixtammy from Pixabay

Preprint: Infectivity and immune escape of the new coronavirus variant of interest C.37 Lambda

“We also observed that the spike protein of the Lambda variant presented increased infectivity when compared with the spike protein of the Alpha and Gamma variants, both of them with reported increased infectivity and transmissibility. Together, our data show for the first time that mutations present in the spike protein of the Lambda variant confer escape to neutralizing antibodies and increased infectivity.”

“The evidence presented here reinforces the idea that massive vaccination campaigns in countries with high SARS-CoV-2 circulation rates must be accompanied by strict genomic surveillance aimed to rapidly identify new viral isolates carrying spike mutations as well as studies aimed to analyze the impact of these mutations in immune escape and vaccines breakthrough.”

Medrxiv preprint : Infectivity and immune escape of the new SARS-CoV-2 variant of interest Lambda

 

Preprint: The emergence of Sars-CoV-2 #coronavirus variant Lambda C.37 in South America

 

 

Photo by Paula Porto on Unsplash

Preprint: Transmission event of Delta coronavirus variant reveals multiple vaccine breakthrough infections

Here we describe a transmission of a Delta variant containing SARS-CoV-2 strain, between family members associated with events surrounding a wedding with 92 attendees, near Houston, Texas. Attendance required guests be fully vaccinated and took place outdoors in a large, open-air tent. To date, 6 individuals have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, all patients were symptomatic, one patient severely enough to receive monoclonal antibody infusion treatment (Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc.) and one patient has died.

Encounter timings and viral sequence similarities suggest the strain containing the Delta variant was transmitted to wedding guests from two patients travelling from India. With no history of vaccine failure in these patients, our observations suggest these are true cases of vaccine breakthrough, mediated by the Delta variant.

Full Medrxiv Preprint: Transmission event of SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant reveals multiple vaccine breakthrough infections 

 

Israel: Hebrew University study finds Pfizer vaccine just 70% effective against Delta variant

 

Israel: Pfizer vaccine effectiveness against coronavirus infection has dropped to just 64%

 

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

USA: Delta now the dominant variant in California

California Department of Public Health say 35.6% of coronavirus variants sequenced in June have been identified as Delta variant. In May, Delta accounted for just 5.6% of coronavirus cases in California and was the state’s fourth most identified variant. Delta is now more widespread than the previous dominant strain, Alpha, and accounted for 34.3% of coronavirus cases in June. Alpha was the state’s most dominant strain in April and May, outpacing the California variant, now known as Epsilon, which currently occurs in less than 2% of cases.

Los Angeles Times report

 

 

Photo by Mattia Bericchia on Unsplash

Israel: new coronavirus restrictions considered as Delta rate climbs

Israeli government ministers are reportedly mulling caps on gatherings, reintroducing the ‘Green Pass’ in a limited format and forcing parents of infected kids to enter quarantine. Ministers will be presented with proposals to drive down morbidity, which has climbed considerably in recent weeks after virus cases hit around 300 per day. Experts have warned that the daily caseload could soar to 1,000 cases a day in two weeks if no steps to rein in the infections are taken. The Delta variant is now reported to be responsible for 90% of new cases in the country.

Times of Israel report

Over 90% of Israel’s COVID Cases Are Delta  (Haaretz.com)

 

Israel has around 60% of its population fully vaccinated:

 

Image by Eduardo Castro from Pixabay

USA: vaccine breakthough cases in Washington State by coronavirus variant to 30th June 2021

Washington State has recently published an update on the number of vaccine breakthrough cases. Importantly, it shows which Sars-CoV-2 variant is responsible for 661 of those cases through genome sequencing. This hugely important information is not available for most states in the USA, so the fact that Washington State continues to publish this information for the Covid variants currently circulating in that state makes it all the more valuable.  Spoiler alert: Delta B.1.617.2 is NOT YET the most common variant for vaccine breakthrough cases in Washington State! That situation will almost certainly change over the next few weeks as Delta becomes more dominant across the U.S.

The most common variant currently causing vaccine breakthroughs in Washington State up to 30th June 2021 is Alpha, (B.1.1.7),  at 37%, followed by Gamma (P.1) at 17%. The Delta variant (B.1.617.2) currently only accounts for about 5% of vaccine breakthrough infections.

The Epsilon variant (B.1.429) is showing as being responsible for 15% of all breakthrough cases, yet represents just 3% of the total genome sequences for May to June, and never rose above 10% of genome samples from April 2021.

Washington State data on all breakthrough cases:

Source: Washington State Vaccine Breakthrough Report

 

Sars-CoV-2 variants circulating in Washington State April – June 2021:

 

Source: Washington Covid-19 Dashboard

As you can see, Washington State has recorded 2,228 vaccine breakthrough cases in total which represents a tiny fraction of the 6 million people now vaccinated in that state.

Our thanks to The Washington State Department of Health for providing this vital information.

 

USA: Washington State Vaccine Breakthroughs by Variant up to 14th July 2021

 

USA: Washington State Vaccine Breakthroughs by Variant up to 7th July 2021

 

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

Delta coronavirus variant now dominant in the USA

The highly transmissible Delta variant is the most common strain of the Covid-19 virus circulating in the U.S., new data shows.  An analysis of genetic sequencing data as of June 27 showed that the Delta strain, also known as B.1.617.2, now makes up about 40% of positive Covid-19 test samples.

Wall Street Journal report

** Outbreak.info is showing that the Delta variant has risen to about 47% in the last three weeks.

Chart courtesy of Outbreak.info

 

 

Image by Ronile from Pixabay