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11 minutes ago, PA38-112 said:

do you think the US military hasn't done the same reseearch and doesn't have the same type of scientists working for them? and russia?

Yes…Quite probably ..but this one came out of Wuhan….that much we know…errrrr….I think

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that is suspicious I agree.  imagine the possibilities though, if some country wanted to mess with China-USA relations, release a virus in China and convince the Chinese that the USA did it.  sounds like a Clancy movie plot.

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1 hour ago, PA38-112 said:

that is suspicious I agree.  imagine the possibilities though, if some country wanted to mess with China-USA relations, release a virus in China and convince the Chinese that the USA did it.  sounds like a Clancy movie plot.

I think there is a lot more to the story as to why China closed down in such a flurry of activity …and why still to this day they do not report Covid stats like the rest of the world.

Begs the obvious question “ What are they hiding?”

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3 hours ago, PA38-112 said:

do you think the US military hasn't done the same reseearch and doesn't have the same type of scientists working for them? and russia?

Inside the US government's top-secret bioweapons lab

Fact or fiction?

The US Government Tests Deadly Chemical Warfare Agents in Utah (businessinsider.com)

U.S. Biowarfare Programs Have 13,000 Death Scientists Hard At Work | Scoop News

 

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What Canada can learn from U.S., U.K. about COVID-19 vaccinations and reopening

 

After three national lockdowns and a brutal second wave, the U.K. may be on the verge of normality. Its approach to pandemic management could offer lessons for parts of Canada still struggling and a contrast to the United States — which, like the U.K., has vaccinated millions, but is still reporting tens of thousands of new cases of COVID-19 every day due to some lingering hot spots.

Restrictions have slowly lifted in England over the past couple of months. On March 8, children returned to school. On March 29, a stay-at-home order was lifted after nearly three months. On April 12, non-essential retail, gyms, salons, libraries and community centres reopened.

On June 21, England's restaurants, pubs, cinemas and theatres are expected to reopen indoors without physical distancing or capacity limits, but with some requirements around masks.

About two-thirds of U.K. adults have received at least their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Roughly one-third have had their second shot.

In both the U.K. and the U.S., the daily number of COVID-19 cases has dropped dramatically as millions of people have been vaccinated. But the per capita case rate in the U.S. remains about four times higher than in the U.K., and there are hot spots such as Michigan, which has the highest seven-day case rate in the country — 218 cases per 100,000 people.

Unlike in the U.K., the vaccination rollout in Michigan has not been accompanied by strict public health restrictions, which has been a point of contention.

Omar Khan, professor of bioengineering at the University of Toronto, said Canada can take an important lesson from the U.K. He said the secret to the U.K.'s success was not only its swift vaccination campaign, which kicked off before that of any other Western country, but the five-week waiting period between its stages of reopening.

Those five weeks not only allow more people to be vaccinated, he said, but also allow their bodies to develop the "optimal" immune response. "As soon as you pass that one-month mark, your rate of developing disease just plummets," he said. "It's incredible."

 

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Some wealthy nations that were most praised last year for controlling the coronavirus are now lagging far behind in getting their people vaccinated — and some, especially in Asia, are seeing COVID-19 cases grow.

In Japan, South Korea and New Zealand, the vaccination rates are languishing in the single figures. That is in sharp contrast to the U.S., where nearly half of all people have gotten at least one shot, and Britain and Israel, where rates are even higher.

Not only do those three Pacific countries rank worst among all developed nations in vaccinating against COVID-19, they also rank below many developing countries such as Brazil and India, according to national figures and the online scientific publication Our World in Data.

Australia, which isn’t providing a full breakdown of its vaccination numbers, is also performing comparatively poorly, as are several other places initially considered standout successes in battling the virus, including Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan.

That could change as vaccination campaigns gather pace and supplies loosen. But meanwhile, previously successful countries are being left exposed to the virus and face longer delays in reopening to the world.

Japan, for instance, has fully vaccinated only about 1% of its population and is facing a significant new outbreak just 10 weeks before it is to host the already delayed Olympic Games — although without spectators from abroad.

The government last week announced an extension of a state of emergency through the end of the month and confirmed more than 7,000 new cases on Saturday alone, the highest daily number since January.

Bureaucracy has been part of the problem. Countries that faced mounting death tolls from the virus often threw out the rulebook, rushing through emergency vaccine approvals and delaying second shots past the recommended timeline in order to maximize the number getting their first.

In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally negotiated with Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla to get early access to vaccines, and called in the military to get them in people’s arms. In the U.S., some groups handed out doughnuts, free drinks and even marijuana to get people to roll up their sleeves.

Japan went through a more traditional approval process that required an extra layer of clinical testing for vaccines that had already been tested elsewhere and were being widely used.

And once it did start getting shots, Japan faced a shortage of people to administer them. Under the conservative medical culture, people only trust doctors and nurses enough to do so.

Dentists are willing to help and are authorized, but have not been called upon. Getting shots from pharmacists at drug stores like in the U.S. or from volunteers with no medical background other than a brief training like in Britain remains unthinkable in Japan.

