COVID-19 'Pandemic'

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Pandemic risks worsening on Africa variants: Scientists
Author of the article:Bloomberg News
Bloomberg News
Antony Sguazzin
Publishing date:Sep 10, 2021 • 16 hours ago • 2 minute read • 40 Comments
In this file photo taken on June 24, 2020 One of the first South African Oxford vaccine trialists looks on as a medical worker injects him with the clinical trial for a potential vaccine against the COVID-19 coronavirus at the Baragwanath hospital in Soweto, South Africa.
In this file photo taken on June 24, 2020 One of the first South African Oxford vaccine trialists looks on as a medical worker injects him with the clinical trial for a potential vaccine against the COVID-19 coronavirus at the Baragwanath hospital in Soweto, South Africa. PHOTO BY SIPHIWE SIBEKO /AFP via Getty Images
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(Bloomberg) — The proliferation of COVID-19 variants in Africa, partly attributed to the low rates of vaccination on the continent, could lead to vaccine-evading mutations that complicate attempts to end the pandemic, a group of 112 African and 25 international organizations said.

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A study of genomes from 33 African nations and two “overseas territories,” published in the journal Science on Thursday, tracks the evolution of the pandemic across the continent and the emergence of a number of so-called Variants of Concern and Variants of Interest. One of those, beta, spread around the globe earlier this year and rendered some vaccines partially ineffective.


The “slow rollout of vaccines in most African countries creates an environment in which the virus can replicate and evolve,” the organizations said. “This will almost certainly produce additional VOCs, any of which could derail the global fight against COVID-19.”

While more than half of the population of the U.S. and over 60% of people living in the European Union are fully vaccinated, just 3.2% of Africa’s 1.2 billion people have been fully dosed. That’s resulted in a severe third wave of infections in many countries and the emergence of a new variant in South Africa known as C.1.2.

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The study showed that COVID-19 was introduced to most African nations from Europe, and in turn the continent has exported the variants it spawned back to European countries. Different strains of the virus spread around the continent mainly from South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya – three of the African countries with the strongest links to the wider world.

The beta variant, identified in South Africa in December, quickly raced as far north as the Democratic Republic of Congo, most likely along the road and rail routes that connect the country’s ports with the sub-continent, the study said.

The research is the first major output by Africa’s leading scientists in an effort to increase the continent’s ability to produce and analyze genomic data. Two variants in West Africa and East Africa, known as B.1.525 and A.23.1, need to be contained, it said.

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‘Assume the Worst’

“There is strong evidence that both of these VOIs are rising in frequency in the regions where they have been detected, which suggests that they may possess higher fitness than other variants,” the scientists said. “Although more focused research on the biological properties of these VOIs is needed to confirm whether they should be considered VOCs, it would be prudent to assume the worst.”

The study was done in cooperation with the World Health Organization and the Africa Centres for Disease Control & Prevention.

Africa has to date reported just over 200,000 deaths and just under 8 million confirmed coronavirus cases, according to Africa CDC. Yet testing is limited and anecdotal evidence points to a far more severe outbreak. In South Africa alone there have been more than 250,000 excess deaths, a measure of mortality against a historical average, since the pandemic began. Scientists assume most of those are due to Covid-19.

“If the virus keeps evolving on the African continent, this will become a global problem,” said Tulio de Oliveira, a bioninformatics professor who helped put together the study and runs gene-sequencing institutions at two South African universities. “It is our moral duty to try to protect Africa and the world.”
 

spaminator

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Unvaccinated people were 11 times more likely to die of covid-19: CDC report
Author of the article:Washington Post
Washington Post
Lena H. Sun and Joel Achenbach, The Washington Post
Publishing date:Sep 10, 2021 • 13 hours ago • 6 minute read • Join the conversation
Vials with Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine labels are seen in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2021.
Vials with Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine labels are seen in this illustration picture taken March 19, 2021. PHOTO BY DADO RUVIC /REUTERS
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People who were not fully vaccinated this spring and summer were more than 10 times more likely to be hospitalized, and 11 times more likely to die of covid-19 than those who were fully vaccinated, according to one of three major studies published Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that highlight the continued efficacy of all three vaccines amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant.

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A second study showed the Moderna coronavirus vaccine was moderately more effective in preventing hospitalizations than its counterparts from Pfizer-BioNTech and Johnson & Johnson. That assessment was based on the largest U.S. study to date of the real-world effectiveness of all three vaccines, involving about 32,000 patients seen in hospitals, emergency departments and urgent care clinics across nine states from June through early August.


