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Hospital Defends Decision to Deny Heart Transplant to Unvaccinated Man

In response to claims that a man was denied a heart transplant because he refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston said Wednesday that its transplant policies mirror those used across the United States.

In a crowdfunding appeal for 31-year-old D.J. Ferguson, a father of two, his family said the hospital told him he was ineligible to receive a new ...

Months After Moderna Booster, Antibodies Decline Faster With Omicron

An initial surge in antibody levels against the Omicron variant after a booster dose of the Moderna COVID vaccine wanes within six months, but the antibodies remained effective against it in lab tests, a new study finds.

Researchers analyzed antibody levels in volunteers who received the booster after two doses of the Moderna mRNA vaccine. Within four weeks of their third dose, antibody l...

Scientists Watch, Worry About New 'Stealth' Version of Omicron Variant

A "stealthier" version of the Omicron variant that has been spotted in the United States and dozens of other countries is being closely monitored by health officials and scientists.

The variant, called BA.2, has genetic traits that make it somewhat more difficult to detect, and some experts fear it may also be more contagious than that original

  • Robert Preidt and Robin Foster
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  • January 27, 2022
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  • Moderna Begins Testing Booster Shot Aimed at Omicron

    Moderna Inc. announced Wednesday that it has launched a trial that will study the power of a redesigned booster shot -- one that hones in on the highly contagious Omicron variant.

    The news comes just one day after Pfizer announced that ...

    Any Change to Menstrual Cycle After COVID Vaccine Is Minor, Temporary: Studies

    They've gotten some media headlines recently, but potential menstrual changes associated with getting a COVID vaccine are typically minor and temporary, two new international studies confirm.

    That's great news for women, said an expert in fertility and reproductive health.

    "The studies coming from the UK, US and Norway provide us with significance reassurance that the COVID vaccine ...

    Biden Administration Withdraws Vaccine Mandate for Large Employers

    The Biden Administration on Tuesday withdrew an emergency COVID-19 vaccine-or-test mandate for workers at large companies following the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling against the requirement.

    The mandate, which required businesses with 100 or more staff to ensure their employees were eit...

    More Proof That COVID Vaccines Won't Harm Fertility

    COVID-19 vaccines don't affect the outcomes of in-vitro fertilization (IVF), according to a new study. It's more evidence that the shots won't harm fertility, researchers said.

    The results "will give people comfort to know that the COVID-19 vaccine does not affect their reproductive potential,” said senior stu...

    Pfizer Begins Testing a COVID Vaccine Targeted to Omicron

    Pfizer Inc. announced Tuesday that it has launched a trial that will compare its existing COVID-19 vaccine against a new version tailored to beat back the highly contagious Omicron variant.

    "While current research and real-world data show that boosters continue to provide a high level of protection against severe disease and hospitalization with Omicron, we recognize the need to be prepar...

    Pandemic to Endemic: Is a New Normal Near?

    It has begun to feel like a pandemic that will never end, but public health experts now say the Omicron variant may be ushering in a "new normal," where COVID-19 becomes an endemic, but manageable, disease.

    "I do feel that we are moving into a transition phase in the pandemic, and I do th...

    EU Eases COVID-19 Travel Rules Within the Bloc for Fully Vaccinated

    European Union residents should be able to move freely between the 27 member nations if they've been vaccinated in the past nine months or have recently recovered from coronavirus infection, bloc officials said Tuesday.

    The announcement was made a day after the World Health Organization (WHO) said the spread of the

  • Robert Preidt
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  • January 25, 2022
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  • Vaccination Key to 'Super Immunity' Against COVID-19

    Coronavirus infections before or after vaccination provide equal levels of increased immunity, and the key to this so-called "super immunity" is to be vaccinated, researchers report.

    "It makes no difference whether you get infected-and-then-vaccinated, or if you get vaccinated-and-then-a-breakthrough infection," said study co-senior author Fikadu Tafesse. He is an assistant professor of ...

    COVID Is Proving More Lethal for Children in Africa

    Children in sub-Saharan Africa have a far higher risk of death from COVID-19 than those in the United States and Europe, a new study shows.

    “Although our study looked at data from earlier in the pandemic, the situation hasn’t changed much for the children of Africa. If anything, it is expected to be worsening with the global emergence of the

  • Robert Preidt
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  • January 25, 2022
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  • England to Lift Travel Restrictions for Vaccinated Visitors

    Coronavirus testing requirements for vaccinated people arriving in England will be scrapped, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Monday.

