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With vaccination rates not at the levels needed to stop the spread of Covid, the Delta variant is so contagious, the unprotected will likely get it, an expert says

“And for most people who get this Delta variant, it’s going to be the most serious virus that they get in their lifetime in terms of the risk of putting them in the hospital,” Dr. Scott Gottlieb, commissioner of the US Food and Drug Administration during the Trump administration, told CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday.
Delta is the most transmissible Covid-19 variant yet, US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told CNN. And experts say it is exacerbating the rise in cases among unvaccinated Americans.
In Los Angeles County, the rate of new Covid-19 cases has increased 300% since July 4, the county health department said. Covid-19 hospitalizations have more than doubled from the previous month.
And 48 states are now seeing new case numbers surge at least 10% higher than the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
That is concerning, Murthy said, because often a rise in cases and hospitalizations is followed by a rise in Covid-19 deaths. Experts are particularly worried about the unvaccinated populations, as 99.5% of the deaths from Covid-19 occur among people who have not been vaccinated, Murthy said.
The only way to stem the rise in cases is vaccination, Murthy told CNN’s Dana Bash Sunday.
The fight to increase vaccinations is transitioning to the hands of local leaders, Murthy said. Springfield, Missouri, Mayor Ken McClure told “Face the Nation” he hopes community leaders will convince people to get vaccinated before it is too late.
“So it gets down to the community leaders, the community institutions that people trust saying you have to get vaccination. That’s the only way that we are going to emerge from this,” McClure said.
Face mask signage is displayed outside the Trunks bar after midnight early Sunday morning in West Hollywood, California, alerting patrons masks are again required by the county indoors.

Delta variant sends younger people to the hospital

The Delta variant might spread faster than other strains of coronavirus because it makes more copies of itself inside our bodies at a faster pace, researchers found.
In research posted online, scientists examining 62 cases of the Delta variant found viral loads about 1,260 times higher than those found in 63 cases from the early epidemic wave in 2020.
The Delta variant is also sending younger and previously healthy people to hospitals — the vast majority of which have not been vaccinated, say doctors in several states suffering surges.
“This year’s virus is not last year’s virus,” said Dr. Catherine O’Neal, an infectious disease specialist at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
“It’s attacking our 40-year-olds. It’s attacking our parents and young grandparents. And it’s getting our kids,” O’Neal said. She said her Covid-19 unit now has more patients in their 20s than previously during the pandemic.
In the face of rampant misinformation about the virus and the vaccine, McClure urged people to use trusted sources and to “make sure people have good information.”
Misinformation “takes away our freedom,” Murthy said, adding that the inaccurate information inhibits people’s power to make educated decisions about the health of themselves and their families.
And with the virus’ disproportionately higher impact among people who aren’t vaccinated, the consequences can be severe.
“All this misinformation that’s floating around is having a real cost that can be measured in lives lost, and that is tragic,” Murthy said.

Children under 12 likely won’t get vaccinations soon

One important reason adults should get vaccinated, experts have said, is to protect children who are not yet eligible for the vaccine.
Currently, Covid-19 vaccines are only authorized for children 12 and older, but studies are underway to test the safety and efficacy of vaccinating younger children.
On Saturday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, shed light on the timeline for approving Covid-19 vaccines for children younger than 12.
Right now, he told CNN’s Jim Acosta, scientists are conducting studies in de-escalating age groups, looking at children from 12 to 9-years-old, then 9 to 6, 6 to 2 and then 2-years to 6-months old.
“Thus far, things look good, but the final decision is going to be up to the FDA. And I would imagine that likely will not happen until we get well into the winter, towards the end of this year,” Fauci said.

