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Covid News Watch

Nov 12, 2021

Thousands of Double-Jabbed Over 50s Have Died From COVID in Last 4 Weeks + More

Revealed: Thousands of Double-Jabbed Over 50s Have Died From COVID in Last 4 Weeks

Yahoo!News UK reported:

More than 2,500 fully vaccinated over 50s have died from COVID-19 in the past month in England, new data shows.

In a report published by the UK Health Security Agency analysis revealed 2,683 fully vaccinated over 50s have died within 28 days of positive COVID test in the last four weeks.

The figures reflect the fact that the vast majority in this age group has had at least two COVID vaccines.

30 Fully Vaccinated Massachusetts Residents Died of COVID in First Week of November

International Business Times reported:

At least 30 fully vaccinated people in Massachusetts have died of COVID-19 over the past week as the number of breakthrough cases continues to rise.

Health officials in Massachusetts recorded 30 breakthrough COVID-19 deaths between Oct. 30 and Nov. 6, raising the state’s cumulative coronavirus deaths among the fully vaccinated to 468. The number of deaths represents 0.01% of the state’s inoculated population.

COVID-19 cases among the vaccinated also rose by 4,608 during the same period. As of Nov. 6, the state recorded a total of 58,807 breakthrough COVID infections, representing 1.2% of the state’s fully vaccinated population.

Wealthier Parents More Likely to Get COVID Vaccines for Young Kids: Poll

U.S. News & World Report reported:

In a finding that suggests a family’s income influences parents’ views on COVID vaccines for their younger kids, a new survey shows the more money parents make, the likelier they are to get their kids a shot.

The poll of more than 2,000 parents found that 47% of those with annual incomes of $100,000 or more were willing to get their children ages 5-11 vaccinated, compared with just 37% of those with incomes between $75,000 and $99,000, and only 34% of those with incomes under $50,000, CNN reported.

Regulator Reviewing Reports of ‘Rare’ and Serious Condition Linked to Moderna Vaccine

The Epoch Times reported:

Europe’s drug regulator on Thursday confirmed it is investigating reports of a blood condition in recipients of Moderna’s mRNA COVID-19 vaccine.

According to a bulletin posted by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), it is reviewing six cases of capillary leak syndrome, considered a “very rare disorder,” after they were reported in the EMA’s EudraVigilance database.

“At this stage, it is not yet clear whether there is a causal association between vaccination and the reports of capillary leak syndrome,” the EMA wrote on Thursday, adding that “these reports point to a safety signal…information on new, or changes in, adverse events that may potentially be associated with a medicine or vaccine and that warrant further investigation.”

CDC Hasn’t Updated COVID Vax Breakthrough Data — Agency Doesn’t Report Real-Time Breakthrough Data, but States Provide Some Answers

MedPage Today reported:

In mid-October, the CDC started publishing cases and deaths by vaccination status on its COVID Data Tracker for the first time. But the information was only current as of Sept. 4 — and the page hasn’t been updated since.

In addition, the CDC’s page on breakthrough hospitalizations by vaccination status is only current through the end of August.

It’s definitely a problem that here in the U.S., we have not had real-time, reliable data on breakthrough infections,” said Leana Wen, MD, a professor of health policy and management at George Washington University. “Why should we be waiting until we see Americans end up in the hospital with breakthrough infections before we take action and recommend boosters more broadly?”

Moderna Says COVID Vaccine Has Fewer Breakthrough Cases Than Pfizer’s, but Higher Myocarditis Rates in Young Men

CNBC reported:

Moderna defended the use of its COVID-19 vaccine Thursday, saying the protection it offers against severe disease, hospitalization and death outweighs the risk of myocarditis, a rare heart condition seen in a small number of young men who received the shot.

Reported cases of the rare heart inflammation in men under age 30 are relatively higher after Moderna’s vaccine compared with those who received the shots made by Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna Chief Medical Officer Dr. Paul Burton told reporters on a call Thursday.

More Than 2 Million Ellume COVID Home Tests Recalled Due to False-Positives

CNN Health reported:

More than 2 million of Ellume’s at-home COVID-19 tests have been recalled by the company due to “higher-than-acceptable” false-positives.

