A new study from researchers in Canada shows that recovering from SARS-CoV-2 does not confer bulletproof immunity to an individual. The researchers found that so-called “hybrid” immunity that comes from both recovery and vaccination is much better.
The team of researchers, led by Niklas Bobrovitz at the University of Toronto, demonstrated “the advantages of vaccination even after people have had Covid-19,” the World Health Organization, which collaborated on the study, said.
Individuals who developed hybrid immunity had a 95% lower chance of becoming severely ill with SARS-CoV-2 or requiring hospitalization a year later, according to the study, which examined data from 26 other studies. Those who were previously infected with Covid but not vaccinated experienced reduced protection against the same. Their risk was only 75% lower, the researchers found.
Meanwhile, those with hybrid immunity following their first two coronavirus shots were nearly 42% less likely to get reinfected with SARS-CoV-2 a year later, and nearly 47% less likely six months out following their first booster vaccination. For those who had been infected but not vaccinated, protection was just 25% at 12 months.
In other news we cover today, the U.K. is experiencing a surge of norovirus and researchers in Israel said they were unable to establish a link between the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine and strokes.
The head of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, said on Wednesday that he tested positive for the coronavirus and reported he is experiencing “mild symptoms.”
This is Powell’s first Covid infection. He is “working remotely while isolating at home,” the Fed said in a statement.
Researchers in Israel said they have not found a link between the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus booster and strokes. The comment came after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said that a safety monitoring system had flagged the shot, indicating it could possibly be linked to a type of brain stroke in older adults, according to preliminary data.
“We have not turned up such a finding, even after we went back and rechecked all our data after the FDA announcement,” said Salman Zarka, the head of Israel’s coronavirus task force, in a video briefing sent to reporters on Thursday.
OTHER HEALTHCARE NEWS
The United Kingdom is experiencing an unusually high surge of norovirus cases. Currently, case figures at 10% over pre-pandemic levels. There were 364 cases reported in the final two weeks of 2022 and the U.K. Health Security Agency believes the norovirus season is only going to get worse.
Norovirus is a highly infectious virus that causes vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain, and is the most common cause of gastroenteritis.
Now here are the daily statistics for Thursday, January 19.
As of Thursday morning, the world has recorded 672.3 million Covid-19 cases, an increase of 0.2 million cases, and 6.74 million deaths, according to Worldometer, a service that tracks such information. In addition, 643.8 million people worldwide have recovered from the virus, an increase of 0.4 million.
The reader should note that infrequent reporting from some sources may appear as spikes in new case figures or death tolls.
Worldwide, the number of active coronavirus cases as of Thursday at press time is 21,798,435, a decrease of 60,000. Out of that figure, 99.8%, or 21,753,431, are considered mild, and 0.2%, or 45,004, are listed as critical. The percentage of cases considered critical has not changed over the past 24 hours.
The United States reported 144,535 new coronavirus infections on Thursday for the previous day, compared to 58,311 on Wednesday, 8,408 on Tuesday, and 3,735 on Monday, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The 7-day incidence rate is now 49,597. Figures for the weekend (reported the following day) are typically 30% to 60% of those posted on weekdays due to a lower number of tests being conducted.
The average daily number of new coronavirus cases in the United States over the past 14 days is 54,014, a figure down 14% over the past 14 days, based on data from the Department of Health and Human Services, among other sources. The average daily death toll over the same period is 482, an increase of 6% over the same period, while the average number of hospitalizations for the period was 39,899, a decrease of 15%. In addition, the number of patients in ICUs was 5,008, a decrease of 9% and the test positivity rate is now 13%, a 19% decrease.
In addition, since the start of the pandemic the United States has, as of Thursday, recorded just over 103.7 million cases, a higher figure than any other country, and a death toll of close to 1.13 million. India has the world’s second highest number of officially recorded cases, just under 44.7 million, and a reported death toll of 530,728.
The newest data from Russia’s Rosstat state statistics service showed that, at the end of July, the number of Covid or Covid-related deaths since the start of the pandemic there in April 2020 is now 823,623, giving the country the world’s second highest pandemic-related death toll, behind the United States. Rosstat reported that 3,284 people died from the coronavirus or related causes in July, down from 5,023 in June, 7,008 in May and 11,583 in April.
Meanwhile, France is the country with the third highest number of cases, with 39.5 million, and Germany is in the number four slot, with just over 37.6 million total cases.
Brazil, which has recorded the third highest number of deaths as a result of the virus, 695,668, has recorded 36.7 million cases, placing it in the number five slot.
The other five countries with total case figures over the 20 million mark are Japan, with 31.8 million cases, South Korea, with 29.9 million cases, placing it in the number seven slot, and Italy, with 25.4 million, as number eight, as well as the United Kingdom, with 24.2 million, and Russia, with 21.9 million.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that, as of the past Thursday, 268.6 million people in the United States – or 80.9% – have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Of that population, 69.1%, or 229.4 million people, have received two doses of vaccine, and the total number of doses that have been dispensed in the United States is now 666.5 million. Breaking this down further, 91.8% of the population over the age of 18 – or 237.1 million people – has received at least a first inoculation and 78.8% of the same group – or 203.5 million people – is fully vaccinated. In addition, 18.2% of the same population, or over 46.9 million people, has already received an updated or bivalent booster dose of vaccine.
Starting on June 13, 2022, the CDC began to update vaccine data on a weekly basis and publish the updated information on Thursdays by 8 p.m. EDT, a statement on the agency’s website said.
Some 69.3% of the world population has received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine by Thursday, according to Our World in Data, an online scientific publication that tracks such information. So far, 13.22 billion doses of the vaccine have been administered on a global basis and 2.07 million doses are now administered each day.
Meanwhile, only 26% of people in low-income countries have received one dose, while in countries such as Canada, China, Denmark, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States, at least 75% of the population has received at least one dose of vaccine.
Only a handful of the world’s poorest countries – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia and Nepal – have reached the 70% mark in vaccinations. Many countries, however, are under 20% and, in countries such as Haiti, Senegal, and Tanzania, for example, vaccination rates remain at or below 10%.
In addition, with the start of vaccinations in North Korea in late September, Eritrea remains the only country in the world that has not administered vaccines.
Anna Breuer contributed reporting to this story.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)