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Mt. Pleasant teams with Pittsburgh lab in launch of covid-19 community wellness program

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When Mt. Pleasant Mayor Jerry Lucia recently received a call from a local asking if the district would like to partner with a state-of-the-art health lab to start a Covid-19 community wellness testing program.

SDxLabs, a Pittsburgh-based diagnostic lab, will be expanding its Covid-19 Community Wellness program in Mt. Pleasant next week. Berg Pleasant-born Jackie Mullins, the lab’s national sales manager, called Lucia, who is also the fire department chief, to see if the city would like to join in.

“A lot of people think that just because we have the Covid-19 vaccine, it’s over. But just look around the country: it isn’t. … There are still concerns about variations emerging, ”Lucia said.

For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last week that the Delta variant, first identified in India, was the dominant strain in the US as of July 3, accounting for 51.7% of all new cases .

“If we can keep track of things and help people stay healthy, I’m for it,” said Lucia.

The lab’s mobile test vehicle with SDxLabs staff will be picked up at Mt. Pleasant Volunteer Fire Department at 100 S. Church St. from 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM Tuesday and Thursday to begin the testing program. All members of the community are invited to take part.

The lab, based on the North Shore of Pittsburgh, was founded by researchers and technologists who have been innovating the healthcare industry for over two decades, said David Colaizzi, one of the lab’s founders and its CEO.

He said the lab is expanding programs and resources for communities to allow people to make proactive decisions about their health.

“We’re excited to have Mayor Lucia and Mt. It’s nice to be introducing proactive community testing options and making pooled testing available to their first responders,” said Colaizzi.

He said the goal of the program is to improve access to testing and reduce potential outbreaks.

“While testing has become more accessible over the past year, we want communities like Mt. Please make sure they have the necessary infrastructure should current conditions change,” Colaizzi said. “There are still variant concerns, and we are still seeing cases across the state. Giving communities the security they need to fully accept the reopening is incredibly important, especially for populations disproportionately affected by Covid-19. “

Lucia said he hoped community members would take the opportunity.

“We want to focus on making sure our community continuously has the resources it needs to stay safe, especially when variations come up and we get back to normal,” said Lucia. “Although the cases have been falling for some time, there are many indications that we have not yet made it completely through the forest. Instead of undoing months of progress, we’re looking for SDxLabs to make sure we can keep reopening safely. “

Mullins is also looking forward to the start of the pilot test program.

“People, whether traveling, work or whatever, are looking for a safe place to test and what’s a more welcoming place than having a community fire station … and being able to do so, it’s a bonus when it’s free too,” said you.

Participants will be asked to provide saliva samples through a tube or nasal swab that will be sent to the laboratory.

You can find more information at sdx-labs.com/mt-pleasant-community-program.

Paul Peirce is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, ppeirce@triblive.com, or on Twitter.

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Pandemic

How quickly does protection wane after the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine?

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Share on PinterestA new study examines the waning protection of the Pfizer vaccine over 180 days. picture Alliance / Getty Images

  • The researchers looked at whether COVID-19 immunity decreased after receiving a second Pfizer BioNTech mRNA vaccine dose.
  • They found that the likelihood of SARS-CoV-2 infection increases the more time passes after the second dose of vaccine.
  • While their results may justify booster vaccines for immunocompromised individuals, they warn that further research is needed as they did not use blood tests to monitor participants’ immune responses over time.

Protection against COVID-19 consists either in contracting the SARS-CoV-2 virus and recovering or getting vaccinated.

Research has shown that those who have become infected with SARS-CoV-2 are 85% protected from symptomatic illness 6 months after infection.

As the authors of the most recent study explain, “vaccinations at different points in time have been reported to be 50–95% effective”.

Over time, the immune system’s response to SARS-CoV-2 decreases, which means those who have recovered from the virus or received a vaccination may be less protected over time.

In a recent study, researchers from Israel and the United States conducted a study to investigate whether infection protection deteriorated over time after a second dose of the Pfizer BioNTech mRNA vaccine.

They found that people were at increased risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 90 days after a second dose of Pfizer. The results appear in the BMJ.

“Israel was one of the first countries to successfully run a popular vaccination campaign, so we were among the first to see the vaccine waning over time since the first two vaccinations,” said Dr. Ariel Israel, Ph.D., one of the study’s authors, told Medical News Today.