Ellume first announced a voluntary recall of some of its rapid antigen tests in October due to an increased chance of false-positives. More than 2 million tests are now included in the recall, the US Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

Top Biden Health Officials Push to Make Coronavirus Booster Shots Available to All Adults

The Washington Post reported:

Anxious about a surge of coronavirus infections enveloping Europe as cases tick up in the United States, senior health officials in the Biden administration are pressing urgently to offer vaccine booster shots to all adults. But support for the renewed push is not unanimous.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky has expressed caution about making extra shots so broadly available now, according to several officials familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. As a result, tension is rising among officials over how quickly to proceed and who should get the shots.

With U.S. Aid Money, Schools Put Bigger Focus On Mental Health

Associated Press reported:

In Kansas City, Kansas, educators are opening an after-school mental health clinic staffed with school counselors and social workers. Schools in Paterson, New Jersey, have set up social emotional learning teams to identify students dealing with crises. Chicago is staffing up “care teams” with the mission of helping struggling students on its 500-plus campuses.

 With a windfall of federal coronavirus relief money at hand, schools across the U.S. are using portions to quickly expand their capacity to address students’ struggles with mental health.

EU Authorizes 2 Medicines for People at Risk of Severe COVID

Associated Press reported:

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended the authorization of two new medicines against the coronavirus for people at risk of severe disease.

In a statement on Thursday, the EU drug regulator said it had concluded that the monoclonal antibody treatments — a combination of casirivimab and imdevimab, and the drug regdanvimab — have both been proven to significantly reduce the risk of hospitalization and death in patients vulnerable to serious COVID-19.

The EMA said both regdanvimab and the casirivimab and imdevimab combination should be offered to people over age 12 who don’t yet require oxygen support, but are at risk of worsening COVID-19. It said the combination drug can also be used preventatively. Both drugs must be administered intravenously.

Minnesota Vikings’ Dakota Dozier Hospitalized for COVID Issues

ESPN reported:

A Minnesota Vikings player who is vaccinated was hospitalized Tuesday because he was having trouble breathing because of COVID-19, coach Mike Zimmer said Wednesday.

According to a source, the player is offensive guard Dakota Dozier, who was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday.

He is in stable condition now, per Zimmer, but remains hospitalized. When asked whether the player’s reaction was to the vaccine (booster) or COVID-19, Zimmer said: “No, it was COVID. I’m not a doctor, but it was COVID pneumonia or something — he had a hard time breathing.”

GSK-Vir COVID Antibody Works as Shot in the Arm as Well as Infusion

Reuters reported:

Britain’s GSK (GSK.L) and partner Vir (VIR.O) said on Friday their antibody-based COVID-19 drug was shown in a trial to work as well when given as a shot in the arm as when administered via the standard infusion, potentially offering more convenience.

GSK said it would now speak to global regulators, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, about potential approval for the new method of administration, known as intramuscular injection, which can be carried out by family doctors and spare patients a trip to hospital.

Sotrovimab is authorized for emergency use in the United States to prevent mild or moderate cases of COVID-19 from worsening. The European Medicines Agency has given its go-ahead for use by member states though EU-wide approval is still outstanding.

‘I Went Home and Cried:’ U.S. Employers Offer Few Protections for Pregnant Workers

The Guardian reported:

Jennifer, a family nurse practitioner in Texas, told her employer a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic that she was pregnant and requested changes to her work to limit her exposure to COVID-19.

Instead of providing her with accommodations to her work that would reflect her pregnancy, her managers held a meeting at which Jennifer claims she was told she was no good to them pregnant, and that she should take unpaid family medical leave as she was going to be replaced by a non-pregnant worker. She had worked at the employer for five years.

At seven months pregnant during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving to find another job wasn’t immediately an option.

Nov 10, 2021

Pfizer CEO Says People Who Spread Misinformation on COVID Vaccines Are ‘Criminals’ + More

Pfizer CEO Says People Who Spread Misinformation on COVID Vaccines Are ‘Criminals’

CNBC reported:

People who spread misinformation on COVID-19 vaccines are “criminals” and have cost “millions of lives,” Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said Tuesday.

Speaking with Washington D.C.-based think tank Atlantic Council, Bourla said there is a “very small” group of people that purposefully circulate misinformation on the shots, misleading those who are already hesitant about getting vaccinated.

Should You Vaccinate Your 5-Year-Old?

The Wall Street Journal reported:

If you’re agonizing about whether to have your young child vaccinated against COVID-19, be reassured: The risk is extremely low either way. Serious complications are so uncommon in this age range that of 2,186 children in the Pfizer vaccine study, no child in either the vaccine or placebo group developed severe illness from COVID.

