France is back in the vaccine race after the European Medicines Agency announced today it would begin assessing early data supporting Sanofi’s coronavirus vaccine.
France’s hopes of developing a working vaccine were derailed at the end of 2020 when Sanofi announced its original vaccine candidate failed to produce a strong immune response in older people in early human trials. The news was a national humiliation and raised questions about the country’s standing in medical research.
Sanofi went back to the drawing board, however, and created a reworked vaccine, Vidprevtyn. The candidate is a recombinant protein based vaccine — similar to the technology used by Novavax — that uses an adjuvant from GlaxoSmithKline to boost people’s immune response.
The EMA has now begun a rolling review, which allows regulators to assess data as it comes in. Its assessment is based on promising lab studies and early human trials that “suggest that the vaccine triggers the production of antibodies” that target the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 “may help protect against the disease.”
Sanofi, in partnership with GSK, began Phase 3 human trials of its vaccine at the end of May. At the time, the companies predicted the vaccine could be approved by regulators in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The EMA, however, wouldn’t provide a timeline today for when it could make a decision. The company will still have to submit a formal conditional marketing authorization application.
The agency currently has four vaccines undergoing rolling reviews, including Novavax, Sputnik, Sinovac and CureVac.
The EU has a contract with the company that allows countries to buy up to 300 million doses of the vaccine.
A Nevada National Guardsman leaves a portable trailer that the Federal Emergency Management Agency designed as mobile vaccination unit on May 18, 2021, in Fallon, Nev. It’s one of several methods health officials are employing here and across the country to bring vaccines directly to people to counter waning demand. | Sam Metz/AP Photo
The Biden administration’s coronavirus surge teams have yet to materialize in states across the Midwest and South where the highly contagious Delta variant is leading to a rapid rise in hospitalizations, according to four state health officials and two senior administration officials.
The administration has sent a surge team to Nevada, but multiple local health officials there said they aren’t sure if the federal aid — including help with Covid testing and door-to-door visits to promote vaccines — could help the state respond to the spread of Delta, or whether it would have an immediate and significant impact. Nor had the officials decided whether they need the assistance.
Vaccination rates are stalled throughout the country and remain stubbornly low in Republican strongholds throughout the South and Midwest. That has raised fresh concerns among health officials at all levels that the national vaccine campaign is stalled, increasing the chance that rising infections driven by Delta will prolong the pandemic and threaten the economy. The impacts are likely to hit hardest in undervaccinated states once schools reopen and the weather turns cold in the fall.
States’ ongoing vaccination struggles underscore the challenges facing Biden’s surge teams as they parachute into communities where unvaccinated people are wary of anyone who advocates for Covid shots. The situation also underscores how — almost 18 months into the pandemic — federal and state leaders still struggle to respond in real time to emerging hot spots, often slowed by local politics and logistical hurdles.
“We have heard that FEMA officials will be coming to this area and they are coordinating with the state. Some of them are already helping with epidemiology,” said Fermin Leguen, the district health officer in southern Nevada. “But we are still waiting to hear what more they will be doing on helping with our vaccine campaign.”
A White House official said the administration is working with governors and local public health officials “to ensure that they have the support they need to curb the spread of the virus and increase vaccinations in their state.”
In many instances, the White House and state officials are still sussing out what resources are needed. The president’s call for a “door-to-door” vaccination campaign earlier this month drew swift rebukes from Republican governors, but there are less obtrusive ways the administration can help, the two senior administration officials said.
In recent days FEMA has dispatched dozens of employees to Nevada, where hospitalizations have nearly doubled in the last two weeks. Federal personnel will work to expand Covid-19 testing and canvass neighborhoods to talk to the unvaccinated about receiving the shot. The administration also sent 1-2 person teams to a handful of other states in the South and West. Federal officials are helping Illinois, Missouri, Colorado and Arkansas with genomic sequencing and outbreak investigations.
But many other states are in a holding pattern.
“There have been recent discussions between Wyoming pandemic leadership about various federal resources that might be made available to support us here, but no firm plans have been set,” said Kim Deti, a spokesperson for Wyoming’s public health department.