    Details about the changes are to be provided later in the day by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, the Associated Press reported.

    To "show that this country is open for business, open for travelers, you will see changes so that ...

    COVID Vaccine Hesitancy Falling Faster Among Black Americans Than Whites

    MONDAY, Jan. 24, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- While it appears that Black Americans were more hesitant than white Americans to roll up their sleeves when the COVID-19 vaccines launched last year, that unwillingness has lessened.

    Following 1,200 U.S. adults through much of the pandemic, researchers found Black people were more likely to change their negative thinking about C...

    Depression Might Predispose You to Believe COVID Vaccine Lies

    Misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines abounds, and people with depression are more likely than others to fall for it, a new study finds.

    "One of the notable things about depression is that it can cause people to see the world differently — sort of the opposite of rose-colored glasse...

    Three New Studies Confirm Power of Booster Shots Against Omicron

    Booster shots are keeping the Omicron variant from landing millions of Americans in hospitals, emergency rooms and urgent care clinics across the country, three new government studies show.

    In one study, published Friday in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and ...

    COVID Vaccine Won't Affect Fertility, But Getting COVID Might

    One less excuse to avoid that COVID vaccine: The shots don't affect fertility in either men or women, new research shows, but coronavirus infection could cause short-term fertility problems in men.

    "Many reproductive-aged individuals have cited concerns about fertility as a reason for remaining unvaccinated," said lead study author Amelia Wesselink. She is research assistant professor of ...

    COVID Boosters Keep Older Americans Out of Hospitals: CDC

    The risk of hospitalization for COVID-19 among older Americans is far higher for those who are unvaccinated than for those who are fully vaccinated and have had a booster shot, new government data shows.

    The differences were stark: In December, unvaccinated people 50 and older were 17 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than those who had completed the initial immunization...

    L.A. County Scenario Suggests COVID 'Herd Immunity' Is Unlikely

    Herd immunity against COVID-19 is unlikely, and coping with the disease will likely hinge on vaccination, treatment and ensuring adequate hospital capacity, a new study conducted in Los Angeles County claims.

    With herd immunity, most people have antibodies from vaccination or prior infection, so a virus has...

    Arthritis & the COVID Vaccine: What You Need to Know

    Some arthritis drugs may reduce the effectiveness of COVID vaccines, according to the Arthritis Foundation, which also offers advice on booster shots.

    Research is limited, but evidence suggests that disease-modifying

  • Robert Preidt
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  • January 21, 2022
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  • Another Study Finds Vaccine Booster 'Neutralizes' Omicron

    If you need more proof that a third shot of COVID vaccine is needed, new British research confirms that boosters can "neutralize" the virus' Omicron variant.

    To arrive at that conclusion, they analyzed 620 blood samples from 364 health care workers and staff at the Francis Crick Institute and the National Institute for Health Research UCLH Biomedical Research Centre, in London.

    Peo...

    Vaccination Plus Prior Infection Best Defense Against COVID

    Think your prior bout of COVID shields you enough from another encounter with the coronavirus? New research suggests that adding in vaccination is still your best bet.

    A combination of vaccination and prior infection offers the most optimal protection against infection with COVID-19, a new government study shows.

    Researchers analyzed data on infections in New York and California in ...

    COVID Restrictions Eased in England

    Numerous COVID restrictions will be dropped in England because government experts believe the Omicron variant "has now peaked nationally," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday.

    As of Jan. 27, COVID-19 passes will no longer be needed to enter large-scale events and the use of face masks in public schools will no longer be required. After that day,

  • Robert Preidt
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  • January 19, 2022
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  • WHO Says Worst of Pandemic Could Ease This Year if Vaccine Inequities Erased

    If COVID-19 vaccines and medicines are shared equally worldwide, the pandemic could ease this year, a top World Health Organization official said Tuesday.

    However, if wealthier countries don't share their resources with poorer countries, there will continue to be high rates of deaths and hospitalizations, warned Dr. Michael Ryan, head of emergencies at WHO.

    “What we need to do is ...

    No Side Effects From Your COVID Vaccine? Don't Worry, It's Still Working

    Even if you don't have side effects from your COVID-19 vaccine, it's likely still working to protect you, a reassuring new report shows.

    Many people who receive the mRNA COVID vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna experience body aches and fatigue that indicate the vaccine is triggering ...

    Too Soon to Tell if Omicron Will End Pandemic: Fauci

    It's too soon to determine whether Omicron's rapid spread will turn a pandemic virus into an endemic disease, America's top infectious disease expert says.