While the three vaccines were collectively 86% effective in preventing hospitalization, protection was significantly higher among Moderna vaccine recipients (95%) than among those who got Pfizer-BioNTech (80%) or Johnson & Johnson (60%). That finding echoes a smaller study by the Mayo Clinic Health System in August, not yet peer-reviewed, which also showed the Moderna vaccine with higher effectiveness than Pfizer-BioNTech at preventing infections during the delta wave.

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Noting the effectiveness of all vaccines against severe illness and death, public health officials have continued to urge people to get whatever vaccine is available, rather than to shop around and delay inoculation.

“The bottom line is this: We have the scientific tools we need to turn the corner on this pandemic,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a White House covid-19 briefing Friday. “Vaccination works and will protect us from the severe complications of COVID-19.”

The trio of reports comes as President Joe Biden announced sweeping coronavirus vaccine mandates Thursday to curb the surging delta variant, which are expected to increase the pressure on the tens of millions of Americans who have resisted vaccinations. The virus has killed more than 650,000 people in the United States with about 1,500 average daily deaths for the past eight days – a toll not seen since early March, according to data analyzed by The Washington Post.

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The CDC studies offer some clarity in a confusing moment in the pandemic amid concerns about waning immunity and the vaccines’ protection against a more contagious variant. The data are broadly consistent with findings from other studies: The vaccines continue to provide strong protection for most people against hospitalization and death, even during this delta surge, but are less effective in protecting adults in the highest age brackets, especially those with underlying medical conditions.

The highly transmissible delta variant now accounts for more than than 99% of new coronavirus infections, the CDC estimates. Fear of waning protection against severe disease is why the administration hopes to roll out boosters as soon as health authorities give the green light. Pfizer is in line to be the first brand approved as a booster by the Food and Drug Administration since the company has submitted data on the safety and effectiveness of boosting its own two-shot regimen with a third shot of the same vaccine. Approval of the other vaccines is expected to follow in coming months.

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In the CDC report that analyzed vaccine effectiveness by brand, researchers looked at how well the vaccines protected against severe disease. They measured effectiveness against hospitalization and, separately, against trips to the emergency department or urgent care. Overall effectiveness in preventing emergency department or urgent care trips was 82%. Effectiveness was highest among Moderna recipients (92%), followed by Pfizer (77%) and then Johnson & Johnson (65%).

The CDC report doesn’t explain why Moderna might offer greater benefit. One possibility is that Moderna’s dose of mRNA is three times that of Pfizer-BioNTech’s. The interval between shots is also longer: four weeks for Moderna instead of three weeks for Pfizer-BioNTech. Some research has shown that longer intervals between shots — including much longer periods, beyond four weeks — could be advantageous to building immunity.

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But researchers found diminishing effectiveness against hospitalizations among adults 75 and older, and suggested the decline could be from waning immunity and the impact of a more contagious variant. But the report noted that “this moderate decline should be interpreted with caution and might be related to changes in the virus that causes covid-19, weakening vaccine-induced immunity as more time passes since vaccination, or a combination of factors.”


Nevertheless, the three vaccines showed continued robust protection for all adults– greater than 82% — for hospitalization, emergency room and urgent care trips.

“It is really, really great to have 82 percent effectiveness in the time of delta,” four to six months after many people have gotten vaccinated, said Eddie Stenehjem, one of the authors and an infectious- disease physician at Intermountain Healthcare, a health system based in Salt Lake City that participated in the study. “We hope this is reassurance to the general public.”

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Another CDC study shows that the vaccines endured some erosion as the delta variant became dominant, especially among adults 65 and older but protection against severe disease and death remained strong, albeit less so in that group. The CDC analyzed data on more than 600,000 covid-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths among people 18 and older by vaccination status reported from April 4 to July 17 in 13 states and cities.

The report estimated that vaccine effectiveness against infection dropped from 90 percent in the first part of that period, when delta had not yet gained significant traction, to under 80% from mid-June to mid-July, when delta began out-competing all other strains of the virus. Effectiveness against hospitalization and death showed barely any decline during the entire period.

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“Still achieving 80 percent is a very good number,” said Mehul Suthar, a virologist at Emory University who studies the coronavirus. “These vaccines still hold up against a highly transmissible variant.”

There were more breakthrough hospitalizations and deaths than during the spring, but not to a dramatic extent given the broadening of vaccination. Between June 20 and July 17, vaccinated people accounted for 14% of hospitalizations for covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, and 16% of deaths, roughly double the percentage seen in the spring, the CDC reported.

