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Pfizer COVID-19 shot expanded to US children as young as 12

Health

The younger teens received the same vaccine dosage as adults and had the same side effects, mostly sore arms and flu-like fever, chills or aches that signal a revved-up immune system, especially after the second dose.

U.S. regulators on Monday expanded the use of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to children as young as 12, offering a way to protect the nation’s adolescents before they head back to school in the fall and paving the way for them to return to more normal activities.

EU agrees potential 1.8 billion-dose purchase of Pfizer jab 37 minutes ago

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The European Commission currently has a portfolio of 2.3 billion doses from half a dozen companies. “Other contracts and other vaccine technologies will follow,” von der Leyen said in a Twitter message.

The European Union cemented its support for Pfizer-BioNTech and its novel COVID-19 vaccine technology Saturday by agreeing to a massive contract extension for a potential 1.8 billion doses through 2023.

Spanish man charged with infecting 22 people with COVID-19

Health

Days before the outbreak, the man showed COVID-19 symptoms but refused his colleagues’ suggestions to go home and self-isolate, police said in a statement.

A Spanish man with COVID-19 symptoms who coughed on work colleagues and told them “I’m going to give you all the coronavirus” has been charged with intentionally causing injury after allegedly infecting 22 people.

Protesters hold empty containers of anti-retroviral (ARV) medicines during a demonstration over shortages of ARVs, organized by people living with HIV or AIDS, sex-workers, members of the LGBT community, and their supporters, in the port city of Mombasa, Kenya, Thursday, April 22, 2021. Kenyans living with HIV say their lives are in danger due to a shortage of anti-retroviral drugs donated by the United States amid a dispute between the U.S. aid agency and the Kenyan government. (AP Photo)

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The delayed release of the drugs shipped to Kenya late last year is due to the government slapping a $847,902 tax on the donation, and the U.S. aid agency having “trust” issues with the graft-tainted Kenya Medical Supplies Authority, ....

Kenyans living with HIV say their lives are in danger due to a shortage of anti-retroviral drugs donated by the United States amid a dispute between the U.S. aid agency and the Kenyan government.

US to resume J&J COVID vaccinations despite rare clot risk

Health

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky added that the pause should increase confidence in vaccine safety, showing “that we are taking every one of those needles in a haystack that we find seriously.”

U.S. health officials lifted an 11-day pause on COVID-19 vaccinations using Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose shot on Friday, after scientific advisers decided its benefits outweigh a rare risk of blood clot.

J&J to resume rollout of COVID-19 vaccine in Europe with safety warning

Health

J&J said a new package label will include a warning on the risk of the rare side effect and instructions on how to recognize and treat it. The company said it would restart shipments to the European Union, Norway and Iceland, and is working on restarting clinical trials.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) said on Tuesday it will resume rolling out its COVID-19 vaccine in Europe after the region’s medical regulator said the benefits of the shot outweigh the risk of very rare, potentially lethal blood clots.

AstraZeneca could have COVID-19 vaccine against variant by end-2021 - Austrian newspaper

Health

"In the meantime, AstraZeneca and Oxford University have started on modifications to the vaccine for the South African variant and we expect it will be ready by the end of the year, should it be needed," Walters told the Kurier.

A modified version of AstraZeneca's (AZN.L) COVID-19 vaccine tailored to combat a coronavirus variant first documented in South Africa could be ready by the end of 2021, an AstraZeneca official in Austria said in an interview published on Sunday.

US setting up $1.7B national network to track virus variants

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The Biden administration says the U.S. is setting up a $1.7 billion national network to identify and track worrisome coronavirus mutations whose spread could trigger another pandemic wave

The U.S. is setting up a $1.7 billion national network to identify and track worrisome coronavirus mutations whose spread could trigger another pandemic wave, the Biden administration announced Friday.

US recommends ‘pause’ for J&J shots in blow to vaccine drive

Health

The agencies recommend that people who were given the J&J vaccine should contact their doctor if they experience severe headache, abdominal or leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks.

The U.S. on Tuesday recommended a “pause” in use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of rare but potentially dangerous blood clots, setting off a chain reaction worldwide and dealing a setback to the global vaccination campaign.