New Zealand also went through its own approval process, finally giving a thumbs up to the Pfizer vaccine in February, two months after U.S. regulators had approved it for emergency use.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins last year promised New Zealand would be “at the front of the queue” for vaccines. Now he says the issue is supply.

“We can’t move any faster than we can get the vaccines into the country,” Hipkins told The Associated Press.

Pfizer declined to discuss whether it could have supplied New Zealand any faster, referring questions back to the government.

Australia has faced its own set of issues. Its plans to use mainly Australian-made vaccines took a blow in December when development was halted on a promising candidate because it produced false-positive HIV results.

Then the European Union blocked a shipment of more than 250,000 AstraZeneca doses to Australia in March, considering the EU’s needs greater. Australian regulators also switched from recommending the AstraZeneca vaccine to the Pfizer vaccine as their preferred option for people under age 50, slowing the rollout further.

In South Korea, government officials initially insisted on a wait-and-see approach with vaccines, saying the country’s outbreak wasn’t as dire as in America or Europe. But as transmissions worsened in recent months, public pressure mounted and officials sped up their negotiations with drug companies.

Worried about possible shortages, South Korea’s Prime Minister Chung Sye-kyun and other officials began pointing fingers at measures taken by the U.S., Europe and India to tighten controls on vaccine exports to deal with large outbreaks at home.

Taiwan has given first shots to less than 1% of its population, after receiving just a fraction of the millions of doses it ordered. It has also been developing its own COVID-19 vaccine, which officials say will be available by the end of July under emergency use.

After it had effectively eliminated the virus, Taiwan this week raised its emergency preparedness and imposed crowd restrictions after finding new and unexplained cases in the community. President Tsai Ing-wen has called on people not to panic.

Helen Petousis-Harris, a vaccine expert at New Zealand’s University of Auckland, said there were some advantages to taking a less frantic, more measured approach to vaccinating.

“It’s much easier to commit yourself to something after you’ve seen it be used 100 million times,” she said.

And having the luxury of sticking to the three-week schedule for second doses of the Pfizer vaccine will likely result in more people getting those shots, she added. Those facing lengthy waits for second doses were more likely to lose interest or move on with their lives.

Petousis-Harris said that New Zealand and many other wealthy countries that were slow to get going will likely see their vaccination rates rise quickly in the coming months as their campaigns swing into high gear.

By next year, she said, it will likely once again be developing nations that are left behind.

___

Associated Press writers Mari Yamaguchi in Tokyo, Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul, South Korea, Huizhong Wu in Taipei, Taiwan, and Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia, contributed to this report.

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The Guardian

Delay in giving second jabs of Pfizer vaccine improves immunity

Ian Sample Science editor  9 hrs ago

 

The UK’s decision to delay second doses of coronavirus vaccines has received fresh support from research on the over-80s which found that giving the Pfizer/BioNTech booster after 12 weeks rather than three produced a much stronger antibody response.

A study led by the University of Birmingham in collaboration with Public Health England found that antibodies against the virus were three-and-a-half times higher in those who had the second shot after 12 weeks compared with those who had it after a three-week interval.

 

Most people who have both shots of the vaccine will be well protected regardless of the timing, but the stronger response from the extra delay might prolong protection because antibody levels naturally wane over time.

 

Dr Helen Parry, a senior author on the study at Birmingham, said: “We’ve shown that peak antibody responses after the second Pfizer vaccination are really strongly boosted in older people when this is delayed to 11 to 12 weeks. There is a marked difference between these two schedules in terms of antibody responses we see.”

. A Birmingham University blood analysis study of people over 80 found elevated antibodies when the booster was given after a three-month gap.

In the first weeks of the vaccine programme the UK took the bold decision to delay administering booster shots so that more elderly and vulnerable people could more quickly receive their first shots.

The move was controversial because medicines regulators approved both the Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines on the basis of clinical trials that spaced out the doses by only three or four weeks.

 

Researchers from Oxford University showed in February that antibody responses were more than twice as strong when boosters of their vaccine were delayed for 12 weeks. But the latest study is the first to compare immune responses after different timings with the Pfizer/BioNTech jab.

 

The scientists analysed blood samples from 175 over-80s after their first vaccine and again two to three weeks after the booster. Among the participants 99 had the second shot after three weeks, while 73 waited 12 weeks. After the second dose, all had antibodies against the virus’s spike protein, but the level was 3.5 times higher in the 12-week group.

 

The researchers then looked at another arm of the immune system, the T cells that destroy infected cells. They found that T cell responses were weaker when the booster was delayed, but settled down to similar levels when people were tested more than three months after the first shot. Details are published in pre-print form and have yet to be peer reviewed.

 

“This study further supports the growing body of evidence that the approach taken in the UK of delaying that second dose has really paid off,” said Dr Gayatri Amirthalingam, consultant epidemiologist at Public Health England.

 

“Individuals need to really complete their second dose when it’s offered to them because it not only provides additional protection but potentially longer lasting protection against Covid-19.”

