This is an ongoing weekly update of news headlines, new studies, and data related to the coronavirus outbreak. The newest information is at the top. If you have a question or want to discuss this issue in-depth, we have been discussing this issue in our chat system. Covid blog Information is updated once a week.
Last week’s blog post from 01.25.22 can be found here
We have moved older live blog posts to an archive that can be found in the right-side navigation.
Vaccine Related Information:
COVID-19 vaccine production quietly suspended at Johnson & Johnson
Pfizer expects $54 billion in 2022 sales on Covid vaccine and treatment pill
Nasal Spray Booster Keeps COVID-19 at Bay
US plans to roll out initial 10 million Covid-19 vaccine doses for children under 5
after FDA authorization, CDC document says
Experts question unusual authorization plan for Covid vaccine for kids under 5
Germany’s vaccine committee recommends Novavax Covid-19 vaccine for people over 18
A small island nation has cooked up not 1, not 2 but 5 COVID vaccines. It’s Cuba!
FDA Advisors Face Difficult Decision on COVID Vaccine for Youngest Kids —
“We wouldn’t say yes on the promise that three doses [will be] of value”
Pfizer and BioNTech Provide Update on Ongoing Studies of COVID-19 Vaccine
An omicron-specific vaccine may not be needed, monkey study suggests
Study link https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.02.03.479037v1.full.pdf
Coronavirus FAQ: My drugstore now offers antibody tests. Is it worth getting one?
Those COVID tests the government sent you might not work. Cold weather could be to blame.
USPS: Tens of millions of coronavirus tests delivered so far
Scientific Research & Variants:
New York City’s Rats Could Have Their Own Strain of COVID-19 – Two experts weigh in on mysterious viral RNA found in the city’s wastewater. https://www.thrillist.com/news/new-york/nyc-rats-developed-their-own-covid-strain
More sewage “coronavirus cryptic lineages”, add Saint Louis to the list: “Research team including
MU professor detects ‘cryptic’ COVID variants in New York City sewers”
Nature on NYC cryptic lineage: “Tracking cryptic SARS-CoV-2 lineages detected in NYC wastewater”
In New York City Sewage, a Mysterious Coronavirus Signal
For the past year, scientists have been looking for the source of strange coronavirus sequences that have appeared in the city’s wastewater.
NYC Deer?? “Omicron found in NYC deer raises questions about COVID
transmission from animals to humans – About 15% of the 131 deer sampled in NYC positive for antibodies.”
Hamsters can transmit Covid to humans, data suggests Research confirms a
pet shop was the likely source of the recent Delta variant outbreak in Hong Kong
CDC: More vaccinated adults hospitalized with omicron, but fewer admitted to ICU
CDC MMWR link: “Clinical Characteristics and Outcomes Among Adults Hospitalized with Laboratory-Confirmed SARS-CoV-2 Infection During Periods of B.1.617.2 (Delta) and B.1.1.529 (Omicron) Variant Predominance — One Hospital, California, July 15–September 23, 2021, and December 21, 2021–January 27, 2022” https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7106e2.htm?s_cid=mm7106e2_w
Study suggests Omicron-specific booster may not provide more protection
COVID Brain Changes Show Parallels With Alzheimer’s Disease —
Findings may point to potential mechanism for brain fog in people with long COVID
Omicron’s sister variant spreads faster. So why did the one we call Omicron hit first?
BA.2 Blitzes Through Households, Even More Than Original Omicron —
Preprint study finds increased risk of infection with subvariant
Omicron infections may not protect well against future spread
What the Omicron wave is revealing about human immunity – Immunologists have raced
to work out how to protect against multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2. Their research has yielded a wealth of insights and a few surprises. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-00214-3
Attenuated fusogenicity and pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant
WHO says new omicron BA.2 subvariant will rise globally, but scientists don’t know if it can reinfect people
The future of the pandemic is looking clearer as we learn more about infection
Exposure to one nasal droplet enough for Covid infection – study Trial in which volunteers
were given dose of virus is first to monitor people during entire course of infection
Covid-19 challenge trial results are (finally) in: Here’s what should happen next
Deliberate infections give unique Covid insight
Challenge Trial Shows People With COVID Shed Virus After Just 2 Days — No safety
concerns in small study of healthy young adults, supporting further trials, authors say
CDC Isolation Guidance for Public Fails Test in Study — Pre-print on hospital
workers finds sizable proportion still positive 5 days after symptom onset
Consistently wearing high-quality masks offers strong protection, a study in California suggests.
