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Mother and Daughter, 3, Mistakenly Given COVID Vaccines Instead of Flu Shots

Newsweek reported:

A Canadian mother has said she and her 3-year-old daughter were mistakenly given adult doses of the COVID-19 vaccine instead of flu shots.

Jenna Bardarson, of Brandon in the Canadian province of Manitoba, had booked her annual flu shot for herself and her daughter, Dali, at the Keystone Centre on November 24, according to reports from CBC and The Canadian Press. But she said instead of getting the expected flu shots, the pair were instead given the adult dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Bardarson told CBC she and her daughter suffered from fevers and headaches while Dali started to vomit in the days after she received the vaccine.

Cruise Ship With 17 Breakthrough COVID Infections Sets Sail Again With New Passengers

Associated Press reported:

A cruise ship that carried at least 17 passengers and crew members with breakthrough COVID-19 infections when it docked in New Orleans has set sail again with new passengers.

Nine crew members and eight passengers were infected when the Norwegian Breakaway arrived on Sunday, a Louisiana Department of Health spokeswoman said Monday.

None had any symptoms and only fully vaccinated people are allowed on board, Norwegian Cruise Line said.

Nearly 70 Vaccinated Hospital Workers Test Positive for COVID After Christmas Meal

Newsweek reported:

More than 50 hospital workers in Spain have tested positive for COVID-19 after attending a Christmas meal, according to local media reports.

More than 170 health workers from the Intensive Care Unit of the Regional University Hospital of Málaga — located in the south of the country — attended the meal, with at least 68 people later testing positive for COVID-19, local media outlet Sur reported Monday, although health authorities had only confirmed 22 of these cases on Sunday.

All of the professionals had been fully vaccinated — including with booster shots. Most of the workers who tested positive are asymptomatic although in a few cases they have reported mild symptoms.

Omicron Variant Found in More Vaccinated People in U.S. as Resistance Concerns Persist

Newsweek reported:

The Omicron variant continues to crop up in vaccinated Americans as concerns about the new strain’s vaccine resistance persist.

More than 20 cases linked to the variant across 11 states have been reported in the U.S. as of Saturday morning. Of these, eight are known to have been found in fully vaccinated individuals. While many of these patients had recently traveled to Africa, others had no recent travel history to speak, indicating that community transmission has begun in the U.S., according to CNBC.

Woman Wins Court Battle Over Treating Her Husband’s COVID With Ivermectin. That Was Just the Beginning.

York Daily Record reported:

A court order that permitted Keith Smith, on a ventilator in a medically induced coma from COVID-19, to be treated with the controversial drug ivermectin, was issued late Friday afternoon.

The order, in response to Darla Smith’s petition to compel the hospital to administer the drug to her husband of 24 years, was, to some, kind of confusing, and that led to two days of lawyers negotiating its implementation, frustrating Darla’s attempts to have her husband receive the drug.

The court order touched off a weekend of back and forth between the lawyers involved, Darla Smith and the hospital’s administration, ending Sunday night when Keith Smith, 52, received his first dose of ivermectin.

Pandemic Stress Weighs Heavily on Gen Z, Survey Says

Associated Press reported:

Isolation. Anxiety. Uncertainty. The stresses of the coronavirus pandemic have taken a toll on Americans of all ages, but a new poll finds that teens and young adults have faced some of the heaviest struggles as they come of age during a time of extreme turmoil.

Overall, more than a third of Americans ages 13 to 56 cite the pandemic as a major source of stress, and many say it has made certain parts of their lives harder.

But when it comes to education, friendships and dating, the disruption has had a pronounced impact among Generation Z, according to a new survey from MTV Entertainment Group and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Gilead Recalls Vials of Its Remdesivir COVID Drug in U.S. Over Glass Contamination

The Washington Post reported:

The American biopharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences has issued a nationwide recall of two lots of its coronavirus treatment drug remdesivir because of the “presence of glass particulates,” the company said Friday.

Remdesivir, known also by its brand name Veklury, is normally used for adults and children over 12 requiring hospitalization for COVID-19, and it is normally given by intravenous (IV) infusion once daily for up to 10 days.