 

The findings come as new data from Public Health England suggested that the vaccination programme had prevented 11,700 deaths by the end of April 2021 in those aged 60 and over, and at least 33,000 hospitalisations in those aged 65 and over in the same period.

 

“Overall, these data add considerable support to the policy of delaying the second dose of Covid-19 vaccine when vaccine availability is limited and the at-risk population is large,” said Eleanor Riley, professor of immunology and infectious disease at the University of Edinburgh.

 

“Longer term follow-up of this cohort will help us to understand which vaccine interval will be optimal in the future, once the immediate crisis is over.”

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Posted (edited)

Ford clearly didn't get the memo or has forgotten the well worn government position on this. But Tommy sees, and Tommy remembers..... let me help ya out with that Doug.

The virus doesn't easily spread on aircraft.....remember now? Aircraft are magic:

Trudeau and Doug Ford continue war of words over border controls, COVID testing for domestic flights 

'There has been no action on any of these requests and no indication that anything is coming,' Ford said in a letter, which Trudeau rejected as a political game

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46 minutes ago, Wolfhunter said:

Trudeau and Doug Ford continue war of words over border controls, COVID testing for domestic flights 

Ford right, Trudeau wrong on border restrictions issue 

Feds need to protect us all from a fourth wave, Ontario premier warns

There’s two things Justin Trudeau is responsible for, two things only through this whole pandemic, that is to make sure we have enough vaccines, and we saw what happened there,” Ford said “and to make sure we secure the borders and it’s just not happening.”

Ford obviously sees things differently than Trudeau because, despite all evidence to the contrary, the PM boasts of Canada having the “most comprehensive border measures in the western world.

In reality it’s not even seeing things differently; Trudeau’s boast is simply not true.

Trudeau has spent the last several days bragging about Canada having a one-dose summer, but Ford said that wasn’t good enough for his province.

“I just don’t believe in a one-dose summer, it’s just not good enough,” Ford said in reply to Trudeau’s snappy slogan.

“You know, we — if we get the supply — I’ll put it this way, we get the supply, we will work our backs off to have a two-dose summer instead of a one-dose summer,” Ford said.

https://calgarysun.com/opinion/columnists/lilley-ford-right-trudeau-wrong-on-border-restrictions-issue

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4 hours ago, Wolfhunter said:

Ford clearly didn't get the memo or has forgotten the well worn government position on this. But Tommy sees, and Tommy remembers..... let me help ya out with that Doug.

The virus doesn't easily spread on aircraft.....remember now? Aircraft are magic:

 

Of course the point is that travel on aircraft allows those with the virus to spread it from Province to Province etc. if they are not detected to be infected.

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3 hours ago, Kargokings said:

Of course the point is that travel on aircraft allows those with the virus to spread it from Province to Province etc. if they are not detected to be infected.

I never claimed to be that bright but I don't see the logic of interprovincial travel restrictions now that testing is possible.  Think of this scenario;

One person from Alberta (person "A") and one person from BC (person "B") each travel to the other province on the same day.  Each are tested on arrival and have negative results .  What's the difference between person A walking around in BC doing the same things that person B could have done if they were there?  None.  Even before testing - what difference between an asymptomatic local and an asymptomatic visitor?

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1 hour ago, seeker said:

I never claimed to be that bright but I don't see the logic of interprovincial travel restrictions now that testing is possible.  

I agree if the testing is being done?  Domestic Air/land/waterways?  Airports/docks/roads?  I bet the answer is no.

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Partially vaccinated Canadians can socialize outdoors this summer, chief medical officer says

 

Canada's chief public health officer said Friday she expected that provinces should be able to begin lifting public health restrictions only once 75 per cent of all adults have had at least one vaccine dose and 20 per cent are fully vaccinated. 

Dr. Theresa Tam said that after reaching that 75 per cent milestone, Canadians can safely enjoy camping, hiking, picnics, small backyard BBQs and drinks on a patio. Canadians should still avoid all crowds and partially vaccinated people should continue to practise physical distancing and wear masks in public for the foreseeable future, she added.

"Individuals with one dose should feel more confident that they're better protected, but you've got to get that second dose for maximal protection," said Tam.


Just before Tam and other federal officials held their news conference, Health Canada released a series of tweets on how and when Canada might reopen with respect to vaccination rates.

As of Friday, 50 per cent of Canadian adults have had one shot, but just four per cent are fully vaccinated, due in large part by decisions of provinces to spread intervals between doses to get more adults at least partially vaccinated.

Progress should continue apace next week, according to Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand. She said Canada will receive more Pfizer-BioNTech shots than originally anticipated, with 3.4 million from Pfizer now expected before the Victoria Day long weekend, in addition to the expected 1.1 million from Moderna.

Canada received 665,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine Thursday. Those shots likely will be earmarked for people who already have had a first dose of this product, Tam said.