South Korea to resume wider use of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, exclude people under 30

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For most people, the risks of coronavirus are far worse than the rare possibility of side effects from the vaccines, Choi said, adding that the best way to end the pandemic was to vaccinate everyone who can receive it.

South Korean authorities said on Sunday they will move ahead with a coronavirus vaccination drive this week, after deciding to continue using AstraZeneca PLC’s vaccine for all eligible people 30 years old or over.

India bans exports of Remdesivir drug as new COVID-19 cases hit another record

Health

India leads the world in the daily average number of new infections reported in more than two weeks, accounting for one in every six infections reported globally each day, according to a Reuters tally.

India on Sunday banned the export of anti-viral drug Remdesivir and its active pharmaceutical ingredients as demand rocketed due to a record surge in COVID-19 infections and led to crippling shortages in many parts.

South African variant can 'break through' Pfizer vaccine, Israeli study says

Health

Some previous studies have indicated that the Pfizer/BioNTech shot was less potent against the B.1.351 variant than against other variants of the coronavirus, but still offered a robust defence.

The coronavirus variant discovered in South Africa can “break through” Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine to some extent, a real-world data study in Israel found, though its prevalence in the country is low and the research has not been peer reviewed.

Gao Fu, director of the China Centers for Disease Control, speaks at the National Vaccines and Health conference in Chengdu in southwest China's Sichuan province Saturday, April 10, 2021. In a rare admission of the weakness of Chinese coronavirus vaccines, Gao the country's top disease control official says their effectiveness is low and the government is considering mixing them to give them a boost. (Chinatopix Via AP)

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Beijing has distributed hundreds of millions of doses abroad while trying to promote doubt about the effectiveness of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine made using the previously experimental messenger RNA, or mRNA, process.

In a rare admission of the weakness of Chinese coronavirus vaccines, the country’s top disease control official says their effectiveness is low and the government is considering mixing them to get a boost.

Pfizer asks regulators to give vaccine to kids as young as 12

Health

Vaccinating teens is considered a critical step in curbing community spread. Right now, Pfizer is the only vaccine authorized for teens 16- and 17-years-old with Moderna and Johnson & Johnson still studying the impact on teens.

 Pfizer, the first vaccine maker to become authorized in the U.S., on Friday asked federal regulators to authorize its vaccine for kids as young as 12, insisting that recent clinical trials showed it’s both safe and effective.

In this April 8, 2021, file photo, a woman at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Kenya, receives a dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India and provided through the global COVAX initiative. COVAX is providing vaccines to countries lacking the clout to negotiate on their own for scarce supplies, but in the past two weeks only 2 million doses have been cleared for shipment to 92 countries. (AP Photo/Brian Inganga, File)

Health

On Friday, the head of the World Health Organization slammed the “shocking imbalance” in global COVID-19 vaccination. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreysus said that while one in four people in rich countries had received a vaccine, only one in 500 people in poorer countries had gotten a dose.

As many as 60 countries, including some of the world’s poorest, might be stalled at the first shots of their coronavirus vaccinations because nearly all deliveries through the global program intended to help them are blocked until as late as June.

Italy, Britain suggest age limits for AstraZeneca vaccine but still recommend it

Health

Rising infections caused by more infectious variants are threatening to overwhelm the hospitals of many EU countries - where the pace of vaccinations lags far behind Britain and the United States - forcing France and others to reimpose lockdowns.

Italy recommended on Wednesday that AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot only be used on those over 60 and Britain that people under 30 should get an alternative, due to possible links between the vaccine and very rare cases of blood clots.

FILE - In this Feb. 9, 2021, file photo, Peter Ben Embarek of the World Health Organization team holds up a chart showing pathways of transmission of the virus during a joint news conference at the end of the WHO mission in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province. A joint WHO-China study on the origins of COVID-19 says that transmission of the virus from bats to humans through another animal is the most likely scenario and that a lab leak is "extremely unlikely," according to a draft copy obtained by The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File

Health

That last possibility was previously dismissed by the WHO and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention but researchers on this mission have taken it up again, further raising questions about the politicization of the study since China has long pushed the theory.

