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Vaccine ‘shortage’ blamed for delay to offer children jabs – Pfizer and Moderna warning

Vaccine: Costello claims UK doesn’t have enough jabs for children

And Professor Anthony Costello has also issued a warning about the risk so-called long Covid poses to youngsters. The NHS is preparing to roll out the vaccine for 12 to 15-year-olds with underlying health conditions and those living with vulnerable adults.

Youngsters are expected to be offered the Pfizer jab, which was approved for use in children in that age group by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency last month following a “rigorous review”.

The Moderna vaccine is not currently recommended for use in children – but the EU is likely to decide on whether to grant approval next week.

AstraZeneca’s jab, which is widely used in the UK, is not currently recommended for use on children under the age of 18.

Sajid Javid AstraZeneca

Sajid Javid, who has tested positive for Covid, and AstraZeneca’s jab (Image: GETTY)

Professor Anthony Costello

Professor Anthony Costello during Friday’s briefing (Image: Independent SAGE)

Speaking during Friday’s briefing by Independent SAGE, Prof Costello, the former Professor of International Child Health and Director of the Institute for Global Health at the University College London, said: “The child vaccination story is interesting.

“Because although they’re delaying and saying they’re not sure and it’s not really that big a problem, I actually think the real reason is that they don’t have adequate supplies at Pfizer and Moderna.

“And I think we have a supply issue at the moment which is why they’re not giving approval for younger children.”

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Sajid Javid

Sajid Javid speaking in the Commons on Monday (Image: GETTY)

AstraZeneca vaccine: Dr Green shares what’s in Oxford jab

Speaking at a time of rising concern about the potential impact of the so-called Beta variant which scientists fear may be immune to existing vaccines, Prof Costello also voiced his concerns at any potential herd immunity approach which the Government might adopt which would involve allowing the disease to “rip through the population”.

Prof Costello, who was also director of maternal, child and adolescent health at the World Health Organisation between 2015 and 2018, warned: “If you look at long Covid, we know that of children in the secondary school age group, about 14 percent, or about one in eight almost, of children will have long Covid symptoms.

“We don’t know what the long term effects are – long Covid is really nasty, you get all kinds of symptoms, it can go for on a long period.”

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Under-18s vaccinations

Those under the age of 18 are not currently being vaccinated in the UK (Image: GETTY)

AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca’s jab was developed in conjunction with Oxford University (Image: GETTY)

Speaking a day before it was confirmed Health Secretary Sajid Javid had been tested positive despite having been fully inoculated, Prof Costello added: “Older people who have been double vaccinated, get breakthrough infections.

“I’m one case in point – I got Covid three weeks ago I still have some symptoms, and it was a breakthrough, even though I was double vaccinated.

“And finally, if you have everybody getting an infection, the immunity you get from the infection is about half as good as you get from vaccination.

Covid vaccinations UK

Covid vaccinations in the UK as of Wednesday (Image: Express)

“So, the utilitarian principle would be keep community infections under control, get all people vaccinated, including children down to 12 and then you can you get a much better result in the utilitarian sense.”

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman told Express.co.uk: “The government will continue to be guided by the advice of the JCVI and no decisions have been made by ministers on whether people aged 12 to 17 should be routinely offered COVID-19 vaccines.”

The independent medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for people aged 12 and over as it meets their robust standards of safety, effectiveness and quality.

The Government is understood to be confident it has sufficient supplies of vaccinations – but AstraZeneca’s jab, which is widely used in the UK, is not currently recommended for use on children under the age of 18.

Vaccinations compared

Vaccinations compared (Image: Express)

Speaking yesterday, Professor Sarah Gilbert, one of the scientists behind the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine insisted the benefits of vaccinating children were “much lower and poorer” than inoculating adults.

She added: “With still a limited number of doses available to vaccinate the world, we should be use those doses for healthcare workers and for older individuals in countries that don’t yet have a vaccine.”

Express.co.uk understands the UK has made a “risk-benefit” decision on protecting children rather than a calculation taking into account excess supplies which could be shipped abroad for use in adults.

The UK has administered 80 million vaccine doses so far, with more than 87 percent of the population having received at least one jab.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: UK Feed

Pfizer vaccine side effects: FDA links four ‘adverse events’ to vaccine – new update

The current crop of coronavirus vaccines continue to find their way into new arms across the globe. Drug watchdogs continue to monitor the effects of the vaccines as they proliferate within different populations. The Pfizer vaccine came under the FDA’s microscope on Tuesday after it was linked to four concerning complications.

