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Mistake to Recommend COVID Vaccines for All Children: Top Danish Health Official
COVID-19 vaccines should not have been recommended for all children aged 5 and up, a top Danish health official has said.
Studies on the effects of the vaccines have shown that they confer little protection against infection from the virus. Research has also increasingly indicated that the vaccines do not protect well against severe disease in children, who are largely at little risk from severe outcomes if they get the virus.
Denmark’s new vaccine strategy recommends adults get vaccinated but specifies different advice for children.
New York City Forced to Cut off Monkeypox Vaccine Walk-Ins Over High Demand
New York City was forced to halt walk-in appointments within hours after offering monkeypox vaccines on Thursday due to high demand amid the virus outbreak worldwide.
The city’s health department announced on Thursday that a temporary clinic at the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic will be opened to administer the two-dose Jynneos vaccine to eligible individuals who have been recently exposed to monkeypox.
However, by Thursday afternoon, the health department tweeted that it would not allow any more walk-ins for the day and that appointments were booked through Monday, but individuals opting for the vaccine were advised to check back on Sunday for next week’s appointments.
Over 100 people were lined up outside the clinic shortly after the opening to receive the vaccine, including one person who told the news website that many appointments were filled around 10 minutes after they became available online, NBC News 4 reported.
CDC Vaccine Advisers Unanimously Vote to Recommend Moderna COVID Vaccine for People Ages 6 Through 17
The vaccine received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last week.
The CDC said that the risk of myocarditis “may be higher” with the Moderna vaccine than from vaccination from Pfizer, but there are limitations to what scientists know about the condition in this age group since the data is observational and limited.
COVID: U.K. Makes First Payments to Compensate Injury or Death From Vaccines
The first compensation payments in the U.K. have been made to families who have been bereaved, or to people who have been injured, as a result of a COVID-19 vaccine. Vikki Spit from Cumbria is believed to be the first person to receive compensation, after her 48-year-old partner, Zion, became ill eight days after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine. Zion, a former rock singer, died at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle in May 2021.
A handful of other people have received payments in the past few days under the government’s vaccine damage payment scheme (VDPS), which pays out up to a maximum of £120 000 (€140 000; $150 000).
Sarah Moore, a partner at the Hausfeld law firm, which is representing people seeking compensation, told The BMJ it was an important moment. However, it was “far too little, too late,” she said. “With a 60% disability eligibility criteria, a historical acceptance rate of 1.7%, and a maximum cap of £120 000, the inadequacies of the scheme mean that some families will have no choice but to look at litigation in order to access substantive financial support.”
The NHS Business Services Authority, the body that handles the VDPS, confirmed that as of May 20, 2022, it had received 1,681 claims in relation to COVID-19 vaccines.
Fauci Says He’s ‘Example’ for COVID Vaccinations
Speaking during a White House briefing, Fauci, 81, said he began experiencing virus symptoms on June 14 and tested positive a day later. He was prescribed the anti-viral drug Paxlovid, which has proven to be highly effective at preventing serious illness and death from COVID-19, on June 15.
“I think I’m an example, given my age, of what we’re all talking about today,” Fauci said. “I’m vaccinated. I’m doubly boosted. And I believe if that were not the case, I very likely would not be talking to you looking as well as I look, I think, right now. So all is well with Fauci.”
COVID Vaccination Reactivates Highly Contagious Virus: Studies
Doctors and scientists are seeing an increase in the reactivation of the chickenpox virus, known as varicella-zoster virus (VZV), following the COVID-19 injections. The chickenpox virus will show up as shingles, or herpes zoster (HZ) when it gets reactivated.
Federal health authorities claim that there’s no correlation between COVID-19 injections and shingles, but studies show that there is a higher incidence of shingles in people who’ve received the vaccine.
Israel was one of the earlier countries to publish a case series of six women (out of 491 participants) with an autoimmune disorder who developed shingles 3 to 14 days after receiving the first or second dose of Pfizer COVID-19 shot. None of the 99 participants in the control group developed shingles. The study was published in the journal Rheumatology in April 2021.
The largest study to date, based on real-world data (pdf) of more than two million patients, found that there was a higher incidence of shingles among the vaccinated (who received a COVID-19 shot within 60 days) than in the unvaccinated cohort, who were diagnosed with shingles within 60 days of visiting a healthcare office for any other reason.
U.S. Monkeypox Response Mirrors Early Coronavirus Missteps, Experts Say
Public health experts, including within the Biden administration, are increasingly concerned that the federal government’s handling of the largest-ever U.S. monkeypox outbreak is mirroring its cumbersome response to the coronavirus pandemic 2½ years ago, with potentially dire consequences.