11 people show up to three-hour vaccination event

In Alabama, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the US, a three-and-a-half-hour vaccination clinic at a church outside of Birmingham Sunday yielded little progress as only 11 people showed up.
MedsPlus, the health care provider on site, has been holding clinics at churches, business and community centers, in hopes of partnering with local leaders that people trust. But according to Alabama Public Health Department’s dashboard, the number of vaccines administered in the state has dropped off in a steep decline since the peak in March and April.
According to data from the CDC, just 33.7% of Alabama’s residents were fully vaccinated as of Sunday.
Since April 1, 529 people have died in Alabama from Covid-19. According to the Alabama Public Health department, about 96% of them were unvaccinated.
Shuntasia Williams, 15, said she got her first dose of vaccine at the event because she wants to be protected when school starts next month. She told CNN she’s proud of her friend group for being vaccinated, but she has also seen rumors online that her peers are falling for.
“I seen somebody that said their arm got so swollen, it had to get amputated off,” Williams said. “That is the most crazy thing. One thing about vaccines is they start spreading rumors about it, but you have to get out and see it for yourself.”
Williams said these are not first-hand accounts by people, but rather misleading posts and articles that continue to be shared.
“Take it from me. I’m 15 years old. Go get the vaccine. It’s not shocking. My arm is not swollen. I’m not getting my arm amputated. I’m actually feeling great,” she said.

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Masks not needed even indoors for fully vaccinated, CDC says

Masks not needed even indoors for fully vaccinated, CDC says

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday eased indoor mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to safely stop wearing masks outside and inside in most places, according to a person briefed on the announcement.

“Today the CDC is updating our guidance for fully-vaccinated people. Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or fully distancing. If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. We have all longed for this moment when we can get to some sense of normalcy,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said during a press conference at the White House.

The new guidance still calls for wearing masks in crowded indoor settings like buses, planes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters, but eases restrictions for reopening workplaces and schools.

It will also no longer recommend that fully vaccinated people wear masks outdoors in crowds. The announcement comes as the CDC and the Biden administration have faced pressure to ease restrictions on fully vaccinated people — people who are two weeks past their last required COVID-19 vaccine dose — in part to highlight the benefits of getting the shot.

The eased guidance comes two weeks after the CDC recommended that fully vaccinated people continue to wear masks indoors in all settings and outdoors in large crowds.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity to preview the announcement ahead of the official release. The White House did not comment on the matter.

Author: Nexstar Media Wire
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Debt 'breathing space' scheme launches today but will it be enough? More support is needed

Debt 'breathing space' scheme launches today but will it be enough? More support is needed

Additionally, Dave Heathcote, an Insolvency Director at TDX Group, warned the scheme may have limited success: “Today’s long-awaiting introduction of the Debt Respite Scheme is a welcome and extremely timely move in the ongoing fight against debt. Providing a lifeline for indebted consumers via a temporary pause from most creditor enforcement action, Breathing Space offers a 60-day window for people to engage with formal debt advice, and consider repayment options best suited to their needs.

“Breathing Space is an important step in how society manages problem debt, however, its impact will be limited in cushioning against the potential wall of debt many will face down the line. Against the backdrop of increasingly positive news on the UK’s vaccination roll out and a potential return to normality, a more sombre and fuller picture of the pandemic’s financial impact will emerge as government support schemes and forbearance winds down.

“In the darkest days of the winter lockdowns, research showed concerning growth in the number of people facing financial difficulties, with almost half (47 percent) worrying about money every day and 24 percent feeling incapable of managing their finances. Lockdown lifted the lid on this underlying financial divide, but government support, as necessary as it was, masked the reality for those on lower incomes or facing unemployment. Now, as the tide goes out on financial support, the force of the wave of debt building since the pandemic began may be felt.

“Both people and businesses will need greater support, new solutions and innovative thinking to navigate future problem debt. The pandemic’s impact should accelerate improvements in how financial difficulty is supported, and the government’s mental health recovery plan already highlights the crucial role the debt management industry has to play. In the meantime, it’s vital for those in financial difficulty to fully capitalise on Breathing Space, and for creditors to use it as an intervention trigger to craft a sustainable, long-term customer journey out of debt.”

