Recent News

COVID Precautions Help Reduce Spread Of Influenza, But Experts Say You Should Still Get The Flu Shot

Jan 15 2021

(CBS4) — With the coronavirus pandemic dominating the headlines, it’s easy to forget we are right in the middle of flu season. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 3,546 Coloradans were hospitalized during the 2019-2020 season (Sept. 29, 2019-May 23, 2020.) Meanwhile, since September 2020, Colorado has had only 18 flu hospitalizations total.

Source: CBS Local

Study: Posts on Facebook big drivers of anti-vaccine resistance

Jan 15 2021

An analysis of posts of Facebook about the HPV vaccine suggests the social media platform is often used to fuel anti-vaccine sentiment. As Americans await their COVID-19 shot, a new study of a different vaccine shows the power of Facebook posts in fueling "anti-vax" resistance to immunization. The study included more than 10 years of public Facebook posts on the human papillomavirus, or HPV, vaccine.

Source: UPI

The Utter Familiarity of Even the Strangest Vaccine Conspiracy Theories

Jan 15 2021

Long before the first needle pierced the skin to deliver Pfizer/BioNTech’s highly anticipated COVID-19 vaccine, social media was rife with speculation and fearmongering. Alongside pertinent questions about safety, efficacy, and the historic rapidity of the vaccine’s production were conspiracy theories: that the vaccine was unsafe, unhealthy, itself the product of a conspiracy. Some claimed that the vaccine would alter your DNA or give you the disease itself. Others stated that the vaccine contained a microchip, perhaps placed there by Bill Gates, that linked to cell towers via 5G technology to allow for population surveillance. These narratives are persistent and are intruding on the real world: In Wisconsin, a pharmacist purposely sabotaged 57 vials over the holidays because he thought the vaccine would change people’s DNA.

Source: The Atlantic

Pharmacies say they could do more to distribute vaccines. States are listening.

Jan 15 2021

Retail pharmacies are stepping in to help speed up Covid-19 vaccinations much earlier than anticipated after calls for states to take more advantage of their networks and experience. Independent and chain drug stores weren't supposed to take a large role in distributing the vaccines until later stages, when doses will be much more widely available. But the halting rollout so far has sent governors scrambling for alternatives to hospital systems and local health departments, which have been handling most vaccinations so far.

Source: NBC

J&J’s one-shot Covid vaccine is safe and generates promising immune response in early trial

Jan 15 2021

Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose coronavirus vaccine is safe and appears to generate a promising immune response in both young and elderly volunteers, according to trial data published Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. J&J scientists randomly assigned healthy adults between the ages of 18 and 55 and those 65 and older to receive a high or low dose of its vaccine — called Ad26.COV2.S — or a placebo. Some participants in the 18-to-55 age group were also selected to receive a second dose of the vaccine.

Source: CNBC

An Appreciation for Vaccines, and How Far They Have Come

Jan 14 2021

This time of year, my thoughts turn to the DTP vaccine. Last year I wrote about the apocryphal “Christmas miracle” of 1891, in which the newly discovered diphtheria antitoxin may (or more likely, may not) have been used before it had been approved to save a child’s life. Still, the moral was that bacteriology, that new 19th-century science, had figured out how one of the deadly microscopic bacteria did its damage, with a poison that could choke off children’s airways, and had invented an antidote, and that was miracle enough.

Source: NYT

How COVID unlocked the power of RNA vaccines

Jan 14 2021

It was a Friday afternoon in March 2013 when Andy Geall got the call. Three people in China had just become infected with a new strain of avian influenza. The global head of vaccines research at Novartis, Rino Rappuoli, wanted to know whether Geall and his colleagues were ready to put their new vaccine technology to the test. A year earlier, Geall’s team at Novartis’s US research hub in Cambridge, Massachusetts, had packaged strings of RNA nucleotides inside of small fat droplets, known as lipid nanoparticles (LNPs), and used them to successfully vaccinate rats against a respiratory virus1. Could they now do the same for the novel flu strain? And could they do it as fast as possible?

Source: Nature

Colorado prepares for significant increase in COVID-19 vaccine supply after federal changes to rollout

Jan 14 2021

Colorado’s weekly allocation of coronavirus vaccine could increase significantly — maybe even double for a time — under the Trump administration’s plans to make more supply immediately available by no longer withholding doses to ensure people get their second shots, Gov. Jared Polis said Wednesday. But the specifics of when and how states will receive those additional doses still are unknown, in part because the administration will transfer power to President-elect Joe Biden next week.

Source: DP