Covid Corner

KGIII

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I will never understand these Anti-Vaxxers.
There has been quite a bit of research regarding the people who believe in conspiracy theories. It's some pretty interesting stuff, and I suspect much of it translates to the anti-vax crowd. They tend to think they're smarter than they really are, they have few accomplishments, and a desire to feel special. So, they have the 'special knowledge' or ability to 'read between the lines'.

Basically, their brains are broken. They'll do things like point to a real conspiracy that did happen and use that as justification to believe whatever conspiracy theories they decide to believe in. They rely heavily on logical fallacies - such as, "you can't prove it isn't true". That's how you end up with an armed moron storming a pizza shop to free the imaginary captive children.

Another grand one is the predictions they make. None of it ever happens, but they just keep making new predictions - and will go so far as to deny their previous predictions. If you quote their previous predictions they say things like you're taking it out of context - even if you quote them directly. Sometimes they'll deny they even made the prediction - even if you show them a screenshot of them making the prediction. "You fabricated that." Which is shortly followed by, "You can't prove you didn't fabricate it!"

I'd keep going, but it'd start bordering on politics and I'm going to avoid that. We'll just say that I could be reasoned into supporting some pretty drastic measures.
 


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Recovered, but still not healthy: How long COVID affects people around the world - DW News

Long Covid: What is it and what are the symptoms?
From BBC [1]:
What are long Covid symptoms?
Guidance for UK health workers describes long Covid as symptoms continuing for more than 12 weeks after an infection - severe or mild - which can't be explained by another cause.

According to the NHS, symptoms include:
- extreme tiredness
- shortness of breath, heart palpitations, chest pain or tightness
- problems with memory and concentration ("brain fog")
- changes to taste and smell
- joint pain

What causes long Covid?
We don't yet know for sure. One possibility is the infection makes some people's immune systems go into overdrive, attacking not just the virus but their own tissues. That can happen in people who have very strong immune responses.

The virus itself getting into and damaging our cells might explain some symptoms like brain fog and a loss of smell and taste, while damage to blood vessels in particular could lead to heart, lung and brain problems.

Who gets long Covid and how common is it?
This is difficult to pin down because doctors only recently started recording long Covid as an official diagnosis.

However, there is a substantial body of research suggesting it becomes increasingly likely with age, and is twice as common among women.

Some, but not all, long Covid symptoms are more common in people who were very ill or ended up in hospital.

What about children?
Children are less likely than adults to catch Covid and are therefore less likely to develop long Covid - but some still do.

However, leading experts say they are reassured about the scale of long Covid in young people after the biggest study in the world showed persistent symptoms were less common than feared.

How will I know I have long Covid?
There is currently no test - instead it is currently a "diagnosis of exclusion", according to Dr Strain, with doctors first ruling out other possible causes.

Can the vaccine help?
Roughly half of people with long Covid reported an improvement in their symptoms after being jabbed - possibly by resetting their immune response or helping the body attack any remaining fragments of the virus, say experts.



Q: Long COVID in children: How long might it last?
From Medical News Today [2]:
A: “As children are often asymptomatic or have mild symptoms when [contracting infection] with SARS-CoV-2, one of the reasons to [vaccinate] them is to protect them against long-term consequences from SARS-CoV-2, such as [multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children] and long COVID,” Dr. Zimmermann wrote.

“Therefore, we need to accurately determine the risk of long COVID in this age group. Often, just a single study is cited to give a prevalence of persisting symptoms. We wanted to summarize them to get a better overview.”

Q & A: Managing Symptoms of Long COVID
From WebMD [3]:
Q: Well, let's start off with this phenomenon. Long COVID. It's estimated more than 2 million people are suffering from it. How would you define it?
A: Long COVID is when people have an initial COVID infection, and they may recover from the initial infection but then continue to have longer term symptoms, so symptoms that last for a month or longer after their initial COVID infection. And people who have Long COVID have a variety of symptoms that range from things like headaches to extreme fatigue to changes in their memory and their thinking, as well as muscle weakness and joint pain and muscle aches among many other symptoms.

