Covid-19: News & Updates July 2021
- How to talk to COVID-19 vaccine holdouts: Calm fears, correct myths Death rate is 99.5% for unvaccinated,
- Covid-19 myths
- Myocarditis with COVID-19 mRNA vaccines
- State-by-state testing trends
- Delta COVID-19 variant gains ground among the unvaccinated
How to talk to COVID-19 vaccine holdouts: Calm fears, correct myths
20 July, 2021 - UT Southwestern Medical Center
Nearly 18 months after the COVID-19 pandemic began, and six months after safe and effective vaccines became available, the U.S. is facing another surge in cases. How is it possible that, as of July 17, COVID-19 infections were increasing in nearly all 50 states?
The highly transmissible delta variant, which is now the predominant strain of the virus here, is spreading quickly and mostly among the unvaccinated. In fact, more than 97 percent of patients entering the hospital are unvaccinated, according to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, who also noted: “This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated.”
Even though 56 percent of Americans have received at least one dose of vaccine and 161 million (49 percent) are fully vaccinated, the virus will continue to do what viruses do – search for available hosts, spread, and mutate – as long as a large portion of our population delays or avoids getting vaccinated. And that puts everyone at risk.
So, is there anything you can say to a reluctant friend or family member to persuade them that vaccination is the right choice for them?
The short answer is: Yes. A poll released recently by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that about one-fifth of Americans who said in January they were hesitant about or dead-set against getting a COVID-19 vaccine have since gotten their shots. Many said family, friends, and doctors helped change their minds. The poll also identified some primary reasons people are still avoiding vaccinations.
Let’s examine those and provide science-backed explanations that might potentially sway their thinking – and help put an end to the pandemic once and for all.
Myocarditis With COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines
20 July, 2021 - Circulation an AHA Journal
Myocarditis has been recognized as a rare complication of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) mRNA vaccinations, especially in young adult and adolescent males. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, myocarditis/pericarditis rates are ≈12.6 cases per million doses of second-dose mRNA vaccine among individuals 12 to 39 years of age. In reported cases, patients with myocarditis invariably presented with chest pain, usually 2 to 3 days after a second dose of mRNA vaccination, and had elevated cardiac troponin levels. ECG was abnormal with ST elevations in most, and cardiac MRI was suggestive of myocarditis in all tested patients. There was no evidence of acute COVID-19 or other viral infections. In 1 case, a cardiomyopathy gene panel was negative, but autoantibody levels against certain self-antigens and frequency of natural killer cells were increased. Although the mechanisms for the development of myocarditis are not clear, molecular mimicry between the spike protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) and self-antigens, trigger of preexisting dysregulated immune pathways in certain individuals, immune response to mRNA, and activation of immunologic pathways, and dysregulated cytokine expression have been proposed. The reasons for male predominance in myocarditis cases are unknown, but possible explanations relate to sex hormone differences in immune response and myocarditis, and also underdiagnosis of cardiac disease in women. Almost all patients had resolution of symptoms and signs and improvement in diagnostic markers and imaging with or without treatment. Despite rare cases of myocarditis, the benefit-risk assessment for COVID-19 vaccination shows a favorable balance for all age and sex groups; therefore, COVID-19 vaccination is recommended for everyone ≥12 years of age.
Covid-19 vaccine myths: These reasons for not getting a shot don't hold up. In fact, they'll set the US back
19 July, 2021 - CNN Health
Americans have an easy way to crush Covid-19 -- one that would let more businesses fully reopen safely, reduce the need for masks and help prevent more dangerous variants from emerging.
But many don't want to get vaccinated as myths and misunderstandings spread.
As of mid-July, less than 60% of eligible Americans ages 12 and up have been fully vaccinated.
That's a big problem for several reasons:
Unvaccinated people are 'variant factories,' infectious diseases expert says
-- More than 97% of people now entering the hospital with Covid-19 are not vaccinated, the director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in mid-July. They include children and young, previously healthy adults. (More on that later.) https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/03/health/unvaccinated-variant-factories/index.html
-- Unless more people get vaccinated, we may never reach herd immunity.
