Updates

April 01, 2021

How Embassies Are Tackling COVID-19 Vaccinations-Devex

Criticism erupted in Kenya after Reuters reported the country had offered some of its COVAX Facility-supplied COVID-19 vaccines to between 25,000 and 30,000 diplomats, United Nations workers, and their families living in the country. In its initial shipment, Kenya received 1 million doses through the COVAX Facility, intended to provide access to high-risk, priority groups. Devex, … Continue Reading


April 01, 2021

Company At Heart Of J&J Vaccine Woes Has Series Of Citations-The Associated Press

The company at the center of quality problems that led Johnson & Johnson to discard an unknown amount of its coronavirus vaccine has a string of citations from U.S. health officials for quality control problems. Emergent BioSolutions, a little-known company at the center of the vaccine supply chain, was a key to Johnson & Johnson’s plan to deliver 100 million doses of its vaccine to the U.S. by the end of May. But the company has been cited repeatedly by the Food and Drug … Continue Reading


April 01, 2021

Pfizer COVID-19 Shot 91% Effective In Updated Data, Protective Against South African Variant-Reuters

Pfizer Inc and BioNTech said on Thursday their COVID-19 vaccine is around 91% effective at preventing the disease, citing updated trial data that included participants inoculated for up to six months. The shot was also 100% effective in preventing illness among trial participants in South Africa, where a new variant called B1351 is dominant, although that rate was derived from a relatively small number of nine infections observed there, which were all in the placebo group, Pfizer said. … Continue Reading


April 01, 2021

The U.S. Government Doesn’t Have Patent Rights To Gilead’s Remdesivir, Despite Investing Millions In Research-STAT

American taxpayers may have provided $162 million toward researching remdesivir, but the federal government does not have patent rights for the drug because the work contributed by U.S. scientists did not generate any inventive new uses, according to a government report. Moreover, Gilead Sciences, which discovered remdesivir, had already reached collaborative research deals with various federal agencies and universities to work on its existing portfolio of patents and patent applications, … Continue Reading


April 01, 2021

Theory That COVID Came From A Chinese Lab Takes On New Life In Wake Of WHO Report-NPR

Before COVID-19, few scientists would have pegged the Chinese city of Wuhan, in temperate central China, as a likely starting point for a global coronavirus pandemic. Its climate and fauna don't fit the bill. But the city of 11 million straddling the Yangtze River is home to some of China's most advanced biological research laboratories. And one of the secretive, state-run institutions, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, is known to conduct experiments on the kind of virus that has killed nearly … Continue Reading


March 31, 2021

A Dangerous Coronavirus Variant Is Wreaking Havoc In Parts Of Europe. Experts Fear US Could Be Next-CNN

A dangerous coronavirus variant is wreaking havoc in other parts of the world, so the US must stick with safety measures over the next few months to prevent that kind of damage as the variant takes more of a hold stateside, an expert says. The B.1.1.7 variant, first spotted in the UK, is more contagious, may cause more severe disease and is rapidly infecting younger populations, epidemiologist Michael Osterholm told CNN on Tuesday night. Recent research suggests the strain may also be more … Continue Reading


March 31, 2021

U.S. Companies Add Most Jobs Since September, ADP Data Show-Bloomberg

U.S. private employers in March added the most jobs in six months, signaling that a pickup in Covid-19 vaccinations and business reopenings are encouraging hiring. Company payrolls increased by 517,000 during the month and February was revised up to a 176,000 gain, according to ADP Research Institute data released Wednesday. The median projection in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for an increase of 550,000. Bloomberg, … Continue Reading


March 31, 2021

T Cells Induced By COVID-19 Infection Respond To New Virus Variants-Reuters

A critical component of the immune system known as T cells that respond to fight infection from the original version of the novel coronavirus appear to also protect against three of the most concerning new virus variants, according to a U.S. laboratory study released on Tuesday. Several recent studies have shown that certain variants of the novel coronavirus can undermine immune protection from antibodies and vaccines. But antibodies - which block the coronavirus from attaching to human cells … Continue Reading


March 31, 2021

14 Countries Voice Concern Over Independence Of WHO's COVID-19 Study-Devex

Following the publication of a long-anticipated World Health Organization study into the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, 14 countries issued a statement Tuesday raising concerns over its independence, arguing it was “significantly delayed and lacked access to complete, original data and samples.” The study examined questions such as whether the coronavirus originated in the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, China. It also investigated the types of animal hosts that could have carried … Continue Reading


March 31, 2021

Pfizer Says COVID-19 Vaccine Shows '100% Efficacy' In Adolescents-NPR

New clinical trials showed that Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine elicits "100% efficacy and robust antibody responses" in adolescents from 12-15 years old, the drug company announced Wednesday. The trial included 2,260 trial participants; the results are even better than earlier responses from participants ages 16-25. Pfizer and its vaccine partner BioNTech say they will submit the results "as soon as possible" to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the European Medicines Agency, asking … Continue Reading


