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Company Hid Problems With COVID Vaccines From FDA

Evidence of quality control problems was hidden by a company contracted by the U.S. government to produce hundreds of millions of COVID vaccine doses, a new House committee report shows.

It noted that Emergent BioSolutions didn't disclose the issues at its Bayview plant in Baltimore to U.S. Food and Drug Administration inspectors in February 2021, six weeks before the company told federal...

High Rates of COVID Vaccination Among Adults With Autism

Adults with autism have high rates of COVID-19 vaccine acceptance and shots, a new study shows.

That's good news, because autistic adults have multiple risk factors for COVID-19 infection and for more severe illness if they contract the disease, the researchers said.

"Reaching this group effectively in public health messaging about vaccination is critical," said study co-author Kait...

Early Promise for COVID Vaccine Taken as Pill

An experimental COVID-19 vaccine in pill form could be a win-win, as it not only protects against infection but also limits the airborne spread of the virus, tests in lab animals show.

The current vaccines reduce the risk of serious COVID-19 illness and hospitalization but aren't foolproof armor against infection with

Could Obesity Blunt the Response to the COVID Vaccine?

Obesity can complicate the course of COVID-19. Now, a new study says it can also reduce the effectiveness of COVID vaccines.

The researchers also found that the two vaccines used in their study triggered different levels of immune responses in severely obese people. They found, too, that prior infection had an impact.

"These results provide new information on the antibody response t...

Unvaccinated and Having Heart Trouble? That Can Be Deadly When COVID Strikes

Your chances of dying or having severe complications from COVID-19 are much higher if you're unvaccinated and have heart problems or heart disease risk factors, researchers warn.

In a new study, British investigators analyzed 110 previous COVID-19 studies that included a total of nearly 49,000 unvaccinated patients.

The researchers found that unvaccinated people with evidence of he...

FDA Limits Use of J&J COVID Vaccine Due to Blood Clot Risk

Citing the accumulated data on a raised risk for a type of dangerous blood clot, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday greatly restricted the recommended use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

With safer two-dose vaccines such as Pfizer and Moderna widely available, the one-dose J&J shot should be limited "to individuals 18 years of age and older for whom other authori...

WHO Says Pandemic Death Total Far Higher Than Reported in Many Countries

In an estimate that far exceeds reported totals, an expert panel appointed by the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday that there were nearly 15 million more deaths worldwide during the first two years of the pandemic than would normally have been expected.

That compares with an official tally of 6.2 million COVID-19 deaths r...

Hope for 1st Vaccine Against Virus Driving 'Mono,' Cancers and Maybe MS

Two experimental vaccines show promise in protecting against infection with the "mono" virus, which also causes cancer and has been implicated as a potential trigger of multiple sclerosis, a new paper reports.

Tested only in animals so far, the vaccines block two pathways by which the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) ta...

New BA.2 COVID Subvariant Taking Hold in United States

Yet another subvariant of of the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly in the United States and is likely to become the dominant strain within weeks, experts say.

Early research suggests that BA.2.12.1 -- a subvariant of the highly contagious BA.2 subvariant -- is better able to evade the ...

Only 1 in 5 Parents Plan to Get COVID Vaccine for Kids Under 5 When Available: Survey

Only 18 percent of parents of children under 5 say they plan to get their child vaccinated against COVID as soon as they can, while nearly 4 in 10 say they will "wait and see" before getting shots for their child, a new U.S. survey reveals.

Nearly 3 in 10 (27%) said they would "definitely not" get their child vaccinated and 11% said they would do so only if required, according to the Kais...

Vaccine Taken During Pregnancy Might Shield Baby Against RSV

THURSDAY, April 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental vaccine given during pregnancy has shown early promise for protecting infants from a potentially severe respiratory infection.

The vaccine, being developed by Pfizer, aims to protect babies from respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV. Most of the ti...

Moderna Asks FDA to Authorize Its COVID Vaccine For Children Under 6

Moderna announced Thursday that it has asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to authorize the emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine for children under the age of 6.

It's the first vaccine maker to seek U.S. authorization of a COVID-19 shot for that age group.

"We believe mRNA-1273 [the Moderna vaccine] will be able to safely protect these children against SARS-CoV-2, which is ...

