The NIH director on why Americans aren't getting healthier, despite medical advances
As he prepares to leave his post of 12 years, Francis Collins reflects on the agency's biomedical advances, the dangers of polarizing medicine, and the huge health gaps that still exist in the U.S.npr.org
Japan bans entry of foreign visitors as omicron spreads
Japan announced Monday it will suspend entry of all foreign visitors from around the world as a new coronavirus variant spreads, prompting an increasing number of countries to tighten their borders. “We are taking the step as an emergency precaution to prevent a worst-case scenario in Japan,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said. The decision means Japan will restore border controls that it eased earlier this month for short-term business visitors, foreign students and workers.news.yahoo.com
The Latest: Health official: Booster use may be expanded
The National Institutes of Health director says a U_S_ government advisory panel’s decision to limit Pfizer COVID-19 booster shots to Americans 65 and older as well as those at high risk of severe disease is a preliminary step and predicts broader approval for most Americans “in the next few weeks.”.
U.S. intelligence agencies split on Covid-19 origins, offer no high-confidence conclusions in new report
WASHINGTON — The U.S. intelligence community said Thursday that it was divided over the exact origin of Covid-19 in China. "After examining all available intelligence reporting and other information, though, the IC remains divided on the most likely origin of Covid-19. Four agencies said they had low confidence that the virus had a natural emergence, according to the report. In May, President Joe Biden ordered a closer intelligence review of what he described as two likely scenarios of the origins of the Covid-19. "Not to say that it could not have been under study secretly at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and got out of there, we don't know about that.cnbc.com
US could see 200,000 Covid cases a day again: ‘Unvaccinated are sitting ducks’
Director of National Institutes of Health pleads with Americans to get their shots as Delta variant ravages the country Dr Francis Collins, director of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), center, speaks during a Senate hearing in Washington on 26 May 2021. Photograph: Stefani Reynolds/EPA The US could soon see Covid-19 cases return to 200,000 a day, a level not seen since among the pandemic’s worst days in January and February, the director of the National Institutes of Health warned onnews.yahoo.com
Fears as more children falling ill in latest US Covid surge and school approaches
National Institutes of Health director says 1,450 kids in hospital Teachers union shifts, calls for vaccine mandates for teachers NIH director Francis Collins holds up a model of the coronavirus as he testifies before a Senate appropriations subcommittee on Capitol Hill on 26 May 2021. Photograph: REX/Shutterstock Amid increased fears that children are now both victims and vectors of the latest Covid-19 variant surge, National Institutes of Health director Francis Collins signaled on Sunday thatnews.yahoo.com
Obama plans Martha’s Vineyard birthday bash as Delta variant rages on
Former President Obama is hosting a 60th birthday bash for himself and hundreds of guests on Martha’s Vineyard this coming weekend amid heightened public health concerns — locally and nationally — about the COVID-19 Delta variant.Why it matters: The recent breakthrough cases in nearby Provincetown, Massachusetts, after the July Fourth holiday showed the continued risk of spread even between vaccinated people — prompting new masking guidelines from the CDC.Get market news worthy of your time withnews.yahoo.com
Rare 'breakthrough' COVID cases are causing alarm, confusion
Reports of athletes, lawmakers and others getting the coronavirus despite vaccination may sound alarming but top health experts point to overwhelming evidence that the shots are doing exactly what they are supposed to: dramatically reducing severe illness and death. The best indicator: U.S. hospitalizations and deaths are nearly all among the unvaccinated, and real-world data from Britain and Israel support that protection against the worst cases remains strong. What scientists call “breakthrough” infections in people who are fully vaccinated make up a small fraction of cases.news.yahoo.com
Chinese city locks down neighborhood after virus upsurge
The southern Chinese city of Guangzhou shut down a neighborhood and ordered residents to stay home Saturday to be tested for the coronavirus following an upsurge in infections that has rattled authorities. Guangzhou, a business and industrial center of 15 million people north of Hong Hong, has reported 20 new infections over the past week. The number is small compared with India’s thousands of daily cases but alarmed Chinese authorities who believed they had the disease under control.news.yahoo.com
Biden adviser makes personal appeal to young to get shots
A top White House aide made his pitch for young people to get vaccinated personal on Tuesday, sharing the struggles his son has experienced since contracting COVID-19 last fall. “I know it's easy when you're young to imagine that these things don't affect you, a vaccine may feel unnecessary, you feel healthy, you know people who had COVID and they're doing alright," he said, adding.news.yahoo.com
NIH director: COVID vaccine "an answer to prayer"
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, a scientist and an evangelical Christian, says we are at a "love your neighbor" moment, when Americans can get vaccinated to help protect the vulnerable from severe illness and death.cbsnews.com