Q: Are there any special lab tests that you order to help patients figure out if that's what they may be suffering from, because as you point out, some of these symptoms aren't specific to COVID.
A: Now, patients with Long COVID tend to have a variety of symptoms. So a lot of the diagnosis is based on the history of having COVID recently, and subsequently, developing these new symptoms. We are still learning about Long COVID and what causes it, but it's thought to be related to your immune system responds to COVID that really sets off this cascade of inflammation, and so sometimes we're able to see some of that in the lab tests that we do.

Q: Now, let's be fair, Dr. Friedly, people are going to be saying, what are those lab tests? So what are some of those that you order?
A: So some of the-- in general, we start with some of the basic labs to look at your white blood cell count, your red blood cell count, and then what we call a comprehensive panel to look at your electrolytes and how well your kidneys and your liver are functioning. And then there are specific markers for inflammation like a sedimentation rate, or a CRP. Those sometimes are helpful for us. We oftentimes see abnormalities in people's d-dimer, which is another marker of inflammation and can be associated with some of the vascular changes that we see.

Q: There's data to suggest that many patients are still experiencing symptoms a year later. You mentioned you were suffering from it. Can you talk a little bit about your recovery? How did you get to the point of recovery?
A: Absolutely. I struggled, like many people struggled with fatigue and headaches, as well as muscle aches and pains and inability to do the kinds of exercise that I was able to do prior to COVID. And I used a lot of the strategies that we use with our patients. I focused on making sure that I was getting good quality sleep, that I was eating a healthy diet, that was more of a Mediterranean style, anti-inflammatory diet to try to reduce inflammation.

And then I started a very gradual restorative exercise program starting with breathing exercises, stretching, very light strengthening, and low intensity aerobic exercise and really had to retrain my body to be able to handle the kinds of activities that I was used to doing.

Q: Do people typically need to see specialists, either cardiologists, pulmonologist? You're at a clinic that can be multispecialty, but what about folks that don't necessarily have that option? What would you advise them, in terms of whether it's their primary care doctor, a specialist. Should they seek about enrolling in a clinical trial? What advice do you have to viewers who may be suffering from Long COVID or a loved one or friend is?
A: I think the first thing I would recommend is to work with your primary care doctor and they can really help you to do a thorough evaluation of your condition and help make some of the initial recommendations. What we are finding is that a lot of the symptoms are systemic and not necessarily organ specific. Having a clinic where there is a comprehensive approach to Long COVID and specialists to understand that COVID affects multiple different areas of the body and affects physical symptoms as well as cognitive and emotional symptoms and is able to put it all together for patients is really helpful when that's available.

But definitely starting with a primary care physician would be the first recommendation.

Q: Are there any approved treatments for Long COVID?
A: There currently are not any approved treatments for Long COVID. So a lot of what the approaches that we use are extrapolated from other conditions that have similar types of symptoms. There's a lot of ongoing research going on right now to look at specific treatments for Long COVID, and there are some promising results from clinical trials of medications that we've used for other conditions that seem to be helpful in people with COVID.

Q: And what might those other conditions be? Is it things like fibromyalgia, is it chronic fatigue? Do you have a sense so viewers can look into that as well.
A: There's definitely some overlap with chronic fatigue syndrome. So a lot of the strategies that we use are things that have been shown to be helpful in chronic fatigue, and there's overlap with other conditions, neurologic conditions that have fatigue associated with them, like multiple sclerosis, for example, but chronic fatigue is probably the closest syndrome to what we're seeing with long COVID.

Long-haul COVID-19 Symptoms Can Persist for More Than 1 Year
From WebMD [4]:
- Nearly half of people who are hospitalized with COVID-19 suffer at least one lingering symptom 1 year after discharge, according to the largest study yet to examine the recovery of a group of COVID-19 survivors 12 months after the illness.
- Overall, at 12 months, COVID-19 survivors had more problems with mobility, pain or discomfort, and anxiety or depression, and had lower self-assessment scores of quality of life than COVID-free peers, the investigators report.
- "While most had made a good recovery, health problems persisted in some patients, especially those who had been critically ill during their hospital stay," Bin Cao, MD, from the National Center for Respiratory Medicine at the China-Japan Friendship Hospital in Beijing, said in a Lancet news release.
- As shown in multiple other studies, COVID-19 can take a toll on mental health. In this study, slightly more patients said they were experiencing anxiety or depression at 12 months than at 6 months (23% vs 26%), and the proportion was much greater than adults without COVID-19 (5%). Compared with men, women were twice as likely to report anxiety or depression.