COVID Deaths Cluster in Poorly Vaccinated Communities

COVID-19 death rates are significantly higher in U.S. counties that remain largely unvaccinated than in those where more people have gotten their shots, according to a new study.

The findings add to evidence that vaccination ...

EU Says Europe Out of 'Emergency' Phase of Pandemic

THURSDAY, April 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) – The European Union (EU) announced Wednesday that Europe is moving out of the emergency phase of the pandemic, and the EU will now focus on vaccination, surveillance and testing in preparation for a possible COVID surge next fall.

“New variants can emerge and spread fast,” said EU President Ms. Ursula von der Leyen, The New York Times

Pfizer SeekS FDA  Approval of COVID Boosters for Children Ages 5-11

Pfizer Inc. announced Tuesday that it has asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve emergency use of its booster shot for children ages 5 to 11.

The application hinges on a study of 140 children with no evidence of prior coronavirus infection. Their antibody levels against the original strain of the virus were six times higher a month after a booster dose than a month after a...

Antibiotics in Infancy May Weaken Response to Childhood Vaccines

Babies and toddlers who've been given antibiotics might have a less vigorous immune response to routine childhood vaccinations, new research warns.

The study is the first to suggest that antibiotics might dampen youngsters' ability to generate infection-fighting antibodies in response to vaccination.

Experts caut...

Tough COVID Measures Were Tough on Mental Health

As the pandemic unfolded, nations adopted diverse methods to contain COVID-19. Some sought to eliminate the virus, targeting zero community transmission. Others tried to slow transmission through a mix of intermittent lockdowns, workplace, business and school closings, social distancing, the wearing of face masks, and the cancellation of public gatherings and public transport.

Efforts to...

Who's Least Likely to Get a 'Breakthrough' Case of COVID?

Are you vaccinated and wonder what your chances are of a breakthrough COVID-19 infection?

A new study answers that question: Breakthrough COVID infections in fully vaccinated people are least likely to occur in those who've received an mRNA vaccine and who were infected with the coronavirus before vaccination.

The study included more than 8 million adults in Belgium, aged 18 and old...

Childhood Vaccination Rates Slipped During Pandemic: CDC

Many kindergartners fell behind on their childhood vaccinations during the pandemic, U.S. health officials warned Thursday.

The drop has not been precipitous: About 94% of kindergarteners had their required vaccines during the 2020-2021 school year, a drop of about one percentage point and just below the 95% vaccination target, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a...

U.S. Extends COVID Vaccination Rule for International Travelers at Land Borders

International travelers who arrive in the United States through land ports or ferry terminals will still need to show they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, U.S. officials said Thursday.

But unlike visitors flying into the country, these travelers will not need to show a negative COVID-19 test, something which did not change with the

  • By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 22, 2022
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  • Fully Vaccinated Woman Infected With Omicron Just 21 Days After Delta Infection

    A fully vaccinated health care worker got COVID-19 twice in less than a month — the shortest known time between infections, Spanish researchers report.

    The 31-year-old was infected with the Omicron variant just 21 days after catching the Delta variant.

    "This case highlights the potential of the Omicron variant to evade the previous immunity acquired either from a natural infection...

    COVID Infection as Protective as Vaccines, Study Finds

    A prior COVID-19 infection may provide unvaccinated adults with as much immunity against reinfection as the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna mRNA vaccines, new research suggests.

    However, the study was conducted before the surge of the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

    "We found that...

    Unvaccinated Kids Were Twice as Likely to End up in Hospital During Omicron Surge

    Nearly 9 in 10 children ages 5-11 who were hospitalized for COVID-19 from mid-December to late February were unvaccinated, a rate that was two times higher than for vaccinated children, a new government study shows.

    Researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also found<...

    Moderna Says Its Combo Vaccine Effective Against Omicron

    Moderna Inc. announced Tuesday that an updated COVID booster shot that combines Moderna's original vaccine with protection against the Beta variant appears more effective than current booster shots against Omicron and a number of other variants.

    Before the highly transmissible Omicron variant surfaced, Moderna was tweaking its original vaccine to provide added protection against the earli...

