The forgotten warriors in our battle with Covid-19 are T-cells. But they should not be forgotten. They may be more important than antibodies.
A study by researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology and the University of California shows why.
The study found that T-cell responses in patients who had been vaccinated, or previously infected, were just as robust when faced with new variants of Covid-19. That includes those nasty variants first found in Brazil and South Africa.
T-cells can “remember” past infections. That allows them to attack and kill pathogens if they reappear. That makes T-cells crucial to how long people remain resistant to viruses.
These T-cells come in several different types. These include killer T-cells, helper T-cells and memory T-cells.
The study (not yet peer-reviewed) found that new variants had only a “marginal impact” on both helper and killer T-cell responses when compared against the original virus strain.
It concluded: “While it is not anticipated that circulating memory T cells would be effective in preventing Sars-Cov-2 infection, it is plausible that they can reduce Covid-19 severity.”
That’s all we need. Make Covid-19 like a cold.
The biggest takeaway from this study is this. . .get vaccinated. That will get those memory T-cells doing what they are supposed to do.
The Big News
What Victory Over Covid Will Look Like
The world is not going to eliminate SARS-Cov-2 anytime soon. That’s the reality. Coronaviruses circulate all the time. They cause the common cold and other manageable illnesses. The trouble with this particular virus is its lethality. It has killed 15 times as many Americans as an average flu season. Turning Covid into something more like a mild flu or common cold means victory over the virus.
Yes, Vaccinations Do Work
Despite the doubters, vaccinations do work. A prime example occurred in Los Angeles. Reports of new virus cases among health care workers in Los Angeles County have fallen by 94% since late November, just before vaccinations began.
Animals the Key to Our Covid Future
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, scientists have worried that it could leap from people to animals. Then it could mutate and resurge in humans once again. From pet cats to farmed mink, experiments have found many animals that can harbor SARS-CoV-2 and pass it on. The virus taught humans a lesson with mink. In effect, the virus said, “You guys can never catch me.”
FDA Drops the Ball on Pharma Manufacturing Inspections
The FDA is under pressure from the pharmaceutical industry to reduce a growing backlog of inspections. The pandemic prompted the agency to halt most plant visits. From March through September, the FDA inspected three plants outside the U.S. That was well below the 600+ visited in each of the prior two years. The FDA has also struggled to keep up with inspections inside the U.S. It conducted only 52 inspections during the same seven-month period last year. That compared with roughly 400 each in 2019 and 2018.
Many Americans are desperate to get vaccinated. The clamor for hard-to-get vaccines has created armies of anxious people who haunt pharmacies at the end of the day. Their hope is to receive unused doses that would be thrown out if not given.
The Coronavirus Numbers
The U.S. has administered more than two million vaccine shots per day over the past week. Here are the numbers from Thursday at 8 a.m. ET from Johns Hopkins University:
- 115,273,110 Infected Worldwide
- 268,616,411 Vaccines Given Globally
- 2,561,738 Deaths
- 28,761,399 Infected in the U.S.
- 80,540,474 US Vaccine Doses Administered
- 518,459 Deaths in the U.S.
Wall Street Bets $475 Million on This EV Stock
+$475 million. That’s how much Wall Street plans to invest in this new EV battery stock. Hedge funds. Pension funds. Silicon Valley billionaires. Even trillion-dollar sovereign wealth funds from the Middle East. Go here for urgent details.
Tech stocks are leading stock markets lower. That is mainly thanks to a renewed sell-off in government bonds as economies recover from the pandemic.
The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note is up to nearly 1.5% again. It seems destined to nudge its way higher. US 5-year break even inflation expectations have risen to 250 basis points (2.5%). That is the highest since mid-2008.
Yesterday the Nasdaq 100 cracked its 50-day moving average to close at 12,683, its weakest since the start of January. It’s now down for 2021 and is about 10% off its recent all-time high.
I find it fascinating to follow the problems at the poster child of this bull market euphoria in tech stocks. Cathie Wood’s main fund, the ARK Innovation ETF (NYSE: ARKK), has shed 20% from its February high.
The fund’s top position, Tesla, is down over 25% from its peak. And the likes of Square, Zillow and Pinterest all tumbled around 8%.
As an older broker told me when I first broke into the business decades ago . . . “When you ride the bull, sometimes you get the horns.”
Meanwhile, one of the top engineers behind Tesla Motors QUIT to create a brand new EV battery. Go here to grab Pre-IPO shares of this new EV stock.
Yours in Health & Wealth,