2/ The push for vaccine equity by pouring vaccines into 114 heavily impacted postal codes was largely successful (to date), with a higher proportion of people receiving a 1st dose in those areas compared to other neighborhoods.
Good news, but the job isn't done.
3/ Pharmacies will massively expand their administration of mRNA vaccines (Pfizer/Moderna) with an aim to have ~2500 online (in all regions) vaccinating by the end of the month.
This will significantly push our vaccination rates higher & help with the rollout.
A few points to clarify vaccine distribution in Ontario.
1. We get ~400K doses of Pfizer weekly. It shows up like clockwork. It gets distributed throughout the province in ~1-2 days & there is very little at the end of the week. This is administered at mass vaccine clinics.
2. We get several hundred thousand doses of Moderna every 2 weeks. Also rapidly shipped to locations in the province. For various reasons, Moderna shipments are occasionally delayed. There is very little Moderna in freezers at the end of the 2 weeks.
3. We have infrequent large boluses of AstraZeneca. This is administered by primary care in 6 Public Health Units, and by ~1400 pharmacies throughout the province.
It is available to anyone 55 years of age and older.
1/ Eventually we will see a decoupling of new #COVID19 cases from hospitalizations as population-level immunity grows (through vaccination & recovery from natural infection), especially among those at greatest risk for more severe infections.
2/ But with variants of concern driving more explosive outbreaks, causing more significant symptoms & impacting younger people, this decoupling of new cases from hospitalization will require more widespread population-level immunity.
3/ No fear mongering or 'sky-is-falling' rhetoric here, but a 4th wave is certainly possible if we rapidly & prematurely re-open as we exit wave 3, especially if we don't have a significant degree of population-level immunity at that time.
3/ Long Term Care - a significant black eye for Canada, is also improving. We failed to protect our most vulnerable (twice!), but cases are rapidly declining, perhaps mirroring reduced community transmission, widespread vaccination, or both.
60% efficacy against B1351 is decent, but not amazing.
Important to point out that the numbers are still very small in this trial & this could change with more data. Also if the vaccine prevents severe #COVID19 disease (which it likely does), it would still be extremely helpful.
Just to clarify, in the South Africa study, efficacy is ~60% in those who were HIV negative, ~50% in entire trial including HIV+ individuals.
Still, no severe disease seen in #COVID19 cases confirmed to have B1351 (variant discovered from South Africa) in those vaccinated.
"Vaccination with the Moderna #COVID19 Vaccine produced neutralizing titers against all key emerging variants tested, including B.1.1.7 and B.1.351, first identified in the UK and Republic of South Africa, respectively."
(Also, yes this is science by press release, but see how they included valuable information/data here?)
There may still is an attenuated response to the variant discovered in South Africa, but it appears the vaccine will still provide some protection - and there is a lot more to an immune response than these antibodies.
1/ Colchicine may be an effective treatment for #COVID19.
In a well designed trial (prospective, randomized, >4000 people) colchicine "resulted in a 25% decrease in hospitalizations, a 50% decrease in the use of ventilation & a decrease in deaths by 44%.“ bit.ly/39Vwpls
2/ This was in non-hospitalized patients with confirmed infection.
Standard caveats: Press release, no preprint data, etc.
Colchicine is a cheap, widely available pill.
If this pans out it will be very helpful - works via anti-inflammatory (& immunomodulatory?) mechanism.
Also, I'm still baffled that a pre-print (with actual data/analyses) could not be made available at the time of press release. That should be standard.