Coronavirus Insights – December 22, 2020
Dear Nutmeg Aspirin Community,
If you’ve been feeling very “Bah humbug!” this holiday season, you are certainly not alone. The holidays on their own present a unique challenge for many people. We all experience the themes of family, giving, comfort, joy, and a little bit of magic in very different ways.
With a global pandemic and its ever-evolving complications in the mix, all of those “Bah humbug!” feelings are more than valid. So how can we honor those feelings this year? There are many practical tips in our “Emotional Well-being” Collection, but none of them were written before Covid came to town! We know that the research can be tiring, but we do feel that a productive way to navigate how you’re feeling is to continue educating yourself and finding the best-fit solution for you. As such, we’ve compiled a round-up of some concerns that have come up from the first week of Covid vaccinations, as well as new information about therapeutics and emerging research about the ‘mutant’ virus strain that has England in lockdown.
And of course, it won’t hurt to wish for a Christmas miracle to help us all heal from the impacts of 2020 💛 Sending love and light to you and yours for a peaceful, healthy, Covid-free holiday!
Anaphylaxis Following m-RNA COVID-19 Vaccine Receipt
As of December 19, 2020, 3150 people out of 112,807 who received the first dose had an “adverse health impact”. The CDC defines an “adverse health impact” as “unable to perform normal daily activities, unable to work, required care from doctor or health care professional."
Via UK Government
REG 174 Information for UK Healthcare Workers
From the guidelines for healthcare professionals: “4.5 Interaction with other medicinal products and other forms of interaction. No interaction studies have been performed. Concomitant administration of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 with other vaccines has not been studied (see section 5.1). Do not mix COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 with other vaccines/products in the same syringe.4.6 Fertility, pregnancy and lactation. Pregnancy —There are no or limited amount of data from the use of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2. Animal reproductive toxicity studies have not been completed. COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 is not recommended during pregnancy. For women of childbearing age, pregnancy should be excluded before vaccination. In addition, women of childbearing age should be advised to avoid pregnancy for at least 2 months after their second dose. Breast-feeding—It is unknown whether COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 is excreted in human milk. A risk to the newborns/infants cannot be excluded. COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 should not be used during breast-feeding. Fertility— It is unknown whether COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine BNT162b2 has an impact on fertility."
Via NY Times
Here's why Vaccinated People Still Need to Wear a Mask
"The new vaccines will probably prevent you from getting sick with Covid. No one knows yet whether they will keep you from spreading the virus to others — but that information is coming."
Via New York Post
Nurse faints while talking to press about getting COVID-19 vaccine
"This is the scary moment a nurse who had just received the coronavirus vaccine at a Tennessee hospital told reporters she was feeling dizzy and then fainted."
Third Alaskan health care worker has allergic reaction to Covid-19 vaccine
"For the third time in three days, an Alaska health care worker had an allergic reaction after receiving a dose of the new Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine."
Via ABC 7 Chicago
Advocate Condell Medical Center to resume vaccinations after temporary pause due to COVID-19 vaccine side effects
"After a thorough internal review, Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville is restarting their COVID-19 vaccination program as of Sunday. The program was put on pause Friday night after four employees experience reactions shortly after receiving the vaccine. Officials said there have been no other cases reported across Advocate Aurora Health."
You can't sue Pfizer or Moderna if you have severe Covid vaccine side effects. The government likely won't compensate you either
"Under the PREP Act, companies like Pfizer and Moderna have total immunity from liability if something unintentionally goes wrong with their vaccines. A little-known government program provides benefits to people who can prove they suffered serious injury from a vaccine. That program rarely pays, covering just 29 claims over the last decade."
Via Stat News
Pfizer says placebo patients will eventually get its Covid-19 vaccine. The question of when is complicated
"But the timing of the decision is complicated in the case of Covid-19, with potential consequences for clinical trials. The FDA has indicated it wants vaccine manufacturers to keep their trials blinded for as long as possible; early unblinding could mean that safety and efficacy results would be less reliable after that point. That’s because volunteers who received the vaccine could no longer be compared to an untreated placebo group."
Via Fox 46 Charlotte
Vaccine will keep you immune for 2 months, NCDHHS says
"Don’t expect to get a COVID-19 vaccine any time soon, and when and if you do get the shot, your protection against the virus may only be good for two months under the Pfizer vaccine, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, which says on its website they’ll know more about long-term immunity the longer people are vaccinated."
Masks and Testing Concerns
Via New York Post
Wearing a used mask could be worse than using no mask amid COVID-19:study
“A new three-layer surgical mask is 65 percent efficient in filtering particles in the air — but when used, that number drops to 25 percent, according to the study published Tuesday in the Physics of Fluids. Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and California Baptist University say that masks slow down airflow, making people more susceptible to breathing in particles — and a dirty face mask can’t effectively filter out the tiniest of droplets.”
WHO Information Notice for IVD Users -- Nucleic acid testing (NAT) technologies that use real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for detection of SARS-CoV-2
"Users of RT-PCR reagents should read the IFU carefully to determine if manual adjustment of the PCR positivity threshold is necessary to account for any background noise which may lead to a specimen with a high cycle threshold (Ct) value result being interpreted as a positive result. The design principle of RT-PCR means that for patients with high levels of circulating virus (viral load), relatively few cycles will be needed to detect virus and so the Ct value will be low. Conversely, when specimens return a high Ct value, it means that many cycles were required to detect virus. In some circumstances, the distinction between background noise and actual presence of the target virus is difficult to ascertain. Thus, the IFU will state how to interpret specimens at or near the limit for PCR positivity. In some cases, the IFU will state that the cut-off should be manually adjusted to ensure that specimens with high Ct values are not incorrectly assigned SARS-CoV-2 detected due to background noise."
