COVID-19 'Pandemic'

Danbones

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DR. FAUCI HAS SOME EXPLAINING TO DO AFTER FUNDING BANNED PROCEDURES​


Sen. Paul said,


“There’s a huge ethical question about the origins of the virus. The ethical question is should we be doing gain of function, should we be upgrading animal viruses in the lab to make them more susceptible to humans… We have to ask Dr. Fauci, why did he in overseeing these labs allowed gain of function? Why did he allow labs to get money to upgrade animal viruses so they can infect humans? We got worried about this around 2 or 3 years ago. We closed down about half of them but then Dr. Fauci and his committees opened them back up. We need to ask him why are we doing this in China but are we doing this in the US?”

Take a look: (fox news video at link)
 

spaminator

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More than 5,000 international air travellers positive for COVID-19 since February
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Mia Rabson
Publishing date:May 03, 2021 • 20 hours ago • 1 minute read • 34 Comments
Passengers arrive at Toronto's Pearson airport after mandatory coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing took effect for international arrivals February 1, 2021.
Passengers arrive at Toronto's Pearson airport after mandatory coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing took effect for international arrivals February 1, 2021. PHOTO BY CARLOS OSORIO/FILE PHOTO /REUTERS
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OTTAWA — More than 5,000 people tested positive for COVID-19 after flying back to Canada since mandatory quarantine hotels began in late February.

That includes 3,748 people who tested positive the day they returned despite having to show a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than three days before they boarded their plane.


Forty per cent of those people were infected with one of the three variants of concern Canada is tracking.

Another 1,411 people tested positive on the test required 10 days after they returned.


The data is now current as of last Thursday, and the number of confirmed variants among travellers is three times as high as the data reported from seven days earlier as more test results were submitted to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

The data suggest about 1.5% of incoming travellers test positive on the day they land in Canada.
 

spaminator

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LILLEY: Thousands of COVID-infected travellers enter Canada
Author of the article:Brian Lilley
Publishing date:May 03, 2021 • 14 hours ago • 3 minute read • 107 Comments
The arrivals lineup in Terminal One at Pearson International Airport February 22, 2021.
The arrivals lineup in Terminal One at Pearson International Airport February 22, 2021. PHOTO BY JACK BOLAND /Toronto Sun
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More than a quarter of the people who have tested positive for COVID-19 after flying into Canada did so not at the airport but 10 days later at home.

Between Feb. 22, when the mandatory federal test started, and April 29, a total of 5,159 people tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving by air.

So much for travel not being an issue as the Trudeau government continues to claim.

There were 3,748 people who tested positive when they landed while another 1,411 tested positive when they conducted the home test. A full 40% of those who tested positive were carrying one of the variants of concern.

The number of cases arriving by air increased dramatically in April and not exclusively on flights from India. More than 240 flights had people who tested positive upon arrival but those COVID-positive flights continued even after flights from India and Pakistan were banned.

The number of COVID positive cases arriving by air jumped by 590 with 19 positive flights arriving in the week after the flight ban took effect. We’ve literally let in thousands of COVID passengers since Trudeau brought in his “tough” border measures, an average of about 500 cases per week, and about a quarter of them were quarantined at home when they test positive.

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None of this includes the people coming via the land border, who are not required to spend three days in a government-approved hotel.

Between April 12-18, there were 192,558 people who entered Canada at land border crossings. I’ve asked the Public Health Agency of Canada to provide details of how many have tested positive but so far, they can’t provide those figures.


If people crossing at the land border were showing the same positivity rate as air passengers, ranging 1.5% to 2.26%, then we would be seeing between 2,888 and 4,351 new cases a week come in via the land border. True, those people would be required to quarantine at home but that doesn’t mean what you think it means.

Federal government rules simply state you need to keep your distance from others in your home while under quarantine. I just heard from one man who indicated when he came across the land border, the government told him that his wife, an essential worker, can continue to leave the house to go to work while he quarantines.

This is a couple living together in a suburban home. If they wanted to stay apart, they could.

In other cases, people are spending quarantine in a full house, like the student I wrote about recently staying in a home with 12 others when she tested positive after entering Canada.

The issues at our border aren’t simply that we let in flights, or cars, with people who are carrying the virus. Our quarantine rules and entry rules are so lax.

