Coronavirus Morning Roundup – Nov 4: Kidney transplant patient cured of covid after 411 days, Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent most effective

A panda at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding

Good morning. This is Jonathan Spira’s report. Here now the news of the pandemic from around the world on the 939th day of the pandemic.

A Covid patient is particularly happy today to have finally tested negative.

A man in Britain who was infected with the virus for 411 days has been cured after receiving a Regeneron cocktail of neutralizing monoclonal antibodies known to be effective against early variants of the coronavirus, the patient’s doctors in London said. An analysis of the genetics of the Covid strain showed that he was suffering from a variant of the original virus found in late 2019 in Wuhan, China.

“Some new variants of the virus are resistant to all available antibody treatments in the UK and Europe,” said Dr. Luke Blagdon Snell, an infectious disease researcher at King’s College London and one of the patient’s doctors.

“Some people with weakened immune systems are still at risk of severe illness and persistent infection. We are still working to understand how best to protect and treat them,” Snell added.

The patient, who is 59 years old, tested positive for the first time after a kidney transplant that took place in December 2020. The drugs he needed to prevent his body from rejecting the new kidney weakened his immune system and he was unable to get rid of the virus. . .

He tested positive on and off until January 2022, despite receiving three vaccinations, although information about the case was first reported this week.

The man’s case is one of the oldest COVID cases in the world, after another patient who was infected for 505 days, according to his doctors.

In other news we cover today, China is ready to approve the BioNTech vaccine, but only for foreigners, and new clinical data shows that the Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent vaccine is more effective than the original booster.

UNITED STATES

Updated data from a phase 2-3 clinical trial show that a booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s bivalent coronavirus vaccine works best against two circulating versions of the omicron variant, BA.4 and BA.5, in compared to a booster dose of its original vaccine, the two companies said in a jointly issued news release.

“As we head into the holiday season, we hope that this updated data will encourage people to seek out a bivalent Covid-19 booster as soon as they are eligible to maintain high levels of protection against Omicron BA.4 and BA, which are circulating widely. .5 sublineages,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said in a statement Friday. “These updated data also provide confidence in the adaptability of our mRNA platform and our ability to quickly update the vaccine to match the most prevalent strains each season.”

GLOBAL

Chinese officials have agreed to approve BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccines in the country, albeit only for foreigners, German Bundeskanzler Olaf Scholz has said. The German leader also said that he and Chinese leader Xi Jinping discussed a possible path to get vaccines approved for the general population in China.

Meanwhile, cases in China have risen to a six-month high as tensions continue to rise in affected cities. Health officials there reported 3,411 new cases daily, news that requires officials to walk a fine line between a so-called “zero-Covid” policy and social and economic distress.

Hong Kong officials have relaxed pandemic-induced restrictions and are allowing restaurants, bars and pubs to remain open after 2 a.m. with immediate effect.

TODAY’S STATISTICS

Here are the daily stats for Friday, November 4.

As of Friday morning, the world has recorded 636.9 million cases of covid-19, an increase of 0.3 million cases and 6.6 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. Additionally, 616.4 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.5 million.

Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Friday at press time is 14,033,521, an increase of 25,000. Of that number, 99.7%, or 13,997,329, are considered mild, and 0.3%, or 36,192, are listed as critical. The percentage of cases considered critical has not changed in the last 24 hours.

The United States reported 78,006 new coronavirus infections on Friday from the previous day, compared with 76,034 on Thursday, 29,310 on Wednesday, 45,128 on Tuesday and 2,737 on Monday, according to data from the US Department of Health and Human Services. The US 7-day incidence rate is now 38,534. Weekend numbers (reported the next day) are typically 30% to 60% of those posted on weekdays due to less testing being done.

The daily average of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 40,101, an increase of 6%, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources. The average number of daily deaths during the same period is 339, a decrease of 6% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 27,252, an increase of 2%.

In addition, since the beginning of the pandemic, the United States has recorded, as of Friday, 99.6 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of just under 1.1 million. India has the world’s second-highest number of officially recorded cases, nearly 44.7 million, and a reported death toll of 530,479.

The most recent data from Russia’s state statistics service Rosstat showed that as of the end of July, the number of covid or covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now 823,623, giving the country the second highest pandemic in the world. number of related deaths, behind the United States. Rosstat reported that 3,284 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in July, up from 5,023 in June, 7,008 in May and 11,583 in April.

For its part, France is the third country with the highest number of cases, with 36.9 million, and Germany ranks number four, with 35.8 million total cases.

Brazil, which has recorded the third highest number of deaths from the virus, 688,316, has registered 34.9 million cases, ranking number five.

The other five countries with total case figures above 20 million are South Korea, with more than 25.7 million cases, the United Kingdom, with 23.9 million cases, which places it at number seven , and Italy, with 23.5 million, in number eight. , as well as Japan, with 22.5 million, and Russia, with more than 21.4 million.

FOCUS ON VACCINATION

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of last Thursday, 266.4 million people in the United States, or 80.2%, have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 68.4%, or 226.9 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 636.9 million. Breaking this down further, 91.2% of the population over the age of 18, or 235.5 million people, have received at least one first inoculation and 78.3% of the same group, or 202.1 million people He is fully vaccinated. In addition, 9.9% of the US population of the same population, or 25.5 million people, have already received an updated or bivalent booster dose of the vaccine.

Beginning June 13, 2022, the CDC began updating vaccine data weekly and released the updated information on Thursday at 8 p.m. EDT, according to a statement on the agency’s website.

About 68.2% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of Friday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information. So far, 12.92 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered globally and 2.84 million doses are now administered per day.

Meanwhile, only 23.4% of people in low-income countries have received a dose, while in countries such as Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States, at least 75% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine.

Only a handful of the world’s poorest countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal) have reached the 70% vaccination mark. However, many countries are below 20%, and in countries like Haiti, Senegal and Tanzania, for example, vaccination rates remain at 10% or less.

Furthermore, with the start of vaccinations in North Korea at the end of September, Eritrea remains the only country in the world that has not administered vaccinations.

Anna Breuer contributed reporting to this story.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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