Asked why Canada has set the bar so high for doing away with some of the strictest public health measures in comparison to Britain and the U.S., Tam said it ultimately will be up to the provinces and territories to decide when social and economic life can return to something closer to normal.  

Tam said the U.K. is reopening with lower vaccination rates because it has been able to "crush" the third wave and has fewer cases than Canada. "Their epidemiological picture is completely different," she said.

American jurisdictions are also opening up, with Maryland announcing an almost full reopening for Saturday with less than 40 per cent fully vaccinated. Gov. Gavin Newsom, meanwhile, has said he wants to see all schools in California — currently at 47 per cent fully vaccinated and 15 per cent partially — offering in-person instruction by the fall. 

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The tip of a very bad iceberg.  Reliance on the good will, honour system and behaviour a lot of people  is dumb based on history.

More than a dozen U.S. states quickly embraced new federal guidelines that say fully vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks indoors or out in most cases.

But other states and cities and some major businesses hesitated amid doubts about whether the approach is safe or even workable.

 

As many business owners pointed out, there is no easy way to determine who has been vaccinated and who hasn't. And the new guidelines, issued Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, essentially work on the honour system, leaving it up to people to do the right thing.

Labour groups and others warned that employees at stores, restaurants, bars and other businesses could be exposed to the coronavirus by customers and could be forced into the unwanted role of "vaccination police."

Several major chains, including CVS, Home Depot, Macy's and supermarket giant Kroger Co., said they are still requiring masks in stores for the time being, though some said they are reviewing their policies.

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http://newsletters.cbc.ca/i/amf_cbc/project_27/second-opinion-header-desktop3_2x.png?size=1200x0&w=BuEUy84GfQkudNAF85tuA5b0DnVc

Saturday, May 15, 2021

 

 

 

Good morning! Here's our second look at the week, with a round-up of health and medical science news. If you haven’t subscribed yet, you can do that by clicking here.

 

 

 

Early research from countries that are further ahead in their vaccine rollout has been overwhelmingly positive, suggesting protection from even a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine is robust. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

 

Canada is at a turning point in the pandemic and there's reason for hope — even in lockdown


Adam Miller

 

Vaccines are now rolling out across Canada at a rapid pace as supply has finally begun to catch up with demand. While we're still far from returning to normal life, Canadians are more and more protected from the worst of COVID-19 with each passing day.

Early research from countries that are further ahead in their vaccine rollout has been overwhelmingly positive, suggesting protection from even a single dose is robust and the growing number of shots in arms signals a much brighter future for Canada.

But while we're not quite where we need to be yet and we still need to remain vigilant, experts say things haven't looked this good for quite some time as we head toward what many hope is the final stretch of the pandemic in this country.

"From this point on, things are going to get better every single day," said Raywat Deonandan, a global health epidemiologist and an associate professor at the University of Ottawa. "Vaccination works." 
 

http://newsletters.cbc.ca/i/amf_cbc/project_27/1.png?size=1212x0&w=BSb1e90GhJfzkTQvTazTj-qc1_w8

Even a cursory look around the globe gives a glimpse of why there is reason for optimism here at home. 

With more than 50 per cent of the population fully vaccinated, Israel reported slightly more than 200 COVID-19 cases and five deaths during the past week — down from a record high of more than 60,000 cases and 400 deaths in one devastating week in mid-January. 

The United Kingdom saw its COVID-19 hospitalizations drop below 1,000 for the first time in months, down from a high of more than 4,000 in January, and daily deaths fell to single digits as the strategy of delaying second doses — similar to Canada's approach — continues to pay off

And while the U.S. has yet to partially vaccinate half of its population, it recorded its single lowest COVID-19 case rate in more than eight months on Sunday and its seven-day average of daily deaths fell to the lowest rate since October.

Canada isn't on the same level of vaccination coverage, but we're catching up.

Close to 50 per cent of eligible Canadians have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine to date, and we're already starting to see the results.
 

http://newsletters.cbc.ca/i/amf_cbc/project_27/2.png?size=1212x0&w=BZiy2xjot3uiXLJSH9ntKQpBhRO4

There are fewer than 4,000 people in hospital for the first time since mid-April, which accounts for an eight per cent drop from the previous week. ICU admissions are also down five per cent week over week, sitting at just under 1,400.

In Canada's largest province, recent data from Public Health Ontario showed COVID-19 vaccines have been very effective against infection and hospitalization.

Of the 3.5 million Ontarians partially or fully vaccinated as of April 17, just 2,223 became infected — a breakthrough infection rate of just 0.06 per cent — with about two-thirds of cases occurring within 14 days of a first dose, when antibodies have yet to fully build up.

"Where I'm working, there's a lot more hope and optimism in the staff, knowing that people are getting vaccinated," said Dr. Zain Chagla, an infectious diseases physician at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton and an associate professor at McMaster University.

"There's an end in sight to all of this and I think that's the one thing that is really sparking a lot of optimism in health care." 
 

'High level' of COVID-19 could jeopardize progress


We're also learning more about the protection that one dose offers, even when second doses are delayed, as new research on immunogenicity and effectiveness rapidly emerges.