Outbreaks & Restrictions:
COVID-19 outbreaks hit 12 local long-term care facilities – Vaccines are making
the difference between mild illness and hospitalization
Doctors Hopeful Bay Area Sees Transition to Endemic as COVID Cases Drop –
Medical experts NBC Bay Area talked to Friday said they would certainly agree that cautious optimism is the best approach.
Covid: Europe set for ‘long period of tranquillity’ in pandemic, says WHO
Britain’s pandemic modellers say future large waves of COVID possible
Chinese city locked down and reportedly sealed off after Omicron breakout The Chinese city
of Baise in #Guangxi (population 3.57 million) has been locked down because of a #Covid outbreak,
Covid: Australia to reopen borders to international travel
Indonesia to tighten COVID-19 curbs as infections climb
“California indoor mask mandate will end next week, but questions linger”
CDC director: Cases too high to end indoor masking requirements
Omicron’s ‘fat tail:’ Why aren’t COVID infections falling faster? –
Florida’s omicron wave isn’t receding as quickly as experts had hoped.
Covid-19 hospitalizations drop below 100,000 in the US, but heavy burden persists
Boris Johnson plans to end England’s Covid rules a month early
Tonga, struck by twin disasters, goes into lockdown over five virus cases.
Infections, hospitalizations drop nationwide after omicron-fueled peak
Sweden to remove most Covid-19 restrictions next week
Beijing to invite 150,000 spectators to attend the Winter Olympics
Germany reports new Covid-19 daily cases record
Beijing identifies 55 new Covid-19 cases among Olympic-related personnel
Japan reports over 90,000 new Covid-19 cases, setting a record high
Japan may extend quasi-emergency steps as cases top 100,000
Austria’s sweeping Covid vaccine mandate is becoming law.
New COVID cases in Tokyo surge past 20,000 for the first time as Osaka logs 19 deaths
Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations are down in the US as deaths also start to plateau, latest data shows
Spain will lift outdoor mask mandate against Covid-19 next week, health minister says
All Other Covid News:
The world surpasses 400 million known coronavirus cases and confronts how to live with Covid.
Restaurant Ensnared in Doc’s Alleged Ivermectin, HCQ Prescribing Scheme —
Edith Behr, MD, fired over accusations of prescribing drugs via Taste of Sicily’s Facebook page
They Rushed to Buy in the Pandemic. Here’s What They Would Change. A frenzied
sellers’ market led some people to make harried decisions when buying their homes that they now regret.
Erdoğan tests positive for COVID-19 – The Turkish met Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Thursday.
“Olympic Teams Raise Concerns Over Quarantine Hotels”
More Kids Get COVID, Long Haulers, and a Vaccine Milestone | COVID Quickly, Episode 23
Did So-Called ‘Johns Hopkins Study’ Really Show Lockdowns Were Ineffective Against Covid-19?
What You Need to Know About That ‘Johns Hopkins’ Lockdown Study — “All of this adds up to a very weird review paper”
Lockdowns Prevent Only .2% of COVID Deaths: Study
Gay, lesbian adults in US have higher COVID-19 vaccination rates than heterosexual adults: CDC
Pandemic Era Tests May Speed Hepatitis-C Detection A wave of diagnostics
ushered in by Covid could help revive flagging efforts to eliminate the disease.
Counting on ‘Endemic’: The Travel Industry Readies for a Potentially New Phase A
growing call to consider the coronavirus a permanent fixture in our lives is resonating
among travel operators. But that would not necessarily mean the virus is no longer dangerous.
HHS is at ‘high-risk’ of failing to respond to future public health threats, government watchdog says
White House officials mull over life after the pandemic, but there’s still no clear plan
“The 1918 flu didn’t end in 1918. Here’s what its third year can teach us.”
