AstraZeneca Releases the REAL Vaccine Results


The costs of Covid-19 will be with us for a long time. That is the finding of two studies from the UK that examined those with “long covid.” Meanwhile, AstraZeneca said its vaccine is 76% effective.

Most patients treated in a hospital for Covid-19 are still suffering a wide range of symptoms five months after discharge. And middle-aged women are even more likely to have long Covid than other groups.

This was the findings from two UK studies released on Wednesday.

The larger study, led by the University of Leicester and called Phosp-Covid, analyzed 1,077 people discharged from hospitals across the UK. It found that only 29% were fully recovered.

The remainder had an average of nine persistent symptoms each. These included: muscle pain and fatigue, breathlessness, pain, joint pain or swelling, weakness, short-term memory loss and “brain fog.”

Those with the most severe prolonged symptoms were white women, aged 40 to 60, with at least two long-term health conditions, such as asthma or diabetes. However,  most of the people with “brain fog” were men.

Some evidence suggests that Covid-19 vaccination helps to alleviate symptoms in some people. But scientists say more rigorous studies are needed to investigate this.

There is a terrible personal cost to people with long Covid.

But there will be also a large economic cost to society for the long-term health care costs to care for long Covid patients. Among those who had previously been employed, the studies found 18% had been unable to work since developing Covid-19.

The Big News

AstraZeneca Cites New Analysis of Vaccine Effects

AstraZeneca says its vaccine was 76% effective at preventing symptomatic illness. AstraZeneca cited a new analysis of up-to-date results for its major U.S. trial. Health officials earlier in the week publicly rebuked AstraZeneca for using “outdated information” when calculating that the vaccine was 79% effective.

A Coronavirus Airborne Particle Detector

The Thermo Fisher Scientific AerosolSense Sampler is now publicly available. The device can be used to detect a variety of airborne pathogens, including the coronavirus. It could be deployed in hospitals, offices, schools and other buildings to monitor for signs of the virus as society begins to reopen. The  device costs $4,995.

Another Variant Emerges

A new variant  in India is causing a spike in cases and deaths. It has two mutations in the spike protein that the virus uses to fasten itself to cells. These genetic tweaks are of concern since they might help the virus spread more easily and escape the immune system.

Pressure Grows On J&J

Johnson & Johnson is under pressure to deliver its promised 20 million Covid-19 vaccine doses by next week. Several state public health officials indicate they are receiving few or no shots this week and have no idea how much they will receive later. The supply situation has frustrated Biden administration officials, who were counting on the single-dose J&J shot to reach underserved populations and accelerate a return to normal.

The Science Behind Zoonotic Diseases Like Covid

The risk of infectious diseases jumping from animals to humans rises where natural forest is wiped out. Researchers found that, from 1990 to 2016, increases in outbreaks of zoonotic and vector-borne diseases were linked to deforestation. The loss of predators and habitats allows disease-carrying animals, such as mosquitoes, ticks and sandflies, to flourish.

The Coronavirus Numbers

Here are the numbers from Thursday at 8 a.m. ET from Johns Hopkins University:

  • 124,908,585 Infected Worldwide
  • 479,588,094 Vaccines Given Globally
  • 2,745,964 Deaths
  • 30,011,550 Infected in the U.S.
  • 130,473,853 U.S. Vaccine Doses Administered
  • 545,282 Deaths in the U.S.

What’s Next

U.S. markets were broadly weaker yesterday. The Nasdaq declined 2% and the small-cap Russell 2000 fell over 2.3%. The S&P 500 dropped 0.55%, while the Dow was flat as financial and energy names fared better.

Tesla fell 5% to $630. The ARK Innovation ETF declined almost 6% and is now around 27% below its recent peak. In each case,, anyone who got in since the start of December is nursing a loss. ARK’s Monte Carlo $3,000 “valuation” for Tesla is not looking too clever.

With vaccination efforts gathering speed, the job market is showing signs of life. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell last week to 657,000, a decrease of 100,000 from the previous week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. It was the lowest weekly level of initial state claims since the pandemic upended the economy a year ago.

Nevertheless, stock futures indicate another negative day.

Yours in Health & Wealth,

Tony Daltorio

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