At the beginning of December, there were no B.1.1.7 variants in Ontario, but now this variant from the U.K. accounts for 90% of cases.

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Those who can enter Canada include immediate and extended family members of Canadian citizens or permanent residents, international students, and athletes participating in high-level competitions.

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It’s against the rules for me to drive 45 minutes to see my mother, but she could bring her brother into Canada without any issues?

What Trudeau calls the most stringent border measures in the world are anything but — and the numbers back that up.

It’s time for him to get serious about who is allowed in and how those allowed in spend their quarantine period.
 

spaminator

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NACI advice on 'preferred vaccines' for COVID-19 sparks confusion, anger
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Publishing date:May 04, 2021 • 1 hour ago • 4 minute read • 32 Comments
Syringes with the AstraZeneca vaccine are pictured in Laakso hospital in Helsinki, Finland, March 11, 2021.
Syringes with the AstraZeneca vaccine are pictured in Laakso hospital in Helsinki, Finland, March 11, 2021. PHOTO BY ESSI LEHTO /REUTERS / FILES
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OTTAWA — The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered.

NACI said Monday that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are “preferred” and that Canadians should weigh the risks of waiting for one of them before deciding whether to take a more immediate jab of either of the other two approved for use in Canada.


The Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines have been linked to a new and extremely rare blood-clotting syndrome.

Because of that, Dr. Shelly Deeks, vice-chair of the committee, said someone working from home in a province where there is not much disease might want to wait for a shot of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

But she said it would be a very different risk-benefit analysis for someone working in a manufacturing plant without personal protective equipment in a province where COVID-19 is spreading like wildfire.

NACI’s advice appears to contradict Health Canada’s long-standing recommendation that the best vaccine is the first one available.

Some doctors took to social media to denounce NACI’s latest advice, warning that the committee is sowing confusion and exacerbating vaccine hesitancy.

“It pains me to say this but it’s past time to take NACI’s recommendations with a grain of salt,” emergency physician Dr. Brian Goldman said on Twitter.

“For the good of your health, DO NOT be choosy when it comes to #covidvaccines. Take the first one you’re offered.”

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People who got innoculated with AstraZeneca also took to social media to express anger that they’d been hoodwinked into getting a second-rate vaccine while others questioned whether they should cancel planned first jabs of that vaccine or refuse a second dose of it.

One Twitter user noted acidly that NACI’s advice boils down to “people who are most at risk should settle for a vaccine with the most risk because they are most at risk.”

NACI chair, Dr. Caroline Quach-Thanh, only made matters worse in trying to explain the committee’s advice during an interview Monday on CTV’s Power and Politics.

“If for instance my sister got the AstraZeneca vaccine and died of a thrombosis when I know it could have been prevented and that she is not in a high risk area, I’m not sure I could live with it,” she said.


The risk of the new blood-clotting syndrome, known as vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia, or VITT, is estimated to be anywhere from one case in 100,000 doses given, to one in 250,000. But the syndrome is so new, there is still little known about what the real risk is, why it is happening and who might be most likely to develop clots.

Seven cases have been reported to date in Canada, all in people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine. Some 1.7 million doses of which had been given out as of April 24.

As of April 23, 17 cases of VITT had been confirmed out of more than eight-million doses of the J&J vaccine administered in the United States.

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Health Canada has approved J&J for use in Canada but no Canadian has yet received it as the first batch delivered last week is still being investigated following reports of safety and quality control violations at the American facility involved in its production.

NACI suggests that provinces and territories might want to prioritize J&J, the only single-shot vaccine approved in Canada so far, for people who have difficulty scheduling a second dose. It recommends that J&J, like AstraZeneca, be given only to people over the age of 30.

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel Garner raised the confusion NACI’s latest advice has created in the House of Commons on Monday.

“This is a lot different than what we have been hearing. Does Health Canada advise taking the first vaccine offered or to wait, if one can, for an mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) vaccine?” she asked.

Health Minister Patty Hajdu responded that Health Canada is responsible for approving vaccines for use while NACI provides independent advice on how best to administer them. She advised Canadians wondering which vaccine is right for them to ask their health-care provider.