Privately, at least two senior administration officials are skeptical that federal personnel can do much to boost vaccination rates, especially in conservative areas where skepticism of Covid vaccines and government run high. The next few weeks and months of the vaccine push will be slow, those officials said, and should fall largely on political and health leaders trusted by the local community.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who has spoken with the White House about getting surge team help, is traveling across the state trying to boost vaccination rates. Arkansas is now giving first doses to less than 17,000 people each week, according to the CDC. Despite the stalled vaccination campaign and a surge in cases spurred by the Delta variant, the state has no plans for a mask mandate or new restrictions on gatherings.
But several other Republican governors are either ignoring vaccination plansor actively undermining the effort.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said he opposed any federal officials coming to Missouri to help with the vaccination campaign, while South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster warned state agencies against working with anyone from the White House who is promoting vaccination. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said his state has “no plans to participate in the federal government’s door-to-door initiative,” and the federal government has not offered to do so.
And in Tennessee, the health department this week fired Michelle Fiscus, the state’s top vaccine official, after legislators alleged the department was encouraging teenagers to get vaccinated even without their parents permission.
“The morale amongst my colleagues is really critically low,” she told POLITICO. “We have just come from working 90-hour weeks trying to launch vaccines in our states … and a large number of those who are eligible refused to receive it.”
Charlie Watts has been an integral member of The Rolling Stones for many years. The drums provide the backbone to any song, and his work has seen Modern Drummer induct him into their hall of fame. But how long has Charlie Watts actually been in the band, and is he a founder?
Contrary to popular belief, Charlie Watts was not a founder of The Rolling Stones.
Given his name is synonymous with the band’s many have assumed this was where he started.
However, Charlie was in another band before he joined The Rolling Stones, who had already begun to form at the time.
Charlie was born in London on June 2, 1941, and grew up in Wembley near jazz musician Dave Green, with whom Charlie played some early gigs.
Charlie and Dave used to play jazz records together in Charlie’s room, and at the age of 13 he started playing the drums and was given his first drum kit in 1955.
The drummer would play along with the records he owned in the evenings after school, but attended Harrow Art School until 1960, where he learned how to do graphic design.
He worked in this field for an advertising company, but would still play drums with local bands, as well as performing with Dave in 1958 and 1959.
Charlie transitioned to more rhythm and blues music, telling The New Yorker: “I went into rhythm and blues. When they asked me to play, I didn’t know what it was. I thought it meant Charlie Parker, played slow.”
In 1961 he met Alexis Korner, the founder of band Blues Incorporated, which once also included Brian Jones and Ian Stewart.
He kept a job at an advertising company doing graphic design while he played with Alexis, and in 1962 he met his future Rolling Stones colleagues.
However, it was Brian who brought the original group together after he advertised for new bandmates, which saw Sir Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Ian reply.
For a while, the band had a few different drummers keeping them afloat, but they always wanted Charlie to come and join them.
In the end, in January 1963, about six months after the band formed, Charlie joined the group and has remained with the band until the present day.
Other than Keith and Sir Mick, Charlie is one of the only early members to still be part of the band, though he is not considered to be a founder of the group.
One thing which sets Charlie apart from his band members is his activities outside of the band, which have been many and varied.
At first, he contributed graphic art to records from the band, including the Between the Buttons record sleeve and the tour announcement in New York City in 1975.
He and Sir Mick also designed elaborate stages for their tours, with Charlie’s graphic skills coming in handy.
Charlie has made various comic strips, including Ode to a High Flying Bird in tribute to Charlie Parker, who was truly a love of his from the early days.
He performed in jazz troupes throughout his career with the Rolling Stones, even organising a tribute to Charlie Parker in 1991 and forming a quintet and a tentet to perform around the world, most prominently at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club.
In his private life, Charlie married his wife Shirley before the band became famous, on October 14, 1964.
They have one daughter, Seraphina, who was born in March 1968.
Tottenham will be desperate for good news after star man Harry Kane limped off with yet another ankle problem after scoring twice in the 2-2 draw at Everton. Kane was seen shaking his head as he made his way back to the changing rooms after being forced to leave the field in stoppage time with the injury.
Kane appeared to get his ankle trapped under Richarlison following a set piece and the impact of the collision saw him roll his ankle.
The England captain has had plenty of misfortune with his ankles in recent seasons, having suffered ligament damage on two separate occasions.
He also rolled his ankle earlier this season in the 3-1 defeat to Liverpool but made a miraculous recovery, returning for Tottenham’s Premier League clash with West Brom two games later.
Now Tottenham need another miracle when discovering the extent of the damage, with Kane expected to be assessed tomorrow.
