While the numbers are staggering as to the number of global cases and global deaths, it seems as though the numbers are starting to come down. In the United States daily new cases have dropped precipitously, as have the daily new deaths you can see. For instance, in California daily, new cases continue to fall daily. New deaths in California continued to tick down overall. In fact, in San Bernardino County, where I work here in Southern California, there’s been a sharp decline in hospitalizations from Covid 19. The UK has also seen a drop in new cases, as well as a drop in daily deaths in Spain. Daily new cases also continue to drop, as do daily new deaths in Spain. But there are spots around the world where this is not happening as precipitously.
Brazil, Germany stats
For instance, daily new cases in Brazil seem to have leveled off and are not coming down. The same can be said for daily new deaths in Brazil. In Germany, where cases have fallen, there seems to be a leveling off or plateau ng of the daily new cases. This is while daily new deaths in Germany continued to fall. Is there more information behind this trend? Well, as it turns out, there is some information. Authorities are noticing that covid infections are rising again in Germany, just as schools are planning on reopening in 10 of 16 states in Germany. And experts believe that what’s driving this is more infectious variants of SARS. Kobe, too, and specifically in this story by D. W., The concern is that it’s the UK variants spreading in Germany that’s causing this increase in cases.
At a press conference, the German health minister, Jen’s Spawn, told reporters that 22% of all the new infections in Germany were related to the B 1 17 coronavirus variant and realized that just two weeks ago, this variant was only 6% of new infections in Germany. So they’ve got to assume, according to Health Minister, that this variant is soon going to become the dominant variant in Germany and perhaps around the world, as well as potentially other variants. For instance, the one from South Africa and as a result of this, Germany is currently banning travel from Austria and Czech Republic regions and remember that all this is happening amongst the push for elementary schools in Germany to reopen, and I guess a possible answer is going to be to accelerate vaccination of teachers to keep schools open.
And, of course, that is the same question that we have here in the United States. And here you can see a map showing the 50 states where, as you can see in Grey, there is no state order, either way, to open or close the schools. And so it’s left up to the counties in the school districts, notably the squares that are colored either show in green that they have been ordered to be reopened orange that there is a partial closure in effect, red shows full closure in effect, or the lighter orange in West Virginia, for instance, where some grades have been ordered opened. The big question right now is whether or not this decrease in the numbers is going to stick around for a while or if it’s just a pivot point, and we’re gonna go back up again with the variants, and this medical news today article actually went a long way in looking at the current data and telling us how well, the vaccines are going to hold up against these variants, so there are currently three different variants that we’re concerned about. There is the B 117 variant. There is the B 1351 variant. And then there is the P one variant. Now the B 117 variant is from the UK. The B 1351 variant is from South Africa, and the P one variant is from Brazil. And, of course, the two vaccines that we currently have available in this country. The United States is the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. Now there is some emerging evidence that these current vaccines have efficacy against these variants.
Published on paper
So here’s a paper that was published on the 29th of January 2021 looking specifically at that be 117 U K variant and the Pfizer vaccine. And if you look at the abstract, it calls out this be 117 variant and what they do here in this study is they tested the SARS COV two s pseudoviruses that have this strain or the B 117 lineage spike protein with the serum of 40 participants who were vaccinated in a previously reported trial with the Pfizer vaccine. And they showed that the immune Sarah had slightly reduced but overall largely preserved, neutralizing tight ear’s against the B 117 lineage pseudovirus, concluding them to say that these data indicate that the B 117 lineage will not escape the Pfizer mediated protection.
B 117 variant
And here you can see a graph of the P V n T 50 which is basically a way of quantifying neutralizing antibodies. And, as you can see, the reference between the initial Wuhan reference virus and the B 117 variant, the difference is very, very small. And here’s another paper that was published this time in a cell titled Reduced Neutralization of SARS. Cov two b 117 variant by convalescent and vaccine Sarah. And even though they be 117 was harder to neutralize than the parental virus. They did not notice widespread escape from monoclonal antibodies or antibody responses generated by natural infection or vaccination. So if we go back to our chart, it looks like we’re okay here in this situation, meaning that the Pfizer vaccine seems to be able to take care of the B 117 variant.
Well, what about Moderna? How does it fear these variants? Now there is a paper that has not been peer-reviewed or published but is on the medical archive server titled Marna 12 73. Which, of course, is the Moderna vaccine induces neutralizing antibodies against spike mutants from global SARS Kobe two variants. And in this study, what they did was assess the neutralizing capacity of syrah from human subjects and non-human primates that received the Moderna vaccine. And what they found was that there was no significant impact on neutralization against the B 117 variant. They did notice that there was an impact on neutralization somewhat on the B 1351 variant. But taken together, they said, these data demonstrate reduced but still significant neutralization against the full be 1351 variant following the Moderna vaccination.
B 1351 variant
And of course, we’ll give a link to this preprint in the description below. And of course, this pre-print led them to release a press release titled Madonna. Covid 19 Vaccine retains neutralizing activity against emerging variants first identified in the UK and in the Republic of South Africa. And in this release, they’re pretty confident that the Moderna vaccine is going to be very good. Still against the B 117 variant. They also make that somewhat against the B 1351 variant, the one from South Africa. However, they did notice that there was an antibody tighter that was approximately six fold lower relative to prior variance. And they say here that these lower tigers may suggest the potential risk of the earlier waning of immunity to the newbie 1351 strain.
B 117 from UK
So if we look at the B 117 from the U. K, it looks as though we’re good for the Moderna and plus-minus on the South African Be +1351 variant. But remember that something that both Pfizer and Moderna would want you to remember, of course, is here. We’re just looking at B cells in terms of antibody tigers. What this does not take into consideration is T cell response. And remember, there is a T cell response to these vaccinations. Currently, we don’t have data on the P one variant, so time will tell whether or not The vaccines that we currently have are going to be effective enough against these variants.
In fact, what’s going on
But what are the vaccine manufacturers doing just in case? In fact, what they’re doing is they’re are taking another look at those variants and coming up with a quote, copy and paste way of producing a booster that will be effective against those variants. In fact, both companies, Pfizer and Moderna are looking at doing that in about 6 to 9 weeks by sequencing the RNA of the portion of the genome in the SARS cov two that makes the spike protein in a modified variant way. We can now engineer the appropriate vaccine so that the response against that vaccine is more robust than the current vaccine model. For more information on how these mRNA vaccines work, check out our interview with Shane Crotty and also to find out more about how vitamin D might be involved with Covid. 19.
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