“We are now getting reports of people getting reinfected with a new variant—from 🇿🇦 (#B1351)—suggesting people who’ve had prior infection could get infected again.” says Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan. #COVID19
2) This comes on the heels of troubling data I highlighted last week from the placebo group of the Novavax 🇿🇦 trial that that people previously infected and have #COVID19 antibodies (seropositive) has no protection for #B1351 variant reinfection— not even for severe disease!
3) Last month, South Africa’s CDC also warned about likelihood of reinfection risk because of the lower virus neutralization seen by the E484K mutation in the #B1351 variant.
4) Dr Fauci warned: “The data really are quite suggestive: The level of immunity that you get from natural infection — either the degree of immunity, the intensity of the immunity or the breadth of immunity — is obviously not enough to protect against infection with the mutant”
5) Fauci noted that a **vaccine is better than natural infection in protecting people**, calling it “a big, strong plug to get vaccinated”...

And reality check for people who may have assumed immunity because already been infected. (natural herd immunity advocates listen up!)
6) The good thing is that the Novavax vaccine was roughly equally ~50% effective (in South Africa 🇿🇦, higher elsewhere) against the virus regardless of past infection (denoted as serostatus positive or negative in the figure). All the more reason to vaccinate.
7) And the Novavax vaccine is 60% effective among HIV negative regular population against #B1351! This is impetus to rely on vaccines!
8) to be clear—not every variant has a high reinfection risk. #B117 seems pretty responsive to pre existing antibodies (for most part) and vaccines so far held up well for B117. But #B1351 is different because it has the E484K mutation. This one has frequent antibody escape
9) Notably, South African scientists point out:

📌People who had recovered from #COVID19 from the 1st wave, “90% showed reduced immunity” to the new variant #B1351 (aka 501Y.V2)

📌in addition to 48% w/ “complete immune escape” (complete lack of any protection from prior)
10) And the bad news is that #B1351 has an outbreak in Central Europe, centered on Austria’s Tyrol region.
11) recently, S African scientists says they have identified 4000 suspected reinfections. This is what WHO is alluding to.
12) First documented published case of “severe reinfection” with the #B1351 variant from 🇿🇦. Obviously countless more.
13) recently, SA pulled approval for AstraZeneca vaccine in South Africa after not enough evidence it works for mild and moderate #B1351 infection. Severe still remains to be seen. But luckily J&J and Novavax still good against #B1351.

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More from @DrEricDing

13 Feb
Rise in pediatric proportion of Israel 🇮🇱 #COVID19 cases over 2020. Shows the fall/winter trend toward much more cases relatively in children. This data continues into January too. Many reports of relative pediatric surge in Israel continuing in Jan 2021. We need to watch this. Image
2) We’ve also this relatively higher positivity of children age 5-9 in England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 in January as well. We need to pay attention. @dgurdasani1 believes it is related to gradual primary school reopenings after winter break.
3) Israel 🇮🇱 is seeing a sharp rise in the number of children and teens getting #COVID19, where #B117 rising.

>50,000 children have been diagnosed with #COVID19 since start of Jan, many more than Israel saw in any month during the first or second waves. jpost.com/health-science…
Read 5 tweets
13 Feb
We need to call Moderna vaccine by the true proper name of “NIH-Moderna vaccine”. It was mainly developed at Fauci’s NIAID. Moderna honed its mRNA tech via DARPA grants & also didn’t disclose federal support in patents, violating Bayh-Dole Act. HT @mattbc.
2) @mattbc is right in calling out this nonsense by Moderna to hide it got tremendous federal support for the vaccine in its patent. This is a violation of the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act. And @moderna_tx possibly violated it by not disclosing in 154 patent apps.
3) Moderna vaccine works folks. @KizzyPhD from the NIH is famously one of the co inventors of the vaccine. But this doesn’t change that Moderna needs to publicly acknowledge in its patents that its vaccine was taxpayer funded and NIH co developed, akin to Oxford-AstraZeneca.
Read 4 tweets
12 Feb
What is missing from this CDC school reopening priority list? Airborne virus guidance! Like almost nothing in 33 page document on ventilation except 1 paragraph on open the windows, but only if feasible. Ventilation should be #2 behind masks! #COVID19
cdc.gov/coronavirus/20… Image
2) Notably absent from new CDC guidance was ventilation. In one short paragraph, CDC suggested schools open windows & doors to increase circulation, but said they should not be “if doing so poses a safety risk or a health risk.” #COVID19 nytimes.com/2021/02/12/hea…
3) “C.D.C. gives lip service to ventilation in its report, and you have to search to find it,” said @j_g_allen, an expert on building safety at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston. “It’s not as prominent as it should be.”
Read 10 tweets
12 Feb
Worrisome—UK 🇬🇧 data shows suddenly higher #COVID19 positivity % in England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 (where #B117 highly dominant) in children ages 5-9, in both boys and girls, sustained each week over 4 consecutive weeks. Ages 0-4 positivity also increasing. Israel 🇮🇱 has also seen kids case trend. Image
2) As noted by @dgurdasani1, this is all despite these data really underestimating infection in children (as they are based on symptom based testing). And positivity rates appear highest in early year settings (fully open) & primary schools (20% attendance).
3) Dr @dgurdasani1 believe it is related to schools in England 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿.
Read 13 tweets
12 Feb
Vaccinations have gone from 900k per day to now over 1.5 million.

I think Biden’s team under @aslavitt46 & @JeffZients @WHCOVIDResponse can push it to 2 million by the end of Feb / early March, and hopefully 3 million a day by mid April.

Let’s do it. #COVID19 (HT @CAPAction)
3) These PSA campaigns with @Adweek and @WarnerMedia and @GalGadot are also effective.
Read 4 tweets
12 Feb
Moderna says it has 631.5 mil doses of #COVID19 vaccines on order, of which a whopping 613 million are committed to rich countries like 🇺🇸 🇪🇺 🇯🇵 🇨🇦 🇰🇷🇨🇭🇬🇧 🇮🇱—almost none to developing countries. For COVAX, Moderna vaccine not listed among providers. Sad.
2) Moderna says it has more countries not disclosed. Why? Poor countries likely wouldn’t hide it. The complete absence of Moderna from discounted COVAX vaccine providers shows where its values for humanity are. @moderna_tx — show you care. Donate to COVAX. gavi.org/sites/default/…
3) While most of COVAX vaccines to developing countries are Oxford AstraZeneca vaccines, Pfizer is also among them, even though it has ultra cold chain requirements. Moderna doesn’t need ultra cold storage. So @moderna_tx has no excuse. gavi.org/sites/default/…
Read 4 tweets

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