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Advisers to the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention are assembly Thursday to vote on suggestions about mixing and matching booster doses of all three coronavirus vaccines licensed in the USA.

The all-day assembly of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices comes after the Meals and Drug Administration licensed boosters of the Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccines for various populations and on completely different timelines.

The FDA licensed a 3rd shot of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech for anybody age 65 and older, or any grownup liable to extreme sickness due to underlying circumstances or publicity on the job, who has gone a minimum of six months since their second dose of the two-shot regimens. In the meantime, the company stated anybody 18 and over who has gone a minimum of two months since getting the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine can get a booster dose — broad eligibility standards reflecting the decrease safety afforded by that vaccine in contrast with the others.

The CDC panel is more likely to advocate that people attempt to get a booster of the identical model as their preliminary collection, whereas permitting for mixing and matching if that isn’t doable, based on federal well being officers. The panel can be scheduled to listen to security updates concerning the uncommon danger of inflammatory coronary heart issues akin to myocarditis amongst recipients of Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, particularly in males ages 18 to 24.

CDC Director Rochelle Walensky will make the ultimate determination. If she indicators off Thursday on the advice that eligible people can obtain an additional shot of any coronavirus vaccine, clinicians and pharmacies might start giving booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines as early as Friday.

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Pfizer and BioNTech introduced their research discovered a booster dose of their coronavirus vaccine was 95.6 p.c efficient in defending towards covid-19 for individuals who had already acquired two doses of the vaccine.
The White Home introduced plans Wednesday to distribute coronavirus vaccines to 5- to 11-year-olds as soon as federal well being officers log out on a lowered dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Well being officers are involved that the onset of chilly climate might usher in a “twindemic” if influenza and coronavirus circumstances improve on the identical time. Hearken to Put up Stories to seek out out what parallel surges might imply for a health-care system that’s already stretched skinny.

The United Nations has launched a large-scale effort to vaccinate Afghans towards the coronavirus with the Taliban’s approval, U.N. representatives confirmed this week.

The intensified marketing campaign kicked off in 14 provinces Saturday, based on Sabrina Sidhu, a spokeswoman for UNICEF, the U.N. kids’s company. UNICEF, with the assistance of the World Well being Group, started immunizing folks in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, and the U.N.-led effort launched for residents of the remaining provinces this week.

U.N. businesses and the Taliban had been in talks in latest weeks and Taliban leaders gave the inexperienced gentle for immunization campaigns — together with ones for measles and polio — to renew in earnest.

Afghanistan acquired its first shipments of coronavirus vaccine doses in February. The war-torn nation’s vaccination drive obtained off to a sluggish begin amid a weak well being system, mistrust in authorities and vaccine hesitancy. However the marketing campaign had ramped up within the weeks earlier than the Taliban gained management the nation in August.

Vaccination charges plummeted within the wake of the Taliban takeover, from tens of 1000’s of individuals per day to a number of hundred in latest weeks, Richard Brennan, World Well being Group emergency director for the Japanese Mediterranean, stated in an interview. Simply 4.3 p.c of the inhabitants is totally vaccinated — a proportion Brennan described as on par with different nations going through battle and humanitarian crises, akin to Syria and Yemen.

“Now, the Taliban authorities, their huge precedence is de facto to get fundamental well being providers going once more, and inside that the vaccination packages are key,” Brennan stated. “They don’t have quite a lot of technical capability or quite a lot of what we’d name operational capability, so they’re encouraging the WHO and UNICEF to play an enormous function.”

The brand new U.N. vaccination push comes as a stockpile of Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses — practically 1.6 million doses on the newest rely — are set to run out within the second half of November. For the reason that U.N. businesses started redoubling their efforts this previous week, as much as 42,000 folks have been immunized per day, Brennan stated. They’re utilizing a mixture of approaches to achieve the inhabitants, together with cellular clinics and vaccination groups at mosques throughout Friday prayers. About 3.5 million extra doses are slated to reach in Afghanistan within the coming weeks, he added, together with a half-million AstraZeneca doses via the WHO-backed Covax vaccine-sharing initiative and three million Sinopharm doses from China.

However the United Nations’ effort to manage them requires a “delicate dance” between the Taliban and overseas funders, Brennan stated. Worldwide donors suspended support that had financed the majority of public providers in Afghanistan and are nonetheless debating methods to interact with the Taliban. Since August, an already weak well being system has had to deal with the emigration of medical personnel, unpaid salaries and shortages of drugs and funds.

