Israel Sees Drop in Pfizer Vaccine Protection Against Infections

Israel reported on Monday a decrease in the effectiveness of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in preventing infections and symptomatic illness but said it remained highly effective in preventing serious illness.

The decline coincided with the spread of the Delta variant and the end of social distancing restrictions in Israel.

Vaccine effectiveness in preventing both infection and symptomatic disease fell to 64% since June 6, the Health Ministry said. At the same time the vaccine was 93% effective in preventing hospitalizations and serious illness from the coronavirus.

The ministry in its statement did not say what the previous level was or provide any further details. However ministry officials published a report in May that two doses of Pfizer’s vaccine provided more than 95% protection against infection, hospitalization and severe illness.

A Pfizer spokesperson declined to comment on the data from Israel, but cited other research showing that antibodies elicited by the vaccine were still able to neutralize all tested variants, including Delta, albeit at reduced strength.

About 60% of Israel’s 9.3 million population have received at least one shot of Pfizer’s vaccine in a campaign that saw daily cases drop from more than 10,000 in January to single digits last month.

This spurred Israel to drop nearly all social distancing as well as the requirement to wear masks, though the latter was partially reimposed in recent days. At the same time Delta, which has become a globally dominant variant of the coronavirus, began to spread.

Since then daily cases have gradually risen, reaching 343 on Sunday. The number of seriously ill rose to 35 from 21.

Data scientist Eran Segal of Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science said the country was unlikely to experience the high levels of hospitalizations seen earlier in the year since there were much fewer critically ill.

He said it was fine to “continue with life back to normal and without restrictions” while stepping up measures like vaccination outreach and ensuring testing for Israelis returning home from abroad.

Source : Reuters

My Food: 6-course Fusion Tasting Birthday Dinner

King Crab Leg Consommé

Jumbo Scallop, Buckwheat Noodle, Truffle Sauce

Spinach, Thousand-year-old Egg, Egg White, Colour Mini-peppers

Fried Lobster Tails with Ginger and Green Onion, Broccoli Florets

Braised Duck Leg, Fennel, Asparagus

Dessert with Red Lentil, Lotus Seeds, Potato Starch Noodle, Coconut Milk, Coconut Chips

Scientists Develop Simple Blood Test for Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease

An international research team led by HKUST has developed a simple but robust blood test from Chinese patient data for early detection and screening of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) for the first time, with an accuracy level of over 96%.

Now, a team led by Prof. Nancy IP, Vice-President for Research and Development at HKUST, has identified 19 out of the 429 plasma proteins associated with AD to form a biomarker panel representative of an “AD signature” in the blood. Based on this panel, the team has developed a scoring system that distinguishes AD patients from healthy people with more than 96% accuracy. This system can also differentiate among the early, intermediate, and late stages of AD, and can be used to monitor the progression of the disease over time. These exciting findings have led to the development of a high-performance, blood-based test for AD, and may also pave the way to novel therapeutic treatments for the disease.

“With the advancement of ultrasensitive blood-based protein detection technology, we have developed a simple, noninvasive, and accurate diagnostic solution for AD, which will greatly facilitate population-scale screening and staging of the disease,” said Prof. Nancy Ip, Morningside Professor of Life Science and the Director of the State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience at HKUST.

The work was conducted in collaboration with researchers at University College London and clinicians in local hospitals including the Prince of Wales Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The discovery was made using the proximity extension assay (PEA) – a cutting-edge ultrasensitive and high-throughput protein measurement technology, to examine the levels of over 1,000 proteins in the plasma of AD patients in Hong Kong.

As the most comprehensive study of blood proteins in AD patients to date, the work has recently been published in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer’s Association, and has also been featured and actively discussed on different scholarly exchange platforms on AD research such as Alzforum.

AD, which affects over 50 million people worldwide, involves the dysfunction and loss of brain cells. Its symptoms include progressive memory loss as well as impaired movement, reasoning, and judgment. While patients often only seek medical attention and are diagnosed when they have memory problems, AD affects the brain at least 10-20 years before symptoms appear.

Source : The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Roasted Chicken Leg with Garlic and Almond

Ingredients

1 chicken leg
20 pieces almond

Marinade
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 clove shallot, chopped
1/2 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp oil
1-1/2 tsp honey
2 tsp cornstarch
3 stalks spring onion, finely chopped

Method

  1. Rinse the chicken leg and wipe dry. Mix well with the marinade and set aside in the fridge for 8 hours.
  2. Preheat an oven to 180°C.
  3. Roast the almond for 8 minutes until fragrant and crisp.
  4. Ground almond and set aside.
  5. Remove chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking.
  6. Put the chicken leg into the 180°C oven, and cook for about 20 minutes until well done.
  7. Sprinkle the ground almond over the chicken before serving.

Makes 1 serving.

Source: Chicken Delicacy


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