A new study from the U.K. found the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine generated antibody responses 3½ times larger in older people when a second dose was delayed to three months after the first. 

A recent study in The Lancet looked at more than 23,000 vaccinated health-care workers in the U.K. from December to February and found the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was at least 70 per cent effective at preventing COVID-19 three weeks after the first dose. 

And another Lancet study looked at more than 1.3 million people in Scotland during the same time period and found the Pfizer shot was more than 90 per cent effective at preventing hospitalization due to COVID-19 four to five weeks after the initial dose. 

That study also analyzed the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine in the same population and found it was 88 per cent effective at curbing hospital admissions from COVID-19 after one shot.

But while the vaccines are doing an incredible job at preventing severe illness and death, the number of daily infections across Canada remains high and threatens to jeopardize the progress we've made.
 

http://newsletters.cbc.ca/i/amf_cbc/project_27/3.png?size=1212x0&w=BmoEAF2Orp6_CK8FX2D8HE4ntQmE

"Your risk of developing severe disease is reduced drastically after two doses and even after one, which is something to be very optimistic and celebrate about," said Prof. Alyson Kelvin, an assistant professor at Dalhousie University and virologist at the Canadian Center for Vaccinology and the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization in Saskatoon.

"But what we need to keep in mind is that there's still quite a high level of virus transmission within the community."

Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada's chief public health officer, warned Canadians on May 8 that even two doses of vaccine don't offer full protection from COVID-19.

"It's not absolute," Tam said during a virtual town hall in the Yukon. "There's reduction in your risk of transmission, but it doesn't necessarily eliminate your risk of transmission."

Deonandan says that's akin to taking a "glass half empty approach" to the situation, given the positive impact vaccines are already having on our health-care system and in other countries around the world.
 

'One-dose summer'


Tam had a more positive outlook on Friday, saying Canadians who have received one dose can socialize with close family and friends outdoors over the summer months.

"Vaccines will be a major help in keeping your rates low and point toward a future that includes some of these activities that we've longed for without a resurgence happening," Tam said.

"Individuals with one dose should feel more confident that they're better protected, but you've got to get that second dose for maximal protection."

Tam said a more social summer will depend on most Canadians staying apart for the rest of the spring, because the case count is still too high and vaccination coverage too low to do away with public health measures right now — even for partially vaccinated people.

That guidance came a day after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced fully vaccinated Americans could stop wearing masks inside in most places.

While the concept of drastically loosening public health restrictions still seems far off in Canada, there is hope for a gradual return to some normalcy this summer. 

"We can have a better summer," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Tuesday. "A one-dose summer."

Trudeau said once 75 per cent of the adult population has had at least one vaccine dose, provinces and territories can begin to lift public health restrictions — but until then, Canadians should remain vigilant to avoid sparking a fourth wave

"It's not going to be the summer of us being back to the way we were in January of 2020, but it's going to be the summer of us looking forward to things being normal," Chagla said. 

"To at least do some low-risk outdoor stuff together, to visit each other, to be able to engage with each other, being careful, but at least being able to do more than we've done in the past." 

 

Mixing different types of COVID-19 vaccines can hike the chance of someone having mild or moderate reactions like fatigue, headache or a fever, according to early results from a U.K. study. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

 

Mixing COVID-19 vaccine doses leads to more reactions, study finds, which may be 'first sign of success'

 

Mixing different types of COVID-19 vaccines for two doses can hike the chance of someone having mild or moderate reactions like fatigue, headache or a fever, according to early results from a U.K. study, which is being watched closely by health officials in Canada and beyond.

The findings were published Wednesday as correspondence, not as a full study, in The Lancet — a peer-reviewed medical journal — and came from the Oxford Vaccine Group's Com-Cov vaccine trial, which is studying the use of different combinations of approved COVID-19 vaccines for first and second doses.

More than 800 participants, all aged 50 or older, were recruited in February, divided up, and given one of four dosing schedules at an either four- or 12-week interval:

·         First and second dose of AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine.

·         First and second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

·         First dose of AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, second dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

·         First dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, second dose of AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine.

"Both of the mixed schedules caused more symptoms than the standard schedules," said study leader Dr. Matthew Snape, an associate professor in general pediatrics and vaccinology at the University of Oxford, during a media briefing on Wednesday before the publication of those early results.

"Most of these effects are mild," he said, though the findings did also show an increase in moderate reactions.

What happens when people get two different COVID-19 vaccines?
A feeling of feverishness, for instance, was reported by 34 per cent of those given a combination of AstraZeneca-Oxford first, then Pfizer-BioNTech as a booster — more than triple the 10 per cent of people who reported that reaction after getting two AstraZeneca shots. 

Feverishness was also reported by a little over 40 per cent of those given Pfizer and AstraZeneca doses, nearly double the 21 per cent who had two rounds of Pfizer shots. 

"Similar increases were observed for chills, fatigue, headache, joint pain, malaise, and muscle ache," the correspondence reads.