There’s an important exception, though: If a child already had COVID, there’s no scientific basis for vaccination. Deep within the 80-page Pfizer report is this crucial line: “No cases of COVID-19 were observed in either the vaccine group or the placebo group in participants with evidence of prior SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

That’s consistent with the largest population-based study on the topic, which found that natural immunity was 27 times as effective as vaccinated immunity in preventing symptomatic COVID. Natural immunity is likely even more robust in children, given their stronger immune systems. An indiscriminate COVID vaccine mandate may result in unintended harm among children with natural immunity.

423 Million COVID Doses Administered. 3,100 Injury Claims Filed. $0 Paid Out.

USA Today via Yahoo!News reported:

Hours after Diane Spears got the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on Mar. 27, she felt woozy and lethargic, and it only got worse from there. Doctors at two hospitals diagnosed the Oxford, Pennsylvania, woman with a blood-clot-induced stroke, but it was too late. She died on Apr. 6.

In July, after Diane Spears’ death, an attorney representing her family’s attorney submitted a claim to an obscure federal program that compensates people for serious side effects from vaccines, drugs and other treatments. People who claim injury under the program, however, face an uphill battle getting a favorable decision.

Spears’ case is among 3,158 claims alleging injuries from COVID-19 interventions since the beginning of the pandemic. Of those claims, 1,357 allege injuries or deaths from the COVID-19 vaccine. So far, none of those claims have been paid, and only two vaccine cases have been rejected.

Germany, France Restrict Moderna’s COVID Vaccine for Under-30s Over Rare Heart Risk — Despite Surging Cases

Forbes reported:

Germany’s vaccine advisory board on Wednesday recommended against using Moderna’s COVID-19 shot in people under 30 due to evidence suggesting a very small risk of heart inflammation, joining France and a string of other European countries restricting the vaccine as coronavirus cases across the continent soar to record levels.

Germany and France are the latest European countries to restrict the use of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in younger people, joining a string of Nordic nations including Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. All cite studies indicating a very limited risk of heart inflammation in young recipients of mRNA coronavirus vaccines, which includes Pfizer and Moderna shots.

Moderna COVID Vaccine Patent Dispute Headed to Court — U.S. NIH Head Says

Reuters reported:

U.S. National Institutes of Health scientists played “a major role” in developing Moderna Inc’s (MRNA.O) COVID-19 vaccine and the agency intends to defend its claim as co-owner of patents on the shot, NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins told Reuters on Wednesday.

In a story first reported by the New York Times on Tuesday, Moderna excluded three NIH scientists as co-inventors of a central patent for the company’s multibillion-dollar COVID-19 vaccine in its application filed in July.

Collins said the agency has been trying to resolve the patent conflict with Moderna amicably for some time and has failed.

Judge Rules Unvaccinated Doctor Can Treat COVID Patient With Ivermectin at Edward Hospital in Naperville

Chicago Tribune reported:

The latest lawsuit seeking to let a COVID-19 patient receive ivermectin against a hospital’s directives took an odd turn after the physician chosen to administer the medication allegedly acknowledged he is not vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Sun Ng, 71, who came to the U.S. from Hong Kong to celebrate his granddaughter’s first birthday, contracted a case of COVID-19 so severe that in mid-October he ended up on a ventilator at Edward Hospital in Naperville, according to a complaint filed by his daughter, Man Kwan Ng.

Behind the Story: COVID Test Leads to $4K Bill

KRQE News 13 Albuquerque reported:

In the first part of a two-part series on medical billing practices, KRQE News 13 Investigative Reporter Larry Barker highlights the story of an Albuquerque woman who was left with a more than $4,000 dollar bill after getting a COVID-19 test at a newer free-standing Albuquerque emergency room and hospital on the city’s westside.

In total, that bill included a $450 charge for the test, a $2265.32 facility fee, and a $1316.28 charge for a chat with a doctor.

Therapeutic Goods Administration Requests Information From Pfizer After Medical Journal Alleges Contractor ‘Falsified’ Safety Data reported:

Australia’s medicines regulator has sought additional information from Pfizer after an investigation by the British Medical Journal alleged serious issues with a small number of its vaccine safety trials, including claims of “falsified data” and slowness following up on adverse reactions.

The BMJ’s report, published last week, centered on a former employee of Ventavia Research Group, a Texas-based contractor involved in the phase-three trials for Pfizer’s COVID vaccine last year.

A Computer Glitch Led to Incorrect COVID Test Results for Some Anchorage Residents

KTOO reported:

When Anchorage resident Joe Thomas opened his email on Sunday, he read a concerning message from the day before: He had tested positive for COVID-19.