They have another Premier League game next week against Southampton before undoubtedly their biggest game of the season.
Spurs face Manchester City in the Carabao Cup final later month and Jose Mourinho’s job is on the line.
Should he fail to win his first trophy as Tottenham boss, he could be facing the sack at the end of the season.
Tottenham lost further ground in the race for the top-four tonight after sharing the points at Goodison Park.
They were ahead in the first half through Kane before former Tottenham midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson struck twice.
Kane then responded with his second and nearly had a hat-trick when his header clipped the woodwork.
But the game ended on a sour note for the visitors as Kane hobbled away, something that is now a major worry for Tottenham.
Gareth Southgate will also be concerned about his skipper as he was watching on from the stands at Goodison Park.
Mourinho though, remains optimistic that Kane will be fit for the final and refused to be drawn into the negativity surrounding the injury.
“It is too early to say something. For him to leave the pitch with a few minutes to go is obviously because he felt something. Let me be optimistic and believe that he has time to recover. Let’s see,” he told Sky Sports.
“Let me be optimistic and believe it’s nothing serious. It’s obvious he’s a very important player for us. I cannot say much or speculate.
“Both [Kane’s goals] were from crosses but it was great finishing. It’s the kind of player that when you see the first touch and the control, we are used to seeing it in training and we know it is fantastic finishing. Two beautiful goals but not a surprise for the ones who see him do it every day in training.”
The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were always considered rivals in the music industry. Although they grew up and performed around the same time, they were always pitted against one another in both the press and within the charts. Paul McCartney once recalled how the two bands would share equipment and help each others’ roadies with their gear. Their friendly relationship even progressed to the point where a member of the Stones featured on one of the Fab Four’s tracks, You Know My Name (Look Up The Number).
The track was released as a B-side on their hit song Let It Be on March 6, 1970.
The song has one lyric, its title, and continues chanting the words through an increasingly chaotic set of sounds.
McCartney once described it as “lounge-style music,” reminiscent of listening to an artist in a smokey underground bar.
John Lennon spoke about how he first came up with the idea long before he began recording it.
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Lennon said: “That was a piece of unfinished music that I turned into a comedy record with Paul.
“I was waiting for him in his house, and I saw the phone book was on the piano with you know the name, look up the number. That was like a logo, and I just changed it.
“It was going to be a Four Tops kind of song – the chord changes are like that – but it never developed, and we made a joke of it.”
In a final reveal, he added: “Brian Jones is playing saxophone on it.”
A month later, in 1969, Jones was found dead in his swimming pool aged just 27-years-old.
The guitarist’s inclusion on The Beatles track is one of the final songs released with his credit on.
Before Jones’ legendary addition to the song, McCartney revealed Lennon brought You Know My Name (Look Up The Number) to him at 15-minutes long.
He said: “It was John’s original idea, and that was the complete lyric.”
McCartney went on: “He brought it in originally as a 15-minute chant when he was in space-cadet mode, and we said: ‘Well, what are we going to do with this then?’
“He said: ‘It’s just like a mantra.’ So we said, ‘Okay, let’s just do it.’”
He later added: “We did it over a period of maybe two or three years. We started off and we just did 20 minutes and it didn’t work.
“Then we tried it again, and we had these endless, crazy fun sessions … And it was just so hilarious to put that record together.”
AUSTIN (KXAN) – Former Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody has been arrested in Travis County and charged with tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony. This stems from the deadly arrest of Javier Ambler II in March 2019.
Chody, 50, was booked and released Thursday after posting $ 15,000 bail. KXAN camera crews were there when Chody — now sporting a beard — both walked into the courthouse and again when he walked out a short time later.
It’s the second time in six months grand juries in Travis and Williamson Counties have indicted Chody and former Williamson County general counsel Jason Nassour, who worked under County Attorney Dee Hobbs. Nassour turned himself in to Travis County authorities on Wednesday and posted bail.
Each of the indictments for Chody and Nassour are over Ambler’s death and specifically what happened to video evidence of that arrest. Camera operators recording for the now-defunct “Live PD” reality show on A&E were on scene and recording.
The indictments charge Chody and Nassour with evidence tampering, a third-degree felony, accusing them of allowing the Live PD video to be destroyed.
Chody did not make any statements walking into or leaving the jail Thursday. Chody’s attorney, Gerry Morris, was not available for comment until Thursday evening, according to Morris’ law office.