But that is not surprising, given that vaccinations increased dramatically across the country. An increased percentage of vaccinated people among those who are hospitalized or die would be expected when they account for a greater proportion of the population. The CDC said its data showed only a very small decline in protection against severe disease and death when the higher vaccination rates were taken into account.

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“The vaccines remain very protective against severe disease,” said William Moss, executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “I think we set our expectations too high for vaccines, thinking they were going to prevent people from getting infected and transmitting the virus.”

The third study looked at the effectiveness of the two mRNA vaccines among hospitalized people at five Veterans Affairs hospitals in Atlanta, New York, Houston, Los Angeles and Palo Alto, Ca. from Feb. 1 to Aug. 6. The report found the mRNA vaccines were 87% effective in preventing hospitalizations and remained highly effective even during delta’s predominance.

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Effectiveness in preventing hospitalizations dropped to 80% among those 65 and older, compared with 95% among those 18 to 64 years old.


The numbers reported Friday were a reminder of how top government health officials, as well as President Biden, had repeatedly used outdated CDC information, saying that breakthrough hospitalizations and deaths were extremely rare. Their message – that vaccinations are hugely beneficial – is largely supported by the new data, but they were relying on data that did not capture the effects of delta, relaxed public behaviour and naturally declining immunity.
 

spaminator

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Nicki Minaj and Piers Morgan launch Twitter war over vaccine impotency claim
Author of the article:WENN - World Entertainment News Network
Publishing date:Sep 14, 2021 • 5 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Nicki Minaj attends the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards Press Room at Radio City Music Hall on August 20, 2018 in New York.
Nicki Minaj attends the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards Press Room at Radio City Music Hall on August 20, 2018 in New York. PHOTO BY MATTHEW EISMAN /Getty Images
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Nicki Minaj and British newsman Piers Morgan spent much of Tuesday beefing after he mocked her outrageous claims suggesting a COVID vaccination made a friend impotent.

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On Monday, the rapper, who contracted the coronavirus while she was preparing for the MTV Video Music Awards on Sunday, revealed she would be skipping the 2021 Met Gala in New York, due to the fashion event’s strict vaccine requirement policy.


She also shared a story suggesting a cousin’s pal suffered from adverse side effects after being vaccinated in her native Trinidad.

She was criticized by Professor Chris Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, and America’s COVID expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and then outspoken Morgan chimed in, tweeting: “Professor Whitty beefing with the ghastly @NICKIMINAJ (one of the rudest little madams I’ve ever met) is not the breaking news that I expected today – but it’s most welcome. She’s peddling lies that will cost lives.”


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Minaj responded by insisting she had never met Piers, writing: “Sir I’ve never met you. I know… we all look alike. ‘Rudest little madam’. I like it. Has a special ring to it. Thanks Pierce (sic).


“Love the accent. I’d love to come chat. Scones. Tea. Clown nose & big red shoes for you. Lmk (let me know) babe.”

Morgan then reminded Nicki he met her when she performed on America’s Got Talent when he was a judge on the show.

“Madam, we met on @AGT when you appeared as a guest act – but you refused to say hello to my three young sons because you were ‘too busy’,” he wrote. “Oh, and it’s ‘Piers’ – I know, we Brit names all sound alike.”

Things then got a little heated as Minaj told the former CNN host to “stop f***ng lying” and then insisted one of her handlers would have been responsible for saying no to a meet and greet: “Don’t blame me you stupid piece of s***,” she snarled.
 

spaminator

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Ontario has tens of thousands experiencing 'long COVID-19' symptoms: Science group
The most common of more than 200 symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, general pain or discomfort, anxiety and depression.

Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Publishing date:Sep 14, 2021 • 13 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
The most common of more than 200 different long COVID symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, general pain or discomfort, anxiety and depression.
The most common of more than 200 different long COVID symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, general pain or discomfort, anxiety and depression. PHOTO BY STOCK ART /Getty Images
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The Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table says tens of thousands of people in the province are experiencing post-COVID-19 symptoms.

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In a brief released Tuesday, the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table says the symptoms of so-called long COVID can last from weeks to months after contracting the virus.


The group says a conservative estimate suggests between 57,000 and 78,000 Ontarians had or are currently experiencing long COVID symptoms.

The most common of more than 200 different symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, general pain or discomfort, anxiety and depression.


The science group says individuals experiencing such symptoms have difficulty performing daily activities and may require increased health-care resources.

