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COVID-19 News Update for July 6, 2021

Data Snapshot  

UW Medicine Hospitals:  

King County: The county reported 245 new positive cases and 0 new deaths on July 6. 

Washington: The state reported 415,515 cases and 5,939 deaths as of July 1.  

United States: The CDC reports 33,530,880 cases and 603,018 deaths as of July 4. 

Global: WHO reports 183,934,913 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,985,022 deaths as of July 6. 

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

UW Medicine COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Update 

Total Vaccine Doses Administered: 349,845 

  • Total first dose: 170,183 
  • Total second dose: 179,662 

As of July 6, 2021. 

UW Medicine in the News

King 5: Some doctors recommend J&J vaccine recipients get booster shot, but data is scant
Featuring: Anna Wald, Virology; Vin Gupta, IHME
“A few months ago, the best vaccine was the one that was available, and many people got the Johnson & Johnson shot, which, while effective, does not offer the same level of protection as Moderna and Pfizer. Some doctors think a second shot of one of the other vaccines could offer a more robust shield against COVID-19 and its variants. ‘I’m not opposed to it, I would just like to have data to show that it works,’ said Dr. Anna Wald, director of the UW Virology Research Clinic at Harborview. ‘I don’t have an assumption that it will be unsafe, but I think it would be nice to know that it will be safe,’ she said. “The Washington Department of Health said it’ll look to the federal government for guidance on this, and so far, there isn’t any.” 

The Seattle Times: Most Washington high schoolers felt sad or depressed during the pandemic, state survey finds
Featuring: Jason Kilmer, Psychiatry
“Nearly 60% of Washington high school students — and almost half of the state’s middle schoolers — were sad or depressed most days during the pandemic, state health and education officials reported Tuesday. Across those surveyed, 8-10% said they had little or no hope about the future. The findings, which come from a survey of about 65,000 adolescents and teens, are preliminary and are not representative of all students, the researchers say. But they do offer a first look at how Washington’s young generation fared emotionally during the pandemic — and bolster anecdotal accounts from families, hospitals and government officials that youth mental health reached crisis level as the pandemic wore on. The findings don’t offer insight into the severity of youth’s mental health concerns, but they do paint a troubling picture that suggests depression is pervasive among the state’s youth, experts say.”

The Scientist: The Quest for a Universal Coronavirus Vaccine 
Featuring: Deborah Fuller, Microbiology; Neil King, Institute of Protein Design
“There are various efforts for a universal coronavirus vaccine ongoing, but the general goal is the same: to induce the broadest immune response against a wide array of viruses. There are two ways that vaccines can make this happen: either stimulating the production of antibodies, proteins that recognize foreign invaders and attack them before they infect a cell, or recruiting T cells, a type of immune cell that shows up later to destroy cells after they’ve become infected. T cells will not prevent an infection, but they tend to be better at identifying conserved regions of viruses that may slide past antibodies, according to Deborah Fuller, a vaccine researcher at the University of Washington. ‘T cell responses are great, because unlike antibodies, which have to some extent a more limited repertoire, T cells will actually recognize parts of the virus that get broken down inside the cell,’ Fuller explains. Antibodies are ‘very specific to one type of variant—sometimes they can be cross-reactive to multiple variants—but [for a pan-coronavirus vaccine] what you really want to do is engage that T cell response.’ Fuller and her colleagues are combining two approaches. One uses the nucleic acid technology seen in currently available mRNA-based COVID vaccines, which present key regions in the spike protein for the cell for manufacture. According to Fuller, there’s evidence suggesting that one reason mRNA vaccines protect against SARS-CoV-2 variants is that they induce a T cell response. The other, the focus of a collaboration between Fuller and Neil King at the Institute of Protein Design, involves studding a nanoparticle with spike proteins from different sarbecoviruses to induce a wide range of specific antibody responses.”

COVID-19 Literature Report 

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.

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