New York Times: What the BA.5 Subvariant Could Mean for the United States

New York Times: What the BA.5 Subvariant Could Mean for the United States. “The most transmissible variant yet of the coronavirus is threatening a fresh wave of infections in the United States, even among those who have recovered from the virus fairly recently. The subvariant of Omicron known as BA.5 is now dominant, according to federal estimates released Tuesday, and together with BA.4, another subvariant, it is fueling an outbreak of cases and hospitalizations.”

Ars Technica: FDA calls for fall boosters against BA.4/5 as subvariants take over US

Ars Technica: FDA calls for fall boosters against BA.4/5 as subvariants take over US. “On Thursday, the US Food and Drug Administration advised vaccine makers to reformulate COVID-19 booster shots for this fall. The boosters would target both the original strain of the pandemic coronavirus plus two new omicron subvariants—BA.4 and BA.5—which became the dominant versions of the virus circulating in the United States this week.”

News@Northeastern: Want To Understand The Impact Of The Covid-19 Pandemic On Boston? Northeastern Researchers Have Built A Database

News@Northeastern: Want To Understand The Impact Of The Covid-19 Pandemic On Boston? Northeastern Researchers Have Built A Database. “Sudden disruptions to society were immediately apparent: School closures, business shutdowns, new—and in some cases, unprecedented—public health policies. But other pandemic impacts remain hidden, locked away in datasets and public records not yet meaningfully analyzed. The determination to uncover that data—and make it widely available—led a group of Northeastern researchers to construct a ‘data-support system’ from multiple information sources in and around the city of Boston that, when combined, paint a portrait of how communities and neighborhoods were impacted by the pandemic, with particular emphasis on communities and neighborhoods of color.”

EurekAlert: Massive dataset reveals which governments have best responded to COVID-19 pandemic

EurekAlert: Massive dataset reveals which governments have best responded to COVID-19 pandemic. “[Olga] Shvetsova’s lab compiled a massive database comparing pandemic-related governmental policies in 82 countries on both the national and subnational levels, as part of the COVID-19 Protective Policy Index (PPI) project. The data covers the entire year of 2020, and is publically available for researchers’ use.”

Core77: Plaxtil Recycles Used Face Masks Into School Supplies

Core77: Plaxtil Recycles Used Face Masks Into School Supplies. “French company Plaxtil has used their technology to recycle used face masks into school supplies. Millions of discarded masks have been collected, sanitized, broken back down into plastic and molded into protractors, rulers and triangles for geometry classes.” And given away for free.

Newswise: Food allergy is associated with lower risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection

Newswise: Food allergy is associated with lower risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. “A National Institutes of Health-funded study has found that people with food allergies are less likely to become infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, than people without them. In addition, while previous research identified obesity as a risk factor for severe COVID-19, the new study has identified obesity and high body mass index (BMI) as associated with increased risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection. In contrast, the study determined that asthma does not increase risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

Social media can be a force for good in a crisis: lessons from Lagos (The Conversation)

The Conversation: Social media can be a force for good in a crisis: lessons from Lagos. “We set out to assess the role that social media played in driving public engagement with Covid health measures in Lagos, Nigeria. We analysed public engagement on Twitter between January and August 2020 that related to the city’s lockdown protocols. One of our key findings was that the public responded most to public health information being shared by prominent individual social media influencers. These included sportspeople, comedians, musicians and business-people.”

Fast Company: How many preventable COVID deaths happened in your state? This map will tell you

Fast Company: How many preventable COVID deaths happened in your state? This map will tell you. “As the United States passes the somber milestone of 1 million deaths from COVID-19, a new analysis and interactive dashboard visualizes how many of those deaths didn’t have to happen. The analysis, led by researchers at the Brown School of Public Health, looks at total deaths from the virus in each state and then calculates how much lower the figures would be had the pace of vaccination not slowed down from its peak.”

DPLA: DPLA releases The Covid Archive as free ebook

DPLA: DPLA releases The Covid Archive as free ebook. “Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) is pleased to announce the publication of a free ebook, The Covid Archive: A finding aid to government documents related to the Covid19 Pandemic. The Covid Archive is a digital finding aid for the digital archive of government documents related to the response of U.S. federal and state governments to the Covid 19 pandemic. The finding aid provides an index to more than 3,000 government documents related to the pandemic response that were identified by the Covid Tracking Project and digitally preserved by DPLA.”

Reuters: North Korea’s Kim orders military to stabilise supply of COVID drugs

Reuters: North Korea’s Kim orders military to stabilise supply of COVID drugs. “Leader Kim Jong Un has ordered North Korea’s military to stabilise distribution of COVID-19 medicine in the capital, Pyongyang, in the battle on the country’s first confirmed outbreak of the disease, state media said. Last week brought the North’s first acknowledgment of an ‘explosive’ outbreak, with experts warning it could devastate a country with limited medical supplies and no vaccine programme.”

New York Times: Emergent Hid Evidence of Covid Vaccine Problems at Plant, Report Says

New York Times: Emergent Hid Evidence of Covid Vaccine Problems at Plant, Report Says. ” Emergent BioSolutions, a longtime government contractor hired to produce hundreds of millions of coronavirus vaccine doses, hid evidence of quality control problems from Food and Drug Administration inspectors in February 2021 — six weeks before it alerted federal officials that 15 million doses had been contaminated. The disclosure came in a report released Tuesday by House Democrats, who said that all told, nearly 400 million doses of coronavirus vaccine manufactured by Emergent had to be destroyed ‘due to poor quality control.’”