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Moderna Stock Futures: Is COVID Vaccine Maker Moderna Poised to Pop or Drop?

Forbes reported:

Moderna (MRNA) reported an earnings miss due to decreased demand for vaccines and issues that slowed down the production of COVID vaccines.

Since the COVID-19 vaccine is the only commercial product for Moderna, there are concerns about the financial future of the company. On the flip side, fears of winter variants of COVID continue to loom over us as most of the world has opened up.

Sales for the third quarter had a 35% drop year-over-year due to a variety of factors, ranging from the population already being vaccinated to unique production challenges. The supply chain issues originated from different vaccine requests from Europe and the U.S. since the latter decided to pursue a BA.4/BA.5 bivalent booster rather than an Omicron/BA.1 booster. This put the capability of Moderna and the mRNA platform in a compromising situation.

The weak financial results were due to declining sales of the COVID vaccines. Moderna also cited that the timing of market authorization for the COVID-19 bivalent boosters hurt them. The forecasted demand heading into 2023 looks grim.

COVID Becomes Plague of Elderly, Reviving Debate Over ‘Acceptable Loss’

The Washington Post reported:

President Biden may have declared the coronavirus pandemic “over,” but from John Felton’s view as the Yellowstone County health officer in Billings, Mont., it’s not over, just different. Now, more than ever, it is a plague of the elderly.

In October, Felton’s team logged six deaths due to the virus, many of them among vaccinated people. Their ages: 80s, 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 90s.They included Betty Witzel, 88, described by her family as a tomboy who carried snakes in her pocket as a child and grew up to be a teacher, mother of four, grandmother of nine and great-grandmother of five. And there was Nadine Alice Stark, 85, a ranch owner who planted sugar beets and corn.

And while older Americans have consistently been the worst hit during the crisis, as evident in the scores of early nursing home deaths, that trend has become more pronounced. Today, nearly 9 in 10 COVID deaths are in people 65 or older — the highest rate ever, according to a Washington Post analysis of CDC data.

NJ Hires Firms to Review Governor’s Handling of COVID

Associated Press reported:

New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy said Monday his administration has launched a promised review of its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The administration hired regional law firm Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads — which has offices in the state as well as Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York — along with management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group to conduct the review, Murphy said in a statement Monday.

The review is expected to end with a report in late 2023, the governor said.

Murphy had long promised the review but did not reveal any details about it until Monday. The Democrat-led Legislature did not take up Republican requests for a tough review of the administration’s handling of the pandemic. Nursing and veterans homes in the state were particularly hard hit, with Republicans clamoring to hold the administration accountable.

Community Health Groups That Played Crucial Role During COVID Pandemic Say They’re Being Left out of Government Funding

CNN Health reported:

As the U.S. government distributes some of the most significant investments ever to improve public health, grass-roots organizations that work in underserved communities say they’re being overlooked.

These organizations say they’re especially disappointed because the federal government relied on them during the COVID-19 pandemic to encourage vaccination and other mitigation measures.

This week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to announce recipients of nearly $4 billion in grants to improve public health infrastructure. The Public Health Foundation, a Washington-based nonprofit, has described the program as “landmark.”

The CDC says the money is designed to support government health departments. Community leaders in these marginalized areas say that although that’s important, they also need funding, since they’ve been doing health promotion work in these communities for years and know them well.

Mistakes at U.K. COVID Testing Lab May Have Led to Deaths of 20 People

Reuters reported:

England’s government agency responsible for responding to public health emergencies said mistakes at a testing laboratory led to misreporting of tens of thousands of positive COVID-19 cases as negative and may have resulted in the deaths of about 20 people.

Many experts have said the contact tracing program fell well short of the “world-beating” system the government had promised.

An investigation by the U.K.’s Health Security Agency (UKHSA) found the Immensa laboratory in central England was found to have misreported around 39,000 tests as negative when they should have been positive between Sept. 2 and Oct. 12 last year.

The cause of the mistakes was the incorrect setting of the threshold levels for reporting positive and negative results of PCR samples for COVID-19, UKHSA said in a report after completing an investigation. As a result, many people would have continued with their daily lives and not self-isolated even though they had COVID.

