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COVID-19 Vaccine Updates
With input from Dr Monica Vasudev
- Women in their 40s and 50s seem to have a higher risk of long-term problems following discharge from hospital after COVID-19. Several of them may suffer from months of lingering symptoms like fatigue, breathlessness and brain fog, noted two UK studies. In one study, five months following discharge, COVID-19 patients who were also middle-aged, white, female, and had other health problems including diabetes, lung or heart disease, had a higher likelihood of reporting long-COVID symptoms. A second study by the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infections Consortium (ISARIC) revealed that women below 50 years of age were more likely to have worse long-term health outcomes compared to men as well as older participants, even in the absence of any underlying health conditions. (Reuters)
- Kaleido Biosciences has stated that in an early trial, its experimental oral treatment reduced recovery time and hospitalizations as well as emergency room visits among patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. KB109, the experimental treatment, decreased the number of hospitalizations, emergency room visits, and urgent care visits by 51% in the study that included 350 patients, and by 62% among patients who had one or more co-morbidities. This treatment is a targeted, synthetic glycan that works by changing the composition and metabolic output of gut microbes. (Reuters)
- Minnesota reported 89 breakthrough cases among individuals who contracted the coronavirus after being fully vaccinated, stated the Star Tribune.
As of March 24, over 1.4 million people in Minnesota have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine. Around 800,000 have been fully vaccinated. The 89 breakthrough cases account for less than a tenth of the 1% of those fully vaccinated.
Seventy two of the 89 patients have been interviewed and it has been noted that 30 had COVID-19 symptoms. None of the breakthrough cases have resulted in death, and the patients seem to have mild illnesses.
On Wednesday, state health officials in Idaho stated that theyve identified less than 100 breakthrough cases among the 250,000 people who have been fully vaccinated. (WebMD)
- India restricts vaccine exports
As the fight against the coronavirus takes a turn for the worse in India, the government has decided to hold back nearly all of the 2.4 million doses that the Serum Institute of India puts out every day. Over 70 countries have been sent vaccines made in India, especially the AstraZeneca one. However, a second wave has hit the country. The size of the shipments abroad has reduced considerably over the past two weeks, as per data from the foreign ministry. Slowing exports could hamper the world’s vaccination drive. Covax, the global vaccine initiative several low-income countries, has cautioned of delays because of escalated demand in India. Production issues at AstraZeneca facilities in Europe made several countries rely on the Serum Institute, thus making the company even more valuable to the global vaccine supply chain. (NYT)
- AstraZeneca has released new data stating that its vaccine was highly effectiveat preventing COVID-19. The findings suggest a 76% efficacy rate, and bolster its scientific case, but still may not be able to repair the damage to its public image. (NYT)
Dr KK Aggarwal
President CMAAO, HCFI and Past National President IMA