Coronavirus digest: Germany to overcome pandemic by spring, health minister says
From DW News [5]:
- The World Health Organization has reported a decline in the number of weekly infections and deaths around the world on Wednesday with over 3.6 million cases and just under 60,000 deaths reported between September 13 and 19.
- Brazil's Health Minister Marcelo Queiroga has tested positive for the virus after attending the UN General Assembly in New York.
- Panama is set to offer a third dose of the vaccine to moderate and severely immunocompromised people this week, Health Minister Luis Sucre announced on Tuesday.
- US President Joe Biden is set to host a virtual vaccine summit on Wednesday to push other well-off countries to do more to get the coronavirus pandemic under control across the world. This comes as world leaders and health groups sound the alarm about global vaccine inequity.



Sources and links:
[1] https://www.bbc.com/news/health-57833394
[2] https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/long-covid-in-children-how-long-might-it-last
[3] https://www.webmd.com/coronavirus-in-context/video/janna-friedly
[4] https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20210830/long-haul-covid-19-symptoms
[5] https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-d...mic-by-spring-health-minister-says/a-59258879


Global daily statistics - COVID-19 Global Tracker



PS: I will post again here in one week, as usual. Thanks for reading, everyone.
 

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Pfizer's COVID booster shots: Who's eligible, vaccine availability and more

From CNet [1]:
Who is currently eligible for the Pfizer booster shot?
- Individuals 65 years of age and older and residents in a long-term facility should receive a booster.
- Individuals 50 through 64 years of age with an underlying medical condition should receive a booster.
- Individuals 18 to 49 years of age with an underlying condition may receive a booster if they assess their risk of infection as high.
- Individuals 18 to 64 years who are at increased risk because of their job -- such as hospital workers, teachers or grocery store workers -- may receive a booster if they assess their risk of infection as high.
The CDC decision applies just to those vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine and not for those who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

When can I get the Pfizer booster shot?
As soon as today. According to White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Jeff Zients, up to 20 million people received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least six months ago and are eligible for the Pfizer booster shot now.

What is an 'underlying medical condition'?
The CDC said adults of any age can be more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19 with an underlying medical condition. Here are what the CDC lists as underlying conditions:
- Cancer
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic lung diseases
- Neurological conditions, such as dementia
- Diabetes
- Down syndrome
- Heart conditions
- HIV infection
- Liver disease
- Overweight
- Pregnancy and recently pregnant
- Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
- Smoking, current or former
- Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant
- Stroke or cerebrovascular disease
- Substance use disorders
- Weakened immune system
Outside of the underlying conditions, the CDC said older adults are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.

Why would I need a Pfizer booster shot?
If you're fully vaccinated, the CDC says you will continue to be protected from infection and especially against serious illness. All the COVID-19 vaccine shots authorized by the FDA continue to be "highly effective in reducing risk of severe disease, hospitalization and death," according to the CDC.

However, recent studies -- such as one from Israel and another from the UK -- suggest that the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines may decrease after six or eight months, necessitating a booster shot to maintain high levels of protection against breakthrough COVID-19 infections.

This month, Pfizer released data from its application to the FDA, arguing that immunity wanes over time and that administering boosters is a way to get ahead of the curve and contain the pandemic. Pfizer also presented what it considers proof that a booster will be safe and effective for the majority of adults.

What is the controversy around COVID booster shots?
The FDA, however, said that data needs to be reviewed more thoroughly by experts before opening up boosters to everyone. Instead, the FDA recommended that those who are age 65 and older should be eligible, as well as those who are at a high risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms -- that includes frontline and health care workers. The CDC decision follows the FDA recommendation.

Who had already been eligible to get a Pfizer or Moderna booster shot?
Some immunocompromised people are already eligible under guidelines from the CDC and can go out now to get their third dose. The CDC's booster recommendation is for those 12 and older for the Pfizer vaccine. For the Moderna vaccine, the CDC is recommending 18 and older. The FDA hasn't authorized a second dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for immunocompromised people because of a lack of data.

The CDC recommends that you talk with your health care provider about your medical condition and whether an additional dose is appropriate. See our guide to the booster vaccine for more on a booster shot for moderately to severely immunocompromised people.

