Sunday, October 03, 2021

People not fully vaccinated against Covid are 57 TIMES more likely to die and 41 times more likely to be hospitalized due to spread of the Delta variant, Fauci says

The nation's top infectious diseases expert said Americans who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are several times more likely to be hospitalized or die.

During a White House COVID-19 Response Team press briefing on Friday, Dr Anthony Fauci shared data on virus outcomes by vaccination status from Public Health - Seattle & King County in Washington state.

The data found individuals who had not started or completed their vaccine series were eight times more likely to test positive for Covid.

These people were also 41 times more likely to be hospitalized due to the virus and 57 times more likely to die than those were fully vaccinated.

Fauci said that because these figures are from the past month, this shows how highly transmissible the Delta variant is and how protective vaccines are against the most severe effects of Covid. 'This is COVID-19 data over the past 30 days - essentially Delta data,' he said.

'COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, convenient and free. They protect you, your loves ones, and your community.'

The data compared King County residents with 'breakthrough cases,' which occur when people test positive for Covid at least 14 days after receiving their final dose, to unvaccinated people who contract the virus.

Officials have previously stated that no vaccine provides 100 percent protection, which means there will be more breakthrough cases as more people get vaccinated.

However, studies have shown that less than one percent of people who are fully vaccinated contract the virus, and even fewer have severe complications.

As of September 20, the most recent date for which Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data is available, 14,643 out of more than 181 million fully vaccinated people were hospitalized. An even smaller number - 4,493 - died.

The new data, compiled by King County officials, show just how uncommon breakthrough infections are and how protective COVID-19 vaccines are against critical illness.

Fully vaccinated residents were compared to 'not fully vaccinated' people - meaning the unvaccinated, people who just started their vaccine series and those who completed vaccination within the last 14 days.

Results showed that, over the last 30 days, 11,868 not fully vaccinated people tested positive for Covid compared to 5,640 fully vaccinated residents.

The daily case rate for fully vaccinated people was 10.7 new cases per 100,000 people compared to 82.4 per 100,000 among the not fully vaccinated.

This means that people not fully vaccinated were 7.7 times more likely to contract the virus. When it came to hospitalizations and deaths, the risk was even higher among not fully vaccinated individuals.

Over the last month, 543 not fully vaccinated residents were hospitalized with a rate of 8.72 per 100,00 per day.

Comparatively, 131 people who completed their immunization series were hospitalized with a daily rate of 0.21 per 100,000 per day - meaning the fully vaccinated were 41.4 times less likely to need inpatient care.

During the same time period, 90 not fully vaccinated individuals died as did 26 fully vaccinated people.

With a daily case rate of 2.28 deaths per 100,000 for the not fully vaccinated compared to 0.04 per 100,000 for the fully vaccinated, it means those who have not started or completed their vaccine series are 56.7 times more likely to die of Covid.

Because these cases, hospitalizations and deaths occurred over the last month, Fauci said these are linked to the Delta fueled-surge.

A report last week from the state Department of Health showed that, as of September 11, all virus samples that underwent genetic sequencing were confirmed to be Delta, meaning the variant is essentially responsible for 100 percent of all infections.

The variant is at least twice as contagious as previous dominant strains including the Alpha variant, which originated in the UK.

'We are extremely concerned by this increased spike in cases, driven by the delta variant, spreading like wildfire amongst men, women, and children,' Washington's Secretary of Health Dr Umair Shah said last month.

'Vaccination the best tool we have in this pandemic, but we also recommend that individuals mask indoors, and avoid large, crowded settings vaccinated or not.'


Pfizer no better than AstraZeneca long term, UK study finds

Over 60s holding out for the Pfizer Covid jab are in for a harsh reality check — it is no better than the AstraZeneca jab they could have got months ago in long-term efficacy.

A new study shows after four months, both vaccines provide similar protection against the virus.

The large UK study found the efficacy of the Pfizer jab fell by 22 per cent per month — from an original 84 per cent for adults overall — and after four and a half months it had around the same effectiveness against the Delta strain as AstraZeneca.

AstraZeneca’s efficacy began at 69 per cent for adults overall a fortnight after the second dose, before falling to 61 per cent after 90 days, the study by the University of Oxford, the UK Office for National Statistics and the UK Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) found.

“Extrapolating declines beyond the observed follow-up, both vaccines would be equally effective against PCR-positives with (4.6 months) after the second dose and 116 days (3.8 months) against PCR-positives with symptoms,” the study found.