The group is also calling for more research to help the health-care system better prepare to deal with the impact of long COVID in the future.
 

spaminator

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Calgary firm advances new trial, manufacturing of mRNA vaccine for COVID-19
Author of the article:Canadian Press
Canadian Press
Mia Rabson
Publishing date:Sep 14, 2021 • 13 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
In this file photo Nurse Kevin Sagun with Humber River Hospital draws a dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine before administering it at a LOFT community housing complex in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, March 26, 2021.
In this file photo Nurse Kevin Sagun with Humber River Hospital draws a dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine before administering it at a LOFT community housing complex in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, March 26, 2021. PHOTO BY COLE BURSTON /AFP via Getty Images
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OTTAWA — Calgary-based Providence Therapeutics says it has signed two contracts to have its developmental mRNA vaccine for COVID-19 manufactured in Canada.

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The company says it has signed a $90-million, five-year contract with Emergent Biosolutions to make part of the drug substance, and also to fill and finish the vaccine, at its Winnipeg manufacturing plant.


Another $15-million contract was signed with Calgary’s Northern RNA firm to make some of the raw materials needed to produce the messenger RNA in the vaccine.

Providence this week reported that a Phase 1 trial, involving 60 adults between 18 and 64, showed its mRNA vaccine is producing immunity levels comparable to those produced by authorized mRNA vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

A Phase 2 clinical trial in 525 people is now about to begin to further test the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.

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Canada has yet to authorize a made-in-Canada vaccine for COVID-19 and has relied mostly on importing mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna.

As of Tuesday, 26 million Canadians have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and another 2.4 million people have received their first dose.


Canada’s lacklustre manufacturing capacity for vaccines was a major issue heading into the COVID-19 vaccination procurement process and the federal government is working to expand the industry.

The vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer are the first mRNA products authorized for widespread use and have been critical to helping slow the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada and elsewhere.

The technology is being researched for use on a number of other conditions including cancers and influenza.

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Moderna recently signed an agreement to build a manufacturing plant for its mRNA vaccine somewhere in Canada, but the location has yet to be chosen. Earlier this week Moderna announced it has also signed a contract with National Resilience for the latter to start producing the mRNA used in Moderna’s vaccine.

The federal government last spring invested almost $200 million to help Resilience expand its manufacturing facility in Mississauga, Ont., so it can make more vaccines, including mRNA vaccines.

Emergent BioSolutions is based in Maryland and has multiple facilities in the U.S., Canada and Europe. The company was heavily criticized earlier this year when a mistake in manufacturing at one site in Baltimore, Md., led to the destruction of at least 60 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.
 

spaminator

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Nicki Minaj's COVID-19 vaccine 'swollen testicles' claim is false, says Trinidad health minister
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Sep 15, 2021 • 8 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
In this file photo, Nicki Minaj arrives for the 2019 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City, May 6, 2019.
In this file photo, Nicki Minaj arrives for the 2019 Met Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City, May 6, 2019. PHOTO BY ANGELA WEISS /AFP via Getty Images / Files
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PORT OF SPAIN — Trinidad and Tobago Health Minister Terrence Deyalsingh on Wednesday criticized as “false” the claim by American rapper Nicki Minaj that a person on the Caribbean island suffered swollen testicles after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

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Trinidad-born Minaj sparked an international furor when she alleged on Twitter that her cousin in Trinidad refuses to get a vaccine because his friend become impotent after being vaccinated.


“His testicles became swollen. His friend was weeks away from getting married, now the girl called off the wedding,” Minaj, who has 22.6 million Twitter followers, said on Monday.


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The comments triggered an international backlash, with senior U.S. and British coronavirus officials condemning the claims.

Deyalsingh also denounced the statement by the Grammy-nominated artist as a waste of time.

“One of the reasons why we could not respond yesterday in real-time to Miss Minaj is that we had to check and make sure that what she was claiming was either true or false. Unfortunately, we wasted so much time yesterday running down this false claim,” Deyalsingh said.


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When asked about Minaj’s tweets, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, said there was a lot of misinformation on social media.

“I’m not blaming her for anything – but she should be thinking twice about propagating information that really has no basis as except a one-off anecdote, and that’s not what science is all about.”

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Nicki Minaj attends the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards Press Room at Radio City Music Hall on August 20, 2018 in New York.
Nicki Minaj and Piers Morgan launch Twitter war over vaccine impotency claim
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Nicki Minaj’s husband pleads guilty for failure to register as sex offender

Minaj said in a separate tweet that she had not been able to complete enough research of her own on the COVID-19 vaccines to get one in time for the Met Gala, a star-studded fundraiser for New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Later, Minaj added that she will get vaccinated to be able to tour.
 

spaminator

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Pennsylvania child hospitalized after consuming hand sanitizer
Author of the article:Denette Wilford
Publishing date:Sep 15, 2021 • 9 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
A bottle of hand sanitizer is seen on a pupil's desk.
A bottle of hand sanitizer is seen on a pupil's desk. PHOTO BY LEON NEAL /Getty Images
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A kindergarten student in Pennsylvania that knocked back half a bottle of hand sanitizer was taken to hospital where staff determined she had an elevated blood alcohol level.