Is the Pfizer booster the same as the first two shots
Yes. According to Pfizer, its COVID-19 booster would be a third jab of the same vaccine you got with the first two doses. Separately, Pfizer is working with its partner BioNTech on a version of the COVID-19 vaccine that targets the delta variant.

Where can I get a booster shot?
According to Zients, boosters will be available at roughly 80,000 places across the country, including over 40,000 local pharmacies. Some 90% of Americans have a vaccine site within 5 miles of where they live, Zients said, and getting a booster shot will be just as easy as getting the first shot. And the booster shot will be free too. You can check Vaccines.gov to see which vaccines are available where or call 1-800-232-0233 for vaccine information.


From CNET news [2]:
Who is eligible for either a Pfizer or Moderna booster shot?
The Food and Drug Administration and the CDC haven't yet authorized an additional dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for those with compromised immune systems. About 3% of US adults are immunocompromised, according to the CDC, but research suggests they account for about 44% of hospitalized breakthrough cases of COVID-19. Not only are they more likely to get very ill from COVID-19, they also have a lower antibody response to vaccines and are at a higher risk of transmitting the virus.

The list of people includes solid-organ transplant recipients and people who have an "equivalent level of immunocompromise" and who have a reduced ability to fight off infections. If you're unsure whether you're qualified, the CDC says to talk to your medical provider about your health condition and whether a third dose is appropriate.

What about Johnson & Johnson or Moderna boosters?
While Pfizer is ahead in the approval process, Moderna could just be a few weeks behind. Johnson & Johnson announced in a press release on Sept. 21 that a booster dose of the vaccine, given two months after the first shot, was 94% protective against symptomatic COVID-19 in the US and 100% effective against severe COVID-19, which puts it in the same league as Pfizer and Moderna. The company said it would work with public health officials on a plan for a booster shot, but there is no time frame in place. Currently, the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine is available under an emergency use authorization for individuals 18 years of age and older.

Will booster shots be free of cost?
The current one-dose vaccine shot from Johnson & Johnson and two-dose vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer are free to anyone who wants to get vaccinated. And the additional shots will be free too. "These booster shots are free," Biden said. "It will be easy. Just show your vaccination card and you'll get a booster. No other ID. No insurance. No state registry requirements."

"It will be just as easy and convenient to get a booster shot as it is to get a first shot today. We have enough vaccine supply for every American," Zients said, adding that those who are eligible will be able to get a booster at roughly 80,000 places across the country, including over 40,000 local pharmacies. Zients said 90% of Americans have a vaccine site within five miles of where they live.

Vaccines.gov provides information, including what vaccines are available at each site and, for many sites, what appointments are open. A toll-free number, 1-800-232-0233, will also be available in over 150 languages. Americans who have already used the text code 438829 or WhatsApp to get vaccine information will automatically receive a text with information on boosters, if and when recommended.

YouTube blocks all anti-vaccine content - Reuters

New SMS malware targets Android users through fake COVID messages - TechRepublic
From TechRepublic [3]:
A new and devious SMS malware campaign is trying to infect people via their mobile devices by promising details about COVID-19. Aimed at Android users in the U.S. and Canada, the malware known as TangleBot can make and block phone calls, send text messages, and overlay malicious screens on a compromised device, said a new report from security firm Cloudmark.

As cybercriminals continue to exploit the coronavirus pandemic, TangleBot attempts to trick Android users into downloading malicious software through phony messages about COVID-19. One message discovered by Cloudmark says: "New regulations about COVID-19 in your region. Read here."


Another message says: "You have received the appointment for the 3rd dose. For more information, visit…"


With the necessary access, the criminals behind the attack can perform any of the following tasks:
- Make and block phone calls.
- Send, obtain and process text messages.
- Record the camera, screen or microphone audio or stream them directly.
- Place overlay screens on the device covering legitimate apps.
- Set up other methods to observe activity on the device.