The study has not yet been peer reviewed by other experts or published in a medical journal, so the findings must be treated with caution.

Both vaccines were much more effective against Delta in younger people and provided stronger protection if the person had contracted Covid as well as being vaccinated, the study found.

Pfizer was 90 per cent effective against Delta in those aged 18-34 years versus 77 per cent for those aged 35-64 years.

AstraZeneca was 73 per cent effective in people aged 18-34 years and only 54 per cent effective in people aged 35-64 years.

Overall the third vaccine option, Moderna, holds its efficacy for at least six months, other studies show.

University of Newcastle, Australia immunologist Professor Nathan Bartlett AstraZeneca said the UK study showed “AstraZeneca is an excellent vaccine. It’s always been comparable to the Pfizer vaccine in terms of protection against severe disease.”

“There is early evidence to suggest that maybe AstraZeneca does confer a little bit longer, or you know, the waning is a little less rapid than Pfizer but it’s not a huge difference and we don’t know whether or not that’s important. In the long run I think we’re still going to need boosters,” he said.

More important than protection against infection was the fact both vaccines were equally good at preventing hospitalisation and death, he said.

Australian National University infectious diseases expert Professor Peter Collignon said there had been vaccine snobbery in Australia with some people shunning the AstraZeneca jab.

“I haven’t said too much but I thought, won’t it be ironic if the AstraZeneca ended up giving you a better prediction than Pfizer over six to 12 months. We don’t know at the moment but it may actually,” he said.


Merck’s COVID-19 pill cuts risk of death, hospitalisation by half in study

Merck & Co Inc’s experimental oral drug for COVID-19, molnupiravir, reduced by around 50 per cent the chance of hospitalisation or death for patients at risk of severe disease, according to interim clinical trial results announced on Friday.

Merck and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics plan to seek US emergency use authorisation for the pill as soon as possible, and to submit applications to regulatory agencies worldwide. Due to the positive results, the Phase 3 trial is being stopped early at the recommendation of outside monitors.

“This is going to change the dialogue around how to manage COVID-19,” Robert Davis, Merck’s chief executive officer, said.

If authorised, molnupiravir, which is designed to introduce errors into the genetic code of the virus, would be the first oral antiviral medication for COVID-19.

Rivals including Pfizer Inc and Swiss pharmaceutical Roche Holding AG are racing to develop an easy-to-administer antiviral pill for COVID-19 but so far, only antibody cocktails - which have to be given intravenously - are approved for treating non-hospitalised COVID-19 patients.

A planned interim analysis of 775 patients in Merck’s study found that 7.3 per cent of those given molnupiravir were either hospitalised or had died by 29 days after treatment, compared with 14.1 per cent of placebo patients. There were no deaths in the molnupiravir group, but there were eight deaths of placebo patients.

“Antiviral treatments that can be taken at home to keep people with COVID-19 out of the hospital are critically needed,” Wendy Holman, Ridgeback’s CEO, said.

In the trial, which enrolled patients around the world, molnupiravir was taken every 12 hours for five days.

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.

Merck said viral sequencing done so far shows molnupiravir is effective against all variants of the coronavirus, including highly transmissible Delta.

The company said rates of adverse events were similar for both molnupiravir and placebo patients, but did not give details of the side effects.

Merck has said data shows molnupiravir is not capable of inducing genetic changes in human cells, but men enrolled in its trials have to abstain from heterosexual intercourse or agree to use contraception. Women of child-bearing age cannot be pregnant and also have to use birth control.

Merck said it expects to produce 10 million courses of the treatment by the end of 2021, with more doses coming next year.

The company has a US government contract to supply 1.7 million courses of molnupiravir at a price of $700 per course.

CEO Davis said Merck has similar agreements with other governments worldwide, and is in talks with more. The company said it plans to implement a tiered pricing approach based on country income criteria.

Merck has also agreed to license the drug to several India-based generic drugmakers, which would be able to supply the treatment to low- and middle-income countries.

Molnupiravir is also being studied in a Phase 3 trial for preventing coronavirus infection in people exposed to the virus.

Merck officials said it is unclear how long the FDA review of the drug will take. “I believe that they are going to try to work with alacrity on this,” said Dean Li, head of Merck’s research labs.




1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Fauci had too much to do with the biocenter in Wuhan where the virus was first identified for me to accept anything he says any more. We need better confirmation than words from that cretin.