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The five-year-old from Moon County was attending her second day of kindergarten. On her desk were her school supplies and a fresh bottle of hand sanitizer, reportedKDKA.


By lunch, the youngster had collapsed.

“The principal called and said to get to the school immediately,” the girl’s mom told the news station. “She was walking a little wobbly down the hall. By the time they got to the classroom, to the lunchroom, she fell and couldn’t sit up straight.”

The mom described her daughter as “completely out of it,” adding that she was scared and “had no idea (of the cause). The medic didn’t have any idea either.”

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Students arrive for the first time since the start of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic at Hunter's Glen Junior Public School, part of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada September 15, 2020.
Junior, senior kindergarten students must mask up: TDSB
Children and parents wearing protective face masks wait for a COVID-19 rapid antigen test in a primary school, as Austrian schools open for pupils after summer holidays, in Vienna, Austria, Monday, Sept. 6, 2021.
Keep your sick child at home so 'back to school' will succeed
A man sanitizes tabletop surfaces in a Kindergarten classroom at Hunter's Glen Junior Public School in Scarborough on Sept. 14, 2020.
COVID case reported in the news from before start of school: Principal

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The girl recovered in hospital but there were still no answers as to her daughter’s condition until the school called with the details.

“This class, each student has their own sanitizer pump bottle at their desk with their name on it for their personal use,” the mother said. “My daughter had consumed half of that bottle. She consumed six ounces of 70% alcohol.”


The station reported that Pennsylvania has seen an increase in kids ingesting hand sanitizer.

“In the last 18 months, more or less since the start of the pandemic, we’ve seen a 56% increase in hand sanitizer exposure cases compared to the 18 months prior to that,” said Dr. Michael Lynch, head of Pittsburgh Poison Center.

That’s’s about 2,300 cases, most under the age of five, with about 6% of those kids getting treated in hospital.

“Hand sanitizers will typically have 70% or so ethanol, which means they’re about 140 proof,” explained Lynch. “Even a small amount can be enough to get intoxicated.”
 

Ron in Regina

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Pfizer presented data showing how the vaccine’s protection declined six to eight months after the second dose, becoming gradually less effective in two-month intervals. Vaccine efficacy fell about 6 per cent every two months after the second dose, down from 96.2 per cent a week after full vaccination to 83.7 per cent more than four months later.

The company also cited Israeli data showing that a third booster shot restored protection up to 95 per cent against COVID-19, documents filed to the FDA show.

Separately, Moderna shared data on Wednesday also showing the protection afforded by its vaccine wanes over time.

“The increased risk of breakthrough infections in . . . participants who were vaccinated last year compared to more recently illustrates the impact of waning immunity and supports the need for a booster to maintain high levels of protection,” said Stéphane Bancel, Moderna chief executive.

The rest of the story here: http://apple.news/ALASrCa-oSaSYFZLFhD_-ww
 

pgs

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Pfizer presented data showing how the vaccine’s protection declined six to eight months after the second dose, becoming gradually less effective in two-month intervals. Vaccine efficacy fell about 6 per cent every two months after the second dose, down from 96.2 per cent a week after full vaccination to 83.7 per cent more than four months later.

The company also cited Israeli data showing that a third booster shot restored protection up to 95 per cent against COVID-19, documents filed to the FDA show.

Separately, Moderna shared data on Wednesday also showing the protection afforded by its vaccine wanes over time.

“The increased risk of breakthrough infections in . . . participants who were vaccinated last year compared to more recently illustrates the impact of waning immunity and supports the need for a booster to maintain high levels of protection,” said Stéphane Bancel, Moderna chief executive.

The rest of the story here: http://apple.news/ALASrCa-oSaSYFZLFhD_-ww
Two boosters a year for eternity.
 

taxslave

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Gotta keep taxpayers buying placebos. The way mRNA was explained to me one shot in a healthy person should be good for life.
Are we simply financing huge paycheques for the owners of Big Pharma?
 

petros

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Vaccines aren't a big earner. The manufacturing packaging and distribution cost more than the contents.

Even if it's efficacy drops to 10% your still have a solid head start against infection.
 

pgs

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Decapoda

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Excellent watch!! I normally don't post youtube videos, but this one really resonated.




And one more if anyone's interested.

 
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