To help mobile users protect themselves from SMS malware, Cloudmark offers several tips.
- Look out for suspicious text messages. Attackers increasingly are using mobile messaging and SMS phishing to carry out attacks.
- Guard your mobile number. Consider the potential consequences before you provide your mobile phone number to an enterprise or other commercial entity.
- Access any linked website directly. If you get a text from any enterprise, especially one with a warning or delivery notification that has a webpage link, don't click on that link. Instead, open your browser to access the company's website directly. Similarly, take any offer codes you receive in a message and enter them directly in the company's website to see if they're legitimate.
- Report SMS phishing and spam messages. If you get a spam message, use the spam reporting feature in your messaging app if it has one. Alternatively, forward spam text messages to 7726, which spells "SPAM" on your phone's keypad.
- Be cautious when installing apps to your device. When downloading and installing new programs to your mobile device, read any installation prompts first and carefully review any requests for permission to access certain types of content.
- Avoid responding to unsolicited texts. Don't respond to unsolicited enterprise or commercial messages from a vendor or company you don't recognize. Doing so often simply confirms that you're a "real person."
- Install apps only from legitimate app stores. Don't install software on your mobile device outside of a certified app store from the vendor or your mobile operator.

Coronavirus digest: BioNTech-Pfizer submit children's vaccine trial data
From DW News [4]:
- COVID-19 vaccine makers BioNTech and Pfizer have submitted initial trial data for a vaccine to cover 5 to 11 year olds. They plan to make a formal request to US regulators for emergency use. The US Food and Drug Administration has said it would complete its data review as quickly as possible, with sources saying an authorization of the vaccine for 5-to-11-year-olds could come by the end of October, Reuters reported.
- Whistleblowers in Brazil told the country's senate that a Brazilian hospital chain had tested unproven drugs on elderly COVID-19 patients without their knowledge, as part of an effort to prove President Jair Bolsonaro's preferred 'miracle cure' for the disease. At least nine people died of COVID-19 during the trials from March to April 2020, but their charts were altered to hide the cause of death, 12 whistleblower doctors said through an attorney. The company threatened and fired doctors who disagreed with a predetermined "COVID kit" that included hydroxychloroquine, erythromycin and ivermectin, even though there is no scientific evidence that those drugs work against COVID-19.
- The government in Australia will wind down emergency funding for people who lost work during COVID-19 shutdowns, as vaccination rates rise. Canberra has spent some A$9 billion ($6.5 billion) since June to support around 2 million people affected by the pandemic.
- Germany reported 11,780 cases and 67 deaths on Wednesday. The total number of cases now stands at 4,215,351 and deaths at 93,571.
- Italy has given the go-ahead for travel to six non-European tourist spots. Italians will be able to travel quarantine-free to the Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius, Egypt (but only Sharm El Sheikh and Marsa Alam), Dominican Republic and Aruba.
- The US booster shot vaccination campaign got off to "a very strong start," White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients said. More than 400,000 Americans got BioNTech/Pfizer booster shots last weekend through local pharmacies in the opening days of the vaccine drive.

Global daily statistics - Reuters COVID-19 Global Tracker


List of sources
[1] https://www.cnet.com/health/pfizers-covid-booster-shots-whos-eligible-vaccine-availability-and-more/
[2] https://www.cnet.com/news/with-pfiz...-whats-next-for-moderna-and-j-j-what-to-know/
[3] https://www.techrepublic.com/articl...ts-android-users-through-fake-covid-messages/
[4] https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-d...ubmit-childrens-vaccine-trial-data/a-59349806

PS: I will post here again in one week, as usual. Thanks for reading, everyone.
 

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The Chinese ‘RoboDoc’ swabbing noses for Covid-19 - South China Morning Post

Tracking coronavirus vaccinations and outbreaks in the U.S.
View the full chart from Reuters here.

Merck pill raises hope of preventing COVID deaths - Reuters
From Reuters [1]:
An experimental antiviral pill developed by Merck & Co (MRK.N) could halve the chances of dying or being hospitalized for those most at risk of contracting severe COVID-19, according to data that experts hailed as a potential breakthrough in how the virus is treated.

Current treatment options include Gilead Sciences Inc's (GILD.O) infused antiviral remdesivir and generic steroid dexamethasone, both of which are generally only given once a patient has already been hospitalized. "This is going to change the dialogue around how to manage COVID-19," Merck Chief Executive Robert Davis told Reuters.

Pfizer and Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG (ROG.S) are also racing to develop an easy-to-administer antiviral pill for COVID-19. For now, only antibody cocktails that have to be given intravenously are approved for non-hospitalized patients.