A joint World Health Organization-China study on the origins of COVID-19 says that transmission of the virus from bats to humans through another animal is the most likely scenario and that a lab leak is “extremely unlikely,” according to a draft copy obtained by The Associated Press.

Pfizer, Moderna COVID-19 vaccines highly effective after first shot in real-world use, -U.S. study

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The risk of infection fell 90% by two weeks after the second shot, the study of nearly 4,000 U.S. healthcare personnel and first responders found.

COVID-19 vaccines developed by Pfizer Inc with BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc reduced risk of infection by 80% two weeks or more after the first of two shots, according to data from a real-world U.S. study released on Monday.

Major European nations suspend use of AstraZeneca vaccine

Health

Other countries that have done so over the past few days include Denmark, which was the first, as well as Ireland, Thailand, the Netherlands, Norway, Iceland, Congo and Bulgaria. Canada and Britain are standing by the vaccine for now.

A cascading number of European countries — including Germany, France, Italy and Spain — suspended use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine Monday over reports of dangerous blood clots in some recipients, though the company and international regulators say there is no evidence the shot is to blame.

COVID-19 vaccines for sale on the underground for $250 to $1,200

Health

The majority of sellers came from France, Germany, the UK, and the USA, and the prices per dose ranged from $250 to $1,200, with an average cost of about $500

The entire globe is currently undergoing one of the largest and most complex vaccination campaigns in history, and, not surprisingly, scammers and sellers on the dark market have been eager to make a profit off the process.

A medical worker at South Shore University Hospital gets ready to administer the newly available Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine in Bay Shore, N.Y., Wednesday. Clinical research found it to be 85% effective in preventing severe disease four weeks after vaccination, and it has demonstrated promising indications of protection against a couple of concerning variants of the coronavirus. Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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This week, health care providers began administering the first doses of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. — the third vaccine authorized by the Food and Drug Administration to help stop the coronavirus pandemic.

FILE - In this Saturday, Feb. 7, 2021 file photo, people crowd Via del Corso shopping street in Rome, following the ease of restriction measures to curb the spread of COVID-19. Europe recorded 1 million new COVID-19 cases last week, an increase of 9% from the previous week and ending a six-week decline, WHO said Thursday, March 4, 2021. The so-called UK variant is of greatest concern in the 53 countries monitored by WHO in Europe. (Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse via AP)

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“This is the demonstration that the virus has a sort of intelligence, even if it is a single-cell organism. We can put up all the barriers in the world and imagine that they work, but in the end, it adapts and penetrates them,” lamented Bollate Mayor Francesco Vassallo.

The virus swept through a nursery school and an adjacent elementary school in the Milan suburb of Bollate with amazing speed. In a matter of just days, 45 children and 14 staff members had tested positive.

The variant, which was first found in Manaus, Brazil, appears to be more contagious than other COVID-19 strains. It can potentially be contracted by someone who was already infected or who has been vaccinated.

A coronavirus variant that was first detected in Brazil has emerged in Oregon, the first known case of the new variant on the contiguous U.S. West Coast, medical authorities said Tuesday.

J&J’s 1-dose shot cleared, giving US 3rd COVID-19 vaccine

Health

All COVID-19 vaccines train the body to recognize the new coronavirus, usually by spotting the spikey protein that coats it. But they’re made in very different ways.

The U.S. is getting a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19, as the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two.

Canadian regulator authorizes AstraZeneca vaccine

Health

Health Canada approved the AstraZeneca vaccine for use in people 18 and over, expressing confidence it would work for the elderly even though some countries, including France, have authorized it only for use in people under 65, saying there is not enough evidence it works in older adults.

Canadian regulators on Friday authorized AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine for all adults.

US advisers endorse single-shot COVID-19 vaccine from J&J

Health

After daylong discussions, the FDA panelists voted unanimously that the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks for adults. If the FDA agrees, shipments of a few million doses could begin as early as Monday.

U.S. health advisers endorsed a one-dose COVID-19 vaccine from Johnson & Johnson on Friday, putting the nation on the cusp of adding an easier-to-use option to fight the pandemic.

New coronavirus variant in New York spurs caution, concern

Health

Two research groups — at Caltech and Columbia University in New York — released papers this week describing their findings about the new variant. Neither paper has been published or reviewed by other scientists.