U.S. health experts try to ease Covid vaccine fears as AstraZeneca's shot faces review in Europe
Medical experts in the United States are trying to assuage fears that Covid-19 vaccines may be unsafe after several European countries suspended AstraZeneca's shot following reports of blood clots among some recipients. Germany, France, Italy and Spain all said on Monday they would also stop administering the shot. The European Medicines Agency, which evaluates drug safety for the EU, called a meeting Thursday to review the findings. The World Health Organization agreed, urging countries on Wednesday to continue using AstraZeneca's shots. This isn't the first time Fauci has stressed the safety of the current vaccines amid AstraZeneca's suspension.cnbc.com
Faith leaders get COVID-19 shot to curb vaccine reluctance
Patricia Hailes Fears, pastor of the Fellowship Baptist Church in Washington, is administered with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine during a gathering of a group of interfaith clergy members, community leaders and officials at the Washington National Cathedral, to encourage faith communities to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, March 16, 2021, in Washington. AdFollowing a moment of prayer for COVID-19 victims, the socially distanced attendees applauded when the Rev. Ad“We often get asked, can you get COVID-19 from the vaccine? It is impossible to get COVID-19 from the vaccine," Fauci said, sporting a gray face mask with drawings of laboratory beakers. In Washington, Black residents account for a little under half the population but nearly three-fourths of COVID-19 deaths.
J&J’s 1-dose shot cleared, giving US 3rd COVID-19 vaccine
FILE - This July 2020 photo provided by Johnson & Johnson shows a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine in Belgium. The U.S. is getting a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19, as the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021 cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two. (Johnson & Johnson via AP, File)WASHINGTON – The U.S. is getting a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19, as the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose instead of two. Like other COVID-19 vaccines, the main side effects of the J&J shot are pain at the injection site and flu-like fever, fatigue and headache. All COVID-19 vaccines train the body to recognize the new coronavirus, usually by spotting the spikey protein that coats it.
Evangelicals struggle to combat coronavirus misinformation, researcher says
Albert Ixchu is telling his parishioners that the COVID-19 vaccines are related to the Antichrist. The assistant professor at Eastern Illinois University said research shows Evangelicals have a high propensity to engage in conspiratorial thinking. During the controversial sermon, Ixchu also told parishioners the public health measures during the pandemic were a form of psychological conditioning. The wave of misinformation prompted Walter Kim, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, to interview Dr. Francis Collins, of the National Institutes of Health. — CCCU (@cccuorg) February 1, 2021More about COVID-19 vaccines:
Biden says US is securing 600 million vaccine doses by July
President Joe Biden speaks during a visit to the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory at the National Institutes of Health, Thursday, Feb. 11, 2021, in Bethesda, Md. – President Joe Biden said Thursday that the U.S. will have enough supply of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the summer to inoculate 300 million Americans. He toured the Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory that created the COVID-19 vaccine now manufactured by Moderna and being rolled out in the U.S. and other countries. The U.S. is on pace to exceed Biden’s goal of administering 100 million vaccine doses in his first 100 days in office, with more than 26 million shots delivered in his first three weeks. On the tour, Biden was shown the lab bench where researchers sequenced the virus and developed the precursor of the Moderna vaccine.
Biden says his advisers will lead with 'science and truth'
Lander added that Biden has tasked his advisers and “the whole scientific community and the American public” to “rise to this moment." Biden also named two prominent female scientists to co-chair the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Biden picked Alondra Nelson of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, a social scientist who studies science, technology and social inequality, as deputy science policy chief. The president-elect noted the team's diversity and repeated his promise that his administration's science policy and investments would target historically disadvantaged and underserved communities. The job as director of science and technology policy requires Senate confirmation.
Biden picks geneticist as science adviser, puts in Cabinet
President-elect Joe Biden picked a pioneering geneticist to be his science advisor and elevated the job to his Cabinet. Saying “science will always be at the forefront of my administration,” Biden said he is boosting the science advisor post to Cabinet level, a first in White House history. The job as director of science and technology policy requires Senate confirmation. Science organizations were also quick to praise Lander and the promotion of the science post. Biden chose Alondra Nelson of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, a social scientist who studies science, technology and social inequality, as deputy science policy chief.