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Finance Feed

Vaccine latest: Third jab needed SIX months after second and then annually – Pfizer

Vaccine latest: Third jab needed SIX months after second and then annually - Pfizer
It has long been mooted that coronavirus will become an annual event, much like the flu. Such speculation has been lent further weight after Pfizer Inc’s CEO said he believes people will ‘likely’ need a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. CEO Albert Bourla said a potential booster shot would be administered six to 12 months of being fully vaccinated.
Bourla made the announcement during a panel discussion hosted by CNBC in conjunction with CVS Health taped on April 1.

During the panel discussion, the Pfizer CEO went one step further, suggesting that people get vaccinated annually following their third jab.

“There are vaccines that are like polio that one dose is enough…and there are vaccines like flu than you need every year,” he said.

“The Covid virus looks more like the influenza virus than the polio virus.”

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Administering the jab annually should corner the virus, achieving what is commonly referred to as “herd immunity.”

‘It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus,’ Bourla said during panel discussion.

The long-term immunity offered by the current crop of coronavirus vaccines is unknown but research suggests the Pfizer vaccine is highly effective in the short-term.

A study led by University of Birmingham researchers and supported by the UK Coronavirus Immunology Consortium, compared antibody and cellular immune responses between the AstraZeneca and the Pfizer jab in over 80s.

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For the study, researchers collected blood samples from 165 people who were 80 to 99-years of age and living independently.

Seventy-six people received one dose of the Pfizer vaccine and 89 received one dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Samples were collected five to six weeks after the first vaccine dose.

Spike-specific antibodies were present in the majority of people in both groups; 93 percent after the Pfizer vaccine and 87 percent after the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Am I eligible to receive a coronavirus vaccine?

Everyone aged 45 and over can get the COVID-19 vaccine.

You can book appointments at a larger vaccination centre or pharmacy now, or wait to be invited to go to a local NHS service.

People at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable), can also get the COVID-19 vaccine.

You do not need to wait to be contacted by the NHS if you’re eligible.

This article originally appeared on Daily Express :: Life and Style Feed
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Back pain treatment: The correct posture needed to not irritate the back muscles

Back pain treatment: The correct posture needed to not irritate the back muscles

When it comes to cold therapy, you can use a frozen bag of peas on the affected area – just make sure to wrap the peas in a tea cloth.

Remember to never put ice directly on the skin as this can cause further injury.

“If you know how to look after your back, you can greatly reduce your risk of getting back pain,” said Bupa.

This involves exercising regularly, bending the knees when lifting heavy items, and keeping a good posture.

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Vaccine passports confirmed – Boris Johnson says travel documents ‘definitely’ needed

Vaccine passports confirmed - Boris Johnson says travel documents ‘definitely’ needed

Speaking during a visit to Middlesbrough, Mr Johnson said: “There’s definitely going to be a world in which international travel will use vaccine passports

“I think when it comes to trying to make sure that we give maximum confidence to businesses and customers in the UK, there are three things – there’s immunity whether you have had it before so you have natural antibodies, whether you have been vaccinated, and of course whether you have had a test.

”Mr Johnson said the passports were a hot topic among airline industry personnel and other countries, adding: “There’s a logic to that.”

Currently, foreign travel for leisure purposes is illegal under UK lockdown regulations.

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Barca president-elect Joan Laporta ‘in race against time’ to get €125 MILLION in funds needed to secure position before deadline

Barca president-elect Joan Laporta ‘in race against time’ to get €125 MILLION in funds needed to secure position before deadline

Barcelona president-elect Joan Laporta was said to be facing a race against time to raise the necessary funds to complete his bid for the club’s top job, or face a second election.

The 58-year-old Laporta was elected to the Barcelona presidency for the second time earlier this month. Laporta previously held the position between 2003 and 2010 – a spell which arguably coincided with the Catalan giants’ best spell of football under first Frank Rijkaard and then Pep Guardiola. 
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However, Laporta faced an anxious scramble to see if his election will be realized after it emerged that he was significantly short when it comes to required funds in order to take the position.