“Our study is an observational study designed to determine whether the protection provided by the Pfizer vaccine wears off over time by comparing the positive rate [reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) for SARS-CoV-2] in people who were vaccinated at different intervals before the test. “

“We have observed that after the excellent protection that the vaccine provides for the first 3 months, the rate of infection gradually increases,” said Dr. Israel.

The researchers collected medical records from Leumit Health Services, a major healthcare provider in Israel that serves 700,000 people across the country.

For their analysis, they used health records from people aged 18 and over who had a SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR test between May 15, 2021 and September 17, 2021 after receiving two doses of the Pfizer vaccine had.

The team ran tests at least 3 weeks after the second vaccination. They divided participants into three age groups to reflect the different stages of vaccine introduction:

  • 60 years and older
  • 40–59 years
  • 18–39 years

They also divided the time between the second vaccination and the RT-PCR tests after the first 90 days into 30-day intervals, with the latter category being labeled 180 days or more since the second vaccination. In total, the researchers analyzed health records from 83,057 people.

Their analyzes took into account potentially confusing risk factors for SARS-CoV-2 infection such as age, gender, socio-economic status, and existing health conditions.

Of the researchers examined, 9.6% or 7,973 people had a positive test result. The mean time between the second dose of vaccine and an RT-PCR test was 164 days.

The team found that the likelihood of contracting SARS-CoV-2 increases the more time has passed since the second vaccine.

While 1.3% of the participants received a positive test result 21–89 days after the second vaccination, this was in 2.4% of the persons after 90–119 days and 4.6% after 120. the case149 days, 10.3% after 150179 days and 15.5% after 180 days.

These results resulted in a 2.37-fold higher chance of contracting the virus 90 days after the second vaccination and a 2.82-fold higher chance of 150 days or more.

They also found that two injections 21 days apart provided more protection than one and that age-related changes in the immune system affected the immune response to the vaccines.

Dr. Israel stated that the reasons for the deteriorating immune protection “are outside the scope of their study”. However, he suggested a few possible mechanisms:

“The most likely explanation is that antibodies, as well as cells of the immune system that produce antibodies or kill cells” [with the infection], have a finite lifespan, so their numbers gradually decrease after the first reaction caused by the vaccine.

“[Fewer] Antibodies in the blood and [fewer] Cells that can kill the virus mean that the virus is more likely to escape the immune system in the early stages of infection, so we are likely seeing an increased rate of positive PCR in people who have been vaccinated earlier, ”he added.

The researchers concluded that SARS-CoV-2 immunity wears off after a second Pfizer vaccine after the first 90 days and that a third vaccine or booster dose for immunocompromised individuals might be warranted.

They also note some limitations to their study. Because of the observational study design, they state that they may not have considered all of the contributing factors, which could have skewed their results.

For example, they find that they only included people who had chosen to request an RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2, and that some may have different thresholds for requesting a test.

They also found that people who were vaccinated earlier may have had different physical distancing habits than those who were vaccinated later, which could have significantly affected their level of risk.

In addition, the researchers note that blood tests were not done on RT-PCR tests, which means they cannot be sure whether the immunity had actually decreased.

“Given these results, Israel’s public health authorities have recommended booster vaccinations for all ages, and we saw a dramatic decrease in COVID-19 incidence immediately after the booster was introduced,” said Dr. Israel.

“It is too early to be able to say for sure how long the protection would last after the booster shot. We will continue to monitor the infection rate and will report our data if we see any reduction in protection from the booster, ”he concluded.

For live updates on the latest developments regarding the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, click here.

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Indiana’s secret weapon in the fight against COVID-19

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INDIANAPOLIS (WANE) – The Regenstrief Institute may be better known around the world than it is in its home state of Indiana, despite playing a key role in fighting COVID-19.

In fact, Regenstrief’s work helped the whole world.

The organization, based near the Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, is affiliated with the IU Medical School. Their decade-old “LOINC” system (Logical Observation Identifiers, Names and Codes) enables researchers, hospitals, governments, insurance companies and smartphone users to exchange health data across systems. It brings together isolated health data in the same language.

In January 2020, Regenstrief worked with global partners to define codes that would enable the exchange of COVID-19 data worldwide.