The FDA stressed that “these four events may not be true safety concerns, and the screening method cannot establish that the vaccine caused these AEI”.

Adverse events of interest (AEI) is the formal designation the FDA applies to events of concern.

The FDA has routinely been using screening methods to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and to evaluate AEI related to these vaccines.

One of these methods, called near real-time surveillance, detected four potential AEIs in the Medicare healthcare claims database of persons aged 65 years and older who had received the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

READ MORE: Covid vaccine: AstraZeneca scientist Dr Green explains exactly what’s in jab

The four potential AEI are pulmonary embolism (a blocked blood vessel in your lungs), acute myocardial infarction (a heart attack), immune thrombocytopenia (a blood disorder), and disseminated intravascular coagulation (a condition whereby blood clots form throughout the body).

“The screening methods have not identified these AEI after vaccination in persons 65 years and older who received the two other authorised COVID-19 vaccines,” noted the FDA.

The drug authority stressed that the development is not a cause for concern.

The FDA noted that it is “sharing the initial findings of this safety study in the spirit of transparency but does not believe there is a cause for concern”.

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There are alternative explanations for the findings.

The FDA included the fact that the Pfizer vaccine was given to many high-risk individuals who were older and had significant co-morbidities.

Comorbidity simply means more than one illness or disease occurring in one person at the same time.

FDA continues to closely monitor the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines and will further investigate these findings by conducting more rigorous epidemiological studies.

COVID-19 vaccines also have to go through several stages of clinical trials before they can be approved for use.

Clinical trials are where a vaccine or medicine is tested on volunteers to make sure it works and is safe.

According to the NHS, most side effects are mild and should not last longer than a week.

Common side effects include:

  • A sore arm from the injection
  • Feeling tired
  • A headache
  • Feeling achy
  • Feeling or being sick.

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This post originally posted here Daily Express :: Life and Style
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Should I be worried if I am not experiencing side effects from Pfizer Covid jab? New study

Research continues to shed light on the effects of the impact the coronavirus vaccines have on the body. As more arms have become jabbed, numerous side effects have been documented. While these effects can be disquieting, the public health message has been clear: side effects indicate the vaccine is stimulating a robust immune response.

The researchers also had participants complete a questionnaire about their vaccine-induced side effects after each dose, measuring 12 symptoms’ duration and severity on a scale of 0 (not at all) to 4 (a lot).

They then conducted antibody tests 37 days on average after their second dose.

When comparing participants’ antibody results with their symptom scores, the authors wrote: “We found no correlation between vaccine-associated symptom severity scores and vaccine-induced antibody titers one month after vaccination.”

They added that the duration of side effects after the first and second Pfizer doses also “revealed no association” with antibody response.

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“[A] lack of correlation was observed even when adjusting for age, weight, and sex,” the authors wrote.

In their concluding remarks, they said: “Ultimately, the researchers concluded that a “lack of post-vaccination symptoms following receipt of the BNT162b2 [Pfizer] vaccine does not equate to lack of vaccine-induced antibodies one month after vaccination.”

The finding has two key implications, the researchers noted.

“First, individuals that exhibit few symptoms after vaccination can be reassured that this does not mean the vaccine ‘didn’t work.’ Indeed, in this cohort individuals with few to no symptoms were just as likely to have developed strong antibody responses as individuals that exhibited substantial symptoms.

According to the health body, you can take painkillers such as paracetamol if you need to.

It adds: “If you have a high temperature that lasts longer than two days, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste, you may have COVID-19.

“Stay at home and get a test.”

Author: Adam Chapman
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Pfizer vaccine: Three delayed side effects to spot – 'seek medical attention right away'

On June 25, the FDA added new warnings for both vaccine providers and recipients over cases of heart inflammation from the Pfizer and Modern Covid vaccines. The warnings came after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) met and confirmed a “likely association” between myocarditis and pericarditis and the Pfizer and Moderna jabs, both of which use mRNA.

The FDA says symptoms of myocarditis and pericarditis don’t typically crop up right away, but tend to begin “within a few days following receipt of the second dose”.

The federal agency also urged recipients who’ve experienced myocarditis or pericarditis in the past to tell their vaccination producer.

For providers, the FDA says there’s “increased risks of myocarditis and pericarditis, particularly following the second dose”.

