2021-05-24 General

Diagnostics Dear Readers, go get yourself a pulse oximeter. A study showed that frequently people with COVID wait until they are short of breath to go to hospital. Unfortunately, with COVID, frequently you feel like you can breathe fine, but your blood oxygen actually is quite low. If your pulse oximeter is reading low and… Continue reading 2021-05-24 General

2021-05-22/23 General

Yesterday was a bit of a slow news day, plus I uh forgot to hit the Publish button, so today you get a 2-for-1 post! Schools A US CDC report says that schools that required teachers and staff to use masks had 37% lower rates of COVID-19. Schools which improved ventilation had 39% lower rates… Continue reading 2021-05-22/23 General

2021-05-21 General

Vaccines New data from a UK study of Novavax is out, and it looks really good: 96.4% against COVID Classic and 86.3% against B.1.1.7, with fewer side effects than Pfizer/Moderna/AZ. (No sign of blood clots, either, but rare events like that are unlikely to show up in a trial.) Meanwhile, a Novavax trial in South… Continue reading 2021-05-21 General

2021-05-20 General

Vaccines SinoVac/CoronaVac did a clinical trial in kids down to age 3. They found that compared to adults, the kids had better immune responses and fewer side-effects. They also tested full-doses vs. half-doses, and while a half-dose might be enough for the smallest kids, it interestingly didn’t make the side-effects any better. That surprised me:… Continue reading 2021-05-20 General

2021-05-19 General

Disease This preprint found that patients with COVID-19 made a bunch of antibodies which attacked their own innate immune system. Putting those antibodies into mice with a human ACE2 receptor made them more susceptible to COVID-19. Remember yesterday, how I talked at length about how live attenuated virus vaccines (LAVs) appear to rev up the… Continue reading 2021-05-19 General

2021-05-13 General

Vaccines There are lots of papers which look at antibodies — because antibodies (made by B cells) are comparatively easy to measure. Over and over, I’ve seen papers saying that some specific vax does not generate as many antibodies against some specific variant than against COVID Classic. By contrast, this paper looks at T-cells in… Continue reading 2021-05-13 General

2021-05-12 General

Variants There is a somewhat worrying report from Qatar saying that the efficacy of only one dose of Pfizer is only 29.5% against infection from B.1.1.7 and 54% against hospitalization. If you only have one dose, maybe don’t go licking doorknobs just yet. However, this report, also out today, from the UK from December to… Continue reading 2021-05-12 General

2021-05-11 General

Secondary Effects A study in the UK says that diabetes diagnosis, management, and mortality have been impacted pretty badly during the pandemic. 🙁 Vaccinations Today, Canada passed the 40% mark in what percentage of its population has gotten at least one dose, and it doesn’t look like the vaccination rate is slowing down at all!… Continue reading 2021-05-11 General