[Thread] What is the potential impact of the new B.1.1.529 #COVID19 variant?
@rjlessells:
1. It's relatively simple to detect some B.1.1.529 cases, as it's possible to use PCR tests to do this in some cases
2. B.1.1.529 = has many mutations across different parts of the virus Image
2. Some of the mutations of the B.1.1.529 variant are situated around the spike protein that might affect how well our antibodies neutralise the #SARSCoV2 virus (so it might escape immunity to some extent).
3. Some of the mutations of B.1.1.529 look similar to mutations that have been found on other variants of concern that enhance those variants' transmissibility.
4. Here's how variants have spread in SA:
1. Light gray: lots of different types of virus (1st wave)
2. Green: 2nd wave (Beta)
3. Red: Delta, 3rd wave
4. Yellow: C.1.2 (still detected at low levels, but not increasing)
5. Blue: B.1.1.529 (increasing fast) Image
5. Currently B.1.1.529 is most prominent in GP, but it's been detected in other provinces, particularly NW and LP. Image
6. Because of one of the mutations on B.1.1.529, the variant can be detected by PCR tests (so even before the genomes are sequenced). Cases are increasing fast. Image
7. The rapid increase in B.1.1.529 cases is not just seen in GP, but also in other provinces, although the increases in other provinces are lower (those increases are based on smaller samples than in GP). Image
8. Scientists = trying to figure out the impact of B.1.1.529's mutations. What could it potentially do (we don't know yet)?
* Be more transmissible
* Reduce the protection that vaccines and natural immunity offer
* Cause milder or more severe disease Image
9. ON Tuesday scientists started with lab work to determine what exactly B.1.1.529 can and can't do (e.g. make it easier to contract #SARSCoV2, escape immunity or cause milder or more severe disease)
10. Summary:
1. We're starting to see generalised community transmission (as opposed to just cluster outbreaks)
2. Tomorrow @WHO will assign a Greek name to B.1.1.529
3. We don't yet know for sure, but it looks like B.1.1.529 might be more transmissible and escape immunity. Image

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More from @miamalan

1 Dec
[Thread] 1. From TODAY (1 Dec) adults in SA with certain conditions that weaken their immune systems can access an additional #COVID19 vaccine dose. How do you get a dose? Your doctor/nurse needs to fill out a form. Download it here:
bit.ly/31jRuW4
2. You need to register on the #EVDS for an additional dose and take the form that your doc/nurse filled out with you to the vaccination site. Here's how it works:
3. Which conditions qualify?
1. Haematological or immune malignancy
2. Moderate to severe primary immunodeficiency disorder
3. HIV infection with CD4 count < 200 cells/µL within the last 6 months
4. Asplenia

Source: bit.ly/31jRuW4
Read 11 tweets
30 Nov
[Thread] What is the significance of the license agreement #JnJ will grant @aspenpharma to fill and finish an Aspen brand of #JnJ's #COVID jab?

Aspen will be able to sell their jabs to African countries. Currently they can't, they have to hand the jabs back to JnJ to sell.
2. #JnJ is essentially giving Aspen a voluntary license to make (fill and finish) its vaccine and sharing the intellectual property rights with Aspen to do this.
3. Africa imports 99% of its vaccines from outside the continent. Having an African manufacturer (to fill and finish) that will only supply #COVID19 jabs to Africa will increase access to supplies on the continent.
Read 7 tweets
30 Nov
BREAKING [Thread]
1. Janssen Pharmaceuticals will grant @aspenpharma a license 2 fill + finish #JnJ's #COVID19 jab under its own brand + sell it to African countries. Currently, the jabs Aspen "fill and finish" have to be handed back to JnJ + they then sell it to who they want.
2. The jabs that Aspen will "fill and finish" under the new agreement will:
1. Be called Aspenovax (#JnJ will give Aspen the IP rights to make its own brand)
2. Will use drug substance (the key ingredient) supplied by JnJ
3. Aspen will be able to sell its Aspenovax jabs (the same thing as a #JnJ jab, just a different name) to
public sector markets in Africa through transactions with designated multilateral organisations and with national governments of member states of the African Union.
Read 4 tweets
29 Nov
[Thread] 1. How many hospitals in SA report on #COVID19 hospital admissions?

666 (408 = public sector, 258 = private sector, see the provincial breakdown on the table below)

Source: Waasila Jasat, @nicd_sa
2. Here is how admissions have changed in provinces over the last 28 days. See how admissions have increased by 169,02% in Gauteng (where the #Omicron variant outbreaks started).
3. There have been sharp week on week increases in hospital admissions in Tshwane (where #Omicron was 1st detected in Gauteng). No increases in deaths have yet been seen (but deaths always lag a few weeks behind admissions).
Read 7 tweets
29 Nov
[Thread] 1. @ProfAbdoolKarim on the #OmicronVariant globally:

1. Globally #COVID19 case numbers are increasing
2. The WORLD might be entering a 4th #COVID wave
2. Variants have changed the #COVID19 endgame. Each SA #COVID wave = driven by a different variant with different characteristics:

Wave 1: Wuhan variant
Wave 2: Beta variant (more transmissible than Wuhan, immune escape abilities)
Wave 3: Delta (more transmissible than Beta)
3. #COVID19 case surges have been caused by different variants in different countries.
India = #DeltaVariant
Brazil = Gamma variant
SA = #Beta (Wave 2), Delta (Wave 3)
Read 15 tweets
28 Nov
[Thread]
1. #CyrilRamaphosa:
1. SA = deeply disappointed in countries who have implemented travel bans @ SA. We urgently + immediately call on them 2 reverse the bans
2. There is no scientific justification 4 such bans. All they do is damage the economies of southern Africa
2. #CyriRamaphosa:
#COVID19 travel ban decisions don't respect the recent G20 declaration in which there is a commitment to help the tourism sectors of all countries to recover. Travel bans do exactly the opposite + are in contravention of the declaration.
3. #CyrilRamaphosa:
Some countries that have implemented travel bans @ SA:
UK, EU countries, Canada, Turkey, Sri Lanka, UAE Seychelles, Thailand
Read 4 tweets

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