New study reveals disparities in COVID-19 mortality by sex and race

A new study from the GenderSci Lab at Harvard sheds light on how race and sex intersect in COVID-19 death rates. Researchers Tamara Rushovich et al. used data from the only two states that do provide COVID-19 mortality data on sex and race: Georgia and Michigan. The patterns they found in both states complicate the well-known trend that men are more likely to die of COVID-19 than women.

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there might be a link between the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and those blood clots after all

This week, authorities had enough data to posit a possible connection between blood clots known as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) and the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. The EMA has now advised, as of April 7, that “that unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be listed as very rare side effects of Vaxzevria (formerly COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca).” They are still recommending its use given the gravity of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s another blow to the vaccine that held much of the world’s hopes in inoculating the entire population. A mechanism by which the vaccine is causing these thromboses has not been discovered.

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CDC says 80% of teachers and childcare workers are vaccinated, fails to provide more specifics

This past Tuesday, April 6, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put out a press release that I found heartening, yet confusing. “Nearly 80 percent of teachers, school staff, and childcare workers receive at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine,” the release proclaims. These vaccinations include “more than 2 million” people in these professions who received doses through the federal retail pharmacy program and “5-6 million” vaccinated through state programs, all of whom received shots before the end of March.

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National numbers, April 11

This is the fourth week in a row of case increases in the U.S. While this week’s jump is lower (we went from 57,000 new daily cases two weeks ago, to 63,000 last week, to 64,000 this week), the level where we’ve landed is still reason for concern. Our case numbers now are comparable to last July, when the summer surge was threatening hospital systems in the South and West.

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COVID source shout-out: New York expands eligibility

This week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced two major expansions for vaccine eligibility. State residents age 30 and older became eligible starting on March 30, and residents age 16 and older became eligible starting on April 6. This expansion allowed two of my favorite vaccine communicators to get their shots!

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Hey CDC, when dashboard?

A new report from the Government Accountability Office suggests that the CDC’s tracker has a long way to go before it becomes the centralized system that Americans need. The report, released last Wednesday, is over 500 pages of problems and recommendations, ranging from the Emergency Use Authorization process to health care for veterans; but it includes some data bangers.

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Pfizer for the whole pfamily

Good news for people with kids: this week, Pfizer and BioNTech released results for their trial involving adolescents aged 12-15. In the trial, no participants who received the vaccine contracted symptomatic COVID-19 out of a total of 2,260 participants, marking an efficacy rate of 100%.

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