    Heart Inflammation Very Rare After COVID Vaccination

    The heart inflammation that followed COVID-19 shots in some teens and young adults is rare and a new study affirms that your risk is extremely low.

    Inflammation of the heart muscle (myoperic...

    Mental Health Issues Linked to Higher Risk of Breakthrough COVID Infections

    People with substance abuse disorders, depression and other mental health conditions may be at higher risk for COVID-19 -- even when they are fully vaccinated, new research suggests.

    "Individuals with psychiatric disorders, and especially older adults with psychiatric disorders, may be particularly vulnerable to breakthrough infections," said study author Kristen Nishimi, a postdoctoral f...

    White House COVID Response Coordinator Says Adults Over 60 Should Get Second Booster

    Americans who are over 60 should get a second COVID-19 booster shot, the White House's new COVID-19 response coordinator recommended Sunday.

    Dr. Ashish Jha noted that data from Israel has found significantly reduced rates of infection and death among older individuals who received a fourth dose of a COVID vaccine.

    "The data out of Israel is pretty compelling for people over 60," J...

    Does the Moderna Vaccine Best the Pfizer Shot?

    Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine may have some slight advantages over the Pfizer shot, new research suggests.

    For the study, researchers tracked antibody levels in 234 people for 10 months after they received either the two-dose Pfizer (114 people) or Moderna (114 people) mRNA vaccines,...

    Pfizer Says Its Booster Shot Bolsters Immune Response in Those Aged 5 to 11

    Pfizer Inc. said Thursday that its booster shot raised levels of neutralizing antibodies against both the original coronavirus strain and the Omicron variant in children aged 5 to 11.

    They said in a

  • By Robert Preidt HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 14, 2022
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  • Biden Administration Extends COVID Public Health Emergency for 90 Days

    America's public health emergency plan for COVID-19 will continue for at least another 90 days, the Biden administration announced Wednesday.

    Pushing the deadline to mid-July means that vulnerable Americans will keep getting the health care benefits the program offers.

    The emergency plan has b...

    Meningitis Vaccine May Guard Against Gonorrhea

    Rates of gonorrhea are on the rise, and this sexually transmitted disease is becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics, raising fears of a potential superbug.

    Luckily, while there isn’t a vaccine against gonorrhea yet, an available meningitis vaccine may offer some protection against this STD, two new studies suggest.

    There are two vaccines available in the United States that...

    Philadelphia Becomes First U.S. City to Bring Back Indoor Mask Mandate

    Faced with rising COVID-19 case counts, Philadelphia has announced that it will reinstate an indoor mask mandate next week.

    City officials announced the change on Monday, as COVID-19 cases have climbed across the country due to the highly transmissible Omicron subvariant k...

    Study Finds Just One Dose of HPV Vaccine May Be Enough

    A single dose of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine provides as much protection against cervical cancer as the standard three-dose regimen, a new study finds.

    "These findings are a game-changer that may substantially reduce the incidence of HPV-attributable cervical cancer, and positions single-dose HPV vaccination as a high-value and high-impact public health intervention that is within ...

    Could COVID Infection After Age 50 Leave You Vulnerable to Shingles?

    Catching COVID-19 appears to increase an older person's risk of developing a case of shingles.

    Researchers found that people 50 and older who had a COVID infection were 15% more likely to develop shingles, compared to people who were never infected. That risk climbed to 21% in people hospitalized with a severe case of COVID.

    "It is important that health care professionals and people...

    Vaccination Mandate for Federal Workers Reinstated by Appeals Court

    A rule requiring U.S. federal government employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 has been reinstated by a federal appeals court.

    The mandate was introduced in September but enforcement was halted in January by a preliminary inju...

    Among Vaccinated, Omicron Symptoms Ease 2 Days Earlier Than With Delta

    If you're vaccinated and get COVID-19 anyway, which variant you have and whether you've been boosted make a difference.

    Symptoms last longer when breakthrough infections are caused by t...

    Is the CDC in Crisis? Former Agency Directors Debate Its Future

    A handful of former directors of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say they support a sweeping review of the agency that's been ordered up by CDC head Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

    Earlier this week, Walensky announced that she has asked outside experts to ...