But then, about an hour and a half later, Thomas got another email saying he was negative.

Thomas wasn’t alone in the confusion. Capstone Clinic, the company that runs multiple COVID testing sites in Anchorage and Mat-Su, says a computer glitch led to false-positive tests for 124 people. All were linked to a single computer analyzing tests from Thursday.

Vaccinated Browns RBs Nick Chubb, Demetric Felton Test Positive for COVID

NFL reported:

Browns running backs Nick Chubb and Demetric Felton tested positive for COVID-19, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Tuesday. Chubb and Felton were subsequently placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, the team announced.

Both backs are vaccinated, so they aren’t immediately ruled out for Week 10. Each player would need two negative tests 24 hours apart to play.

Nov 09, 2021

Mom Says Teen Son Got COVID Vaccine at CVS Without Her Consent + More

Mom Says Teen Son Got COVID Vaccine at CVS Without Her Consent

WSFA News 12 reported:

A California mother is warning parents after her 16-year-old son received the COVID-19 vaccine at a CVS Pharmacy without her consent.

Amanda Arroyo claims the pharmacist later told her she was just trying to vaccinate as many people in the community as possible to keep people safe.

In California, parents or guardians must provide consent for a minor to get vaccinated. It can be given in one of three ways: going with the child in person, signing a written consent form or providing verbal consent to a staff member over the phone or through video.

Babies Among Those in COVID Vaccine Trials in Madison

WISN 12 reported:

Four-year-old twins Sam and Theo Rodriguez are part of the new trial of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine trial for kids ages 6 months to 4 years old.

University of Wisconsin Health in Madison (UW) Health is one of 80 centers across the country conducting the Moderna trial.  More than 2,500 young children are taking part.

Michigan Township Closes Schools Due to Staff Having ‘Negative Reaction’ to COVID Booster Shot

Washington Examiner reported:

A Michigan township said schools would be closed on Monday after several staff members had a “negative reaction” to the COVID-19 booster shot.

Saginaw Township Community Schools posted an announcement on the homepage of its website, noting that, due to being understaffed, schools in its district would be closed on Monday, affecting after-school programs and child care.

“A large number of our staff had a negative reaction to the COVID booster shot given at a voluntary clinic over the weekend,” the notice said. “There is a substitute teacher/staff shortage throughout the state, further complicating the availability to cover those absences.”

About 26,000 Tons of Plastic COVID Waste Pollutes World’s Oceans — Study

The Guardian reported:

Plastic waste from the COVID-19 pandemic weighing 25,900 tons, equivalent to more than 2,000 double-decker buses, has leaked into the ocean, research has revealed.

The mismanaged plastic waste, consisting of personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves, vastly exceeded the capability of countries to process it properly, researchers said.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, an estimated 8.4m tons of plastic waste has been generated from 193 countries, according to the report, published on Monday.

Moderna Seeks EU Authorization for COVID Vaccine in Young Children

Reuters reported:

Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) on Tuesday applied for European authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine in children aged 6-11 years, weeks after it delayed a similar filing with U.S. regulators.

The European Union had in July authorised the vaccine for use in teens aged 12 to 17 years, but several countries including Sweden paused its use for people aged 30 and younger due to rare heart-related side-effects. read more

The drugmaker delayed the U.S. application for children aged 6 to 11, while the FDA completes its review for the vaccine’s use in the 12 to 17 age group.

French Health Authority Advises Against Moderna COVID Vaccine for Under 30s

Reuters reported:

France’s public health authority has recommended people under 30 be given Pfizer‘s (PFE.N) Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine when available instead of Moderna Inc’s (MRNA.O) Spikevax jab, which carried comparatively higher risks of heart-related problems.

The Haute Autorite de Sante (HAS), which does not have legal power to ban or licence drugs but acts as an advisor to the French health sector, cited “very rare” risks linked to Myocarditis, a heart disease, that had shown up in recent data on the Moderna vaccine and in a French study published on Monday.

Louisiana Has a Hotline to Track Adverse COVID Vaccine Reactions. Critics Say It Isn’t Reliable.

The Advocate reported:

Back in December 2020, when COVID vaccines first became available to the public, the Louisiana Department of Health sent an urgent directive to healthcare providers across the state: immediately tell us about any serious side effects.

At a hearing Monday before the House Health & Welfare Committee, state Rep. Michael Echols, a Monroe Republican, said he asked to hold the hearing because “nobody knows this 800 number,” after a string of nurses testified Monday that they had no knowledge of the hotline.

