CMAAO Coronavirus Facts and Myth Buster - COVID Update |
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CMAAO Coronavirus Facts and Myth Buster - COVID Update
Dr KK Aggarwal,  31 March 2021
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COVID-19 Vaccine Updates


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With input from Dr Monica Vasudev

1520: Data from healthcare workers in the United States and Israel have confirmed the effectiveness of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines against COVID-19. The data are published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Pooled data from employees from the University of California, San Diego and the University of California Los Angeles health systems suggest that during a system of aggressive testing, carried out during a spike in COVID-19 cases in the general population, there was a dramatic decline in the rate of new infections among the staff, beginning the second week after the first dose of the vaccine was given.

Testing revealed new cases in 2.5% of those tested within the first week following the first dose, 1.2% in the second week, 0.7% in the third week, 0.4% during the week following the second dose and less than 0.2% during the second week following the second dose.

In North Texas, workers were also vaccinated amid the largest COVID-19 surge in the region. Here, 2.61% of unvaccinated employees developed the infection compared to 1.82% of partially-vaccinated workers and 0.05% of fully-vaccinated employees. There was more than 90% reduction in the number of employees either in isolation or quarantine, thus preserving the workforce when it was needed the most during the surge. (Medscape)

1521: Veterinarians in Texas and the UK have identified infections with B.1.1.7 among dogs and cats. Animals in the UK study were also found to have heart damage. However, it is not clear if the damage was caused by the virus or was already there and was detected because of their infections.

Researchers at the Institut Pasteur, Paris noted that the B.1.351 and P.1 variants of concern, first detected in South Africa and Brazil, respectively, can infect mice. Thus, the virus seems to have a potential new host. Older versions of the virus couldnt infect mice as they could not bind to receptors on their cells. However, these two variants can.

Good: This will assist scientists conduct experiments in mice easily. Earlier, conducting an experiment with SARS-CoV-2 in mice needed the use of a special strain of mouse that was bred to carry human ACE2 receptors on their lung cells. Now, since the mice can contract the infection naturally, any breed can be used.

Bad: Virus could now have more and varied ways to spread. (Medscape)


Dr KK Aggarwal

President CMAAO, HCFI and Past National President IMA

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