“Without developing these codes,” said Dr. Peter Embí, President and CEO of Regenstrief, “we couldn’t have known so quickly what the results of the laboratory tests were, what they showed and how they flowed.”

At home, Regenstrief researchers teaching at Indiana University’s Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health followed the Indiana Department of Health’s call to conduct a nationwide COVID prevalence study in the early days of the pandemic.

“This nationwide prevalence study was instrumental in the decisions both the governor and local health authorities made,” said Brian Dixon, Ph.D. Dixon is both Associate Professor at the Fairbanks School of Public Health and Director of Public Health Informatics at Regenstrief.

“We didn’t understand how many people were infected at the time or how widespread the infection was across the state,” added Dixon. “That’s what this early study really gave us. It enabled us to study the spread of this disease in the population. “

Before the pandemic, Dixon was compiling numbers on obesity, diabetes, and chronic diseases. He was baffled when the COVID-19 numbers turned political.

“What surprised me the most was the people’s reaction, the rejection of the numbers and then the distrust in them,” he said. “Because we’ve worked so hard here to collect accurate data from as many places as possible, bring it all together, and create the state’s dashboard. Then a lot of people say, ‘Oh, they’re just making up numbers’ or ‘That’s not the truth’.

“Well, that’s as close to the truth as possible.”

When asked whether Regenstrief is Indiana’s secret weapon against COVID-19, Embí distracts.

“I wouldn’t say we were the only one. We contributed, but to be honest, it wouldn’t have been possible without a team effort. I think we were an important part of it. And I don’t mean to sound immodest, but I think we played a really, very important role and that has undoubtedly helped us stand out from the crowd. We are really proud to be welcomed by the Governor and Dr. Box to have been recognized for our contributions. But the truth is, in Indiana we have such an incredibly collaborative place where Hoosiers come together to help one another. This really is the secret sauce. That is really the secret weapon. “

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Biden COVID-19 vax mandate for fed contractors, health care blocked

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Federal judges temporarily blocked the entry into force of two parts of President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors and healthcare workers in Ohio.

U.S. District Court judge Gregory Van Tatenhove on Tuesday prevented the Biden administration from imposing a COVID-19 vaccine requirement on federal contractors and subcontractors in Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Meanwhile, healthcare workers are not required to receive the COVID-19 shot in Ohio and across the country for the time being, U.S. District Court Judge Terry A. Doughty ruled Tuesday. See the judgments below.

The Biden government had previously set a deadline of November 22 for federal employees and January 4 for federal contractors who are to be vaccinated against COVID-19, receive an exception or face penalties. Now federal officials are waiting until January to suspend non-compliant employees.

For health workers, the US president set a December 6 deadline for workers to receive the first dose of the vaccine and be fully vaccinated by January 4. Now hospitals and nursing homes have more time to take care of things.

A look back:Ohio Attorney General Sheriffs are suing Biden government over COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Van Tatenhove wrote that his decision was not about whether vaccines are effective or whether the government can require them: it is and they can.

“The question posed here is a narrow one,” he wrote. “Can the President use powers delegated by Congress to manage the procurement of federal goods and services to impose vaccines on employees of federal contractors and subcontractors? In all likelihood the answer to this question is no. “

He also wrote that the vaccine mandate applies to federal contractor and subcontractor employees who work entirely from home and are not at risk of spreading COVID-19.

Doughty made a similar decision for healthcare workers, saying the federal executive lacks constitutional authority to implement the vaccine requirement. Another federal ruling followed on Monday that made the same decision but only applied to ten states.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost has also questioned other aspects of Biden’s vaccine requirements, including a mandate that companies with 100+ employees require COVID-19 vaccines.

“This is not about vaccines, but about the mandates,” said Yost in a statement. “The judge’s opinion says this clearly and it has been our position from the start that the president cannot impose these mandates on the people.”

The Biden government is likely to appeal these injunctions as there are similar cases. The judgments suspend the effects of the mandate until the matter has been completely played out in the judiciary.

Biden and vaccine advocates have called such mandates necessary to increase vaccination rates, while opponents argue that if workers quit to avoid vaccination, they could result in severe understaffing.

Jessie Balmert and Titus Wu are reporters for the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau, which serves the Akron Beacon Journal, Cincinnati Enquirer, Columbus Dispatch, and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.

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