“It’s crazy that medical professionals across this state do not have this phone number. It’s an embarrassment for patient safety,” Echols said.

Nearly Half of New COVID Cases in 2 Weeks Were Breakthrough Infections

The Korea Herald reported:

Nearly half of new COVID-19 cases in South Korea over the past two weeks were breakthrough infections, health authorities said Tuesday.

There were 8,336 breakthrough cases out of 17,325 new COVID-19 patients, or 48.1%, between Oct. 17 and Oct. 30, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA) said. Breakthrough infections are those who test positive even after receiving the full-dose vaccine regimen.

The Bewildering Ordeal of Getting Billed for a Coronavirus Vaccine

The Washington Post reported:

Heather Christena Schmidt’s 13-year-old daughter, Ava, got her second dose of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine on Jun. 22. After her first dose, administered in May at a CVS, Ava fainted. The reason remains elusive. So her primary care doctor recommended she get the second dose at an emergency room, where she could be treated immediately if anything went wrong.

Schmidt has received three separate bills for her daughter’s shot that day — one from the hospital system, one from insurance and one from the doctor who administered the shot — totaling $262.50.

We were told from the beginning that they would be free, these vaccines. The official webpage for the government’s vaccine rollout reads, in large bold print, “COVID-19 vaccines are free to all people living in the United States, regardless of their immigration or health insurance status,” paid for via federal funding and partnerships with insurance companies.

Johnson & Johnson Breakthrough Cases Had a Higher Hospitalization Rate Compared With Other COVID Vaccines, Redmond Startup Finds

The Seattle Times reported:

A study of nearly 2 million people vaccinated against the coronavirus has found that those receiving the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines had less of a chance of being hospitalized after a breakthrough infection than people who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Truveta, a Redmond startup that has pooled data from 20 American health systems from 42 states, released the new findings Tuesday morning. They are based on an analysis of 1.7 million vaccinated people living in the United States.

U.S. Government to Buy $1 Billion More Worth of Merck’s COVID Pill

Reuters reported:

The U.S. government will buy another $1 billion worth of the COVID-19 pill made by Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N) and partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, the companies said on Tuesday.

The government in June agreed to buy 1.7 million courses of molnupiravir for $1.2 billion and is now exercising options to buy 1.4 million more.

That brings the total secured courses to 3.1 million and worth $2.2 billion. Merck said the government has the right to buy 2 million more courses as part of the contract. read more

Nov 08, 2021

A Prominent Virologist Warns COVID Pill Could Unleash Dangerous Mutants + More

A Prominent Virologist Warns COVID Pill Could Unleash Dangerous Mutants. Others See Little Cause for Alarm

Science reported:

The first oral antiviral for treating COVID-19, Merck & Co.’s molnupiravir, received approval from the U.K. Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency on Nov. 4. But the approval, for people at high risk of severe disease, comes as a prominent virologist has suggested using molnupiravir could do far more harm than good, potentially unleashing new, deadlier variants of SARS-CoV-2.

Molnupiravir works by interfering with viral replication, littering the viral genome with mutations until the virus can no longer reproduce. The drug’s ability to mutate RNA has raised persistent fears that it could induce mutations in a patient’s own genetic material, possibly causing cancer or birth defects; studies so far have not borne out those fears.

Now, William Haseltine, a virologist formerly at Harvard University known for his work on HIV and the human genome project, suggests that by inducing viral mutations, molnupiravir could spur the rise of new viral variants more dangerous than today’s.

The School That Pioneered Polio Shots Will Give Kids the COVID Vaccine, Too

The Washington Post reported:

Through the long tunnel of time, Jackie French Lonergan still remembers the day very clearly. It was April 26, 1954, and she was a second-grader at Franklin Sherman Elementary in McLean, Va., a little girl with a brown pageboy haircut and a gap-toothed grin.

Lonergan’s parents had quickly signed the permission slip, worrying little or not at all about the fact that their daughter and 81 other second-graders at Franklin Sherman were about to be guinea pigs — the very first children in the country to receive the polio vaccine as part of a massive national trial to test the immunization before offering it to the general public.

On Monday, Franklin Sherman will reprise its historic role as a vaccination site for Fairfax County schoolchildren. And first lady Jill Biden is scheduled to be on hand at the elementary school as another mass pediatric vaccination campaign — this one aimed at protecting children ages 5 to 11 from COVID-19 — gets underway.

