Good news about protection against COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) variant viruses

A preprint paper yesterday provided evidence that cellular immunity that develops after COVID-19 infection protects against worrisome SARS-CoV-2 variant viruses. This is a different type of immunity from most prior studies which have only looked at blood antibody (protein) immunity. These lymphocyte killer responses are particularly important immunity for viral infections. Cellular immunity involves recognitionContinue reading “Good news about protection against COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) variant viruses”

The U.K. pats itself on the back in the New York Times!

A New York Times Op Ed today entitled “How Did Boris Johnson Get Covid Vaccines So Right?” by British journalist Samuel Earle lavishly praises the United Kingdom’s vaccine effort, but the real outcome from this program is yet to be determined.  The United Kingdom has one of the worst records of any developed nation inContinue reading “The U.K. pats itself on the back in the New York Times!”

Texas — the great experiment

Things have really been looking good of late concerning COVID-19. Deaths and new infections have dropped precipitously nationwide, and we now have three approved vaccines that are effective in preventing infections and remarkable in preventing hospitalizations and deaths from this awful disease. Over the next 60 days it is estimated that a large portion ofContinue reading “Texas — the great experiment”

New studies clearly indicate that the human COVID-19 causing virus, SARS-CoV-2, developed the ability to infect humans in bats.

There has been a significant debate about the origin of SARS-CoV-2 virus. A major concern was that it was “engineered by humans as a bioterrorism weapon.” Recent data, however, show that this virus probably developed the ability to infect humans while infecting bats and other species prior to jumping to humans.  Several scientific groups examinedContinue reading “New studies clearly indicate that the human COVID-19 causing virus, SARS-CoV-2, developed the ability to infect humans in bats.”

The Janssen vaccine is approved; where can you get it?

CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH, announced today that the agency gave full approval to the new coronavirus vaccine. Despite this good news, most people simply want to know whether they might be eligible to receive this new vaccine (as compared to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines) and where it might be available. TheContinue reading “The Janssen vaccine is approved; where can you get it?”

If you think you have had COVID-19, get an antibody blood test before your vaccine. It may save you a shot!

As I wrote last week, I believe most people who’ve already been infected with COVID-19 probably need only one dose of the vaccine to achieve strong immunity. Two recent studies from England provide data to support that concept. One study shows that antibody responses to the spike protein that prevent binding of the virus to human cells (andContinue reading “If you think you have had COVID-19, get an antibody blood test before your vaccine. It may save you a shot!”

More good vaccine news for a Friday.

Not surprisingly, the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted unanimously today to recommend emergency use approval of Johnson & Johnson’s (Janssen subsidiary) COVID-19 vaccine in people 18 and older. The FDA’s internal review recommended approval several days ago, as noted in a prior blog. The committee found no reason to disagree. Full approvalContinue reading “More good vaccine news for a Friday.”

Despite the decrease in numbers, people are still getting COVID-19.

Just a brief note tonight. I spent some time today trying to help with health care for two friends who became infected with COVID-19 this past week. Both have been remarkably compulsive about trying to avoid infection but despite their caution became infected. They can’t even identify the source of their infection.  One developed increasedContinue reading “Despite the decrease in numbers, people are still getting COVID-19.”

Johnson’s and Johnson’s one dose COVID-19 vaccine endorsed by the FDA

J&J’s sin­gle-dose vac­cine review was released today by the FDA committee. This review is an advisory document to brief the FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. While this vaccine may not have pro­duced the remarkable protection of the mR­NA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna, it was still strongly en­dorsed by the FDA re­view­ers. TheyContinue reading “Johnson’s and Johnson’s one dose COVID-19 vaccine endorsed by the FDA”

Don’t believe everything you hear on the Sunday morning news shows.

I am sure everyone watched the Sunday morning news shows this week. Statements were made by government representatives about the pandemic extending through 2022 and one of the reasons given was that new virus variants spreading through the world would required new “booster” vaccines. I was actually shocked by several of these statements as justContinue reading “Don’t believe everything you hear on the Sunday morning news shows.”