John Greenwood, president of the British Cardiovascular Society and a consultant cardiologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, told The BMJ: “Myocarditis is not an uncommon condition and it can be associated with many different viruses.

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“In our hospital, for example, we may have one or more patients per week suspected of having it.”

He added: “For the vast majority of people myocarditis is a benign, self-limiting condition and can be easily treated with NSAIDs. For a very small number of people the heart muscle can become impaired.”

Up to 16 June the MHRA had received 53 reports of myocarditis and 33 reports of pericarditis (including one death) after use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The latest weekly yellow card reporting figures show that there have been 42 reports of myocarditis (and one death) and 77 reports of pericarditis after the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and three reports of myocarditis and one report of pericarditis after the Moderna vaccine.

A total of 275 cases of myocarditis were reported in Israel between December 2020 and May 2021 among more than five million vaccinated people.

Most of the cases were in men aged 16-19, usually after the second dose. After the reports the European Medicines Agency started a review, which is expected to report in July.

All vaccines can cause side effects, although not everybody gets them.

Most are mild or moderate and go away within a few days of appearing.

GOV.UK notes the very common side effects that may affect more than one in 10 people:

  • injection site: pain, swelling
  • tiredness
  • headache
  • muscle pain
  • chills
  • joint pain
  • diarrhoea
  • fever

It also advises: “If you get any side effects, talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse. This includes any possible side effects not listed in this leaflet. If you are concerned about a side-effect it can be reported directly via the Coronavirus Yellow Card reporting site or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play. When completing a report please include the vaccine brand and batch/Lot number if available.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed
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Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines May Offer Lasting Protection, Study Finds

Prepped Pfizer and Moderna vaccines at a pharmacy in Little Rock, Ark., in March.
Credit…Rory Doyle for The New York Times

The vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna set off a persistent immune reaction in the body that may protect against the coronavirus for years, scientists reported on Monday.

The findings add to growing evidence that most people immunized with the mRNA vaccines may not need boosters, so long as the virus and its variants do not evolve much beyond their current forms — which is not guaranteed. People who recovered from Covid-19 before being vaccinated may not need boosters even if the virus does make a significant transformation.

“It’s a good sign for how durable our immunity is from this vaccine,” said Ali Ellebedy, an immunologist at Washington University in St. Louis who led the study, which was published in the journal Nature.

The study did not consider the vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson, but Dr. Ellebedy said he expected the immune response to be less durable than that produced by mRNA vaccines.

Dr. Ellebedy and his colleagues reported last month that in people who had survived Covid-19, immune cells that recognize the virus remained in the bone marrow for at least eight months after infection. A study by another team indicated that so-called memory B cells continue to mature and strengthen for at least a year after infection.

Based on those findings, researchers suggested that immunity might last years, possibly a lifetime, in people who were infected and later vaccinated. But it was unclear whether vaccination alone might have a similarly long-lasting effect.

After an infection or a vaccination, a specialized structure called the germinal center forms in lymph nodes. This structure is an elite school of sorts for B cells.

The broader the range and the longer these cells have to practice, the more likely they are to be able to thwart variants of the virus that may emerge.

After infection with the coronavirus, the germinal center forms in the lungs. But after vaccination, the cells’ education takes place in lymph nodes in the armpits, within reach of researchers.

Dr. Ellebedy’s team found that 15 weeks after the first dose of vaccine, the germinal center was still highly active in all 14 of the participants, and that the number of memory cells that recognized the coronavirus had not declined.

“The fact that the reactions continued for almost four months after vaccination — that’s a very, very good sign,” Dr. Ellebedy said. Germinal centers typically peak one to two weeks after immunization, and then wane.

“Usually by four to six weeks, there’s not much left,” said Deepta Bhattacharya, an immunologist at the University of Arizona. But germinal centers stimulated by the mRNA vaccines are “still going, months into it, and not a lot of decline in most people.”

Dr. Bhattacharya noted that most of what scientists know about the persistence of germinal centers is based on animal research. The new study is the first to show what happens in people after vaccination.

The results suggest that a vast majority of vaccinated people will be protected over the long term — at least, against the existing variants. But older adults, people with weak immune systems and those who take drugs that suppress immunity may need boosters; people who survived Covid-19 and were later immunized may never need them at all.

