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[PDF] COVID-19: An Insight into SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic Originated at Wuhan City in Hubei Province of China | Semantic Scholar

[PDF] COVID-19: An Insight into SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic Originated at Wuhan City in Hubei Province of China | Semantic Scholar | Virology | Scoop.it
Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), originated at Wuhan city of China in early December 2019 has rapidly widespread with confirmed cases in almost every country across the world and has become a new global public health crisis. The etiological agent was designated as Severe acute respiratory distress syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was originated in bats and transmits through respiratory droplets and surface contact and then by touching mouth, eyes, and nose. The World Health Organization coined the term COVID-19 and declared this novel coronavirus disease as a pandemic on March 11, 2020. The virus is highly contagious and the incubation period ranges between 2-14 days. The virus infects the human respiratory epithelial cells by binding through Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors. Many infected people are either asymptomatic or develop a mild respiratory illness. The major clinical symptoms of the disease are fever, non-productive cough, fatigue, malaise, and breathlessness. Severe illness such as pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and death occurs in the elderly and patients with comorbid conditions. The case fatality rate is estimated to be 2-3%. The rapid surge was observed in new cases and COVID-19 related deaths outside of China since the beginning of March-2020. As of June 8, 2020 more than 7 million confirmed cases and > 400 thousand deaths were reported from 213 countries and territories. The disease is mainly diagnosed by the detection of viral RNA in nasopharyngeal swab or Broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL) by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Treatment is basically symptomatic and supportive. Several vaccines are still under various stages of clinical trials. Remdesivir was the first antiviral drug approved for treatment but its efficacy is yet to be determined. At present preventive measures such as contact, droplet, and airborne precautions are the main strategy to control the spread of the disease.
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Sweden’s distinctive Covid strategy nears an end as lockdown proposed | Financial Times

Sweden’s distinctive Covid strategy nears an end as lockdown proposed | Financial Times | Virology | Scoop.it

Gradual shift has moved Scandinavian country’s pandemic approach more in line with rest of Europe

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COVID-19: UK records highest ever daily coronavirus deaths at 1,325 fatalities | UK News

COVID-19: UK records highest ever daily coronavirus deaths at 1,325 fatalities | UK News | Virology | Scoop.it

Experts are warning people to stay at home as the UK has also reported a record number of daily coronavirus cases.

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How to stop the next pandemic

How to stop the next pandemic | Virology | Scoop.it
A universal vaccine, an atlas of viruses, and lab-grown organoids: These scientific projects aim to stop the next big pandemic before it begins...
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Covid: scale of emergency facing UK laid bare as 1,041 deaths recorded in 24 hours | Coronavirus | The Guardian

Covid: scale of emergency facing UK laid bare as 1,041 deaths recorded in 24 hours | Coronavirus | The Guardian | Virology | Scoop.it
Boris Johnson forced to defend his handling of Covid-19 crisis as Keir Starmer lambasts ‘pattern’ of poor decision-making...
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Exclusive: Pharmacies' offer to give Covid jabs snubbed by ministers

Exclusive: Pharmacies' offer to give Covid jabs snubbed by ministers | Virology | Scoop.it

Number 10 facing questions over urgency of vaccination programme after industry's efforts to help are rejected...

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One in 50 people in England had Covid last week, says Chris Whitty | World news | The Guardian

One in 50 people in England had Covid last week, says Chris Whitty | World news | The Guardian | Virology | Scoop.it

Figure for people outside hospitals and care homes revealed as number of new daily cases in UK tops 60,000 for first time...

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England to enter toughest Covid lockdown since March | World news | The Guardian

England to enter toughest Covid lockdown since March | World news | The Guardian | Virology | Scoop.it
Boris Johnson says restrictions will last at least seven weeks, with schools closing until February half-term...
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US braces for post-holiday Covid surge as death toll passes 350,000 | Coronavirus | The Guardian

US braces for post-holiday Covid surge as death toll passes 350,000 | Coronavirus | The Guardian | Virology | Scoop.it
New Year’s Day saw 160,606 new cases and 2,051 deaths as doctors warn they are at ‘breaking point’...
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COVID-19: Tracking every global effort to roll out a coronavirus vaccine | World News

COVID-19: Tracking every global effort to roll out a coronavirus vaccine | World News | Virology | Scoop.it
COVID-19: Tracking every global effort to roll out a coronavirus vaccine
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COVID-19: National lockdown must be imposed within 24 hours, says Labour leader | Politics News

COVID-19: National lockdown must be imposed within 24 hours, says Labour leader | Politics News | Virology | Scoop.it

Sir Keir Starmer said the virus is "clearly out of control" and national restrictions have to be "the first step".

