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FDA Aims to Give Final Approval to Pfizer Vaccine by Early Next Month
President Biden said last week that he expected a fully approved vaccine in early fall. But the FDA’s unofficial deadline is Labor Day or sooner, according to multiple people familiar with the plan. The agency said in a statement that its leaders recognized that approval might inspire more public confidence and had “taken an all-hands-on-deck approach” to the work.
Giving final approval to the Pfizer vaccine — rather than relying on the emergency authorization granted late last year by the FDA — could help increase inoculation rates at a moment when the highly transmissible Delta variant of the virus is sharply driving up the number of new cases.
Rock Band, Offspring, Boots Drummer for Refusal to Get COVID Vaccine — Even Though He Has Natural Immunity
Pete Parada, drummer for the Californian rock band Offspring, said he was ousted from the band because he refused to get a COVID vaccine, despite having already had COVID and acquiring natural immunity.
In an Instagram post, Parada said:
“Since I am unable to comply with what is increasingly becoming an industry mandate, it has recently been decided that I am unsafe to be around, in the studio and on tour. I mention this because you won’t be seeing me at these upcoming shows. I also want to share my story so that anyone else experiencing the agony and isolation of getting left behind right now knows they’re not entirely alone.”
Vaccine Mandates for Kids Could Be the Next Big Back-to-School Fight
Ensuring that vaccines are ready for all children by year end is “our best hedge against preventing a nasty variant of the future,” says William Gruber, Pfizer’s senior vice president for vaccine clinical research and development. “There will be a risk-benefit assessment as we see where the pandemic is at that particular time.”
The risk-benefit discussion promises to become even more pointed when COVID immunization expands to younger kids — and if schools begin to implement mandatory vaccination, as they already do for any number of diseases. Already, the rates for children are falling along red and blue lines, much as they have for adults. To help end the pandemic in the U.S., the Biden administration will have to keep trying to build confidence among hesitant parents, continue vaccinating older children, and speedily deploy shots for younger ones. If the rollout succeeds, it could redefine the global approach to the fight against COVID.
Are Vaccines Driving the Surge in New COVID Infections?
A recent study published by King’s College in London, which operates the ZOE COVID Study app to monitor COVID infection and vaccination rates, found that, as of July 15 there was an average of 15,537 new daily symptomatic cases of COVID-19 among partly or fully vaccinated people in the UK — an increase of 40% from the previous week’s total of 11,084 new cases.
Infections in vaccinated people in UK are outpacing infections in the unvaccinated.
The Zoe COVID Study, led by epidemiologist Tim Spector, M.D., of Kings College in London, estimated that there were 17,581 new daily symptomatic cases of COVID-19 in unvaccinated people, or 22% less than the previous week’s total of 22,638 new cases. According to a press release issued by the study’s authors, “With cases in the vaccinated group continuing to rise, the number of new cases in the vaccinated population is set to overtake the unvaccinated in the coming days.”
Most Unvaccinated Americans Believe Coronavirus Vaccine Poses Greater Health Risk Than the Disease, Poll Finds
Just over half of unvaccinated adults (53 percent) said they believed getting vaccinated posed a bigger risk to their health than getting infected with the coronavirus. “In contrast, an overwhelming majority (88 percent) of vaccinated adults said that getting infected with COVID-19 is a bigger risk to their health than the vaccine,” the report found.
Unvaccinated adults were also much less worried about the more transmissible Delta variant and had less confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines compared with those who got the shots, according to the KFF survey.
Fauci Floats Pill to ‘Knock Out’ COVID Early
Top U.S. infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday said he’s looking into an oral COVID treatment to “knock out” the disease in patients in its early stages, given once daily for seven to ten days.
Few Children Suffer From Long-Term COVID-19 Symptoms, According to New U.K. Research Conducted Last Year
A new study primarily conducted in 2020 and before the emergence of the delta variant has shown that few children who become sick with COVID-19 suffer the long-term symptoms that have plagued some adults.
The research, published in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health on Tuesday, is based on data from 1,734 U.K. children between the ages of 5 and 17 years old whose parents voluntarily use the ZOE COVID Study smartphone app.
Those children in the study tested positive for COVID-19 and were symptomatic between Sept. 1, 2020, and Jan. 24, 2021. The most common symptoms reported were headache, fatigue, loss of smell, and a sore throat. Median symptom duration lasted around six days, though it was slightly longer — 7 days — for children aged 12 to 17. Symptoms for those aged five to 11 were shorter, lasting five days.
Don’t Want a Vaccine? Be Prepared to Pay More for Insurance.
A harsher society might impose tough penalties on people who refuse vaccinations and contract the virus. Recently, the National Football League decreed that teams will forfeit a game canceled because of a COVID outbreak among unvaccinated players — and neither team’s players will be paid.
But insurers could try to do more, like penalizing the unvaccinated. And there is precedent. Already, some policies won’t cover treatment necessitated by what insurance companies deem risky behavior, such as scuba diving and rock climbing.
20,595 Dead 1.9 Million Injured (50% Serious) Reported in European Union’s Database of Adverse Drug Reactions for COVID-19 Shots
The European Union database of suspected drug reaction reports is EudraVigilance, and they are now reporting 20,595 fatalities, and 1,960,607 injuries, following COVID-19 injections.
A Health Impact News subscriber from Europe reminded us that this database maintained at EudraVigilance is only for countries in Europe who are part of the European Union (EU), which comprises 27 countries.
The total number of countries in Europe is much higher, almost twice as many, numbering around 50. (There are some differences of opinion as to which countries are technically part of Europe.)