A planned interim analysis of 775 patients in Merck's study looked at hospitalizations or deaths among people at risk for severe disease. It found that 7.3% of those given molnupiravir twice a day for five days were hospitalized and none had died by 29 days after treatment. That compared with a hospitalization rate of 14.1% for placebo patients. There were also eight deaths in the placebo group.

'A HUGE ADVANCE'

“A safe, affordable, and effective oral antiviral would be a huge advance in the fight against COVID," said Peter Horby, a professor of emerging infectious diseases at the University of Oxford.

The study enrolled patients with laboratory-confirmed mild-to-moderate COVID-19, who had symptoms for no more than five days. All patients had at least one risk factor associated with poor disease outcome, such as obesity or older age.

Drugs in the same class as molnupiravir have been linked to birth defects in animal studies. Merck has said similar studies of molnupiravir – for longer and at higher doses than used in humans – indicate that the drug does not affect mammalian DNA.

Merck said viral sequencing done so far shows molnupiravir is effective against all variants of the coronavirus including the highly transmissible Delta, which has driven the recent worldwide surge in hospitalizations and deaths.

Merck says research shows its COVID-19 pill works against variants
From Reuters [2]:
Laboratory studies show that Merck & Co's (MRK.N) experimental oral COVID-19 antiviral drug, molnupiravir, is likely to be effective against known variants of the coronavirus, including the dominant, highly transmissible Delta, the company said on Wednesday.

Since molnupiravir does not target the spike protein of the virus - the target of all current COVID-19 vaccines - which defines the differences between the variants, the drug should be equally effective as the virus continues to evolve, said Jay Grobler, head of infectious disease and vaccines at Merck.

Molnupiravir instead targets the viral polymerase, an enzyme needed for the virus to make copies of itself. It is designed to work by introducing errors into the genetic code of the virus.

The U.S. drugmaker tested its antiviral against nasal swab samples taken from participants in early trials of the drug. Delta was not in wide circulation at the time of those trials, but molnupiravir was tested against lab samples of the variant behind the latest surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths.

Merck said earlier this year that a small, mid-stage trial found that after five days of molnupiravir treatment, none of the patients taking various doses of the drug tested positive for infectious virus, while 24% of placebo patients did have detectable levels.

Merck is currently conducting two Phase III trials of the antiviral it is developing with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics - one for treatment of COVID-19 and another as a preventive.

Merck to Ask FDA for Emergency Approval of Its New Antiviral Pill for COVID
From WebMD [3]:
Pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. said Friday that it will seek federal approval for emergency use of its new antiviral pill molnupiravir, after a clinical trial showed the drug halved the risk of hospitalization or death when given to high-risk people shortly after infection with COVID-19.

"More tools and treatments are urgently needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, which has become a leading cause of death and continues to profoundly affect patients, families and societies, and strain health care systems all around the world," Merck CEO and President Robert Davis said in a company statement. "With these compelling results, we are optimistic that molnupiravir can become an important medicine as part of the global effort to fight the pandemic."

COVID-19 pill developers aim to top Merck, Pfizer efforts
From Reuters [4]:
Enanta Pharmaceuticals (ENTA.O), Pardes Biosciences, Japan's Shionogi & Co Ltd (4507.T) and Novartis AG (NOVN.S) said they have designed antivirals that specifically target the coronavirus while aiming to avoid potential shortcomings such as the need for multiple pills per day or known safety issues.

Infectious disease experts stressed that preventing COVID-19 through wide use of vaccines remains the best way to control the pandemic. But they said the disease is here to stay and more convenient treatments are needed.

"We need to have oral alternatives for suppression of this virus. We have people who aren't vaccinated getting sick, people whose vaccine protection is waning, and people who can't get vaccinated," said Dr. Robert Schooley, an infectious diseases professor at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

What you should know about COVID-19 this week
From Reuters [5]:
Worldwide deaths related to COVID-19 surpassed 5 million on Friday, according to a Reuters tally, with unvaccinated people particularly exposed to the virulent Delta strain. While it took just over a year for the COVID-19 death toll to hit 2.5 million, the next 2.5 million deaths were recorded in just under eight months, according to a Reuters analysis.

More than half of all global deaths reported on a seven-day average were in the United States, Russia, Brazil, Mexico and India. An average of 8,000 deaths were reported daily across the world over the last week, or around five deaths every minute. However, the global death rate has been slowing in recent weeks.