Long COVID Often Brings Another Issue: Stigma

U.S. News & World Report reported:

People with long COVID deal with months or years of punishing fatigue, mind-numbing brain fog or a frightening fight to take each and every breath. But they can also face the skepticism of others, a new study finds — employers and doctors questioning whether they’re really sick, friends avoiding them, family losing patience.

About 95% of people living with long COVID say they’ve experienced at least one type of stigma, and three out of four say they are stigmatized “often” or “always” by their condition, researchers report.

“Our findings suggest that long COVD is currently more stigmatized than many other long-term conditions, such as HIV and depression,” said lead researcher Marija Pantelic, a lecturer in public health at Brighton and Sussex Medical School in the United Kingdom. “Nearly all of the people living with long COVID who took part in this study experienced some form of stigma related to this illness.”

COVID Vaccine Deaths: Center Says Immunization Is Voluntary, People Must Make ‘Informed Decisions’

Scroll.in reported:

The health ministry has told the Supreme Court that making the government compensate for deaths due to adverse events after COVID-19 immunization is “not legally sustainable.”

The ministry, in an affidavit filed in response to a petition seeking compensation for immunization-related death, said that it has never forced any citizen to take vaccines. It added that the exercise was voluntary.

The affidavit added that compensation can only be given by a manufacturer when the vaccines are being tested in clinical trials. People getting immunized after the market authorization have to seek compensation individually in civil courts, the government said.

India rolled out its adult vaccination program against COVID-19 in January 2021, a year after the pandemic broke out globally. There have been 92,114 cases of adverse events following immunization (AEFI), or side effects to vaccines. Of these, 2,782 were serious and severe in nature. The government has maintained that not all of them are linked to vaccination.

Eisai, Biogen Rocked by 2nd Lecanemab Death Report Ahead of Alzheimer’s Data Reveal

Fierce Biotech reported:

Concerns are mounting about the safety of Eisai and Biogen’s Alzheimer’s disease prospect lecanemab. Ahead of the presentation of the full phase 3 dataset on Tuesday, Science has reported on the death of a second recipient of the anti-amyloid antibody who suffered a brain hemorrhage.

In September, Eisai and Biogen shocked analysts by reporting that a phase 3 clinical trial of lecanemab hit its primary endpoint, ending a long string of failures for anti-amyloid antibodies. Since then, the mood has shifted somewhat, with reports of two patient deaths raising questions about what the risk-benefit profile will look like when researchers unwrap the full dataset on Tuesday.

The latest knock to enthusiasm for the drug candidate comes from a report of the death of a 65-year-old woman who received lecanemab in a clinical trial. After suffering a stroke, the woman received tissue plasminogen activator to clear her blood clots. The woman’s condition reportedly deteriorated quickly.

Mass. Volunteers Sought for Lyme Disease Vaccine Trial by Pfizer, Valneva

MassLive reported:

Pfizer and the specialty vaccine company Valneva have partnered in developing VLA 15, a potential Lyme disease vaccine. As they conduct the third of four required phases of human trials, 6,000 volunteers are needed, according to Pfizer.

In these trials, researchers will consider anyone at risk of Lyme disease exposure during regular outdoor activities such as hunting, jogging, landscaping or playing soccer. It’s during these activities that contact with ticks can occur, Wicked Local reported.

The success of these trials will mean this vaccine will be the first Lyme disease vaccine on the market in over 20 years, according to Wicked Local.

Polio Is Back in Indonesia, Sparking Vaccination Campaign

Associated Press reported:

Children in school uniforms and toddlers with their parents lined up Monday for polio vaccinations in the Sigli town square on the northern tip of the Indonesian island of Sumatra, after four children were found infected with the highly contagious disease that was declared eliminated in the country less than a decade ago.

The virus was first detected in October in a 7-year-old boy suffering from partial paralysis in the province of Aceh near Sigli, and since then three other cases have been detected, prompting the mass immunization and information drive.

The campaign that started Monday aims to vaccinate some 1.2 million children in the province, said Maxi Rein Rondonuwu, the Health Ministry’s director general for disease control and prevention.