Evidence That Pandemic Worsened Kids’ Mental Health Piles Up —
Mental health visits increased in 2020, especially among teen girls, Canadian study finds
Canada Live Updates: Ottawa Declares a State of Emergency Amid Trucker Protests
The protesters and their trucks remained entrenched in Ottawa’s downtown Monday
morning after the Ottawa mayor had declared the emergency.
Canadian police make arrests amid ‘Freedom Convoy’ protests and seize fuel, vehicles
Canada warns against ‘foreign interference’ after Republicans announce support for vaccine mandate protests
U.S. trucker convoy to Washington gathers steam – The organizers of the “People’s Convoy”
announced that truckers will be gathering in Indio, Calif., on March 4 — and rolling on from there.
The Canadian blockade is snarling vulnerable supply chains, leading to stoppages for automakers.
‘Significant element’ from U.S. involved in self-described ‘Freedom Convoy’ in Canada, official says
CVS, Walgreens remove limits on at-home COVID-19 tests
Harm to AstraZeneca jab’s reputation ‘probably killed thousands’ Scientist who worked on
jab criticises ‘bad behaviour’ by scientists and politicians who damaged reputation of Covid vaccine
For burned-out health workers, exhaustion from Covid-19 surges mixes with a sense of betrayal
‘Good, not great’: Some long Covid patients see their symptoms improve, but full recovery is elusive
If you tested positive and the contact tracer never called, here’s why
Why remdesivir, a highly effective COVID treatment, is a last resort for providers
COVID-19 infections increase risk of heart conditions up to a year later –
Cardiovascular care essential part of post-infection care
Heart problems surge in COVID patients up to 12 months after infection
Fauci: US exiting ‘full-blown’ pandemic phase of coronavirus crisis
Mom Urges Vaccination After Getting COVID and Suffering 3 Strokes and a Heart Attack While Pregnant
Utah’s COVID long-haulers are predominantly young — and many were previously healthy, doctors say –
Most were not hospitalized, but their long-term symptoms can be severe and last for months, say the
scientists behind the state’s only “long-hauler” clinic.
Health Care Workers Change Their Minds on COVID-19 Vaccines
CVS tests positive for Covid-related profit
Covid Sightings: Omicron Reinfections, Brain Effects, Shabby US Performance, Western Australia Border Controls
COVID-19 an obstacle for nuclear waste disposal at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, officials say
The U.S. Army will begin dismissing vaccine holdouts.
Countries are rushing to ease pandemic rules. The W.H.O. says, not so fast.
Vaccination rates in Latin America and the Caribbean are all over the map, the W.H.O. says.
‘Sham’ coronavirus testing company gave people false results as samples piled up in trash bags, lawsuit claims https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2022/02/02/washington-sues-testing-company-center-for-covid-control/
Unvaccinated people are 97 times more likely to die of Covid-19 than those with a booster, CDC director says
Is Money Driving Those Who Spread COVID Disinformation?
Medicare to pay for at-home COVID-19 tests this spring
So long, Omicron: White House eyes next phase of pandemic –
Biden and his top health officials have already begun hinting at an impending “new normal.”
Covid will always be an epidemic virus — not an endemic one, scientist warns
46% of people who felt well enough to work 5 days after COVID were likely still infectious, study finds
Experimental HIV vaccine, based on Moderna’s mRNA technology, now in clinical trial
CDC to unveil its latest weapon in Covid-19 detection: wastewater
Pfizer’s Covid-19 antiviral pill arrives to pharmacies in France
New blood test can predict how severe your COVID-19 infection will be –
“This test could prove very valuable during the pandemic, especially as variants
continue to spread and doctors need to be confident in identifying the problem
and providing effective treatment,” said Timothy McCaffrey, professor of medicine at The George Washington University.
Covid-19 Commission Modeled on 9/11 Inquiry Draws Bipartisan Backing A broad, bipartisan group of
senators is coalescing around a plan for an independent panel to investigate the origins of the coronavirus and the U.S. response. https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/04/us/politics/covid-commission.html
Federal judge temporarily blocks punishment of military officers who rejected vaccine based on religion
Congress can start rolling back some omicron precautions, Capitol’s top doctor says
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