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COVID-19 News Update for Jan. 26, 2021

Data Snapshot  

UW Medicine Hospitals:

COVID-19 Positive Inpatients Jan 26 2021

King County: The county reported 165 new positive cases and 12 new deaths on Jan. 25.  

Washington: The state reported 288,948 cases and 4,148 deaths as of Jan. 24.  

United States: The CDC reports 25,152,433 cases and 419,827 deaths as of Jan. 26. 

Global: WHO reports 99,363,697 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 2,135,959 deaths as of Jan. 26.  

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

UW Medicine COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Update  

Total Vaccine Doses Administered: 49,685 

  • Total first dose: 38,795 
  • Total second dose: 10,890 

As of Jan. 25, 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 Jan. 21, 2021 

  • Compared to a 59% reduction in transmission with a 14-day quarantine period, a 7-day quarantine with a negative RT-PCR test or a negative antigen test on day 7 could reduce transmission by 54% and 50%, respectively. More. 
  • National vaccination coverage for childhood vaccines was approximately 95% among kindergarteners in the 2019-20 school year, despite most schools shifting to virtual learning in the spring. However, the CDC cautions that disruptions caused by the pandemic are likely to reduce vaccination coverage for the 2020-21 school year. More. 
  • Neutralizing activity of participants three weeks after receiving the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine was similar against the three key spike protein mutations in the B.1.1.7 variant, compared to the wild-type SARS-CoV-2 strain. However, neutralization titers were reduced up to 6-fold (median 3.85-fold) against a pseudovirus with the full set of 8 spike protein mutations present in the B.1.1.7 variant. More. 
  • A nationwide survey of over 150,000 high school athletes found that COVID-19 incidence was lower among sports that were outdoor and non-contact, but similar between team versus individual sports. Face mask use was associated with a decreased incidence in girls’ volleyball, boys’ basketball, and girls’ basketball. 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: Jan. 25 | Daily COVID-19 LST Report.
Listen to the latest podcast: Jan. 18 | COVID-19 LST Podcast. 

UW Medicine in the News 

Today: Dr. Vin Gupta on booster shots to fight COVID-19 variants
Video featuring: Vin Gupta, IHME
NBC News medical contributor Dr. Vin Gupta joins TODAY to discuss the decline in coronavirus hospitalizations. He also talks about why we should expect to need booster shots to fight variants of the virus.

KING 5: Pierce, Snohomish counties report first cases of COVID-19 variant strain from U.K.
Featuring: Alex Greninger, Laboratory Medicine
“The first case of the new variant found in Pierce County comes just a day after the Department of Health announced the B.1.1.7 variant was detected in two other cases. The UW Medicine Virology Lab detected two cases of the variant in specimens from two Snohomish County residents. The lab screened 1,035 samples between Dec. 25 and Jan. 20 to detect mutations associated with the variant, which was first identified in the United Kingdom. Data collected so far suggests a low prevalence of the variant in western Washington. However, it is likely that other cases exist and will be discovered through continued monitoring. ‘We thought this variant of concern was here and now we know it’s here. It was a huge team effort by the UW Medicine Virology Lab and required development of several new rapid tests to detect and confirm it,’ said Dr. Alex Greninger, assistant professor of the Clinical Virology Lab at UW Medicine.”

KING 5: Length of immunity after getting COVID-19 vaccine remains unclear
Featuring: Alex Greninger, Allergy & Infectious Diseases; Larry Corey, Laboratory Medicine; Peter Rabinowitz, Global Health
“Immunity from the flu shot only lasts a year, but it lasts a lifetime for the measles. So, how long will immunity last once you get the COVID-19 vaccine? A KING 5 viewer contacted us with the question after she received an email from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that gave a clear, but understandably unsatisfying response: ‘Both this disease and the vaccine are new. We don’t know how long protection lasts for those who are vaccinated.’ To try and get more clarity, we checked with the CDC and Dr. Alex Greninger, the assistant director of the UW Medicine Clinical Virology Laboratory. Greninger agreed with the CDC and told KING 5, ‘The tough thing here is longitudinal studies take time, right? These first vaccines, this is the first time we’ve ever done RNA vaccines in people. So that makes it harder to analogize.’ The CDC did conclude, it wouldn’t expect a person to get re-infected within at least three months of getting the COVID-19 vaccine. But beyond that, it’s an educated guess. Greninger concurred on that statement as well and said, ‘The immunity from the vaccine will probably last in the order of years, depending on what happens with this virus, from a mutational standpoint.’”

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