    That "would only be the case if we don't get another variant that eludes the immune response to the prior variant," Dr. Anthony Fauci said this week during the Davos Agenda, a virtual event being held this week by the World Economic Fo...

    Which Kids Are Most Vulnerable to Severe COVID-19?

    TUESDAY, Jan. 18, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- As a record number of American kids are being hospitalized with COVID-19, a new study helps clarify which ones are at the highest risk for serious complications.

    The study tracked over 3,200 children and teenagers who landed in an emergency room with

  • Amy Norton HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 18, 2022
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  • Vaccine 'Nocebo': If You Expect Side Effects, They May Come

    Before getting their first dose of a COVID vaccine, many Americans were nervous about how they would react to the shot, but new research shows that fears of side effects may actually make side effects more likely.

    To investigate this so-called "nocebo" effect in people receiving COVID-19 vaccines, ...

    COVID-19 Treatments: What You Need to Know

    Two years into the pandemic, coronavirus treatments like monoclonal antibodies and antiviral pills have been approved to treat COVID-19, but it's hard to keep track of which ones still work, experts say.

    For example, the monoclonal ant...

    COVID Fatigue: Are You Among the 'Vaxxed & Done'?

    You've gotten vaccinated. You've gotten boosted. You wear your mask, maintain social distancing, wash your hands — you do everything you've been asked to do to protect yourself and others.

    And you are completely fed up.

    If that description sounds like you, you might be part of a contingent of people who consider themselves "vaxxed and done" with the

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 17, 2022
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  • COVAX Program Has Now Sent 1 Billion COVID Vaccines to Poorer Nations

    The latest shipment of 1.1 million COVID-19 vaccines to Rwanda this weekend signaled a noteworthy achievement: The COVAX program, a United Nations-backed program providing poorer countries with vaccines, has now shipped one billion of the doses to combat the coronavirus in 144 countries.

    But still, that "is o...

    COVID Cases Surge Again in U.S. Nursing Homes

    Residents of nursing homes have been a particularly at-risk group throughout the pandemic, and the advent of the fast-spreading Omicron variant has them facing another wave of infections and deaths, new data shows.

    During the week ending Jan. 9, U.S. nursing homes reported more tha...

    CDC Study Shows Power of Flu Vaccine for Kids

    Flu vaccines protect children against serious illness, even when the vaccine doesn't match the circulating flu virus, according to a new study that reinforces the importance of flu shots.

    Flu viruses are constantly changing, and the effectiveness of flu vaccines can be influenced by the similarity between the viruses used in vaccine production and the viruses circulating in a given flu s...

    Skipping COVID Vaccine in Pregnancy Brings Big Risks to Mothers, Babies

    Unvaccinated pregnant women are putting themselves and their baby at risk for serious complications of COVID-19, according to new research out of Scotland.

    For women who have the virus within 28 days of their delivery date, those complications include preterm births, stillbirths and newborn deaths. Infant deaths are four times higher among unvaccinated women,

  • Steven Reinberg HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 14, 2022
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  • Supreme Court Blocks Biden's Vaccine Mandate for Large Employers

    The Biden administration can't enforce a vaccine-or-testing mandate for large employers, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

    The 6-3 decision was driven by the conservative majority on the court.

    The mandate was a crucial component of the White House's plan to tackle the COVID pandemic as ca...

    • Robert Preidt and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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    • January 14, 2022
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    Worried About Omicron? Expert Offers Tips on Going Out Safely

    As the Omicron variant rages across the United States, an expert outlines how to reduce your risk of getting infected with COVID-19.

    Be cautious when it comes to social activities and consider the amount of risk you're willing to accept in order to get together with others, said Dr. Michael Lin, an infectious disease specialist and associate professor at Rush University Medical Center in ...

    1 in 10 People With COVID Still Infectious After 10 Days: Study

    One in 10 people with COVID-19 could still be infectious beyond 10 days, and some could remain so for as long as two months, a new study suggests.

    U.K. researchers reported that a new test can detect whether the coronavirus is potentially still active. They used it to analyze samples from 176 people who ...

    Nearly 600,000 U.S. Kids Had COVID Last Week

    In a sign that the highly contagious Omicron variant is sparing no one, a new report shows that new COVID-19 cases among U.S. children spiked to a high of more than 580,000 for the week ending Jan. 6, a 78% increase from the week before.