Exactly how long the protection from mRNA vaccines will last is hard to predict. In the absence of variants that sidestep immunity, in theory immunity could last a lifetime, experts said. But the virus is clearly evolving.

Nurses preparing AstraZeneca vaccine doses in Bratislava, Slovakia, in April.
Credit…Akos Stiller for The New York Times

A third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford generated a strong immune response in clinical trial volunteers, Oxford researchers reported on Monday.

The finding indicates that the AstraZeneca vaccine could be an option should third shots end up being needed, for example, to extend immunity. To date, the vaccine has been given as two doses, typically between four and 12 weeks apart.

The new data, detailed in a preprint manuscript that has not yet been peer reviewed, came from 90 study volunteers in Britain who were among the earliest to receive the shots in a clinical trial last year. This past March, they were given a third dose, roughly 30 weeks after their second.

Laboratory analyses showed that the third dose increased levels of antibodies to the virus in the volunteers to a point higher than seen a month after their second dose — an encouraging sign that the third shot would be likely to bring greater protection if the effectiveness of two doses waned over time.

“We do have to be in a position where we could boost if it turned out that was necessary,” Prof. Andrew Pollard, an Oxford researcher who has led studies of the vaccine, said in a news conference on Monday. “I think we have encouraging data in this preprint to show that boosters could be used and would be effective at boosting the immune response.”

Scientists and policymakers do not yet know whether booster shots may be needed.

Scientists reported Monday that the vaccines made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna set off a persistent immune reaction in the body that may protect against the coronavirus for years, but it isn’t clear if the same is happening with other vaccines, including AstraZeneca.

Emerging coronavirus variants could also accelerate the need for booster shots. If third shots are deemed necessary in the coming months, their availability could be severely limited, especially in poorer countries that are lacking enough supply to give first doses to their most vulnerable citizens.

Earlier this month, the National Institutes of Health announced that it has begun a new clinical trial of people fully vaccinated with any of the three authorized vaccines in the United States. The goal is test whether a booster shot of the vaccine made by Moderna will increase their antibodies against the virus. Initial results are expected later this summer.

The AstraZeneca vaccine has won authorization in 80 countries since last December but is not approved for use in the United States, which already has more than enough doses of its three authorized vaccines to meet demand. The shot has been the backbone of the struggling Covax program to provide vaccines to poor countries, accounting for more than 88 percent of the doses shipped out to middle- and low-income nations through last week.

AstraZeneca announced on Sunday that the first volunteers had been vaccinated in a separate study assessing a new version of the vaccine designed to protect against the Beta variant of the virus first seen in South Africa. Some study results suggested that the original version of the AstraZeneca vaccine may not be effective against that variant. Professor Pollard said the study would compare the effects of a third dose of the original vaccine against those of boosting volunteers with the new Beta-targeted vaccine.

Mounted police officers patrolling Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia, on Monday.
Credit…Joel Carrett/EPA, via Shutterstock

Australia on Monday faced a grim and unfamiliar challenge: simultaneous outbreaks in several parts of the country — most notably in Sydney — fueled by the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant.

In the outbreak centered in Sydney, which has sent the city into at least a two-week lockdown, cases grew by 18 on Monday and now stand at 130. Other states across Australia also reported new cases and toughened restrictions, and an expansion of Australia’s lagging vaccination program was announced after an emergency cabinet meeting.

But even as anxiety about the outbreak intensified, many Australians found something to lighten the mood: a tale of two naked men caught violating lockdown rules in the woods of a national park, where they fled after a deer startled them out of their au naturel sunbathing on a secluded beach.

The stay-at-home orders introduced on Saturday allow for exercise. Fleeing wildlife nude did not qualify. The men, who were not identified, both received fines of 1,000 Australian dollars ($ 758). Mick Fuller, the police commissioner for New South Wales, which includes Sydney, was not pleased.

“It’s difficult to legislate against idiots,” Commissioner Fuller said at a news conference.

The news traveled quickly across the country to Western Australia, where the state premier, Mark McGowan, who recently closed his state’s borders to anyone from New South Wales, made clear that it was a Sydney thing.

“It wouldn’t happen here in W.A.,” he said. He added that he was worried about at least one of the suspects, saying: “I hope the deer’s OK.”

The two men were found by emergency responders, separately, at about 6 p.m. on Sunday, after one of them called for help, according to a police statement.

One of the men, 30, was found near a remote road in Royal National Park with simply a backpack. The other, 49, was partially clothed. They appeared to have violated the public health orders by leaving home for leisure.