It also said it was "reassuring" the vaccine-induced symptoms were short-lived and that the limited data sparked no concerns.

Read more from CBC Health's Lauren Pelley on the early positive research around mixing and matching COVID-19 vaccines. 

 

 

 

 

 

Future of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in question in Canada over blood clots, supply issues

 

The future use of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine in Canada is now in question due to concerns over the increased risk of rare but severe blood clots connected to the shot, an unpredictable future supply and a significant amount of other vaccines.

Alberta was the first province to confirm it would stop administering first doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, citing a scarcity of supply. The province will instead prioritize mRNA vaccines like Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna while reserving existing AstraZeneca for second doses.

Ontario's Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Williams announced in an impromptu news conference late Tuesday afternoon the vaccine would also no longer be offered to Ontarians as a first dose and future supply would instead be reserved for optional second shots.

But unlike Alberta, Ontario's decision was made largely due to the rising rate of the rare but serious blood-clotting condition connected to the shot known as vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT).

Williams said that in the past several days there have been a growing number of reports of VITT in Ontario. Out of more than 850,000 AstraZeneca doses given, there are now eight cases in the province as of Saturday at a rate of about one in 60,000 shots administered. 

Some provinces have followed suit, but there are growing signs the vaccine will not be prioritized in provincial and territorial rollouts across the country. 

Read more from CBC Health's Adam Miller on the uncertain future of the AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada.

 
 
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Protest in Canada over what is happening outside of Canada, right or wrong? but I can not help but notice the failure to protest following current Canadian Laws / restrictions regarding the current epidemic!  Surely the protest could have been held  and been compliant with the current Canadian Restrictions or are the protesters somehow exempt?  🙃

Thousands gather at pro-Palestine demonstration in Montreal | Montreal Gazette

a group of people standing in front of a crowd posing for the camera: Protesters attend a rally to express solidarity with Palestine on Saturday, May 15, 2021, in London, England.

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Posted (edited)

Here's the drone view of the 15 May LA protest against Israel. 

Imagine the liberal outrage (here and the US) if this was a group of Christians protesting the arrest (and incarceration) of their Pastor: 

image.thumb.png.84ec87dd24fe0adc4fb394942680fa95.png

Edited by Wolfhunter
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Here is an interesting perspective from someone who has more experience in the field than the talking heads that are making health decisions for this country. Pay attention to remarks about the second dose of AstraZeneca, mixing and matching vaccines and the idea of a “One dose summer” that sockboy was happily promising.....”That does not look smart to me”

https://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=2203250

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, st27 said:

Here is an interesting perspective from someone who has more experience in the field than the talking heads that are making health decisions for this country.

Good video, thanks.

Here's the quote of the day IMO:"Do the experiments yourselves or listen to the people who do them."  

You could say exactly that (at least historically) about so much of what's going on now. You really don't need to be an expert, the simple ability to ask "does this make sense?" is usually all you need. And you certainly don't have to be an expert to recognize absolute BS when you hear it either... the current government lost me at masks don't work, border controls are racist and the virus doesn't spread on aircraft. And if that's not enough absurdity for you there's always this:

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/sabrina-maddeaux-trudeaus-disastrous-hotel-quarantine-plan-must-end

Surely allowing international flights from virus hotspots whilst having the Hill Street Fools crack down on 2 or 3 people in a 2 acre back yard qualifies as absurdity too. The only thing worse (and more scary) is the self-aggrandizing stance of the people who called 911 to report their neighbour in the first place. 

And speaking of absurdity, why is it suddenly OK to name a specific strain after its geographic origin (Indian strain, UK strain etc)? I thought that was racist.  

 

 

Edited by Wolfhunter
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On a local note, lockdown absurdities continue.......two people were out on a Seadoo in the middle of the St.Lawrence River were handed $2000 fines for violating lockdown orders, while dozens of motorcycles (sorry, WH) drive up and down the Thousand Islands Parkway on a Sunday drive.

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Posted (edited)

Examples abound and here's one from NS.

 

N.S. church, seven attendees, fined for allegedly violating restrictions for second straight Sunday 

Apparently they keep losing in the NS Supreme Court but keep charging anyway. I don't follow this closely enough to know all the details though. Some churches have a few attendees during livestream sermons, few in number and scattered around the sanctuary. This may be that, or maybe not.... I don't know and no longer care enough about the absurdity to even find out.

In any case, the same seven people could have driven to Canadian Tire and occupied the same aisle (much closer than in the church) and it would have been OK. But lest my point be entirely lost, a neighbour phoned 911 and got a more timely response and immediate rectification than I would ever get if someone were breaking into my house. That's a fact, and not something I'll be forgetting anytime soon.... I used to be a pretty good neighbour BTW. The person who made that call could care less about my response time.

IMO, this buffoonery does three things: 1, It's how you lose the support of reasonable people and especially YOUR NEIGHBOURS; 2 it's how you create a "good citizen," "Ordinary Men" mindset that eventually applies to you, your freedoms, your activities and your life; and 3, It's how you ensure my lack of support when YOU are in the cross hairs for the trivial infractions that will eventually come your way.  