“Knowing that an investigation was pending or in progress, to wit: the in-custody death of Javier Ambler, intentionally or knowingly conceal or destroy audio and video recordings, by granting another permission to retrieve audio and video recordings with knowledge that the audio and video recordings would be destroyed no later than thirty (30) days after the audio and video recordings were captured, with intent to impair the availability as evidence in the investigation,” the Travis County indictment states.
Travis County District Attorney José Garza said Wednesday the Live PD video is still missing.
“Mr. Nassour was indicted today by a Travis County Grand Jury who found probable cause to believe that, knowing that an investigation was pending or in progress, Nassour tampered with physical evidence with the intent to impair its availability as evidence in the investigation,” Garza said.
“I know that these indictments will not bring peace to the Ambler family. No parent should have to bury their child,” Garza said. “But we remain committed to seeing this through on behalf of not just Javier Ambler, but also our community.”
On Wednesday, Ambler’s family thanked those involved in this new indictment.
“The jurors, Travis County, Williamson County, everyone who is trying to help us find some kind of justice and closure for us and for my son,” said Maritza Ambler, Javier Ambler II’s mother.
Deputies involved in Ambler’s death also arrested
On Tuesday, the Travis County grand jury also indicted the two Williamson County deputies who used a stun gun while arresting Ambler. The March 29 Travis County indictments accuse JJ Johnson and Zachary Camden of acting recklessly and ignoring pleas from Ambler that he couldn’t breathe as deputies worked to handcuff him.
Ambler’s encounter with Johnson and Camden started in Williamson County after Ambler didn’t dim his bright headlights, then wouldn’t stop when deputies tried to pull him over. The Williamson County grand jury did not indict Johnson or Camden during its review that ended with the Chody and Nassour indictment in September 2020.
Williamson County District Attorney Shawn Dick explained the reason for that was because Ambler died in Travis County — none of the alleged criminal acts against law enforcement happened in Williamson County.
Ambler led deputies on a 22-minute long chase out of Williamson County that ended inside Austin city limits when Ambler crashed. Austin police body camera video shows Johnson and Camden trying to handcuff Ambler as he lay on the ground beside his vehicle.
Since Ambler’s death happened inside Austin Police Department’s jurisdiction, APD took over the death investigation. An in-custody death report filed by APD Chief Brian Manley shows Ambler died 1 hour and 11 minutes after he was arrested.
The report shows Ambler’s manner of death as homicide but includes a note in the report that the homicide “includes Justifiable Homicide.”
The Custodial Death Report shows Ambler’s medical cause of death as “Congestive Heart Failure and Hypertensive Cardiovascular Disease Associated with Morbid Obesity, in combination with Forcible Restraint.” The report also lists other contributing conditions within Ambler’s medical condition as “Lymphocytic Myocarditis.”
The report also lists “law enforcement/correctional personnel” as the people “who caused the death.”
Attorneys for Johnson and Camden told KXAN neither deputy was “morally nor legally responsible” for Ambler’s death, citing Ambler’s health conditions detailed in the death investigation as the true cause.
The attorneys also indicated the Travis County District Attorney of carrying out “his political talking point,” of prosecuting officers. The deputies’ defense team also pointed out in a statement DA Garza did not ask either deputy or their defense team to testify before the grand jury.
“Contrary to widespread media mischaracterizations, Mr. Ambler was not pursued for failing to dim his headlights. He was pursued for the felony offense of evading arrest in a vehicle, and over the course of the twenty-two minute pursuit for an additional four counts of leaving the scene of an accident, one of which involved crashing through a homeowner’s fence,” the deputies’ defense attorneys Ken Ervin and Doug O’Connell wrote in a statement following the announcement of the Travis County indictments.
“Mr. Ambler’s fifth and final collision disabled his vehicle and prevented him from continuing to evade. Shortly thereafter, Mr. Ambler died because of congestive heart failure, hypertensive cardiovascular disease associated with morbid obesity, and lymphocytic myocarditis. Mr. Ambler’s physical exertion in resisting the three officers it took to get him into handcuffs no doubt contributed to his medical emergency, but Mr. Johnson and Mr. Camden are neither morally nor legally responsible for his death,” the attorneys wrote.
Johnson and Camden are free on $ 150,000 bond. A condition of bond bans either man from working in law enforcement or working as security officers while under bond awaiting trial.