And so, in a moment marked by rising anger at the government for failing to buy and distribute more vaccines, when Australia’s largest city stands to see its economy lose hundreds of millions of dollars from the lockdown, the news of a free-spirited buck-naked couple fleeing a buck — or was it a doe? — allowed for, well, something to smile about.

But there was worry, too, as tens of thousands of people in New South Wales rushed to get tested for the coronavirus, with more than 300 locations around Sydney having been identified as visited by people who were infectious.

That has raised concerns that the outbreak is far from over. Still, no deaths from the new outbreak have been recorded; no one in Australia has died from the virus at all this year. Two people are in intensive care, and officials encouraged everyone who is eligible for a vaccine to line up for one — and otherwise, stay home.

Global Roundup

Tourists enjoying the beach at the Spanish Balearic Island of Mallorca, Spain, this month.
Credit…Francisco Ubilla/Associated Press

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez of Spain announced on Monday that British visitors would have to present a negative Covid-19 test or proof of full vaccination, bowing to concerns about a massive influx of summer tourists from Britain, which has been grappling with the Delta variant of the disease.

Last week, the British government added Spain’s Balearic Islands to its “green list” of countries and territories from which British visitors can return without quarantining, providing a major lift to the islands’ tourism-dependent economies.

But the authorities on the islands then asked Spain’s central government for tougher screening measures for arrivals from Britain. Sensitivities were also raised after an outbreak among hundreds of Spanish students who were visiting Mallorca, the largest of the islands, to celebrate the end of their academic year.

Spain lifted restrictions on British visitors on May 24, just as Germany, France and some other European countries reintroduced quarantine rules for the British in order to avoid the spread of the Delta variant. Since then, Germany and France have pushed for a British quarantine obligation to be applied across the European Union, but so far to no avail, as countries like Spain rely heavily on British visitors in the summer tourism season.

In other news from around the world:

  • Italy said on Monday that people were no longer required to wear masks outside, joining Spain and France in relaxing the rules as cases dropped. Masks must still be worn indoors and in crowded areas. In Rome, many still wore masks on Monday, citing concerns about the Delta variant, but some took advantage of the new rules. “It feels like freedom,” said Francesca Tronconi, a tour guide, as she crossed Piazza Navona with her mask around her arm.

  • Young people in Greece will be offered an incentive to get vaccinated, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Monday, in the form of a “freedom pass” with 150 euros, about $ 180, in prepaid credit to be spent on tourism, culture and travel. The pass will be available from July 15 for people ages 18 to 25 who have had at least one shot. “It is a thank you to youngsters for their patience and persistence and an incentive to get inoculated,” Mr. Mitsotakis said.

  • All passenger flights from Britain to Hong Kong will be banned starting Thursday to prevent the spread of the Delta variant, the city’s government said in a statement on Monday. The authorities have added Britain to an “extremely high-risk” list.

“This is not a get-out-of-jail-free card,” said Wendy Hechtman, who is serving a 15-year prison sentence but was released to home confinement during the pandemic. “But what it is is an opportunity card.”
Credit…Hilary Swift for The New York Times

Some 4,000 federal offenders who were part of a mass release last year of nonviolent prisoners to help slow the spread of the coronavirus could soon return to prison — not because they violated the terms of their home confinement, but because the United States appears to be moving past the worst of the pandemic.

In the final days of the Trump administration, the Justice Department issued a memo saying inmates whose sentences lasted beyond the “pandemic emergency period” would have to go back to prison.

But some lawmakers and activists are urging President Biden to revoke the rule and use his executive power to keep the prisoners on home confinement or commute their sentences entirely, arguing that the pandemic offers a glimpse into a different type of punitive system in America, one that would rely far less on incarceration.

Mr. Biden has vowed to make overhauling the criminal justice system a crucial part of his presidency, saying his administration could cut the prison population by more than half and expand programs that offered alternatives to detention.

While the White House has yet to announce a decision about those on home confinement, the administration appears to be following the direction of the Trump-era memo.

Andrew Bates, a spokesman for Mr. Biden, said in a statement that the president was “committed to reducing incarceration and helping people re-enter society,” but he referred questions about the future of those in home confinement to the Justice Department.

The White House revisits the emergency declaration every three months, leaving the former prisoners in a constant state of limbo. The next deadline is in July.