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Covid-19 - SARS-CoV-2 is following the evolutionary rule book | Science & technology

Covid-19 - SARS-CoV-2 is following the evolutionary rule book | Science & technology | Virology | Scoop.it

Its new variants are optimised for spreading

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Peer-Reviewed Report on Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Publishes

Peer-Reviewed Report on Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Publishes | Virology | Scoop.it







The investigational vaccine known as mRNA-1273 was 94.1% efficacious in preventing symptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), according to preliminary results from a Phase 3 clinical trial reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. The vaccine also demonstrated efficacy in preventing severe COVID-19. Investigators identified no safety concerns and no evidence of vaccine-associated enhanced respiratory disease (VAERD). The vaccine was co-developed by Moderna, Inc., a biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. Moderna(link is external) and NIAID previously shared initial results from the COVE trial. On Dec. 18, 2020, the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization(link is external) allowing Moderna to make the vaccine available for the prevention of COVID-19 in adults in the United States. The trial was led by principal investigators Lindsey R. Baden, M.D. of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Hana M. El-Sahly, M.D. of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, and Brandon Essink, M.D., of Meridian Clinical Research. The trial was implemented under the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed program and supported by NIAID and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.

 

The trial began on July 27, 2020, and enrolled 30,420 adult volunteers at clinical research sites across the United States. Volunteers were randomly assigned 1:1 to receive either two 100 microgram (mcg) doses of the investigational vaccine or two shots of saline placebo 28 days apart. The average age of volunteers is 51 years. Approximately 47% are female, 25% are 65 years or older and 17% are under the age of 65 with medical conditions placing them at higher risk for severe COVID-19. Approximately 79% of participants are white, 10% are Black or African American, 5% are Asian, 0.8% are American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.2% are Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, 2% are multiracial, and 21% (of any race) are Hispanic or Latino. From the start of the trial through Nov. 25, 2020, investigators recorded 196 cases of symptomatic COVID-19 occurring among participants at least 14 days after they received their second shot. One hundred and eighty-five cases (30 of which were classified as severe COVID-19) occurred in the placebo group and 11 cases (0 of which were classified as severe COVID-19) occurred in the group receiving mRNA-1273. The incidence of symptomatic COVID-19 was 94.1% lower in those participants who received mRNA-1273 as compared to those receiving placebo.  Investigators observed 236 cases of symptomatic COVID-19 among participants at least 14 days after they received their first shot, with 225 cases in the placebo group and 11 cases in the group receiving mRNA-1273. The vaccine efficacy was 95.2% for this secondary analysis. There were no concerning safety issues with vaccination, according to the authors. Local reactions to the vaccine were generally mild. About 50% of participants receiving mRNA-1273 experienced moderate-to-severe side effects — such as fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain and headache — after the second dose, which resolved in most volunteers within two days.

 

Investigators also observed no evidence of VAERD among those who received mRNA-1273. This rare complication was seen in individuals vaccinated with a whole-inactivated respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine in the 1960s, before there was a capacity to define protein structures and measure immune responses with precision. VAERD can occur when a vaccine induces an immune response that is not strong enough to protect against infection. Although mRNA-1273 is highly efficacious in preventing symptomatic COVID-19, there is not yet enough available data to draw conclusions as to whether the vaccine can impact SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Preliminary trial data suggests there may be some degree of prevention of asymptomatic infection after a single dose. Additional analyses are underway of the incidence of asymptomatic infection and viral shedding post-infection to understand the vaccine’s impact on infectiousness. The authors concluded by discussing the unprecedented efficiency of the candidate vaccine’s development, noting, “this process demonstrates what is possible in the context of motivated collaboration among key sectors of society, including academia, government, industry, regulators and the larger community.”