It will be a cold rainy day in a warm place before I sign the next petition you bring door to door. Your poop and your coup, figure it out for yourself neighbour.... how do you like me now?

Sanctuary jurisdictions may be the only solution here. While I think it's reasonable to oppose them, my opposition can only exist within an environment of reasonableness... 

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Wolfhunter said:

Examples abound and here's one from NS.

 

N.S. church, seven attendees, fined for allegedly violating restrictions for second straight Sunday 

Apparently they keep losing in the NS Supreme Court but keep charging anyway. I don't follow this closely enough to know all the details though. Some churches have a few attendees during livestream sermons, few in number and scattered around the sanctuary. This may be that, or maybe not.... I don't know and no longer care enough about the absurdity to even find out.

In any case, the same seven people could have driven to Canadian Tire and occupied the same aisle (much closer than in the church) and it would have been OK. But lest my point be entirely lost, a neighbour phoned 911 and got a more timely response than I would ever get if someone were breaking into my house. That's a fact, and not something I'll be forgetting anytime soon.... I used to be a pretty good neighbour BTW. 

 

And now for the Real Story:

Nova Scotia church and congregation fined for violating health rules a second time

WESTON, N.S. — For the second consecutive Sunday, a church in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley has been handed a stiff fine for violating public health orders.

The Nova Scotia RCMP confirm they issued a $11,622 fine to the Weston Christian Fellowship Church and fined seven churchgoers $2,422 each.

On May 9, the Mounties fined 26 people and the church for breaking the rules.

The province has been subject to a strict lockdown order since April 28, when it became clear the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic had reached the Maritimes. Under the new rules, all faith-based gatherings are prohibited.

On May 2, the RCMP warned parishioners they could face fines under the province's Health Protection Act. At the time, the RCMP used its discretion to issue warnings because the new rules had just come into effect. 

The province's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Robert Strang, has said the government understands the importance of faith-based gatherings, but he said the spread of the virus can be reduced by preventing people from attending large gatherings.

The church is in Weston, N.S., which is west of Wolfville, N.S.

The latest church fines come a day after Halifax Regional Police made multiple arrests on Citadel Hill when protesters defied a court injunction against the planned gathering. 

Nova Scotia reported 212 new cases of COVID-19 on the weekend. On Saturday, the province's daily case count dropped below 100 for the first time since May 1.

As of Sunday, Nova Scotia had 1,531 active reported cases of COVID-19 and 92 people were in hospital with the disease, including 21 in intensive care.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 17, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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Nova Scotia's suicide rate dropped in 2020 in spite of pandemic strain

Advocates say special pandemic supports eased mental health challenges

 
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Taryn Grant · CBC News · Posted: May 17, 2021 6:00 AM AT | Last Updated: May 17
 
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"We have to be careful that these supports remain in place ... or we could see another rise come again over the next few years," says a mental health advocate. (Mrmohock/Adobe Stock)

Nova Scotia recorded fewer suicide deaths in 2020 than in any of the previous five years.

That counters expectations that the pandemic — with its lockdowns, loss of life and economic hardships — could lead to a spike in suicide rates.

 

According to data recently released by the provincial government, 120 Nova Scotians ended their own lives last year, down from 137 in 2019.

It's the lowest number since 2014, when the medical examiner recorded 113 suicide deaths.

The rate per 100,000 people, which accounts for changes in population size, shows the overall trend remains consistent.

Calls to mental health crisis line shot up

The dip should not be taken to mean the pandemic was without its mental health challenges.

Calls to Nova Scotia's mental health crisis line increased 45 per cent between spring 2019, before COVID-19 was known anywhere in the world, and spring 2021, when the third wave began to crest over Nova Scotia.

Mental health advocate Seana Jewer says the fact additional supports were in place, ready to respond to those challenges, seems to have made the difference.

 
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Seana Jewer is an educator with the Nova Scotia branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association. (Submitted by the Canadian Mental Health Association)

Jewer, an educator with the Nova Scotia branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association, said she thinks financial programs from the federal and provincial governments, like the CERB and small business relief grants, were a "huge" help in easing stress. Especially, she said, given that financial insecurity can be a risk factor for suicide.

There was also a bolstering of mental health awareness and support last year. Some services moved online, out of necessity, but Jewer said for some that was a boon because it meant the services were more accessible.

Jewer said she is wary, however, of putting too much stock in the last year's lower suicide rate.

Fluctuations happen every year, she pointed out, and if the whole data set is considered back to 2008 — the earliest year for which the medical examiner's numbers are publicly available — suicides are still trending up.

"That overall trend speaks volumes and that is still very much a concern. It's very relevant and there still needs to be a lot of work done around suicide prevention," said Jewer.

Further, she said she's worried last year's increased focus on mental wellness could be fleeting.

"We have to be careful that these supports remain in place, that people still acknowledge the importance of these supports in maintaining and improving people's mental health. Or we could see another rise [in suicide] come again over the next few years."