On the move in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Monday as the government began to implement new lockdown measures.
Credit…Munir Uz Zaman/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Bangladesh will return to national lockdown by the end of the week, responding to a wave of infections that on Monday brought its highest single-day death toll of the pandemic so far.

The looming restrictions, imposed in a series of steps, have sent tens of thousands of migrant laborers in Dhaka, the capital and largest city, scrambling to get to their villages in scenes reminiscent of neighboring India’s migrant exodus last year.

The garment industry, which employs 4.5 million people and makes up 80 percent of the country’s exports, will remain open. But other businesses were instructed to limit their operations to minimum levels of required staffing, and almost all public transportation systems are either closing or already closed.

Residents of Dhaka expect to be largely confined to their homes after Thursday, the first day of what the government has called a “hard lockdown,” though how strictly the measures will be implemented remains to be seen. The government has said the army, police, and border guard will be deployed for strict enforcement.

Bangladesh had slowed the spread of the virus with sporadic restrictions and reduced movement while trying to keep much of the economy open. But a fast-spreading wave now, with barely 3 percent of the population vaccinated, has forced officials to take more drastic measures.

The country reported 119 deaths on Monday, the highest daily toll since the pandemic began, while the test positivity rate was over 20 percent. Bangladesh has officially reported a total of nearly 900,000 infections and 14,172 deaths from the virus, though experts believe the true numbers are much higher.

The current lockdown has been gradual. The government stopped trains and long distance buses last week. It also imposed lockdowns in seven districts surrounding Dhaka, aiming to avert a surge there. Shopping malls are closed, and restaurants are limited to takeout orders only.

The full lockdown, initially expected to last one week, begins on Thursday. All transportation systems except for auto-rickshaws will be shut.

The government has instructed garment factory owners to arrange transportation for their workers during previous rounds of restrictions. When the public transportation was shut in April to slow the spread of the virus, factory owners who did not arrange transportation were accused of violating the order, and workers had to walk for miles twice a day to get to work.

As the latest lockdown approached, ferry stations in Dhaka have been swamped by people trying to cross the river to the southern districts.

Dan Bourque, an Uber driver in San Francisco, saw Womply’s ads and applied for a loan in mid-April. Seventeen days later, he had a $  10,477 deposit in his bank account.
Credit…Jim Wilson/The New York Times

Though Congress approved billions in aid for small companies to help them keep paying their employees during the pandemic, it wasn’t reaching the tiniest and neediest businesses.

Then two small companies came out of nowhere and found a way to help those businesses.

They also helped themselves. For their work, the companies stand to collect more than $ 3 billion in fees, according to a New York Times analysis — far more than any of the 5,200 participating lenders.

One of the companies, Blueacorn, didn’t exist before the pandemic. The other, Womply, founded a decade ago, sold marketing software. But this year, they became the breakout stars of the Paycheck Protection Program.

Blueacorn and Womply aren’t banks, so they couldn’t actually lend any money. Rather, they acted as middlemen, charging into a gap between what big banks wouldn’t do and what small banks couldn’t do.

From late February to May 31, when the program ended, the companies processed 2.3 million loans. Most were for less than $ 17,000, and the vast majority went to solo ventures, which are more likely to be run by women and people of color.

All that hustle had downsides, however, including widespread customer service failures. And some lenders now have regrets about signing rushed deals that delivered most of the profit to their partners.

Gloria Molina, 28, checked in for her second dose of the vaccine at Samuel Rodgers Health Center in Kansas City, Mo.
Credit…Chase Castor for The New York Times

As the country’s vaccination campaign slows and doses go unused, it has suddenly become clear that one of the biggest challenges in reaching mass immunity will be persuading skeptical young adults of all backgrounds to get vaccinated.

Federal officials expressed alarm in recent days about low vaccination rates among Americans in their late teens and 20s, and have blamed them for the country’s all-but-certain failure to reach President Biden’s goal of giving 70 percent of adults at least an initial dose by July 4.

The straightforward sales pitch for older people — a vaccine could very possibly save your life — does not always work on healthy 20-somethings who know they are less likely to face the severest outcomes of Covid.

As public officials race to find ways to entice young adults to get vaccinated, interviews across the country suggest that no single fix is likely to sway these holdouts. Some are staunchly opposed. Others are merely uninterested. And still others are skeptical.

But pretty much everyone who was eager for a vaccine already has one, and public health officials now face an overlapping mix of inertia, fear, busy schedules and misinformation as they try to cajole Gen Z into getting a shot.