Both AstraZeneca and J&J are viral-vector vaccines, a technology that takes a common cold virus, manipulates it so it can’t replicate and make someone sick, and then attaches the spike protein of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19. The vaccine helps the body mount an immune response that will recognize and fight off a real SARS-CoV-2 virus if it is ever exposed to one.

Pfizer and Moderna use mRNA technology, attaching the spike protein to a molecule that delivers messages to the body to carry out certain functions. In this case the message is to mount an immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

So far in Canada, 12.8 million people have received at least one dose of a vaccine. About two-thirds of them received Pfizer, one-fifth received Moderna and the rest AstraZeneca.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 4, 2021.
 

spaminator

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BAD NAME: Texas animal shelter faces backlash for naming dog 'Covid'
Author of the article:postmedia News
Publishing date:May 03, 2021 • 15 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
A Texas animal shelter named an up-for-adoption dog "Covid."
A Texas animal shelter named an up-for-adoption dog "Covid." PHOTO BY SCREEN GRAB /SCREEN GRAB
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Get your bark on!

A Texas animal shelter is on a short leash in the court of public opinion after naming a stray dog that’s up for adoption “Covid.”

Not surprisingly, the Amarillo Animal Management and Welfare pound in northwest Texas has angered animal advocates who say the name is “insulting” and would hinder the animal’s chances of getting adopted.

The pound where the American Staffordshire and Terrier mix is up for adoption regularly euthanizes 20-25% of its animals, according to data.

“These dogs need everything to help them get adopted,” Dana Fuchs, a New York-based animal advocate and opinion writer who tracks killings at the shelter, told the New York Post.

“The name to me is just so insulting to all the people that have died from this illness and from the brutal process of death that this dog is probably going to undergo … you’re mocking what that dog is going to go through and you’re mocking, metaphorically, all the people that have died (from the virus.)”


The black and white mutt has since been renamed Carl following the backlash.

The dog’s adoption page photo is also unflattering and Fuchs said it would have taken a “miracle” to get him adopted.

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The situation has infuriated animal activists.

“Anyone naming an animal “Covid,” especially in a shelter which is trying to adopt out the animals, has no business working there,” wrote Barbara Stiles.
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B00Mer

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More than 5,000 international air travellers positive for COVID-19 since February

 

spaminator

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LILLEY: Our leaders need to clarify mixed messages about vaccines
Author of the article:Brian Lilley
Publishing date:May 04, 2021 • 19 hours ago • 3 minute read • 116 Comments
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is inoculated with AstraZeneca's vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a pharmacy in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada April 23, 2021.
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is inoculated with AstraZeneca's vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a pharmacy in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada April 23, 2021. PHOTO BY BLAIR GABLE /REUTERS
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What is the average person to do when it comes to deciding whether to get vaccinated or which vaccine to take?

I’m not talking about anti-vaxxers; I’m talking about average people who are rightly confused by competing messages from our government.


“The right vaccine for you to take is the very first vaccine that you are offered,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said time and again during the past two months or more.

He reiterated that sentiment on Tuesday amid the furor over mixed messages from government.

“Make sure you get your shot when it’s your turn. We are continuing to recommend to everyone to get vaccinated as quickly as possible, so we can get through this,” Trudeau said.

For the most part, I agree with him. I’ve found the scare over AstraZeneca’s vaccine and concerns about blood clots to be overblown and without context, and now we’re seeing the same thing with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

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It’s not that I don’t understand that there are risks associated with blood clots and these vaccines, but the relative risk is lower than catching COVID and dealing with complications of that. The risk is also lower than many common prescription drugs Canadians take every day.

This kind of context has been missing from many of the statements not only in the media but from top medical officials in Canada. Now, hesitancy on these vaccines is being driven by statements from those medical officials.

“What we’re saying, and what we’ve been saying all along, is that the mRNA vaccines are the preferred vaccines,” said Dr. Shelley Deeks.

Deeks is a communicable disease and vaccine safety expert, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto’s school of public health, and vice-chair of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).


While she didn’t say that vector vaccines such as AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson aren’t safe, she explained there are risks and mRNA vaccines are preferred. If that doesn’t make anyone who is still awaiting a vaccine sit up and take notice, I don’t know what will.