Per the terms of his election, he must present a bank guarantee worth 15 percent of Barcelona’s budget within 10 days of his election – which means Wednesday of this week.

The sum he needs to raise is understood to be €125 million ($ 149 million).

The bank guarantee must also be ratified by La Liga to receive official approval. Barcelona have found themselves in an unenviable financial position due to the mismanagement of former presidents Josep Maria Bartomeu and Sandro Rosell, with their current debt estimated to be in advance of €1 billion.

Laporta’s candidacy for the presidency was bolstered by the support of club talisman Lionel Messi and he defeated rivals Victor Font and Toni Freixa in the election. He campaigned, in part at least, by saying that he would do all in his power to retain Messi’s services at the club amid rumors that the Argentine may again campaign to leave upon the expiration of his contract this summer.

It is thought, or hoped at the very least, that Laporta’s stewardship of the famous club might held re-establish Barcelona’s status as Europe’s most successful club. During his first term in charge, the team won practically every trophy available to them – including three Champions Leagues.
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Laporta had also been speculated as considering the appointment of club legend Xavi into the Camp Nou dugout to replace current boss (and fellow former player) Ronald Koeman. Xavi was club captain for much of the glory days in Laporta’s first reign. 

If Laporta doesn’t raise the required funds, an interim president would be appointed who will oversee a brand new election – and the entire process begin all over again. 

As the deadline ticked down, reports in Spain claimed that Laporta had managed to secure funds through Banco de Sabadell and Audax, although La Liga will still need to validate his approval as president. 


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Moxie review: Amy Poehler breathes life into touching story – but it needed more

Moxie review: Amy Poehler breathes life into touching story - but it needed more
Netflix resident Poehler directs her second film with Moxie, the movie based on the novel of the same name written by Jennifer Mathieu. Moxie follows the journey of shy high-schooler Vivian (played by Hadley Robinson) who is dealing with a cacophony of teenage issues. From crushes to friend drama and boy trouble, Vivian lives a subdued life until a new girl arrives at school and opens her eyes to what is really going on around her.
Newcomer Lucy (Alycia Pascual-Pena) begins pointing out various examples of gender inequality in her high school and urges Vivian and her pals to help her do something about it.

Vivian’s mother, Lisa (Poehler), is an old-school feminist who waxes lyrical about fighting the patriarchy as a teenager with heavy punk music and brutal protests.

Combining her two worlds, Vivian anonymously writes and distributes a zine titled MOXIE.

Within its pages are accusations of how the patriarchy is still at play in 2021, as well as a call to arms for the women in the high school to rise up and fight against the established “norm”.

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Mitchell is played by Patrick Schwarzenegger – son of Arnold – and is one to watch going forward.

Poehler also stands out as one of the most engaging roles in the movie.

Although her time on screen is short, she really gives off a strong Leslie Knope vibe – except with leather jackets and death stares.

Moxie would have been a lot better if it leaned on Poehler some more. Early on the movie solidified her as a feminist icon, only for her daughter, Vivian, to look to Lucy as a role model instead.

The narrative really felt like it was leading to a combination of the old school and the new school to fight the patriarchy of Rockport – but alas.

Furthermore, the plot felt a little trite at times. Sure, it had standard teenage-dream-esque scenes including romantic getaways, best friend bust-ups and cinematic high-school cliches – but it wasn’t enough.

Moxie lacked that certain John Hughes touch which would have really exemplified the film’s heart.

Instead, the final act of the movie rests on its laurels and pushes through to the credits, complete with a colourful prom montage.

Moxie is a gorgeous film with incredible actors and really strong narrative backbone. Although the basis of the film has a great hook, it needed just a little more thought and perseverance to make it a real classic. Poehler’s presence is welcomed, but squandered after only giving one really involved scene. Despite this, Moxie is better than a lot of movies out there. It handles the social issues its raises intelligently and deftly and will certainly be loved by a lot of people. It is worth watching for Poehler’s ice cream-eating habits alone.

Moxie is out on Netflix tomorrow.