Trend seen across Canada, internationally

Nova Scotia is not unique in seeing fewer suicides last year.

Several other Canadian provinces recorded a decline in suicide rates for 2020, and the trend extends even beyond Canadian borders.

A group of researchers looked at data on suicide rates from 21 countries and found no significant increases, and some decreases, since the pandemic began in each of the locations. They published their findings in the academic journal The Lancet last month.

Sean Krausert, executive director of the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, has been observing the trend across Canada. He said because suicide is complex, and should not be attributed to any one cause, predictions about suicide rates are difficult to make — hence the discrepancy between last year's expectations and the reality told by the numbers.

 
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Sean Krausert is the executive director of the Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention. (Submitted by Sean Krausert)

But now that we have the data, Krausert, like Jewer, said he believes the dip can be at least partly attributed to increased social, economic and mental health support.

The crux of the matter now, he said, is making good on the lessons made available from the COVID-19 experience.

"We have to remember that people were in crisis before COVID and they will continue to be in crisis after," Krausert said.

"What I hope we'll continue is that we learn new ways of interacting and that we have learned that intervention and awareness does help and they will continue to do so."

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The power of the internet...

https://www.upworthy.com/most-false-vaccine-info-comes-from-12-people

Most COVID vaccine disinformation can be traced to just 12 people on social media

As millions of Americans have raced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of others have held back. Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new, of course, especially with new vaccines, but the information people use to weigh their decisions matters greatly. When choices based on flat-out wrong information can literally kill people, it's vital that we fight disinformation every which way we can.

 

Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

"Despite repeatedly violating Facebook, Instagram and Twitter's terms of service agreements, nine of the Disinformation Dozen remain on all three platforms, while just three have been comprehensively removed from just one platform," the report states. It also says platforms fail to act on 95% of the COVID and vaccine misinformation that is reported to them.

NPR has reported that Facebook has taken down more of the accounts following the publishing of its article on the CCDH analysis.

Despite many people's understandable resistance to censorship, health disinformation carries a great deal of weight—and consequence. As the CCDH writes, "The public cannot make informed decisions about their health when they are constantly inundated by disinformation and false content. By removing the source of disinformation, social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter can enable individuals to make a truly informed choice about vaccines."

So who are these 12 individuals? The report names them and provides some basic info about them starting on page 12 of the report (which you can read here). They are:

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1. Joseph Mercola

2. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

3. Ty and Charlene Bollinger

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4. Sherri Tenpenny

5. Rizza Islam

6. Rashid Buttar

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7. Erin Elizabeth

8. Sayer Ji

9. Kelly Brogan

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10. Christiane Northrup

11. Ben Tapper

12. Kevin Jenkins

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Several of these folks are physicians, which ups their credibility in the eyes of their followers. But as vaccine skeptics themselves say, "Follow the money." These anti-vaxxer influencers rake in the dough by preying on people's paranoia with monetized websites and social media posts, as well as by selling books and supplements.

Some of them may be "true believer" conspiracy theorists and some of them may be opportunistic grifters, but they all benefit from misinformation mongering.

In addition to these individuals, the report names organizations linked to them, including:

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- Children's Health Defense (Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.)

- Informed Consent Action Network (ICAN) (Del Bigtree)

- National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) (Barbara Loe Fisher, Joseph Mercola)

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- Organic Consumers Association (OCA) (Joseph Mercola)

- Millions Against Medical Mandates

Don't the names chosen for these organizations sound like things many people would support? Who isn't in favor of defending children's health or informed consent? The "National Vaccine Information Center" sounds downright official, right? Organic consumers? That's me. How would people know whether or not these organizations were trustworthy sources of information, especially if people they know and love are sharing posts from them?

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They wouldn't. That's the entire problem.

The report offers suggestions for how to handle misinformation pushers, starting with deplatforming.

"The most effective and efficient way to stop the dissemination of harmful information is to deplatform the most highly visible repeat offenders, who we term the Disinformation Dozen. This should also include the organisations these individuals control or fund, as well as any backup accounts they have established to evade removal."

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The CCDH also recommends platforms "establish a clear threshold for enforcement action" that serve as a warning before removing someone and present warning screens and effective correction to users when a link they attempt to click leads to a source known to promote anti-vaccine misinformation. In addition, the report recommends that Facebook not allow private and secret anti-vaccine Groups "where dangerous anti-vaccine disinformation can be spread with impunity."

Finally, the CCDH recommends instituting an Accountability API "to allow experts on sensitive and high-importance topics to perform the human analysis that will ultimately make Facebook's AI more effective."

The information age is also the misinformation and disinformation age, unfortunately. When it's people pushing that the moon landing was a hoax, it's annoying, but when it's people pushing falsehoods about a deadly pandemic and the life-saving vaccines that can end it, we can't just brush it off with an eye roll. Disinformation is dangerous, figuring out how to stop it is tricky, but at least knowing where most of it comes from might give us a chance to limit its spread.

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