Public health experts say vaccinating young adults is essential to keeping infection numbers low and preventing new case outbreaks, especially as the more infectious Delta variant spreads.

Since vaccines became available six months ago, health departments have focused with varying degrees of success on urging groups identified as reluctant — including people living in rural communities, African American residents, conservatives — to get vaccinated.

But in recent days, public health officials have identified young adults as a significant challenge for a country where fewer than a million people a day are receiving a vaccine, down from an April peak of more than 3.3 million.

In a federal report released last week, just over one-third of adults ages 18 to 39 reported being vaccinated, with especially low rates among Black people; among people 24 or younger; and among those who had lower incomes, less education and no health insurance.

Author: The New York Times
This post originally appeared on NYT > Top Stories

Pfizer vaccine side effects: Four new side effects reported on the body – new study

The global pandemic has put humanity to the test but it has also shone a light on its ingenuity. The development and deployment of vaccines at record speed have put the world back on track. The benefits of getting vaccinated far outweigh the risks, but there are a number of side effects that have been reported.

Around 85 percent of women report a skin reaction following a jab, while only 15 percent of men did.

The allergists also noted in the group they studied it was not common for patients to suffer the same reaction again when they had their second dose.

Eight out of 10 people (83 percent of the group) who had first suffered from itching or rashes after their first jab did not report further problems.

Lead author Lacey B. Robinson, MD, MPH, an allergist and researcher at MGH, said skin reactions should not be deterred from getting a second dose.

You cannot catch COVID-19 from the vaccine, but you may have caught it just before or after your vaccination.

Am I eligible for a coronavirus vaccine?

The NHS is currently offering the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine to people most at risk.

You can get the COVID-19 vaccine if you’re aged 18 or over.

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

Author:
This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Health Feed
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CDC links Pfizer Covid vaccine to heart inflammation – latest update and symptoms to spot

Heart inflammation – symptoms to spot

According to the BMJ article, symptoms of heart inflammation can vary but often include shortness of breath, a forceful heartbeat that may be irregular, and chest pain.

It also noted that heart inflammation is a complication seen with a range of viral infections, including SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) itself.

John Greenwood, president of the British Cardiovascular Society and a consultant cardiologist at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, told The BMJ: “Myocarditis is not an uncommon condition and it can be associated with many different viruses.

“In our hospital, for example, we may have one or more patients per week suspected of having it.”

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Pfizer Vaccine Protects Less Against India Variant

June 4, 2021 — The Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine produces lower levels of antibodies against the Delta variant, known as B.1.617.2 and discovered in India, according to a new study published Thursday in The Lancet.

The antibody levels also appear to be lower in older people and decline over time, which could mean that some vaccinated people will need a booster shot this fall.

“This virus will likely be around for some time to come, so we need to remain agile and vigilant,” Emma Wall, PhD, the lead study author and an infectious diseases specialist at the Francis Crick Institute in London, said in a statement.

“The most important thing is to ensure that vaccine protection remains high enough to keep as many people out of hospital as possible,” she said. “And our results suggest that the best way to do this is to quickly deliver second doses and provide boosters to those whose immunity may not be high enough against these new variants.”

The research team analyzed antibodies in the blood of 250 healthy people, ages 33-52, up to 3 months after receiving their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. The team looked for “neutralizing antibodies,” or the ability of antibodies to block the virus from entering cells.

The researchers tested five variants: the original strain discovered in China, the dominant strain in Europe during the first wave in April 2020, the B.1.1.7 variant discovered in the U.K., the B.1.351 variant first seen in South Africa, and the newest variant of concern, which is the B.1.617.2 variant discovered in India.

The team compared the concentrations of the neutralizing antibodies among the variants. They found that people who had been fully vaccinated with two Pfizer doses had antibodies that were 6 times lower against the B.1.617.2 variant, 5 times lower against the B.1.351 variant, and 2.6 times lower against the B.1.1.7 variant when compared to the original strain.

The antibody response was even lower in people who had received only one dose. After a single Pfizer dose, 79% of people had neutralizing antibodies against the original strain, which fell to 50% for the B.1.1.7 variant, 32% for the B.1.617.2 variant, and 25% for the B.1.351 variant.