The chair of NACI, Dr. Caroline Quach-Thanh, went further in scaring people away from these vaccines during an appearance on CTV’s Power and Politics on Monday.

“If for instance my sister got the AstraZeneca vaccine and died of a thrombosis when I know it could have been prevented and that she is not in a high-risk area, I’m not sure I could live with it,” she said.

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What Quach-Thanh has said is the vaccine Trudeau and his wife took on live television less than two weeks ago, isn’t one she, as head of NACI, would recommend to her own family. That has to leave Trudeau, and millions of Canadians, wondering if they did the right thing.

There have been more than 2.3 million doses of AstraZeneca delivered in Canada, most of them have been used up already. More than 300,000 doses of Johnson & Johnson have arrived but are being evaluated over safety concerns.

Now they may not be used because many in the public won’t want them.

Conservative health critic Michelle Rempel Garner has been asking for clarity from Health Minister Patty Hajdu for two days now and gotten nowhere.

Rempel Garner has asked what the advice from Health Canada is and whether Canadians who have received an AstraZeneca shot will need one or more shots of Pfizer and Moderna to be fully vaccinated.

Hajdu has responded to legitimate questions for the government by claiming Rempel Garner doesn’t understand the issue and claiming she is instilling fear by asking the question. No, the fear is being driven by statements from the doctors at NACI and competing advice from elsewhere.

Canadians need clarity on this, and they are not getting it from their leaders.
 

spaminator

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Canada needs more help with COVID-19, prominent U.S. vaccine expert urges White House
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
James McCarten
Publishing date:May 04, 2021 • 17 hours ago • 5 minute read • 17 Comments
Nurse Brenda Lotakoun draws a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as nurses from Humber River Hospital staff administer vaccines to residents, staff, and volunteers at one of B'nai Brith Canada's affordable housing buildings in Toronto, March 23, 2021.
Nurse Brenda Lotakoun draws a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine as nurses from Humber River Hospital staff administer vaccines to residents, staff, and volunteers at one of B'nai Brith Canada's affordable housing buildings in Toronto, March 23, 2021. PHOTO BY COLE BURSTON /Getty Images
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WASHINGTON — The United States can and should do more to help Canadians get vaccinated against COVID-19, says a prominent Texas doctor, adding to the pressure on the White House to do more beyond America’s borders to end the pandemic.

Dr. Peter Hotez, a vaccine expert and a familiar face to cable news viewers in both countries, says the U.S. has more than enough capacity to expand its largely successful vaccination efforts into neighbouring countries, including Canada.


In an interview Monday with The Canadian Press, Hotez said he had assumed — like a lot of Americans — that Canada had essentially been keeping pace with the U.S. in terms of getting its citizens the protection they need.

Then he looked at the numbers.

“I was really astonished — only about a third of the country has received a single dose, and essentially no one’s gotten fully vaccinated,” said Hotez, who is dean of the school of tropical medicine at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

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“I can’t believe the U.S. is not out there helping, given that the amount of doses we would have to provide is relatively modest ⦠(and is) oblivious to the fact that it’s in our own enlightened self-interest to do it.”

Hotez called it “ridiculous” to think that transmission of the virus would be stopped by vaccinating Detroit without vaccinating Windsor, Ont., which is just across the Ambassador Bridge on the other side of the Detroit River.

And Canada’s roughly 38 million people represent a fraction of the 332 million people in the U.S., a “rounding error” in terms of the number of vaccine doses it would require, he added.


“The point is, there are emotional reasons to do it and pragmatic reasons to do it.”

Canada, however, is not the only country that needs help.

Mexico, which also shares a U.S. border, is doing significantly worse than Canada at vaccinating its 130 million residents. And the searing tragedy of a fresh wave in India, along with mounting worry about Brazil, is putting the White House under intense pressure to step up.

Canada and Mexico are both eyeing a growing American surplus of Oxford-AstraZeneca doses, approved for use in those countries but not in the U.S. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said a decision on how best to share those doses is in the works.

“There are a range of requests we’ve had from around the world, and we’re evaluating those needs now, but I can’t get ahead of that process,” Psaki said.