FDA clears Moderna vaccine against COVID-19 adding doses to Florida’s supply
Senior Airman Marisol Salgado, medical technician, administers a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to Army Capt. Parrish was the first BAMC staff member to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The FDA’s main messages:--Both the new Moderna vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech shot require two doses several weeks apart. --In a study of 30,000 volunteers, the Moderna vaccine was more than 94% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in people 18 and older. --Moderna’s study turned up no severe allergic reactions, like the handful reported with the Pfizer-BioNTech shots in Britain and Alaska.
US clears Moderna vaccine for COVID-19, 2nd shot in arsenal
The U.S. is poised to give the green light as early as Friday, Dec. 18, to a second COVID-19 vaccine, a critical new weapon against the surging coronavirus. FDA’s decision could help pave the way for other countries that are considering the Moderna vaccine, the first-ever regulatory clearance for the small Cambridge, Massachusetts, company. The FDA’s main messages:--Both the new Moderna vaccine and the Pfizer-BioNTech shot require two doses several weeks apart. --In a study of 30,000 volunteers, the Moderna vaccine was more than 94% effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 in people 18 and older. But there was a hint that Moderna’s shot might provide some protection against asymptomatic infection.
'Healing is coming': US health workers start getting vaccine
“Relieved,” proclaimed critical care nurse Sandra Lindsay after becoming one of the first to be inoculated at Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New York. “I feel like healing is coming.”With a countdown of “3-2-1,” workers at Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center gave initial injections to applause. It just represents a moral failing,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, a public health researcher at Johns Hopkins. Getting vaccinated is “a privilege,” said Dr. Leonardo Seoane, chief academic officer at Ochsner Health in suburban New Orleans, after getting his dose. And later this week, the FDA will decide whether to green-light the world’s second rigorously studied COVID-19 vaccine, made by Moderna Inc.
1st drug for rare rapid-aging disease extends kids' lives
The first drug was approved Friday for a rare genetic disorder that stunts growth and causes rapid aging in children, after studies showed it can extend their lives. Kids with the genetic disorder progeria typically die in their early teens, usually from heart disease. But in testing, children taking the drug Zokinvy lived 2 1/2 years longer on average. Research on the treatment was mainly funded by the Progeria Research Foundation in Peabody, Massachusetts, with help from drug developer Eiger BioPharmaceuticals. The FDA action was based on two studies in which a total of 62 kids took the drug twice a day.
Volunteers still needed to test variety of COVID-19 vaccines
Moderna Inc. and competitor Pfizer Inc. recently announced preliminary results showing their vaccines appear more than 90% effective, at least for short-term protection against COVID-19. Instead, the vaccines are made with a brand-new technology that injects a piece of genetic code for the spike protein. TROJAN HORSE VACCINESA different way to target the spike protein: Use another, harmless virus to carry the spike gene into the body. Once again, the body produces some spike protein and primes the immune system. But inactivated vaccines give the body a sneak peek at the germ itself rather than just that single spike protein.
The Latest: New Mexico sets another one-day COVID-19 record
We can’t take another hit.”___MIAMI - Florida has reported a slight uptick in daily confirmed COVID-19 cases, adding 3,449 to its total caseload on Friday. There were 3,861 new coronavirus cases reported in Wisconsin on Friday, breaking the previous record set just a day earlier of 3,747. The report, released Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, looks at coronavirus-associated deaths reported between May 1 and August 31. The deaths reported Friday include 10 women and eight men, all in their 60s or older. With 222 deaths reported in the last 24 hours, Spain’s total has reached 33,775.
2 scientists win Nobel chemistry prize for gene-editing tool
French scientist Emmanuelle Charpentier and American Jennifer A. Doudna have won the Nobel Prize 2020 in chemistry for developing a method of genome editing likened to 'molecular scissors' that offer the promise of one day curing genetic diseases. “There is enormous power in this genetic tool,” said Claes Gustafsson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry. In 1911, Marie Curie was the sole recipient of the chemistry award, as was Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin in 1964. ___Read more stories about Nobel Prizes past and present by The Associated Press at https://www.apnews.com/NobelPrizes___This story was first published Oct. 7, 2020. It was updated on Oct. 8, 2020, to correct the aim of clinical trials that are underway with the gene-editing tool CRISPR.