 

Findings Published in NEJM (Dec. 30, 2020):

https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa2035389

 





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The tunnel gets darker - What the new variants of covid-19 mean for human health | Leaders

The tunnel gets darker - What the new variants of covid-19 mean for human health | Leaders | Virology | Scoop.it
Between now and when vaccines are widely available countries will face some hard choices
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Biden Plans to Release Nearly All Available Doses to Speed Up Vaccinations - The New York Times

Biden Plans to Release Nearly All Available Doses to Speed Up Vaccinations - The New York Times | Virology | Scoop.it

Read the full article at: www.nytimes.com

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Covid Vaccine Made by Chinese Company Sinovac Is Said to Be Effective - The New York Times

Covid Vaccine Made by Chinese Company Sinovac Is Said to Be Effective - The New York Times | Virology | Scoop.it
Sinovac Biotech has sold more than 300 million doses to the developing world, filling a gap left by Western countries.
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Covid: scale of emergency facing UK laid bare as 1,041 deaths recorded in 24 hours | Coronavirus | The Guardian

Covid: scale of emergency facing UK laid bare as 1,041 deaths recorded in 24 hours | Coronavirus | The Guardian | Virology | Scoop.it
Boris Johnson forced to defend his handling of Covid-19 crisis as Keir Starmer lambasts ‘pattern’ of poor decision-making...
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New coronavirus variant: What is the spike protein and why are mutations on it important?

New coronavirus variant: What is the spike protein and why are mutations on it important? | Virology | Scoop.it







The emergence of a new variant of coronavirus has sparked renewed interest in the part of the virus known as the spike protein.




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We're winning the fight against HIV

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Sounds - Rethink

Sounds - Rethink | Virology | Scoop.it

How the world should change after the coronavirus pandemic.

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UK to begin using Oxford Covid vaccine as PM strikes hopeful tone | World news | The Guardian

UK to begin using Oxford Covid vaccine as PM strikes hopeful tone | World news | The Guardian | Virology | Scoop.it
Boris Johnson says he hopes pace of vaccination can be ramped up to protect tens of millions in months...
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Covid vaccine: one million Brits given first does | Metro News

Covid vaccine: one million Brits given first does | Metro News | Virology | Scoop.it
Matt Hancock has hailed the end in sight...
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Coronavirus: India Approves Vaccines from Bharat Biotech and Oxford/AstraZeneca

Coronavirus: India Approves Vaccines from Bharat Biotech and Oxford/AstraZeneca | Virology | Scoop.it

It aims to inoculate some 300m people this year in one of the world's largest vaccination campaigns. The drugs regulatory authority gave the green light to the jabs developed by AstraZeneca with Oxford University and by local firm Bharat Biotech. Prime Minister Narendra Modi called it "a decisive turning point". India plans to inoculate some 300 million people on a priority list this year. It has recorded the second-highest number of infections in the world, with more than 10.3 million confirmed cases to date. Nearly 150,000 people have died. On Saturday India held nationwide drills to prepare more than 90,000 health care workers to administer vaccines across the country, which has a population of 1.3 billion people.  The Drugs Controller General of India said both manufacturers had submitted data showing their vaccines were safe to use. However, opposition politicians and some doctors have criticised a lack of transparency in the approval process.

 

Dr Swapneil Parikh, an infectious diseases researcher based in Mumbai, told the BBC doctors were in a difficult position. "I understand there is a need to go through the process quickly, remove regulatory hurdles," he said. "However... [governments and regulators] have a duty to be transparent about the data they have reviewed and the process involved in making the decision to authorise a vaccine, because if they don't do this, it can affect the public's faith in the process." The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is being manufactured locally by the Serum Institute of India, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer. It says it is producing more than 50 million doses a month.  Adar Poonawalla, the company's CEO, told the BBC in November that he aimed to ramp up production to 100 million doses a month after receiving regulatory approval. The jab, which is known as Covishield in India, is administered in two doses given between four and 12 weeks apart. It can be safely stored at temperatures of 2C to 8C, about the same as a domestic fridge, and can be delivered in existing health care settings such as doctors' surgeries. This makes it easier to distribute than some of the other vaccines. The jab developed by Pfizer/BioNTech - which is currently being administered in several countries - must be stored at -70C and can only be moved a limited number of times - a particular challenge in India, where summer temperatures can reach 50C.

 

The local vaccine, however, was approved despite the absence of data on how efficient it can be. It has yet to go through large-scale trials. The Drugs Controller General, V.G. Somani, said Bharat Biotech's Covaxin was "safe and provides a robust immune response". Mr Somani said it had been approved "in public interest as an abundant precaution, in clinical trial mode, to have more options for vaccinations, especially in case of infection by mutant strains". India, which makes about 60% of vaccines globally, plans to immunise about 300 million people by July 2021. It will prioritise health care workers, the emergency services, and those who are clinically vulnerable because of age or pre-existing conditions. India's existing vaccination programme already reaches about 55 million people a year, administering 390 million free jabs against a dozen diseases. It stocks and tracks the vaccines through a well-oiled electronic system.