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Hotez said those doses would have only a marginal impact in India, a country of 1.4 billion people where the virus has spiralled out of control in recent weeks, overwhelming hospitals and exhausting supplies of basic needs like oxygen.

“The India one is a more complicated issue — yes, we should be providing doses, but the real priority for India is a bit different because of the scope,” he said.

“It’s not that we shouldn’t do it. It’s that it’s got to go far beyond that.”


The U.S. is already helping India with raw materials and parts for vaccine-making equipment, and is still deciding on how to distribute its surplus AstraZeneca doses, President Joe Biden said Tuesday.

“We are going to, by the 4th of July, have sent about 10 per cent of what we have to other nations,” Biden said, without mentioning specific countries beyond the 4 million AstraZeneca doses already shared with Mexico and Canada.

The U.S. will soon begin sharing doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines beyond its borders as well, he promised.

“As long as there’s a problem anywhere in the world, even if we solve it here, we’re going to move as quickly as we can to get as many doses of Moderna and Pfizer as possibly can be produced, and export those around the world.”

A growing chorus of international voices, including progressive lawmakers in the U.S., is calling on Biden to agree to a proposal before the World Trade Organization that would ease patent and intellectual property protections, allowing developing countries to accelerate their own vaccine-manufacturing efforts.

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The powerful American pharmaceutical industry is opposed to such a move, fearing an existential threat to a profitable business model.

“We are at war with the virus, and yet what we are seeing is war profiteering; we’re seeing that profits are being put over people,” U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat, told a panel discussion Tuesday.

“The World Health Organization has said that there’s been a billion vaccine doses distributed, but just 0.3 per cent of those doses have gone to poor and developing countries. And that is just totally unacceptable.”

Schakowsky and others are backing a bid by India and South Africa for a waiver to a 27-year-old WTO agreement that essentially protects pharmaceutical trade secrets, a movement that has been gradually gaining steam in recent weeks.

Brajendra Navnit, India’s ambassador to the WTO, made an impassioned plea Tuesday for the so-called TRIPS waiver, insisting that the financial cost of sharing the information would be recovered tenfold in the resulting economic recovery.

“Anyone thinking India’s example has shown that ⦠we are saved by vaccinating their own population, it is not going to happen,” Navnit said.

“We have seen that in measles, we have seen that in smallpox, we have seen recently in polio that only when you do global immunization, only then can you get rid of the virus.”

Amnesty International released a poll Tuesday that found a majority of respondents in G7 countries supported the idea of requiring drug companies to share their vaccine formulas and technology in exchange for government compensation.

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That included about three-quarters of the 1,526 people who took part in the Canadian portion of the poll, conducted in early March by Leger.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau acknowledged the no-one-is-safe-until-everyone-is-safe argument Tuesday but stopped short of saying whether Canada would vote to support the waiver proposal.

“We understand how important it is to get vaccines to the most vulnerable around the world, and we will keep working for that,” he said.

Biden, who promised during the election campaign that the U.S. would share its vaccine know-how with the world, also demurred: “We’re going to decide that as we go along.”
 

spaminator

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New Brunswick reports blood clot death after AstraZeneca vaccine
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Publishing date:May 05, 2021 • 1 hour ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
In this file photo a medical worker prepares a dose of the Covishield, AstraZeneca-Oxford's Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine, at a vaccination center in Srinagar on April 9, 2021 as India surged past 13 million coronavirus cases.
In this file photo a medical worker prepares a dose of the Covishield, AstraZeneca-Oxford's Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine, at a vaccination center in Srinagar on April 9, 2021 as India surged past 13 million coronavirus cases. PHOTO BY TAUSEEF MUSTAFA /AFP via Getty Images
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FREDERICTON — New Brunswick health officials are reporting the province’s first death of someone who developed a blood clot after receiving the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell says the individual in their 60s received the vaccine in mid-April and developed symptoms a week later.


She says the person was admitted to hospital and died two days later.

Russell told a news conference today the risk of complications from the vaccine remains very low, between one in 100,000 and one in 250,000 doses.

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She says hundreds of thousands of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered across Canada, the vast majority of them without incident.

The province has had two confirmed cases of the rare blood-clotting syndrome known as vaccine-induced thrombotic thrombocytopenia, or VITT.

More coming.