Nearly 1M who died of COVID-19 also illuminated treatment
Several drugs have proved useful and doctors know more about how to care for the sickest patients in hospitals, he said. People who have died from COVID-19, especially ones who took part in studies, have helped reveal what drugs do or do not help. Two anti-inflammatory drugs, one used in combination with remdesivir — the drug Wang helped test — also have been reported to help although results of those studies have not yet been published. In hospitals, doctors know more now about ways to avoid using breathing machines, such as keeping patients on their bellies. “Prevention is the most important step right now as we’re waiting for a vaccine and we’re improving treatment,” Goodman said.
US experts vow ‘no cutting corners’ as vaccine tests expand
President Donald Trump is pushing for a faster timeline, which many experts say is risky and may not allow for adequate testing. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn pledged that career scientists, not politicians, will decide whether any coronavirus vaccine meets clearly stated standards that it works and is safe. In one of the largest studies yet, Johnson & Johnson aims to enroll 60,000 volunteers to test its single-dose approach in the U.S., South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. J&J’s vaccine is made with slightly different technology than others in late-stage testing, modeled on an Ebola vaccine the company created. Going forward, “we need uniformity throughout the country.”In a testy exchange, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky insisted public health officials were wrong that a lockdown could change the course of the pandemic.
Push is underway to test COVID-19 vaccines in diverse groups
– In front of baskets of tomatoes and peppers, near a sizzling burrito grill, the “promotoras” stop masked shoppers at a busy Latino farmers market: Want to test a COVID-19 vaccine? Many thousands of volunteers from minority groups are needed for huge clinical trials underway or about to begin. Scientists say a diverse group of test subjects is vital to determining whether a vaccine is safe and effective for everyone and instilling broad public confidence in the shots once they become available. Together they make up nearly 40% of the U.S. population, and an equitable vaccine study would match those demographics, though health officials would like to see even greater numbers. —-The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education.
Third virus vaccine reaches major hurdle: final US testing
AstraZeneca announced Monday its vaccine candidate has entered the final testing stage in the U.S. Final testing, experts stress, must be in large numbers of people to know if theyre safe enough for mass vaccinations. Instead, theyre made with the genetic code for the aptly named spike protein that coats the surface of the coronavirus. Chinas government authorized emergency use of CanSino Biologics adenovirus shots in the military ahead of any final testing. Competitor SinoPharm has announced plans for final testing in some other countries.
Debate begins for who's first in line for COVID-19 vaccine
Who gets to be first in line for a COVID-19 vaccine? Huge studies this summer aim to prove which of several experimental COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. But a COVID-19 vaccine decision is so tricky that this time around, ethicists and vaccine experts from the National Academy of Medicine, chartered by Congress to advise the government, are being asked to weigh in, too. Indeed, the risks for health workers today are far different than in the pandemics early days. Now, health workers in COVID-19 treatment units often are the best protected; others may be more at risk, committee members noted.
For top U.S. virus experts, faith and science work together
Faith and science are both under unprecedented pressures during a pandemic thats asked them to deliver comfort or certainty while at times straining their relationship. And Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, describes his faith and his public health work as mutually reinforcing. The influence of faith on some of the governments top coronavirus fighters illustrates its complicated connection to science. Faith and science have not been in tension for him, Redfield said. I see science as the most reliable way to study nature and that includes this virus, Collins said by email.
AP-NORC poll: Half of Americans would get a COVID-19 vaccine
Only about half of Americans say they would get a COVID-19 vaccine if the scientists working furiously to create one succeed, according to a poll conducted May 14-18 by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The NIH is creating a master plan for testing the leading COVID-19 vaccine candidates in tens of thousands of people, to prove if they really work and also if they're safe. Among those who want a vaccine, the AP-NORC poll found protecting themselves, their family and the community are the top reasons. Yet the poll found just 25% of African Americans and 37% of Hispanics would get a vaccine compared to 56% of whites. Worldwide, about a dozen COVID-19 vaccine candidates are in early stages of testing or poised to begin.
US begins 'warp speed' vaccine push as studies ramp up
As the manufacturing side gets into place, the National Institutes of Health is working in parallel to speed the science. The World Health Organization and global health leaders have made clear that any vaccine must be shared equally between rich and poor countries. Trump said the U.S. would work with other countries, no matter who found a vaccine first. "Vaccine or no vaccine, were back, Trump said, as states begin to reopen despite fears of a second wave of the virus. Despite all the emphasis on speed, Collins stressed that no corners are going to be cut on safety and scientists will be carefully looking for side effects.