COVID-19: A Cure for Colds?, Millions of Vax Doses Destroyed, World Covid Stats, More

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COVID-19: A Cure for Colds?

A COVID-19 infection might provide enhanced protection against the common cold, a study found. The coronavirus spike protein helps determine virus attachment and entry into host cells, making it a primary target for “neutralizing antibodies and a key component for vaccine development,” according to a study from the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. COVID-19 cases appear surging again in the U.S., with deaths from the virus already around one million (some report 1m has already been passed but exact figures are contested.)

Dr. Anthony Fauci has said that there is “no chance” that we can eliminate SARS-CoV-2. A number of previous studies have looked at the connection between pre-pandemic coronaviruses that cause seasonal colds and COVID-19. A January 2022 study from Imperial College found initial evidence that people with high levels of T-cells from the common cold virus were less likely to be infected with COVID-19


Good Test Results with 4th Booster Shot

But scientists say any short-term protection against infection is likely to fall away quickly.

The UK rolled out fourth doses to over-75s and the most vulnerable in April.

A larger group of people may be offered a booster in the autumn, but any decision will be based on advice from the UK’s vaccine committee.

It is likely to look at whether new worrying variants are spreading, and Covid pressure on hospitals.

Some countries, such as Israel and Germany, have already started offering all adults a fourth dose.

Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid said the study findings were “further evidence underlining the importance of people coming forward for their booster as soon as they are eligible”.

The study of 133 people, two weeks after their fourth dose, found the vaccines were “well-tolerated” and “boosted immunity”.

The researchers said “peak responses after the fourth dose were similar to, and possibly better than, peak responses after the third dose”.

On the up

But the study, published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases, concluded that a large increase in anti-spike antibodies would probably wane rapidly, as was seen after third doses.

All participants, some of whom were over 70 and some under 70, were vaccinated with a dose of Pfizer or a half dose of Moderna about six months after having their third dose.

“There was good boosting in all groups, particularly for the over-70s, and the half dose of Moderna was slightly higher,” said Prof Saul Faust, Cov-Boost, study leader from the University of Southampton.

Another part of the immune system called T-cells were also boosted after the fourth dose, which suggests longer-lasting protection against severe disease was increased.

Prof Faust pointed out that the recent Omicron wave means most people will have been infected recently and now have high antibody levels, which means they are unlikely to gain much from another dose.

The study is small and more research is needed over a longer time frame to track how long the immune response lasts.

The UK regulator, the MHRA, decides whether vaccines are safe to use, while the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation advises health ministers on whether they should be used and who would benefit from them.



Nearly 400 million COVID-19 vaccine doses were destroyed at Emergent BioSolutions’s facility in Baltimore due to the company’s “failure to meet or maintain quality standards,” a congressional report released on Tuesday said.

According to the report, around 240 million doses were destroyed at the facility in late 2020 and early 2021 because of “poor quality control,” more than had initially been believed. Another 90 million newly manufactured doses have since had to be destroyed for quality control reasons, and about 60 million will have to be destroyed due to expiring while in quarantine.

The report was compiled by the House’s Oversight and Reform Committee and Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.

It alleged that Emergent tried to hide evidence of these ruined vaccine doses from the federal government and drug companies, saying employees hid “hold tags” that indicated potential quality issues when the Food and Drug Administration made a site visit in February 2021. They also allegedly declined to allow Johnson & Johnson’s quality staff members to access the facility.

The report further alleged that the Trump administration, which awarded Emergent a $628 million contract to make the COVID-19 vaccines, was aware of these deficiencies beforehand and knew that they could impact manufacturing.


Dems de-link Ukraine aid from COVID-19 money 

© Hill Illustration/Madeline Monroe/iStock

Democrats are moving quickly to pass nearly $40 billion in new Ukraine aid, which will not be linked to a stalled coronavirus package.

Democrats are proposing nearly $40 billion in new assistance, above the roughly $33 billion requested by the Biden administration. The extra funding from Congress would include an additional $3.4 billion for both military and humanitarian assistance in addition to the money requested by the White House, two sources confirmed to The Hill.

The proposal could be on the House floor as soon as Tuesday, one source told The Hill. Whether it could also pass the Senate by the end of the week depends on if all 100 senators could work out a time agreement and when the House sends over the legislation.

The Ukraine aid will not be attached to a $10 billion coronavirus assistance package, a source confirmed. That package has been stuck for weeks in the Senate because Republicans are demanding an amendment vote to prevent the administration from lifting a Trump-era border health policy.

Democrats had eyed linking the two and the idea had support from both Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and the White House. But Republicans had vowed to block the Ukraine package if the COVID funds were attached.



Coronavirus Cases:





Highlighted in green
= all cases have recovered from the infection
Highlighted in grey
= all cases have had an outcome (there are no active cases)

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May 11 (GMT)


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