Recent News

Pharmacist who 'intentionally' destroyed 500 Covid vaccine doses gets three years in prison

Jun 10 2021

A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced the Wisconsin pharmacist, who destroyed 500 Covid-19 vaccine doses "during a national public health emergency" tothree years in prison. Back in January, Steven Brandenburg agreed to plead guilty to two counts of attempting to tamper with consumer products with reckless disregard. Theoretically, he could have faced a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison for each count. But under federal sentencing guidelines, Brandenburg was looking at up to 51 months behind bars.

Source: NBC

There's A Stark Red-Blue Divide When It Comes To States' Vaccination Rates

Jun 10 2021

Less than a month remains until the Fourth of July, which was President Biden's goal for 70% of American adults to have gotten at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. It looks like it's going to be a stretch to get there. As of Tuesday, nearly 64% of U.S. adults have had at least one shot, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The key issue is that demand has dropped off. After an initial crush, the number of doses being administered daily is on a steep decline from the early April peak.

Source: NPR

AIRLINES United will require new employees to show proof of Covid vaccine, following Delta

Jun 10 2021

United Airlines this month will start requiring new hires to show proof that they have been vaccinated against Covid-19, following a similar move by Delta Air Lines. The new rule requires external candidates with job offers made after June 15 to confirm they have been fully vaccinated by their start date, the Chicago-based airline said. The move comes as companies are grappling with whether to require staff to get vaccinated or find a way to incentivize them get inoculated. United, Delta and American have offered extra time off or pay to employees who are vaccinated. Big employers like Walmart have taken similar measures.

Source: CNBC

A Multibillion-Dollar Plan to End Polio, and Soon

Jun 10 2021

As the world adjusts to the idea of coexisting with the coronavirus for the foreseeable future, global health organizations are laying plans to eradicate another scourge that has already lingered for thousands of years: poliovirus. The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, a public-private partnership led by national governments and health groups, on Wednesday released a $5.1 billion plan to eradicate polio by 2026. Polio can cripple or even kill those afflicted with it. For decades, the initiative has been trying to achieve a polio-free world by immunizing every child against the virus, but with limited success. Many countries were dealing with sporadic outbreaks of polio before the coronavirus emerged, but the pandemic brought some polio vaccination programs to a halt, at least for a few months, and worsened the trend. Last year, there were 1,226 cases of polio worldwide, compared with 138 in 2018.

Source: NYT

Teens and adults miss 26 million doses of CDC-recommended vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic, study finds

Jun 10 2021

As Americans get vaccinated against the coronavirus, a report published Wednesday found teens and adults may have missed millions of routine vaccinations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2020. The study, commissioned by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and conducted by Avalere Health, analyzed vaccine claims from January through November 2020 and compared them with the same timeframe in 2019. Researchers found teens and adults may have missed more than 26 million doses of recommended vaccines in 2020, which includes 8.8 million missed adolescent vaccines and 17.2 million missed adult vaccine doses.

Source: USA Today

The rush to vaccinate the world stalls as funds and doses fall short.

Jun 03 2021

Many of the world’s poorest nations are living through their deadliest outbreaks of the pandemic, with few signs that a significant number of vaccine doses will be available to reverse that tide anytime soon. Billion-dollar pledges to help them buy doses — and last week’s announcement that the United States will distribute an initial supply of 25 million doses around the world this month — will do little to curb the explosive outbreaks in countries including Argentina, Malaysia and Botswana, experts said. India, the world’s largest producer of vaccines, won’t export any for the rest of the year as it confronts a crushing virus wave. And Covax, the global vaccine-sharing program that the poorest nations rely on, is struggling to raise money and find doses to buy.

Source: NYT

Pfizer to test Covid vaccine in larger group of children below 12

Jun 03 2021

Pfizer said on Tuesday it will begin testing its Covid-19 vaccine in a bigger group of children under age 12 after selecting a lower dose of the shot in an earlier stage of the trial. The study will enroll up to 4,500 children at more than 90 clinical sites in the United States, Finland, Poland and Spain, the company said. Based on safety, tolerability and the immune response generated by 144 children in a phase I study of the two-dose shot, Pfizer said it will test a dose of 10 micrograms in children between 5 and 11 years of age and 3 micrograms for the age group of 6 months to 5.

Source: CNBC

How Vaccine Hesitancy Spread in My Prison

May 28 2021

Everyone’s being offered the vaccine. It’s Johnson & Johnson — one and done,” a bald administrator announced as he walked through the block. “It’s not mandatory! The officer is coming around with a list. Let him know — yes or no!” It was early April at Sullivan Correctional Facility, the maximum security prison in the Catskills where I am incarcerated. In late March, a judge ruled that New York needed to offer vaccines to all prisoners. But even when we became eligible, many were not exactly eager to get the vaccine.

Source: NYT

Antivaccine activists use a government database on side effects to scare the public

May 28 2021

On 5 May, Fox News host Tucker Carlson delivered a 10-minute monologue casting doubt on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines on his show, Tucker Carlson Tonight. He announced that almost 4000 people had died after getting COVID-19 vaccines, and added that those data “comes from VAERS,”—the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, a U.S. government program that collects reports of side effects possibly caused by vaccines.

Source: Science Mag

For Colleges, Vaccine Mandates Often Depend on Which Party Is in Power

May 28 2021

For more than 400 colleges and universities, it is being billed as the ticket to a normal year on campus: Require all students to be vaccinated for the coronavirus before they can matriculate next fall. From just one university in March, to a dozen by the first week of April, the trickle has become a tide over the past month — depending on just where students are attending school.

Source: NYT