More news compilation from Reuters [6]:
- Australia will buy 300,000 courses of Merck & Co's experimental antiviral pill, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday, as Victoria logged the highest number of daily infections of any state in the country since the pandemic began.
- AstraZeneca seeks U.S. authorisation of drug to prevent COVID-19.
- J&J files for authorization of vaccine booster.
- New Zealand said on Tuesday that it will start using vaccine certificates as proof of inoculation at large events and other high-risk settings from next month, as the country battles the spread of the Delta variant.
- Japan's COVID-19 case numbers have plummeted to the lowest in nearly a year just as other parts of Asia are struggling with surging infections, leaving health experts perplexed and raising concern of a winter rebound.
- Russia's Finance Minister Anton Siluanov is self-isolating, the head of the upper house of parliament said on Tuesday as cases in the country increased and a record daily death toll was recorded. In the past 24 hours, at least 895 people died from COVID-19 in Russia.
- The number of daily coronavirus-related deaths in Ukraine topped 300 for the first time since mid-May, health ministry data showed on Tuesday.
- China reports no new local cases for first time in over 3 weeks.

List of sources:
[1] https://www.reuters.com/business/he...death-hospitalization-by-50-study-2021-10-01/
[2] https://www.reuters.com/business/he...id-19-pill-works-against-variants-2021-09-29/
[3] https://www.webmd.com/vaccines/covi...-approval-of-its-new-antiviral-pill-for-covid
[4] https://www.reuters.com/business/he...pers-aim-top-merck-pfizer-efforts-2021-09-28/
[5] https://www.reuters.com/world/globa...illion-delta-variant-sweeps-world-2021-10-02/
[6] https://www.reuters.com/business/he...-know-about-coronavirus-right-now-2021-10-05/

PS: I will post again here in one week. Thanks for reading, everyone.
 

KGIII

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Woohoo! Go Maine! Punching way above our weight! 4th most-vaccinated in the country!

I'm fully vaccinated, plus I opted for the booster. I'll take another booster if they want. I ain't scared of the vaccine.

Heck, I'm not even really scared of COVID. I'm pretty healthy, so I'd likely survive. Getting COVID and passing it on to someone else kinda scares me. I don't want to be the person that does that.
 

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This article relates to misinformation.

The bottom few paragraphs are not related at all, but still make for interesting reading/listening

 

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KGIII

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I have it on good authority that many folks ask for the vaccine after they've caught COVID. Alas, it won't help at that point. You gotta get the jab ahead of time, which also makes getting over COVID easier and makes it more survivable.

I kinda feel for the medical professionals who have to deal with that.

On the other hand, I don't really have any empathy for those who refused the vaccine - if they were eligible for one in the first place.
 

wizardfromoz

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I don't really have any empathy for those who refused the vaccine -...
I think we need to draw a distinction between anti-vaxers and fence-sitters, particularly where a lot of the fence-sitters in our capital cities are a part of a culture whose first language is not English.

They just don't understand the perils, and place too much trust in social media.
 

wizardfromoz

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Just further to my above -

Fault (for not getting vaccinated) can be laid at any number of doors, and answers are not simple.

Sydney has its (not yet) retired Doctor Jamal Rifi, Lebanese, with his drive-through vax jab station.

Ms Zain and her father are Melbourne-based, if he had been informed better he might have gotten the jab.

Whether the Community concerned is Lebanese or other Muslim, Greek, Italian, German, Dutch, Spanish, Vietnamese or Aboriginal (and on and on) - spiritual leaders must combine with the medical fraternity (and almost all groups have doctors within their ranks) to make sure that "their people" have every opportunity and incentive to get jabbed, and if the supplies are not there, hammer the political Members.

IMO

Wizard
 

Condobloke

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KGIII

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particularly where a lot of the fence-sitters in our capital cities are a part of a culture whose first language is not English.
If I understand the stats correctly, the overwhelming majority of vaccine takers don't speak English as their first language - if at all.

Though, I suppose I might be able to drum up some sympathy for those who have been fed misinformation while not having reasonable access to good information. It sure has brought some obstinate people out of the woodwork, such as the people who think the can catch the virus by being in the same room as someone who has been vaccinated.
 
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