Read the full article at: www.bbc.com


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UK Chief Medical Officers Defend Delay Between Covid-19 Vaccine Doses

UK Chief Medical Officers Defend Delay Between Covid-19 Vaccine Doses | Virology | Scoop.it







London (CNN)The UK's chief medical officers have defended a decision to delay second doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in order to prioritize first doses, saying it will protect as many vulnerable people as possible while the coronavirus is running rampant. The new strategy, announced Wednesday by the head of the UK's medicines regulator MHRA, means that the interval between doses could be extended to up to 12 weeks, instead of the three weeks previously stipulated. It has prompted a debate among experts, with the British Medical Association (BMA), a body representing UK doctors, criticizing the move to postpone appointments for the very vulnerable patients currently awaiting their second shots. The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been in use in the UK since early December, when the country became the first in the world to approve it, but supplies are limited The argument over the vaccination strategy comes as infection rates soar in much of the UK, thanks in part to a new, more infectious variant of the virus. Most of England is now under the toughest level of restrictions to try to limit the virus' spread. 

 

"This group of very elderly patients is at the highest risk of death if they contract Covid-19, which is why GPs are so concerned for them. It is grossly and patently unfair to tens of thousands of our most at-risk patients to now try to reschedule their appointments," Dr. Richard Vautrey, chair of the BMA General Practitioners Committee, said in a statement Thursday.  The Doctors' Association UK also raised "real and grave concerns" over the new vaccination strategy, warning Friday that it could undermine the National Health Service's patient consent process, "as well as completely failing to follow the science." Meanwhile, Pfizer said it did not have data to demonstrate that just a single dose of its vaccine would provide protection against the disease after more than 21 days. "Pfizer and BioNTech's Phase 3 study for the Covid-19 vaccine was designed to evaluate the vaccine's safety and efficacy following a 2-dose schedule, separated by 21 days," Pfizer said in a statement on Thursday. "There are no data to demonstrate that protection after the first dose is sustained after 21 days." But the chief medical officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland defended the move in a letter to healthcare professionals published Thursday, saying it was based on the "balance of risks and benefits," and that the "great majority" of initial protection came from the first jab.  "The second vaccine dose is likely to be very important for duration of protection, and at an appropriate dose interval may further increase vaccine efficacy," they said. "In the short term, the additional increase of vaccine efficacy from the second dose is likely to be modest; the great majority of the initial protection from clinical disease is after the first dose of vaccine."

 

'Terrible impact' on emotional well-being

The BMA warned in its statement that the delay could have a "terrible impact on the emotional well-being" of vulnerable and at-risk patients. "The BMA believes these are patients that have already been promised, by the NHS and local clinicians, that they will receive a second dose of Pfizer vaccination next week; they have given their consent to receive it and, quite rightly, are expecting to have it," the BMA said.  Vautrey, the BMA chair, told CNN Friday that healthcare professionals were particularly concerned about the "practicality of doing this so quickly," with little warning given to practitioners on the revised guidance "We were only told in the last day that we are expected, next Monday, to re-change all of the appointments that we made for next week... it was simply not practical for our practice staff to do that in such a short space of time," Vautrey said.  "We wanted the commitments that we made to our elderly patients to give their vaccine to be honored, certainly in the next few days." Helen Salisbury, a general practitioner in the English city of Oxford, told the BBC's Today program Friday that her practice had not as yet canceled existing second appointments next week. This was because, firstly, she had been unable to find any data on immunity after the first dose beyond the 21 days when the booster was given in trials, and secondly, because the practice wanted to protect its most vulnerable patients, the elderly, and maintain their trust in the vaccine. "When you have started a patient on a course of treatment and you have said, this is what the plan is, here's one jab, please come back in three weeks, it's really important that you have the second jab to be fully protected -- and then to turn round five minutes later and say no, don't worry about that, you can have it in 12 weeks rather than three weeks -- I don't think that's good enough, actually," she said....




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The tunnel gets darker - What the new variants of covid-19 mean for human health | Leaders

The tunnel gets darker - What the new variants of covid-19 mean for human health | Leaders | Virology | Scoop.it

Between now and when vaccines are widely available countries will face some hard choices

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2020 – The year we unlearned everything we learned

2020 – The year we unlearned everything we learned | Virology | Scoop.it

Five facts to bear in mind as we prepare for the New Year.

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