    FDA Advisors Weigh COVID Booster Shots for Fall

    Outlining a daunting timeline for development of any updated coronavirus vaccine for next fall, federal health officials told an expert advisory panel on Wednesday that clinical trials of potential candidates would have to begin by next month, and a final formula chosen by June, to meet that tight deadline.

    The assessment came during a daylong

  • By Robin Foster HealthDay Reporter
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  • April 7, 2022
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  • FDA Panel Meets to Craft Future Vaccine Strategy

    An advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will meet Wednesday to discuss the best way forward with coronavirus vaccines, as evidence grows that variants are eroding the power of the country's current shots.

    "As we prepare for future needs to address COVID-19, prevention in the form of vaccines remains our best defense against the disease and any potentially severe consequ...

    • Robert Preidt and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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    • April 6, 2022
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    Israeli Data Shows 2nd COVID Booster Shields Against Omicron

    Israel's government made a second booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine available to all of its citizens aged 60 and older at the beginning of this year.

    Now, emerging data suggests this fourth dose greatly boosts protection against the Omicron variant.

    In a study published April ...

    More Evidence COVID Vaccine Offers Good Protection for Most Cancer Patients

    Vaccines did a good job protecting most cancer patients against COVID-19, but those with blood cancers remain at risk for breakthrough infections, new research suggests.

    The study analyzed nationwide data on more than 64,000 U.S. cancer patients who were vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. The researchers looked a...

    No Sign That COVID Vaccine in Pregnancy Raises Birth Defect Risk

    Public health experts have been telling pregnant women that it is safe -- and recommended -- to get a COVID-19 shot because they are at higher risk for poor outcomes and death from the virus.

    New research now answers a key question about the vaccine's impact on their babies.

    The vaccine is not associated with birth defects detectable on an ultrasound, the Northwestern University stu...

    Should You Get a COVID Booster Shot?

    Now that many Americans can get not one, but two booster shots, how do you know if they are right for you?

    Michigan Medicine-University of Michigan offers some advice based on updated findings and recommendations.

    "Everyone over age 12 should get a [first] booster shot to help protect ...

    Had COVID? Getting Vaccine Boosts Resilience Even More, Studies Show

    If you've had COVID-19 but not your COVID shot, you may wonder if getting a vaccine now will really help you.

    It will, two new studies say.

    Researchers in Brazil and Sweden confirmed that COVID-19 vaccines provided significant additional protection for people who had alrea...

    Even During Omicron, Pfizer Vaccine Slashed Hospitalizations for Kids Aged 5 to 11

    The Pfizer COVID vaccine significantly reduced U.S. children's risk of severe illness and hospitalization during the recent Omicron surge, according to a new study.

    But researchers noted that only 27% of 5- to 11-year-olds in the United States and just 57% of 12- to 17-year-olds had received two vaccine doses as of March 16, and said they hoped their findings would help persuade reluctant...

    COVID Vaccine Safe for Kids Who've Had MIS-C, Small Study Suggests

    COVID-19 vaccines appear to be safe for kids who have had a rare complication called MIS-C after being infected by the coronavirus, according to a new small study.

    Some kids get MIS-C -- shorthand for multisystem inflammator...

    CDC Supports 2nd Booster Shots for Americans 50 and Older

    Hours after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a second booster shot of the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines for people 50 and older, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Dennis Thompson and Robin Foster
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  • March 29, 2022
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  • FDA Approves 2nd Booster Shots for Americans 50 and Older

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that it has approved a second booster shot of the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines for people 50 and older.

    The agency also authorized a second booster for Americans 12 and older who are immune-compromised, such as those who have undergone solid organ transplants. The additional shot can be given at least four months after a f...

    'Live' Type of Flu Shot Is Safe for Kids With Asthma: Study

    Yearly flu shots are especially important for kids with asthma as any virus can trigger an asthma attack. But in the not-too-distant future, these kids might be able to get a spritz instead of a jab, new research hints.

    Current recommendations suggest children with asthma get an inactivated flu shot (...

    Biden Administration to Offer 2nd COVID Boosters to Those 50 and Older

    Despite not knowing how long another jab might provide protection, the Biden administration plans to offer a second COVID booster shot to Americans 50 and older.

    Optional second boosters of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines could be authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as soon as thi...

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