"COVID-19 Lockdown Exit Analysis" 30th Jul 2021
'The war has changed': Internal CDC document urges new messaging, warns Delta infections likely more severe
- The internal presentation shows that the agency thinks it is struggling to communicate on vaccine efficacy amid increased breakthrough infections
- The delta variant of the coronavirus appears to cause more severe illness than earlier variants and spreads as easily as chickenpox, according to an internal federal health document that argues officials must 'acknowledge the war has changed.'
- The document is an internal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention slide presentation, shared within the CDC and obtained by The Washington Post. It captures the struggle of the nation's top public health agency to persuade the public to embrace vaccination and prevention measures, including mask-wearing, as cases surge across the United States and new research suggests vaccinated people can spread the virus.
- The document strikes an urgent note, revealing the agency knows it must revamp its public messaging to emphasize vaccination as the best defence against a variant so contagious that it acts almost like a novel virus, leaping from target to target more swiftly than Ebola or the common cold.
- It cites a combination of recently obtained, still unpublished data from outbreak investigations and outside studies showing that vaccinated individuals infected with delta may be able to transmit the virus as easily as those who are unvaccinated. Vaccinated people infected with delta have measurable viral loads similar to those who are unvaccinated and infected with the variant.
- 'I finished reading it significantly more concerned than when I began,' Robert Wacher, chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, wrote in an email.
- CDC scientists were so alarmed by the new research that the agency earlier this week significantly changed guidance for vaccinated people even before making the new data public.
- The data and studies cited in the document played a key role in revamped recommendations that call for everyone - vaccinated or not - to wear masks indoors in public settings in certain circumstances, a federal health official said. That official told The Post that the data will be published in full on Friday. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky privately briefed members of Congress on Thursday, drawing on much of the material in the document.
- One of the slides states that there is a higher risk among older age groups for hospitalization and death relative to younger people, regardless of vaccination status. Another estimates that there are 35,000 symptomatic infections per week among 162 million vaccinated Americans.
- The document outlines 'communication challenges' fuelled by cases in vaccinated people, including concerns from local health departments about whether coronavirus vaccines remain effective and a 'public convinced vaccines no longer work. Booster doses needed.'
- The presentation highlights the daunting task the CDC faces. It must continue to emphasize the proven efficacy of the vaccines at preventing severe illness and death, while acknowledging milder breakthrough infections may not be so are after all, and that vaccinated individuals are transmitting th virus. The agency must move the goal posts of success in full public view.
- The CDC declined to comment.
- 'Although it's rare, we believe that at an individual level, vaccinated people may spread the virus, which is why we updated our recommendation,' according to the federal health official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. 'Waiting even days to publish the data could result in needless suffering and as public health professionals we cannot accept that.'
- The presentation came two days after Walensky announced the reversal in guidance on masking among people who are vaccinated. On May 13, people were told they no longer needed to wear masks indoors or outdoors if they had been vaccinated. Even people who are vaccinated should wear masks indoors in communities with substantial viral spread or when in the presence of people who are particularly vulerable to infection and illness, the CDC said.
‘The war has changed’: Internal CDC document urges new messaging, warns delta infections likely more severe
The delta variant of the coronavirus appears to cause more severe illness than earlier variants and spreads as easily as chickenpox, according to an internal federal health document that argues officials must “acknowledge the war has changed.”
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These companies are insisting on Covid-19 vaccines for their employees
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Israel to offer COVID-19 booster shot to people over 60, making it first country to give third dose of Western vaccine
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Refugees are at high risk of COVID-19 infection, but low priority for vaccines
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Australian military to help enforce Sydney COVID-19 lockdown as cases rise
Sydney adds four weeks to lockdown as Australia COVID-19 cases growAustralians may face longer lockdown after mass protestsThomson FoundationSydney Extends Covid Lockdown By Four More Weeks As It Continues To Reel From Delta Variant OutbreakForbesView Full coverage on Google News
Oman extends nightly COVID-19 lockdown
Oman on Thursday extended a nightly lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus, with movement and commercial activities to be restricted between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. until further notice, the government said. Cases in the country of around 4.5 million people, which has continued to impose movement and commercial restrictions on and off through the pandemic, have started to rise again after showing a steady fall since mid-June.
EXCLUSIVE AstraZeneca exploring options for COVID-19 vaccine business - executive
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COVID-19 survivors are three times as likely to report memory issues eight months later compared to those who test negative as researchers say virus is not a 'mild disease'
A new study found 11% of people who had mild cases of COVID still experienced memory problems eight months later. Comparatively, only around 4% of people who tested negative are reporting similar memory issues. Researchers are worried about findings, say virus might not be a mild condition and could affect people long-term. Past research has found that around 80% of people with serious COVID cases develop cognitive issues
Vaccinated Britons report different coronavirus symptoms - including sneezing
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FDA Extends Shelf Life Of Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 Vaccine To Six Months
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has extended the shelf life of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose Covid-19 vaccine from four-and-a-half months to six months, the drugmaker announced on Thursday, a decision that comes at a time when several health officials expressed concerns about vaccine doses expiring and going to waste.
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Professor Tim Spector who co-founded the ZOE Covid Symptom Study app has said he is “very suspicious” over the government’s data of daily cases. On Wednesday the government’s figures said there was 27,734 positive cases in 24 hours, but there study has shown there is around “60,000 cases a day which are reported. Professor Spector said of the roughly 60,000 people who had tested positive according to the ZOE data, 24,000 had received at least one dose of the vaccine, whilst 36,000 had no vaccinations. The co-founder of the ZOE Covid symptom Study app said, “This 60,000 figure is still a lot of people, it’s one in 84 people roughly who have at any point in time still some infection or symptoms of the condition”.
Two Games attendees in hospital as Japan COVID-19 cases surge
Two people attending the Tokyo Olympics from overseas have been admitted to hospital with COVID-19, a Tokyo 2020 spokesperson said on Thursday, as daily cases in the host city and Japan as a whole hit new highs.
Indonesia's regional COVID-19 deaths higher than national tally - data monitor
Indonesia's regional COVID-19 deaths vastly outnumber its national tally, an independent organisation which collects data on the Southeast Asian country's coronavirus outbreak said in a statement on Thursday. Indonesia is Asia's COVID-19 epicentre and has over the last week reported over 1,500 deaths a day, including a record 2,069 deaths on Tuesday. That tally does not include all regional deaths, however, meaning the true toll could be much higher, according to the Lapor COVID-19 data monitoring group.
Japan's daily COVID-19 cases exceed 10000 for first time - Nippon TV
Newly reported daily COVID-19 cases in Japan exceeded 10,000 for the first time, Nippon Television reported on Thursday, after the Tokyo metropolitan government reported a record-high 3,865 new infection cases in the capital.
India's Kerala state orders lockdown as COVID-19 infections rise
India's southern state of Kerala on Thursday announced a two-day lockdown as federal authorities planned to send experts to fight the spread of infections in the country's leading COVID-19 hotspot.