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Welcome to Mostly Microbes and Infectious Diseases. David Ojcius posts newspaper and journal articles in the broad field of microbiology.

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Biden is expected to require the vast majority of federal workers and contractors to get vaccinated

President #Biden will sign orders mandating the vast majority of US federal workers & gov't contractors to get vaccinated against #COVID19. Los Angeles to become the 1st major US school district to require vaccinations for students. President Biden on Thursday will sign executive orders requiring the vast majority of federal workers and contractors who do business with the government to get vaccinated against the #coronavirus. They are part of an aggressive new plan to that w

France first big EU nation to start widespread booster jabs

#France #Europe #COVID #Vaccines #coronavirus France on Wednesday started administering booster shots of #COVID19 #vaccine to people over 65 and those with underlying health conditions as the #DeltaVariant spreads in the country. France is the first big EU country to introduce widespread booster shots, and several other European countries are expected to follow suit. Many countries are still struggling to administer first doses of COVID-19 vaccines and the World Health Organ

Delta Has Changed the Pandemic Endgame

#DeltaVariant Has Changed the Pandemic Endgame Cases of #COVID19 are rising fast. Vaccine uptake has plateaued. The pandemic will be over one day—but the way there is different now. In September 2020, just before COVID-19 began its wintry surge through the United States, I wrote that the country was trapped in a pandemic spiral, seemingly destined to repeat the same mistakes. But after vaccines arrived in midwinter, cases in the U.S. declined and, by summer’s edge, had reache

Beyond Delta variant, scientists are watching new coronavirus variants

Beyond #DeltaVariant, scientists are watching new #coronavirus variants. The continued spread of the #SARSCoV2 virus has spawned a Greek alphabet of variants - a naming system used by the World Health Organization to track concerning new mutations of the virus that causes #COVID19. Some have equipped the virus with better ways of infecting humans or evading vaccine protection. Scientists remain focused on Delta, now the dominant variant rising rapidly around the world, but ar

These 5 figures show how bad the US Covid-19 surge is. But experts say we can turn things around

The rise in #COVID19 cases in the US is driven by unvaccinated Americans, who also make up most of hospitalized Covid-19 patients & deaths across the country. Fueling the surge is the #DeltaVariant. As the rate of Covid-19 vaccinations climbed and new infection numbers plummeted in spring, many Americans thought they were in for a carefree summer. But lagging vaccinations and a highly contagious new variant dragged the US back into a vicious Covid-19 surge -- one that's promp

Structural basis for enhanced infectivity and immune evasion of SARS-CoV-2 variants

Three papers use functional & structural studies to explore how mutations in the #SARSCoV2 #coronavirus spike protein affect its ability to infect host cells & to evade host immunity #Variant #variants #DeltaVariant SARS-CoV-2 from alpha to epsilon As battles to contain the COVID-19 pandemic continue, attention is focused on emerging variants of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus that have been deemed variants of concern because they are re

South African study shows high COVID protection from Johnson & Johnson vaccine

South African study shows high #COVID19 protection from #johnsonandjohnson vaccine. The single-shot vaccine offered 91% to 96.2% protection against death, while offering 67% efficacy against infection when the Beta coronavirus variant dominates & about 71% when the #DeltaVariant dominates. Johnson & Johnson's (JNJ.N) COVID-19 vaccine is working well in South Africa, offering protection against severe disease and death, the co-head of a trial in the country said on Friday. The

COVID19 surge in the US will get worse before it gets better, experts predict

#COVID19 surge in the US will get worse before it gets better, experts predict. Amid the highly transmissible #DeltaVariant & widespread resumption of normal activities, the 7-day average of #coronavirus cases in the US has risen by ~60% in the past week. The newly resurgent coronavirus could spark 140,000 to 300,000 cases a day in the United States come August, fueled by the highly transmissible delta variant and the widespread resumption of normal activities, disease tracke

As Covid Cases Rise All Over U.S., Lower Vaccination Rates Point to Worse Outcomes

Many places in the US that are seeing more new #COVID19 cases than at any point in the outbreak also have some of the country's lowest vaccination rates. The highly contagious #DeltaVariant of the #coronavirus is now responsible for almost all new Covid-19 cases in the United States, and cases are rising rapidly. For the first time since February, there were more than 100,000 confirmed cases on Tuesday, the same day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended t

US CDC to Recommend Some Vaccinated People Wear Masks Indoors Again

In reversal, the US DCD will recommend some vaccinated people wear #Masks indoors. The change follows reports of breakthrough infections with the #DeltaVariant of the #coronavirus in people who were fully vaccinated. Reversing a decision made just two months ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to recommend on Tuesday that people vaccinated for the coronavirus resume wearing masks indoors in certain areas of the country. The change follows reports o