As a result, they said, community transmission is occurring largely undetected, and the critical window in which to control the outbreak is closing quickly.
More than 150 monkeypox cases have been identified in the United States since May 19, federal officials said this week, and more than 3,300 cases have been detected in 42 countries around the world.
The rapidly rising global case counts have prompted the World Health Organization to convene an emergency committee on Thursday to assess whether the monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern — the agency’s highest-level warning, which currently applies only to the coronavirus and polio.
These ER Doctors Said Profit-Driven Company Officials Pressed Them to Work While They Had COVID Symptoms
In January, Sonali Patel, an emergency department doctor at a big Houston hospital, became ill while on duty. After testing positive for COVID, she said she told her boss she had the coronavirus and was going home.
“He insisted I stay and finish the shift,” she recalled in an interview with NBC News and in a recent lawsuit. “I told him it’s not the safe thing to do. We have a ton of immunocompromised patients and we were putting them at risk.”
By requesting time off from work while sick with COVID, Patel breached an unofficial policy promoted by officials at the hospital staffing company she works for — American Physician Partners — according to the lawsuit filed against the company by her and seven physician colleagues.
Those doctors say American Physician Partners’ officials pressed them to work while ill, even if they contracted COVID and could spread it to patients and colleagues, according to the suit filed in Harris County, Texas, district court in March. Physicians who worked while sick were celebrated, while those who stayed home with COVID had their pay docked, the lawsuit says.
Primary-Age Children’s Screen Time Went up by 83 Minutes a Day During Pandemic — Study
Screen time during the COVID pandemic increased the most among primary schoolchildren, by an extra hour and 20 minutes a day on average, according to the first global review of research.
The sharp rise in screen time was associated with poorer diets in children, poor eye health, deteriorating mental health including anxiety and behavioral problems such as aggression, irritability and increased frequency of temper tantrums, researchers said.
The findings have prompted calls for action to curb the harmful impact on the health of millions of children.
Sanofi, GSK Variant-Specific COVID Shot Found Effective Against Omicron
The so-called bivalent vaccine targets the Beta variant — first identified in South Africa — as well as the original Wuhan strain of the virus. In a trial involving 13,000 adults, the vaccine demonstrated an efficacy rate of 64.7% against symptomatic COVID, and 72% efficacy against infections specifically caused by the Omicron variant.
Sanofi and GSK, two of the world’s biggest vaccine makers, are hoping to gain a foothold in the market for next-generation variant-focused COVID shots, after falling behind competitors including Moderna (MRNA.O), AstraZeneca (AZN.L) and Pfizer-BioNTech, in the original race to contain the pandemic.
Newly Diagnosed HIV Cases Dropped During the Pandemic — Here’s Why That’s Bad News
New HIV diagnoses dropped 17% during the first year of the pandemic, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but researchers warn disruptions brought by the pandemic’s early lockdowns mean that far fewer people got tested.
“Usually, we would be celebrating a 17% drop in HIV diagnoses,” said Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, the CDC’s director of the Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention (DHAP). However, Daskalakis said, “We know that something happened specifically in 2020 that makes it unlikely that the 17% drop was more than an artifact of the impact of COVID-19 on HIV testing.”
Now, experts worry thousands of people may be living with an undiagnosed HIV infection. Even before the pandemic, the CDC estimated that more than 1 million people were living with HIV in the U.S. — but about 13% were unaware of their infection.
Scientists Probe Japan’s Remarkable COVID Success in Hunt for New Vaccine to Protect Some of the Most Vulnerable
Japan’s notable coronavirus pandemic resilience has generated scores of possible explanations, from the country’s preference for going shoeless indoors, to the purportedly low-aerosol-generating nature of Japan’s quiet conversation, to its citizens’ beneficial gut bacteria. Even irreligiousness — said to have spared the Japanese from exposure to crowded houses of worship — has been touted as a virtue in the age of COVID-19.
Despite having the world’s oldest population, with almost one in three residents 65 or older, Japan has had fewer COVID fatalities per capita than almost any other developed nation. As of Thursday, Japan had registered only 246 COVID-19 deaths per million people, surpassing even New Zealand (263) which initially adopted a zero-COVID, maximum-suppression strategy. By comparison, the U.S. has a cumulative toll of 3,045 deaths per million people.
But COVID mortality statistics alone, often based on inconsistent and/or incomplete records, don’t tell the whole story. Researchers estimate that Japan has had 111,000 “excess deaths,” more than five times the number of reported COVID fatalities when mortality from disrupted medical care and social dislocation are factored in.