Ninety-six p.c of well being services are open, and greater than 90 p.c of feminine well being staff are displaying as much as work, Brennan stated, at the same time as many have gone unpaid. However solely round three-quarters of well being services within the nation are totally practical. And with land borders nonetheless largely closed, the U.N. businesses have needed to fly in provides — an costly endeavor. It’s unclear when these borders will open and when worldwide support will resume.

“That uncertainty is an issue,” Brennan stated. “We solely have cash most likely till the top of January to help the well being providers, so we want sustained funds for well being care.”
Whereas the pandemic has dragged on for practically two years, a void of self-administered medicines to cut back covid-19 signs stays. Hoping to fill this hole, Texas Tech College Well being Sciences Middle El Paso will conduct two research aimed toward testing the efficacy of 4 medicine, together with the much-debated ivermectin.

“Often therapies for ailments take a few years to develop, and every part we’re doing is on a quick observe as a result of folks want it now,” Edward Michelson, chairman of the college’s Division of Emergency Medication, advised The Washington Put up.

The middle was awarded $1.7 million by the Nationwide Institutes of Well being to conduct the medical trials, which include two tasks: a nationwide one, dubbed ACTIV-6, and an area one designed by Michelson.

With the previous, the middle will likely be a part of randomized medical trials — led by the Duke Scientific Analysis Institute — to discover whether or not older and already federally permitted medicine may be repurposed to deal with adults with mild-to-moderate covid-19 signs who should not sick sufficient to be hospitalized.

ACTIV-6, which launched June 8, is testing fluticasone, an inhaled steroid generally prescribed for bronchial asthma and power obstructive pulmonary illness; fluvoxamine, a drug usually prescribed for despair; and ivermectin, which is used to deal with parasitic infections.

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Using ivermectin has remained a contentious subject, with the Meals and Drug Administration pleading for folks to chorus from self-medicating with variations meant to be used in animals. Whereas research on the drug’s effectiveness are combined, Michelson stated this research would “hopefully put the controversy to relaxation.”

“Folks like Dr. Google, and so they don’t actually know methods to safely take ivermectin,” he stated. “Some persons are most likely overdosing. With this trial, we are going to give them the suitable variety of drugs in order that the quantity of drug is acceptable for his or her particular person weight.”

The second research Michelson is main will check cromolyn sodium, an affordable generic drug used to deal with allergy symptoms in addition to bronchial asthma signs. In contrast to the ACTIV-6 trial, this one will embody sufferers who’re hospitalized with covid-19 — particularly since cromolyn sodium, he stated, could also be useful in treating pneumonia, an irritation that has usually led to deaths amongst folks contaminated with the coronavirus.

“My hope is that if we present that the drug works in a small variety of sufferers, we are going to return to ACTIV-6 and ask them in the event that they’re keen so as to add that to their listing of medicine they need to research in order that we will research this in a number of websites,” Michelson stated.

For Michelson, holding these trials in El Paso — a metropolis the place over 81 p.c of the inhabitants is Hispanic, based on U.S. Census knowledge — will allow scientists to know how therapies evaluate throughout completely different teams.

“Some medicine work higher in some teams than others,” he stated. “I actually need to encourage of us to take part as a result of we’re going to wish folks to volunteer to be a part of these research in an effort to reply the questions.”

Moscow prepares for the return to lockdown as covid circumstances — and deaths — soar
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By Isabelle Khurshudyan and Mary Ilyushina11:15 a.m.
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MOSCOW — With Russia enduring its worst wave of the pandemic, setting new grim information in new day by day circumstances and deaths, Moscow introduced a lockdown Thursday — a transfer the Kremlin had beforehand stated it might keep away from in any respect prices.

Russia joins different nations grappling methods to reintroduce restrictions after taking out practically all of them. Public well being specialists in Britain, for instance, are calling on the federal government to convey again some restrictions as circumstances climb regardless of the nation’s excessive vaccination fee.

Russia — Moscow, specifically — has previously yr frequently launched measures when new circumstances have spiked, together with a digital move system for the vaccinated and a curfew for bars and eating places. However these provisions had been usually shortly deserted, in some circumstances after only a couple weeks. Masks-wearing compliance all through the nation stays low.

Extra importantly, Russia’s vaccination marketing campaign has stalled at simply 33 p.c, maybe as a result of authorities have usually touted their success in coping with the pandemic. Analysts have stated that’s created a combined message for Russians as to why they even have to get the jab.

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