Via US National Library of Medicine (National Institutes of Health)
Endogenous Deficiency of Glutathione as the Most Likely Cause of Serious Manifestations and Death in COVID-19 Patients
"Endogenous glutathione deficiency appears to be a crucial factor enhancing SARS-CoV-2-induced oxidative damage of the lung and, as a result, leads to serious manifestations, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, multiorgan failure, and death in COVID-19 patients. When the antiviral activity of GSH is taken into account, individuals with glutathione deficiency seem to have a higher susceptibility for uncontrolled replication of SARS-CoV-2 virus and thereby suffer from an increasing viral load."
Via US National Library of Medicine (National Institutes of Health)
Efficacy of glutathione therapy in relieving dyspnea associated with COVID-19 pneumonia: A report of 2 cases
"Two patients living in New York City (NYC) with a history of Lyme and tick-borne co-infections experienced a cough and dyspnea and demonstrated radiological findings consistent with novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP). A trial of 2 g of PO or IV glutathione was used in both patients and improved their dyspnea within 1 h of use. Repeated use of both 2000 mg of PO and IV glutathione was effective in further relieving respiratory symptoms."
Via University of Florida Health
Existing antihistamine drugs show effectiveness against COVID-19 virus in cell testing
"People age 61 and older who had used certain antihistamines were less likely to test positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus than those who did not take the medications, the researchers found. Next, the researchers tested this group of antihistamines for their ability to inhibit the coronavirus in a combination of human and primate cells. Three of the drugs — hydroxyzine, diphenhydramine and azelastine — showed direct, statistically significant antiviral effects on the SARS-CoV-2 virus."
Via Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance
Prophylaxis & Early Outpatient Treatment Protocol for COVID-19
An Ivermectin and vitamin protocol from the FLCCC Alliance
Mutant coronavirus in the United Kingdom sets off alarm, but its importance remains unclear
"Scientists, meanwhile, are hard at work trying to figure out whether B.1.1.7 is really more adept at human-to-human transmission—not everyone is convinced yet—and if so, why. They’re also wondering how it evolved so fast. B.1.1.7 has acquired 17 mutations all at once, a feat never seen before.”
WHO says no need for major alarm over new coronavirus strand
"The World Health Organization cautioned against major alarm over a new, highly infectious variant of the coronavirus that has emerged in Britain, saying this was a normal part of a pandemic's evolution. WHO officials even put a positive light on the discovery of the new strains that prompted a slew of alarmed countries to impose travel restrictions on Britain and South Africa, saying new tools to track the virus were working. Citing data from Britain, WHO officials said they had no evidence that the variant made people sicker or was more deadly than existing strains of COVID-19, although it did seem to spread more easily.”
Via Daily Mail
Is the mutant virus really out of control? Professor David Livermore argues the escalating mood of crisis is unwarranted
"Until those questions are answered, we cannot rule out the possibility the recent rise in Covid cases has little to do with the new variant’s transmissibility, but is largely the consequence of the expansion in Test and Trace. Meanwhile, if it does transpire that the new strain is more easily transmitted, we must remember that such a scenario isn’t always a bad thing.In line with Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory about the survival of the fittest, it is a fact of life that viruses evolve and adapt. There are a number of new features that can ensure a particular strain survives. One is a lower infectious dose, where the victim needs to inhale fewer virus particles to become infected. Another is the creation of a milder or asymptomatic form of the disease, which means carriers continue to go about their daily lives, thereby spreading the contagion more extensively. Both of these factors underpin the classic development of infectious diseases, including Covid-19 – that they generally evolve over time to become more transmissible and less lethal. That could be what is happening with the new variant of Covid, which is said to be more infectious, though we do not yet know how severe it is."
Via The Guardian
'Autoantibodies' may be driving severe Covid cases, study shows
"Scientists find aberrant immune system in patients with virus could also be cause of ‘long Covid’."
Via Wall Street Journal
How to End Lockdowns Next Month
"Target vaccines to the most vulnerable, and don’t give them to people who have already been infected."
Via The Hill
Facts — not fear — will stop the pandemic
"...But there is a lot of good news to tell. The case fatality rate from the virus has dropped sharply since March. The infection survival rate is 99.95 percent for people under 70 and 95 percent for people over 70. Hospitals are much better equipped to handle patients, with improved ventilator protocols, improved management of outpatients and new therapeutic strategies to provide relief and recoveries. Moreover, thanks to multiple ongoing clinical trials around the world, there may soon be a safe and effective vaccine. By contrast with their focus on COVID deaths, the media have paid scant attention to the enormous medical and psychological harms from the lockdowns in use to slow the pandemic."
Via Associated Press
ER visits, long waits climb for kids in mental health crisis
"When children and teens are overwhelmed with anxiety, depression or thoughts of self-harm, they often wait days in emergency rooms because there aren’t enough psychiatric beds. The problem has only grown worse during the pandemic, reports from parents and professionals suggest. With schools closed, routines disrupted and parents anxious over lost income or uncertain futures, children are shouldering new burdens many are unequipped to bear. And with surging numbers of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, bed space is even scarcer."
Via ABC News
Overdose deaths far outpace COVID-19 deaths in San Francisco
"A record 621 people died of drug overdoses in San Francisco so far this year, a staggering number that far outpaces the 173 deaths from COVID-19 the city has seen thus far."