    "Since many children remain unvaccinated — or are too young to be vaccinated — children are bearing a disproportionate burden of this illness," said...

    Pfizer Says Omicron-Specific Vaccine Ready by March

    Pfizer Inc. said Tuesday that a COVID-19 vaccine that specifically targets the Omicron variant will be ready by March.

    The company has already started making the new version of the vaccine, Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla told CNBC's "Squawk Box," CBS News reported.

    Omicron now accounts for more than 98% of all new COVID-19 cases in the United States, according to the

    Even Symptom-Free, People With Omicron Much More Likely to Spread COVID: Studies

    Researchers say they've uncovered a clue to why the Omicron variant spreads COVID-19 so much more rapidly than its predecessors.

    People who are infected but have no symptoms are still far more likely to infect others than they would have been with earlier variants, the data shows.

    "As we witness the quick, global spread of

  • Cara Murez
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  • January 10, 2022
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  • Exposure to Common Cold Might Help Shield Against COVID

    Vaccination is still the best way to protect someone from COVID-19, but new research suggests that immune system activation of T-cells by common colds may offer some cross-protection.

    The study might also provide a blueprint for a second-generation, universal vaccine that could prevent infection from current and future variants, the research team said.

    "Being exposed to the

    New Worry: 'Flurona,' When COVID Meets the Flu

    It's a COVID phenomenon that had, until now, gone relatively unnoticed: You can be infected with COVID-19 and the flu at the same time.

    Thanks to the internet, it even has a name -- "flurona." And it will likely happen much more often this particular winter, as the flu season kicks into gear and the highly contagious

  • Serena McNiff HealthDay Reporter
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  • January 10, 2022
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  • You Can Help Prevent Cervical Cancer

    Cervical cancer is the only gynecologic cancer that can be prevented, yet there were more than 4,000 deaths in the United States in 2021 and nearly 14,500 new cases, the American Cancer Society says.

    The best way to prevent this is to make sure you and your children get their human papillomavirus vaccines, experts noted.

    Nearly all cervical cancer stems from HPV, which will first c...

    Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Biden's Vaccine Mandate for Big Business

    The Supreme Court began to hear oral arguments on Friday as it weighs whether the Biden administration can enforce vaccine mandates for large companies.

    The justices are also hearing arguments on a separate vaccine mandate for most health care workers.

    The court’s decision will likely determine whether these vaccine requirements will affect more than 80 million people. Legal chall...

    Breakthrough COVID Cases Overwhelmingly Mild for Vaccinated People: Study

    A review of cases from 465 U.S. hospitals underscores the protection provided by COVID-19 vaccines.

    The new review -- by researchers at the U.S. National Institutes of Health -- found that vaccinated adults who got breakthrough infections rarely got severely ill. Respiratory failure, the need for treatment i...

    COVID Vaccine May Temporarily Add 1 Day to Menstrual Cycle: Study

    Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 may slightly and temporarily extend the time between a woman's menstrual periods, a new study reports.

    On average, researchers found that the extra time amounts to slightly less than one day. It's something many women...

    FDA Shortens Time to Booster After Moderna Vaccine to 5 Months

    Citing the rapid spread of the Omicron variant and the need for protection against it, U.S. federal health officials are shortening the recommended time between the second dose of the Moderna vaccine and a booster shot from six months down to five.

    "The country is in the middle of a wave of the highly contagious Omicron variant, which spreads more rapidly than the original SARS-CoV-2 vi...

    AHA News: Health Coach Was Once an Overworked, Unhealthy New Mom Who Had a Stroke at 32

    Kelly Fucheck woke up one summer Sunday ready to spend a quiet morning at home with her husband, Glen. Their toddler, Tomas, had spent the night at grandma's house.

    She picked out a pair of comfy pants, but when she tried to put them on, she swayed to the left. Then Kelly noticed a sharp pain in the back of her neck. She felt foggy.

    She went into the bathroom and splashed water on h...

    Moderna CEO Says 4th COVID Dose May Be Needed Next Fall

    A fourth COVID shot may be needed for most people by next fall because of what will likely be waning immunity, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said Thursday.

    While the booster that millions of Americans received this past fall should hold strong through this winter's Omicron surge, Bancel sai...

    More Evidence That State Lotteries Didn't Boost Vaccination Rates

    Although some U.S. states put up big amounts of cash to influence residents to get their COVID-19 vaccinations, it didn’t appear to make much any difference in immunization rates.

    Investigators who found that to be true in an earlier study in Ohio l...

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