France has taken the lead in pressuring people to get vaccinated, moving closer to making COVID19

#France is taking the lead in making life unpleasant for the unvaccinated, even requiring some people to get #COVID19 shots. Protesters see a soft dictatorship dawning. As Europe and the United States scramble to find an appropriate balance between curbing the #DeltaVariant of the #coronavirus and curbing personal freedom, President Emmanuel Macron has led the way down a narrow path combining limited compulsion to get vaccinated with widespread coercion. His approach of order

Two doses of Pfizer and AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines effective against delta variant, study says

A full course of 2 of the most widely available #COVID19 vaccines (from Pfizer & AstraZeneca) is about as effective against the more contagious #DeltaVariant as it was against a previously dominant version of the #coronavirus, according to a new study. A full course of two of the most widely available coronavirus vaccines is about as effective against the more contagious delta variant as it was against a previously dominant version of the virus, according to a study published

Johnson and Johnson Vaccine May Be Less Effective Against Delta Variant, Study Suggests

#johnsonandjohnson Vaccine May Be Less Effective Against #DeltaVariant, Study Suggests Many who received the shot may need to consider boosters, the authors said. But US federal health officials do not recommend 2nd doses. The #coronavirus vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson is much less effective against the Delta and Lambda variants than against the original virus, according to a new study posted online on Tuesday. Although troubling, the findings result from experiments cond

Africa’s Covid Crisis Deepens, but Vaccines Are Still Far Off

As the #DeltaVariant surges across #Africa, hospitals are strained & only 1% of Africans have been fully vaccinated against #COVID19. Africa is now in the deadliest stage of its pandemic, and there is little prospect of relief in sight. The Delta variant is sweeping across the continent. Namibia and Tunisia are reporting more deaths per capita than any other country. Hospitals across the continent are filling up, oxygen supplies and medical workers are stretched thin and reco

Delta variant's rise plunges Europe into uncertainty — and offers a warning to the US

#DeltaVariant's rise plunges Europe into uncertainty — and offers a warning to the U.S. Last month, as Europe finally lifted #COVID19 restrictions, the mood was jubilant across the continent. Outdoor mask mandates and curfews were dropped, Americans were cleared to resume travel to tourist mainstays, and hopes rose that life would quickly return to normal. The swift spread of the Delta variant, however, has upended all of that wishful thinking and is offering a warning to the

Most fully vaccinated people who get Covid delta infections are asymptomatic, WHO says

Covid hospitalizations are rising in some parts of the world, mostly where vaccination rates are low and the highly contagious #DeltaVariant is spreading. In the US, virtually all recent #COVID19 hospitalizations & deaths were among unvaccinated people. Those infected with Covid after vaccination produce much less #coronavirus than those who are unvaccinated, reducing the risk of passing the virus to others. People who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 are still getting i

With the Delta Variant, Do I Need a Covid Booster Shot?

With the #coronavirus #DeltaVariant, Do I Need a #COVID19 Booster Shot? Although studies of a third dose are underway, experts agree that the vaccines are still working well, even against the Delta variant, and that booster shots are not necessary right now. Covid-19 booster shots are in the news, but chances are that Americans won’t be getting an extra shot in the arm any time soon. A surprise announcement from the vaccine maker Pfizer-BioNTech that it plans to seek authoriz

Short on vaccines, Asia grapples with Delta-driven outbreaks

Across Asia, #DeltaVariant is driving new outbreaks in places where #coronavirus transmission was once kept relatively low, but where the pace of vaccination has been too slow to contain the latest outbreaks. One result is that activities are again being restricted. In recent days, Indonesia has reported nearly twice as many coronavirus cases as the United States. Malaysia’s per capita caseload is roughly on par with those of Brazil and Iran. And the latest Covid surges in Ja

Citing the Delta Variant, Pfizer Will Pursue Booster Shots and a New Vaccine

Citing the #DeltaVariant, #Pfizer Will Pursue Booster Shots and a New Vaccine Scientists were critical of the announcement, pointing to evidence that the current two-dose regimen is powerfully effective against the coronavirus. Pfizer and BioNTech announced on Thursday that they were developing a version of the #coronavirus vaccine that targets Delta, a highly contagious variant that has spread to nearly 100 countries. The companies expect to begin clinical trials of the vacc

New study on delta variant reveals importance of receiving both vaccine shots

New study on #DeltaVariant reveals importance of receiving both vaccine shots, highlights challenges posed by mutations. New laboratory research on the swiftly spreading delta variant of the coronavirus is highlighting the threats posed by viral mutations, adding urgency to calls to accelerate vaccination efforts across the planet. A peer-reviewed report from scientists in France, published Thursday in the journal Nature, found that the delta variant has mutations that allow

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