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AstraZeneca Shot Raised Heart-Related Death Risk in Young Women: Report
AstraZeneca‘s COVID vaccine (manufactured and administered in India as Covishield) raised the risk of heart problems, and death by 3.5 times in young women in the first three months following the first dose, according to a report.
The report by the U.K.’s Office for National Statistics is based on the impact of COVID infection and vaccination risk on cardiac and all-cause mortality in young people, aged 12 to 29 years, in England. The report included data starting December 8, 2020, when the vaccines were first rolled out in Britain. The mortality data came from two independent sources: deaths registered by June 8, 2022, and hospital deaths by March 31, 2022.
However, the U.K. had, in April 2021, stopped AstraZeneca’s vaccination for young people following safety concerns, and most of the young people who received it would have been prioritized due to clinical vulnerability or being healthcare workers.
According to the statistical model, 11 out of the 15 cardiac deaths in young women that occurred within 12 weeks of a first dose of a non-mRNA vaccine were likely to be linked to the vaccine.
“It’s enough to catch my interest and say we should study this more,” Daniel Salmon, director of the Institute for Vaccine Safety at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, was quoted as saying by The New York Times. But “I wouldn’t come close to drawing any causal conclusions.”
What WHO’s New COVID Vaccine Guidance Means for Pfizer and Moderna Stock
The World Health Organization’s newest guidance on COVID-19 vaccinations only recommends regular boosters for older adults and suggests that demand for shots could be weaker in coming years than vaccine makers have anticipated. The WHO’s vaccines advisors said Tuesday they don’t recommend annual COVID-19 vaccine boosters for healthy adults under ages 50 to 60 after they have received their first vaccine and booster, and they no longer recommend vaccinating healthy children or teens against the virus.
The guidance takes into account the diminished threat from COVID-19, and the need to commit resources to vaccinating for other diseases, the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization, or SAGE, said Tuesday.
Wall Street analysts expect Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine sales to drop to $6.5 billion in 2024 from $18.4 billion in 2022, according to FactSet, though estimates range widely. Analysts expect Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine sales to drop to $12.1 billion in 2024, from $37.8 billion in 2022, also according to FactSet.
WHO officials also voiced skepticism over the advantages offered by the bivalent vaccines, which Moderna and Pfizer have rolled out in response to FDA requests. At a Tuesday news conference, the organization said there was “minimal evidence” showing that bivalent vaccines are more effective than monovalent vaccines, which specifically target COVID’s original strain.
Biden Won’t Veto Republican-Led Bill Ending COVID Emergency
President Joe Biden won’t veto a Republican-led measure to end the national COVID emergency, despite having expressed strong objections against it earlier this year, ensuring the bill is on an easy path to becoming law.
It marks the second time in the new Congress that the Biden administration has signaled opposition to a Republican measure, rallying most Democrats in Congress to vote against it, only to soften its stance and let the legislation eventually become law.
A White House official said that when the House Republicans were first preparing to vote on the bill at the start of the year, it would have lifted the national emergency declaration for the coronavirus pandemic in February.
But now, it’s much closer to the White House’s own plan to wind down COVID national emergency status on May 11. The president still strongly opposes the legislation, said the official, who was granted anonymity to discuss the situation. But if this bill comes to Biden’s desk, he will sign it, the official said.
Ex-CDC Head Finally Says What We’ve All Known Forever About the Source of COVID
So I was reading the transcript from former Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Robert Redfield’s testimony from earlier this month before the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic (yes, this is what I do in my spare time).
And I gotta’ say, I missed something kinda’ big. The headlines that came that day from the ex-CDC Chief focused on Dr. Anthony Fauci, who Redfield said “sidelined” anyone who dared question him on the origin of SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19. But the doctor also said something fascinating about the Wuhan Institute of Virology in Wuhan, China, where scientists were reportedly doing gain-of-function work on coronaviruses — partly funded by U.S. taxpayers at the behest of Fauci.
“In September of 2019, three things happened in that lab,” Redfield said in the hearing. “One is they deleted the sequences. Was highly irregular. Researchers don’t usually like to do that. The second thing they did was they changed the command and control at the lab from civilian control to military control. Highly unusual — and I’ve been involved in dual-use labs when I was in the military.”
“And the third thing they did, which I think is really telling, is they let a contractor redo the ventilation system in that laboratory. So I think, clearly, there was strong evidence that there was a significant event that happened in that laboratory in September,” the doctor said.
COVID Vaccine Fatigue: Study Explores Why Many Are Refusing Booster Shots
As the world continues to move toward a post-pandemic life — and as the World Health Organization (WHO) recently predicted that COVID-19 will end in 2023 as a public health emergency — Americans may have reached a state of “vaccine fatigue,” data suggests.
A recent study published in the journal Nature Medicine, led by researchers from the Medical University of Vienna, surveyed 6,357 people in Austria and Italy. They found that respondents’ “readiness to get vaccinated,” on a scale of 0 to 10, was relatively low — roughly 5.8 in Italy and 5.3 in Austria. The participants answered questions about vaccine-related costs, communication, incentives, emerging variants of the virus and vaccination requirements.
In the U.S., evidence of vaccine fatigue can be seen in the dwindling numbers of people getting boosters for COVID vaccines.
Low trust in medical institutions, governments and vaccinations was a common thread in the study findings, particularly around vaccine mandates. “Respondents in both countries reported high levels of pandemic fatigue and showed low to medium levels of trust in parliament and government,” the study authors wrote in a discussion of the findings.
Vaccine Injury Reports Soared Above ‘Red Line’ After COVID Vaccine Authorizations, Documents Show
The number of vaccine injury reports that poured in after the introduction of COVID-19 vaccines caught officials off guard, newly disclosed documents show.
The contractor hired for $9.4 million to process reports to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System estimated a maximum of 1,000 reports per day — the “worst case scenario” — according to one document. But the number of reports broke through the “red line” on Dec. 26, 2020 — less than three weeks after U.S. regulators authorized COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer.
“Two vaccines have been released since the last report. Since the release, the number of incoming COVID-19 reports has significantly exceeded the estimated maximum of 1,000 reports per day,” General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), the contractor, informed the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in a status report on Jan. 15, 2021. “As a result, GDIT is unable to meet processing and other timeframes (data processing, telephone inquiries, clinical inqu[i]ries, etc.).”
A chart included in the report showed the number of daily reports was in the thousands, even going above 4,500 on Jan. 10, 2021.
Can COVID Lead to Diabetes? — Early Work Suggests a Connection, but Experts Say More Investigation Is Needed
Since early in the pandemic, physicians have flagged diabetes as a risk factor for worse outcomes with COVID infection, but the relationship may also work the other way: evidence is building that COVID could also be a risk factor for developing diabetes, both type 1 and type 2.
While the science isn’t yet settled, and the exact mechanism that could drive such a relationship isn’t clear, experts say there appears to be a signal that’s worth continued investigation.
“We do see an association, at least, between a COVID infection and an increased risk of being diagnosed with diabetes,” said Alan Kwan, MD, a cardiologist at Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles, lead author on a study published last month in JAMA Network Open, cautioning that it’s too soon to say that COVID does indeed cause diabetes.
One plausible mechanism could be “persistent inflammation contributing to insulin resistance,” Kwan and colleagues wrote in their paper, but the exact “mechanisms contributing to post-infection diabetes risk remain unclear.”