Read the full article for Covid Vaccine Myths - answered.
DAILY STATE-BY-STATE TESTING TRENDS
15 July, 2021 - Johns Hopkins
RATE OF POSITIVE TESTS IN THE US AND STATES OVER TIME
How Much Of The Disease Are We Finding Through Tests?
**The graph on the page linked to updates daily**
Shows the total daily number of virus tests conducted in each state and of those tests, how many were positive each day. The trend line in blue shows the average percentage of tests that were positive over the last 7 days. The rate of positivity is an important indicator because it can provide insights into whether a community is conducting enough testing to find cases. If a community’s positivity is high, it suggests that that community may largely be testing the sickest patients and possibly missing milder or asymptomatic cases. A lower positivity may indicate that a community is including in its testing patients with milder or no symptoms. The WHO has said that countries that have conducted extensive testing for COVID-19, should remain at 5% or lower for at least 14 days.
Delta Covid-19 Variant Gains Ground Among the Unvaccinated
06 July, 2021 - Wall Street Journal
At Cheyenne Regional Medical Center in Wyoming, health workers didn’t need genomic sequencing to tell them the highly contagious Delta variant had arrived.
Younger patients started coming in about two months ago with symptoms of Covid-19. Many progressed from mild illness to respiratory distress more quickly than patients treated earlier in the pandemic, said Sodienye Tetenta, a critical-care physician at the hospital. Nearly all were unvaccinated.
“We could see that this was not the Covid of last year,” Dr. Tetenta said.
The Delta variant is hardening a divide between people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and those who aren’t, prompting hospitals to brace for new case surges and health authorities to redouble vaccination efforts. Now the most common strain in the U.S., Delta is spreading as public life resumes at restaurants, sporting events, and other public settings across the country.
Vaccine-Induced Myocarditis Concerns Demand Respect, Not Absolutism
For the first half of 2021, the mRNA vaccines looked to be near perfect. The trials reported more than 90% efficacy for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Both provided near 100% prevention of severe COVID-19 and after hundreds of millions of adults received the shots, no signal of harm emerged.
I, like any rational person, see a positive benefit-harm ratio from the vaccines for adults.
After a "positive" trial in which just over 1100 kids aged 12 to 15 years received an mRNA vaccine, a movement arose to vaccinate young and old alike. I put "positive" in quotes for two reasons: The first is that this trial measured noninferiority of the immune response, not clinical outcomes. That was necessary because so few kids get sick with COVID-19. The other reason is that the authors claimed a favorable safety profile, but 1100 kids are not enough to inform the safety of a vaccine that will be given to many millions.
Then came a signal of myocarditis in young people, then another, and another, and now one is slightly older (median age, 25 years) military recruits. These reports complicate matters because young people have the lowest risk from COVID-19.
A debate arose: some argued to slow the deployment of vaccines for children, while the CDC noted that the benefit-harm profile is favorable.
The aim of this column is to argue that when it comes to vaccinating young people at low risk from the virus, parents and younger people should be allowed to weigh the vaccine decision with their clinicians without anyone being tarred as an anti-vaxxer.
99.5% Of People Killed By Covid In Last 6 Months Were Unvaccinated, Data Suggests
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said at a Thursday White House briefing that preliminary data reviewed by her agency suggests 99.5% of the people who died from Covid-19 over the past six months were unvaccinated, a stunning statistic in support of her assertion that nearly every virus-linked death is now preventable.
“Any suffering or death from Covid-19 tragic,” Walensky said. “With vaccines available across the country, the suffering and loss we are now seeing is entirely avoidable.”
COVID-19: News & Updates
As a response to the Coronavirus/Covid-19 outbreak, many medical associations and organizations have released statements specifically related to treatment for cardiovascular patients.
These resources provide credible and trustworthy information. Many if not most, speak to the need for more detailed research and data, to help guide us as we develop new standards of practice to ensure optimal care based on clinical practice rather than speculation.
- Wear a mask in public places
- Social distancing - stay at least 6 feet away from other people
- Wash your hands frequently - with warm soapy water for at least 30 seconds
- Avoid crowds, confined and poorly ventilated spaces.