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COVID-19 News Update for Feb. 18, 2021

Data Snapshot  

UW Medicine Hospitals:  

COVID-19 Positive Inpatients Feb 17 2021 

King County: The county reported 140 new positive cases and 8 new deaths on Feb. 17.  

Washington: The state reported 313,633 cases and 4,759 deaths as of Feb. 16.  

United States: The CDC reports 27,600,391 cases and 486,466 deaths as of Feb. 17. 

Global: WHO reports 109,594,835 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,424,060 deaths as of Feb18.  

Numbers update frequently, please follow links for most up-to-date numbers.  

UW Medicine COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Update  

Total Vaccine Doses Administered: 85,573 

  • Total first dose: 56,947 
  • Total second dose: 28,626 

As of Feb. 17, 2021. 

COVID-19 Literature Report  

COVID-19 Literature Situation Reportis a daily (M-F) newsletter put together by the Alliance for Pandemic Preparedness that provides a succinct summary of the latest scientific literature related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key Takeaways: COVID-19 Literature Situation Report Feb. 16, 2021 

  • The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 variant (first described in the UK) showed similar sensitivity to neutralizing activity of convalescent sera and sera from vaccinated individuals compared to the wild-type virus. In contrast, neutralization was lower against the B.1.351 variant (first described in South Africa). More. 
  • There were 66 reports of anaphylaxis following COVID-19 vaccination during December 14, 2020 to January 18, 2021, with 47 cases out of nearly 10 million Pfizer vaccine doses and 19 cases out of nearly 7.6 million Moderna vaccine doses. No deaths from anaphylaxis after vaccination with either vaccine were reported. More. 
  • Pediatric hospital admissions in the US were up to 45% lower in 2020 compared to the past 10 years, according to a cross-sectional study of over 5 million US pediatric hospital admissions. Declines in admission were found for all examined diagnoses except for birth. More.

COVID-19 Literature Surveillance Team, is an affiliated group of medical students, PhDs and physicians keeping up with the latest research on SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 by finding the newest articles, reading them, grading their level of evidence and bringing you the bottom line.

Read the latest report: Feb. 18 | Daily COVID-19 LST Report.
Listen to the latest podcast: Feb. 8 | COVID-19 LST Podcast. 

UW Medicine in the News 

AP: EXPLAINER: How will we know we’ve reached herd immunity? 
Featuring: Deborah Fuller, Microbiology
“The COVID-19 vaccines rolling out now appear very effective at preventing people from getting sick. We don’t know yet how good they are at stopping transmission, but experts say they should help greatly reduce the spread of the virus. Even if you get infected after vaccination, your body should shed less virus and for a shorter time, said Deborah Fuller, a vaccine expert at the University of Washington. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, on Wednesday noted the public health benefit of getting vaccinated, given the potential for reduced spread. ‘It’s not only good for you and your family and your community, it will have a very important impact on the dynamics of the outbreak in our country,’ he said.” 

The Atlantic: COVID-19 Cases Are Dropping Fast. Why?
Featuring: Ali Mokdad, IHME
Behavior: Maybe Americans finally got the hang of this mask and social-distancing thing. If I were ranking explanations for the decline in COVID-19, behavior would be No. 1, says Ali Mokdad, a global-health professor at the University of Washington, in Seattle. If you look at mobility data the week after Thanksgiving and Christmas, activity went down.’ Other officials have pointed to Google mobility data to argue that Americans withdrew into their homes after the winter holidays and hunkered down during the subsequent spike in cases that grew out of all that yuletide socializing. New hospital admissions for COVID-19 peaked in the second week of January—another sign that social distancing during the coldest month of the year bent the curve. 

The Seattle Times: The COVID-19 vaccine brings optimism at a bleak time, but post-vaccination fears about what’s safe persist
Featuring: Seth Cohen, Allergy & Infectious Diseases
“‘The vaccine is not a, you know, VIP path to stop wearing masks or, you know, social distancing in the community,’ said Dr. Seth Cohen, medical director for infection prevention at the University of Washington Medical Center. ‘I do think it’s a huge step forward as part of our exit strategy, but the challenge is that our community rates are just too high to let down our guard right now.’ A major limiting factor for vaccinated people wanting to jump back into the world is if they can still be infected and asymptomatic, giving them the ability to transmit the virus.”

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