Another mutated version of the coronavirus has popped up in New York City, and experts reacted to the the news with a mixture of caution and concern.

This Dec. 2, 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows vials of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine in the United States. Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine protects against COVID-19, according to an analysis by U.S. regulators Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, that sets the stage for a final decision on a new and easier-to-use shot to help tame the pandemic.

Health

The analysis is just one step in the FDA’s evaluation. On Friday, the agency’s independent advisers will debate if the evidence is strong enough to recommend the shot. With that advice, the FDA is expected to make a final decision within days.

Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine offers strong protection against severe COVID-19, according to an analysis released Wednesday by U.S. regulators that sets the stage for a final decision on a new and easier-to-use shot to help tame the pandemic.

COVID-19 shots might be tweaked if variants get worse

Health

The makers of COVID-19 vaccines are figuring out how to tweak their recipes just in case the shots need an update against worrisome virus mutations

The makers of COVID-19 vaccines are figuring out how to tweak their recipes against worrisome virus mutations — and regulators are looking to flu as a blueprint if and when the shots need an update.

People wait to receive a vaccine against the coronavirus diseaase (COVID-19) in the Winding Wheel Theatre, Chesterfield, Britain February 3, 2021. Reuters photo

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“We share all of the ambition and the desire to get out of this lockdown, we want to do it responsibly and safely and therefore it’s got to be based on the evidence,” he told Times Radio.

Britain’s vaccination programme has so far reached more than 14.5 million people and is seen as one of few successes in the government’s handling of a pandemic in which the country has suffered a higher death toll and worse economic damage than its peers. The UK’s total population is about 67 million.

A vial of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 is prepared at a vaccination center of the 3rd district, in Paris. File image

Health

The approval was granted in a special fast-track process for emergency use. It took two months compared to the usual one year in a country known for cautious and slow-moving approval processes.

Japan on Sunday formally approved its first COVID-19 vaccine and said it would start nationwide inoculations within days, but months behind the U.S. and many other countries.

South Africa suspends rollout of Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

Health

One study, involving around 2,000 people, found the vaccine offered "minimal protection" against mild and moderate cases of Covid-19. The government says it will use other vaccines in the meantime.

South Africa on Sunday said it would suspend its rollout of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine after initial trials showed "disappointing" results against the B.1.351 variant of COVID-19 .

Can I take painkillers before or after a COVID-19 vaccine?

Health

It’s best to avoid certain painkillers before and after getting a COVID-19 vaccine, unless you routinely take them for a medical condition

It's best to avoid them, unless you routinely take them for a medical condition. Although the evidence is limited, some painkillers might interfere with the very thing the vaccine is trying to do: generate a strong immune system response.

This July 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows a vial of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine. On Thursday, Feb. 4, 2021, Johnson & Johnson has asked U.S. regulators to clear the world’s first single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, an easier-to-use option that could boost scarce supplies. (Johnson & Johnson via AP)

Health

The one-dose option worked better in the U.S. — 72% effective against moderate to severe COVID-19 — compared with 66% in Latin America and 57% in South Africa, where a more contagious mutant virus is spreading.

Johnson & Johnson asked U.S. regulators Thursday to clear the world’s first single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, an easier-to-use option that could boost scarce supplies.

This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. Viruses are constantly mutating, with coronavirus variants circulating around the globe. (NIAID-RML via AP)

Health

The two cases were discovered in adults in different regions of the state and do not appear to be connected. Neither of the people infected has traveled recently, ...

A new variant of the coronavirus emerged Thursday in the United States, posing yet another public health challenge in a country already losing more than 3,000 people to COVID-19 every day.

US COVID Vaccinations Still Lagging, Health Officials Say

Health

That pace of vaccinations is now roughly on track to be met, which would inoculate about 67 million people, some with their initial shot and some with both of their required shots. Some critics say the pace should be quicker.

The U.S. government’s effort to vaccinate millions of Americans against the coronavirus pandemic is lagging, new health officials in President Joe Biden’s administration conceded Sunday. But they held out hope that the campaign to curb the virus will markedly improve within three months.

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