The study group plans to continue its research on neutralizing antibodies and the variants, including in people who have been vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“New variants occur naturally, and those that have an advantage will spread. We now have the ability to quickly adapt our vaccination strategies to maximize protection where we know people are most vulnerable,” David Bauer, PhD, the senior study author and group leader of the Francis Crick Institute’s RNA Virus Replication Laboratory, said in the statement.

“Keeping track of the evolutionary changes is essential for us to retain control over the pandemic and return to normality,” he said. “This work … can help us to navigate changes in this new phase of the pandemic.”

Sources

The Lancet: “Neutralizing antibody activity against SARS-CoV-2 VOCs B.1.617.2 and B.1.351 by BNT162b2 vaccination.”

The Francis Crick Institute: “Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine recipients have lower antibody levels targeting the Delta variant first discovered in India.”

Editor’s note: Find the latest COVID-19 news and guidance in Medscape’s Coronavirus Resource Center.

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Pfizer vaccine side effects: Probable link to heart inflammation discovered – new study

Adverse events are thoroughly reviewed and Pfizer meets regularly with the Vaccine Safety Department of the Israeli Ministry of Health to review data, it said.

Israel had held off making its 12 to 15-year-old population eligible for the vaccines, pending the Health Ministry report.

In parallel to publishing those findings, a ministry committee approved vaccinating the adolescents, a senior official said.

“The committee gave the green light for vaccinating 12- to 15-year-olds, and this will be possible as of next week,” Nachman Ash, Israel’s pandemic-response coordinator, told Radio 103 FM. “The efficacy of the vaccine outweighs the risk.”

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Does Pfizer have a blood clot risk? Latest advice for the Covid vaccine

The Pfizer Covid vaccine may cause side effects, although not everybody gets them. Experts advise the most common side effects are pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain and fever, but that most side effects are mild or moderate and go away within a few days of appearing. But is the Pfizer vaccine associated with a risk of blood clots like the AstraZeneca jab?  
According to the UK government’s latest advice, blood clots, specifically vaccine-induced thrombosis and thrombocytopenia (VITT), have not been associated with the Pfizer vaccine.

In April, concerns started to emerge in Australia about the Pfizer vaccine’s association with blood clots.

A 40-year-old police sergeant from Brisbane made headlines after developing a blood clot three days after receiving the vaccine.

But a statement released by Queensland police revealed the man, who works in the state’s hotel quarantine system, returned to duty and had a history of clotting.

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VITT was found to be a very rare adverse event characterised by presence of blood clots with low levels of platelets following vaccination with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Between 9 December 2020 and 5 May 2021 there were more than 160 cases of VITT out of a total of 30.8 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine administered in the UK.

But UK Parliament has stated: “The overall risk of VITT following a dose of the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is 10.9 per million doses.

“This varies according to age groups and it is estimated to be around 1 in 100,000 for people over 50 and 1 in 50,000 for people aged between 18 and 49 years.

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“Following an age-based risk-benefit analysis, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) concluded that people aged under 40 should be offered an alternative to the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.”

Like the Pfizer vaccine, the Moderna vaccine, which is also currently deployed in the UK, hasn’t been associated with VITT.

VITT cases have been reported following vaccination with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine – a vaccine which uses the same technology as the AstraZeneca one.

But this vaccine has yet to be approved for use in the UK.

The UK government advises: “Some people have reported a sudden feeling of cold with shivering/shaking accompanied by a rise in temperature, possibly with sweating, headache (including migraine-like headaches), nausea, muscle aches and feeling unwell, starting within a day of having the vaccine and usually lasting for a day or two.

“If your fever is high and lasts longer than three days, or you have other persistent symptoms, this might not be due to side effects of the vaccine and you should seek appropriate medical advice according to your symptoms.”

If you get any side effects you should talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse.

If you’re concerned about a side-effect it can be reported directly via the Coronavirus Yellow Card reporting site or search for MHRA Yellow Card in Google Play.

Don’t report the same side effects to both systems to avoid dual reporting.

Although serious side effects are very rare, if you experience any of the following from around 4 days to 4 weeks after vaccination you should seek medical advice urgently:

  • a new, severe headache which is not helped by usual painkillers or is getting worse
  • a headache which seems worse when lying down or bending over
  • an unusual headache that may be accompanied by:
  • blurred vision, nausea and vomiting
  • difficulty with your speech
  • weakness, drowsiness or seizures
  • new, unexplained pinprick bruising or bleeding
  • shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain

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