“An injectable product that contains glass particulates may result in local irritation or swelling in response to the foreign material. If the glass particulate reaches the blood vessels it can travel to various organs and block blood vessels in the heart, lungs or brain which can cause stroke and even lead to death,” the company said in a statement.

In Its War on COVID, China Calls on ‘Little Inoculated Warriors’

The New York Times reported:

As the rest of the world struggles to vaccinate adults in the face of a threat from a new coronavirus variant, China has embarked on an ambitious campaign that it says will give the country better protection against COVID-19: full inoculation of 160 million of its youngest citizens by the end of the year.

The campaign — powered in part with red flower stickers, balloons and boxes of toys for children who step up to become what nurses call “little inoculated warriors” — has gotten off to a fast start.

In the first two weeks of the effort, which began in late October, 84 million boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 11, about half of the eligible population, received the first of two shots, according to the most recent government data.

Omicron Has Not Killed Anyone Says WHO as New Variant Cases Rise in U.S.

Newsweek reported:

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that as of Friday, there have been no fatalities linked to Omicron but warned it could take several weeks to determine how infectious the new COVID-19 variant is.

The WHO’s assurance comes as the new variant first detected in South Africa last week has now been recorded in 38 countries. In the United States, at least 29 cases of Omicron across 11 states have been reported.

These are California, Nebraska, New York, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Utah, Pennsylvania and Hawaii, CBS News reported. There was also an infection in New Jersey of a Georgia resident.

Omicron Brings Fresh Concern for U.S. Mental Heath After ‘Grim Two Years’

The Guardian reported:

Sarah Isaacs, a therapist in Raleigh, North Carolina, sees mostly clients between the ages of 22 and 30, many of whom missed out on the usual dating and networking because of the COVID pandemic.

They are just some of the people in the United States whose mental health has suffered during the pandemic. A Gallup poll conducted in November found that, like last year, only 34% of Americans describe their mental health as “excellent”. Those are the lowest levels in two decades.

COVID Is Fueling a Pandemic of Violence Against Women and Girls

STAT News reported:

The emergence of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 with its many mutations has rightly sparked global concern. Another COVID-related issue that should also spark concern, but continues to fly under the radar, is the endemic violence directed toward women and girls around the world that has been heightened by responses to the pandemic.

On a recent visit to a tribal village in South India, I met with children, elders, and teachers, who told me how their lives have been affected by COVID-19.

The implementation of crucial, but often blunt, public health measures such as stay-at-home policies and the disruption of key services like schools and health facilities have significantly eroded social well-being, isolation, income, and educational attainment. They have also increased violence against many women and girls.

The stories I heard are echoed in towns and villages across the world, and the repercussions will be felt for years to come.

Blood Pressure Rose During the Pandemic, Especially for Women, Study Finds

TODAY reported:

Now here’s one more way the pandemic is taking a toll on our health: higher blood pressure.

When researchers looked at year-over-year changes in blood pressure readings for almost half a million Americans, there were no differences between 2019 and the start of 2020 — the period just before the lockdowns.

But they noticed “significantly higher” blood pressure increases from April to December 2020 — when the country was in the midst of pandemic precautions and closures — compared to the previous year, especially among women.

‘Wall of Secrecy’ in Pfizer Contracts as Company Accused of Profiteering

The Guardian reported:

Ministers have agreed a secrecy clause in any dispute with the drugs manufacturer Pfizer over Britain’s COVID vaccine supply.

Large portions of the government’s contracts with the company over the supply of 189m vaccine doses have been redacted and any arbitration proceedings will be kept secret.

The revelation comes as Pfizer is accused by a former senior U.S. health official of “war profiteering’’ during the pandemic.

Tom Frieden, who was director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention under Barack Obama, said: “If you’re just focusing on maximizing your profits and you’re a vaccine manufacturer … you are war profiteering.”

Zain Rizvi, research director at Public Citizen, a U.S. consumer advocacy organization which has examined Pfizer’s global vaccine contracts, said: “There is a wall of secrecy surrounding these contracts and it’s unacceptable, particularly in a public health crisis.”