Feds Urge Schools to Provide COVID Shots, Info for Kids

Associated Press reported:

The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host clinics to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to kids — and information to parents on the benefits of the shots — as the White House looks to speedily provide vaccines to those ages 5 to 11.

First lady Jill Biden and Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy are set to visit the Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Virginia, on Monday to launch a nationwide campaign to promote child vaccinations. The school was the first to administer the polio vaccine in 1954.

The visit comes just days after federal regulators recommended the COVID-19 vaccine for the age group. The White House says Biden will visit pediatric vaccination clinics across the country over the coming weeks to encourage the shots.

Minnesota Tops 500K Boosters as COVID Breakthrough Infections Rise

Star Tribune reported:

More than a half-million booster doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Minnesota to counter the latest Delta wave of the pandemic and waning immunity among people who received shots months ago.

The Minnesota Department of Health in the past week identified another 7,821 breakthrough coronavirus infections among more than 3.2 million fully vaccinated people in the state, including another 111 people who died of COVID-19 despite their immunizations.

The state’s breakthrough total as of Monday reached 64,844 infections — more than 2% of the fully vaccinated population — and 483 COVID-19 deaths.

Pfizer Expected to Seek Authorization for Coronavirus Vaccine Booster for People Age 18 and Older

CNN Health reported:

Pfizer is expected to seek US Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization for a coronavirus vaccine booster shot for people 18 and older, a Biden administration official said Monday. The request could come as soon as this week, although the date could shift.

Authorization would bring the country one step closer to President Joe Biden’s mid-August prediction that boosters would be available for all adults in the United States.

In U.S., Kids’ COVID Vaccine Pokes Holes in Relationships of Separated Couples

The Times of Israel reported:

Michael Thompson, a 47-year-old executive recruiter from Illinois, expects his former wife to take him to court over vaccinating their two children against COVID-19.

He doesn’t trust the vaccine for children, but she wants to follow U.S. health guidelines and have their 8-year-old and 10-year-old inoculated.

“I’m vaccinated, but I don’t feel the need for my kids to get the vaccine until it’s been proven more,” Thompson told AFP. “We don’t know the long-term effects for kids.”

Regeneron’s COVID Antibody Drug Shows Protection for up to 8 Months

Reuters reported:

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (REGN.O) said on Monday a single dose of its antibody cocktail reduced the risk of contracting COVID-19 by 81.6% in a late-stage trial, in the two to eight months period following the drug’s administration.

The antibody therapy, REGEN-COV, is currently authorized in the United States to treat people with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 and for prevention of infection in those exposed to infected individuals, and others at high risk of exposure in settings such as nursing homes or prisons.  read more

Merck Ahead of Pfizer in EU Talks on COVID Pills — EU Source

Reuters reported:

The European Union is negotiating with Merck & Co (MRK.N) and Pfizer (PFE.N) over possible contracts to supply their experimental COVID-19 drugs, an EU official told Reuters, adding that talks with Merck were more advanced.

Talks with Merck were more advanced because it has already begun submitting data to the European Union’s drugs regulator, the official added.

Pfizer has yet to submit any data because preliminary results of its trials were published only last week, a month after Merck’s first results.

How Protein-Based COVID Vaccines Could Change the Pandemic

Nature reported:

Unlike the relatively new technologies that the mRNA and viral-vector COVID-19 shots are based on, protein vaccines have been used for decades to protect people from hepatitis, shingles and other viral infections.

To elicit a protective immune response, these shots deliver proteins, along with immunity-stimulating adjuvants, directly to a person’s cells, rather than a fragment of genetic code that the cells must read to synthesize the proteins themselves.

After months of quality-control setbacks and manufacturing delays, executives at biotechnology firm Novavax in Gaithersburg, Maryland, say they are poised to submit the company’s long-awaited application for their protein-based vaccine to U.S. drug regulators before the end of the year.

COVID Linked to Heart Inflammation in Cats and Dogs

NBC News reported:

Late last year, as the coronavirus surged across the United Kingdom, Dr. Luca Ferasin and his colleagues started noticing an uptick in patients with symptoms of myocarditis, or heart inflammation.

But these patients weren’t humans; they were cats and dogs.

“These were dogs and cats that were depressed, lethargic, they lost appetite,” said Ferasin, a veterinary cardiologist at The Ralph Veterinary Referral Centre in Buckinghamshire, England. “And they had either difficulty breathing because of accumulation of fluid in their lungs due to the heart disease, or they were fainting because of an underlying abnormal heart rhythm.”