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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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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What the hell is going on with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine?

The problem child of COVID-19 vaccines was back in the news this week. After South Africa suspended the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine’s use when it failed to slow the spread of the predominant B.1.351 variant, vaccination using this vaccine has been suspended and then resumed in many European countries following reports of blood clots in some people who received it.

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NYC variant looks like bad news

In a press conference on Wednesday, NYC mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed that the recently identified NYC variant (since christened B-1526) is outpacing the original strain in spreading speed, and his senior advisor for Public Health, Dr. Jay Varma, said that these two variants combined account for 51% of all cases in the city.

Read More has gone public—what’s actually in the database?

Last week, we included in our featured sources section. The initiative aims to document 10 million plus cases in one source. Instead of just listing numbers of positive cases and deaths, they collect individual cases and gather information about said case. What was their age range? Gender? When did symptoms develop? The dataset has room for more than 40 variables aside from just “tested positive.” While there are lots of dashboards and tracking sources, none collect detailed data about (anonymized!) individual cases.

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J&J vaccine authorized, VRBPAC has fantastic hold music

Yesterday, the FDA gave the Janssen—did you know it’s pronounced yahn-sen? I didn’t—vaccine Emergency Use Authorization, allowing it to join the likes of Pfizer and Moderna in the exclusive club of vaccines that may now be distributed in the U.S. Welcome, Janssen. (As a total coincidence I’m wearing my shirt that just says “Vaccines!” on it as I write this.) But the addition of a new vaccine in circulation also brings data reporting questions with few easy answers.

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COVID source callout: Andrew Cuomo

Usually when we do a COVID source callout, we’re putting our sights on a dashboard that’s actually five separate dashboards or a state that likes to surprise us when they update their dataset. This is to say that, usually, we don’t call out an actual source of coronavirus. But that’s what New York Governor Andrew Cuomo apparently wants to be when he grows up, as he opened up limited indoor dining on February 12th for New York City.

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