March 30, 2021

Mutations Could Render Current Covid Vaccines Ineffective In A Year Or Less, Epidemiologists Warn-CNBC

Mutations of the coronavirus could render current vaccines ineffective within a year, according to a majority of epidemiologists, virologists and infectious disease specialists surveyed by the People’s Vaccine Alliance. The survey of 77 experts from some of the world’s leading academic institutions across 28 countries found that almost a third gave a time frame of nine months or less. Fewer than 1 in 8 said they believed that mutations would never render the current vaccines ineffective. CNBC, … Continue Reading


March 30, 2021

Why Indoor Spaces Are Still Prime COVID Hotspots-Nature

When Lidia Morawska leaves home, she takes with her a slick, shoe-sized device that provides some sobering insights about the restaurants and offices she visits. Outside these buildings, her carbon dioxide monitor reads just above 400 parts per million (p.p.m.). But indoors is a different story. Even in a seemingly spacious, high-ceilinged restaurant, the number sometimes shoots up as high as 2,000 p.p.m. — a sign that the room has poor ventilation and could pose a risk for COVID-19 infection. … Continue Reading


March 30, 2021

Vital To A Clean World, Scavengers Left To Plead For Vaccine-The Associated Press

The scavengers wait patiently for a dump truck to tip the trash on the summit of the landfill outside New Delhi. Armed with plastic bags, they plunge their bare hands into the garbage and start sorting it. Every day, more than 2,300 tons of garbage is dumped at the landfill at Bhalswa that covers an area bigger than 50 football fields, with a pile taller than a 17-story building. And every day, thousands of these informal workers climb the precarious slopes to pick through what can be … Continue Reading


March 30, 2021

Data Withheld From WHO Team Probing COVID-19 Origins In China-Reuters

Data was withheld from World Health Organization investigators who travelled to China to research the origins of the coronavirus epidemic, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Tuesday. The United States, the European Union and other Western countries immediately called for China to give “full access” to independent experts to all data about the original outbreak in late 2019. Reuters, … Continue Reading


March 30, 2021

Should Masking Last Beyond The Pandemic? Flu And Colds Are Down, Spurring A Debate-NPR

A study released this month in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, led by researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, found that across 44 children's hospitals, the number of pediatric patients hospitalized for respiratory illnesses is down 62%. Deaths have dropped dramatically, too, compared to the last ten years: The number of flu deaths among children is usually between 100 and 200 per year, but so far only one child has died from the disease in the U.S. during the 2020-2021 flu … Continue Reading


March 29, 2021

Pandemic Masks Ongoing Child Abuse Crisis As Cases Plummet-The Associated Press

In the AP’s analysis, it found more than 400,000 fewer child welfare concerns reported during the pandemic and 200,000 fewer child abuse and neglect investigations and assessments compared with the same time period of 2019. That represents a national total decrease of 18% in both total reports and investigations. The AP requested public records from all 50 state child welfare agencies and analyzed more than a dozen indicators in 36 states, though not every state supplied data for total reports … Continue Reading


March 29, 2021

Biden Admin Remakes Vaccine Strategy After Mass Vaccination Sites Fizzle-Politico

The Biden administration is rethinking a costly system of government-run mass vaccination sites after data revealed the program is lagging well behind a much cheaper federal effort to distribute doses via retail pharmacies. Despite the money the federal government has spent on the mass-vaccination pilot sites, they are administering just a fraction of the shots given across the country each day. Federal data show the retail pharmacy program — which has signed up 21 chains and 17,000 stores — … Continue Reading


March 29, 2021

J&J, African Union In Deal For Up To 400 Million COVID-19 Shots-Reuters

Johnson & Johnson will supply the African Union (AU) with up to 400 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine beginning in the third quarter, the drugmaker said on Monday, as the continent grapples with vaccinating 60% of its people. The virus has killed almost 121,000 people across Africa and infected 4.18 million. Reuters, … Continue Reading


March 29, 2021

‘Real World’ Study By CDC Shows Pfizer And Moderna Vaccines Were 90% Effective-STAT

Anew study suggests the messenger RNA vaccines produced by Moderna and the Pfizer-BioNTech partnership appeared to be 90% effective in preventing Covid-19 infection in a real-world setting. The study was released Monday in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, an online journal published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study followed nearly 4,000 health care workers, first responders, and other essential workers in eight U.S. locations as the first Covid vaccines were … Continue Reading


March 29, 2021

Immunocompromised And Concerned About The Vaccine? Here's What You Need To Know-NPR

Lots of people have questions about getting vaccinated against COVID-19. That includes the millions of Americans with weakened immune systems that put them at higher risk of severe disease if they do get infected with the coronavirus. "Patients want to know whether it's safe to get it and, if they do get it, which one should they get? And of course, they also have concerns about how it can affect their own condition as well," says Dr. Sharon Dowell, a rheumatologist at Howard University … Continue Reading

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