86 research outputs found

    Risk of COVID-19 after natural infection or vaccinationResearch in context

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    Summary: Background: While vaccines have established utility against COVID-19, phase 3 efficacy studies have generally not comprehensively evaluated protection provided by previous infection or hybrid immunity (previous infection plus vaccination). Individual patient data from US government-supported harmonized vaccine trials provide an unprecedented sample population to address this issue. We characterized the protective efficacy of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection and hybrid immunity against COVID-19 early in the pandemic over three-to six-month follow-up and compared with vaccine-associated protection. Methods: In this post-hoc cross-protocol analysis of the Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen, and Novavax COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials, we allocated participants into four groups based on previous-infection status at enrolment and treatment: no previous infection/placebo; previous infection/placebo; no previous infection/vaccine; and previous infection/vaccine. The main outcome was RT-PCR-confirmed COVID-19 >7–15 days (per original protocols) after final study injection. We calculated crude and adjusted efficacy measures. Findings: Previous infection/placebo participants had a 92% decreased risk of future COVID-19 compared to no previous infection/placebo participants (overall hazard ratio [HR] ratio: 0.08; 95% CI: 0.05–0.13). Among single-dose Janssen participants, hybrid immunity conferred greater protection than vaccine alone (HR: 0.03; 95% CI: 0.01–0.10). Too few infections were observed to draw statistical inferences comparing hybrid immunity to vaccine alone for other trials. Vaccination, previous infection, and hybrid immunity all provided near-complete protection against severe disease. Interpretation: Previous infection, any hybrid immunity, and two-dose vaccination all provided substantial protection against symptomatic and severe COVID-19 through the early Delta period. Thus, as a surrogate for natural infection, vaccination remains the safest approach to protection. Funding: National Institutes of Health

    Coronal Heating as Determined by the Solar Flare Frequency Distribution Obtained by Aggregating Case Studies

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    Flare frequency distributions represent a key approach to addressing one of the largest problems in solar and stellar physics: determining the mechanism that counter-intuitively heats coronae to temperatures that are orders of magnitude hotter than the corresponding photospheres. It is widely accepted that the magnetic field is responsible for the heating, but there are two competing mechanisms that could explain it: nanoflares or Alfv\'en waves. To date, neither can be directly observed. Nanoflares are, by definition, extremely small, but their aggregate energy release could represent a substantial heating mechanism, presuming they are sufficiently abundant. One way to test this presumption is via the flare frequency distribution, which describes how often flares of various energies occur. If the slope of the power law fitting the flare frequency distribution is above a critical threshold, α=2\alpha=2 as established in prior literature, then there should be a sufficient abundance of nanoflares to explain coronal heating. We performed >>600 case studies of solar flares, made possible by an unprecedented number of data analysts via three semesters of an undergraduate physics laboratory course. This allowed us to include two crucial, but nontrivial, analysis methods: pre-flare baseline subtraction and computation of the flare energy, which requires determining flare start and stop times. We aggregated the results of these analyses into a statistical study to determine that α=1.63±0.03\alpha = 1.63 \pm 0.03. This is below the critical threshold, suggesting that Alfv\'en waves are an important driver of coronal heating.Comment: 1,002 authors, 14 pages, 4 figures, 3 tables, published by The Astrophysical Journal on 2023-05-09, volume 948, page 7

    Food Insecurity in the Rural United States: An Examination of Struggles and Coping Mechanisms to Feed a Family among Households with a Low-Income

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    Households with a low-income in rural places experience disproportionate levels of food insecurity. Further research is needed about the nuances in strategies that households with a low-income in rural areas apply to support food security nationally. This study aimed to understand the barriers and strategies that households with a low-income in rural areas experience to obtain a meal and support food security in the United States. We conducted a qualitative study with semi-structured interviews among 153 primary grocery shoppers with a low-income residing in rural counties. A majority of family’s ideal meals included animal-based protein, grains, and vegetables. Main themes included struggles to secure food and coping mechanisms. Ten categories included affordability, adequacy, accommodation, appetite, time, food source coordinating, food resource management, reduced quality, rationing for food, and exceptional desperation. These results can inform public health professionals’ efforts when partnering to alleviate food insecurity in rural areas
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