Jenna Bardarson says her three-year-old daughter, Dali, is vibrant and healthy.
To make sure she stays that way, the Brandon, Man., mom booked regular annual flu shots on Nov. 24 for herself and her daughter at Brandon’s Keystone Centre.
But she says she got more than she asked for.
“We went in there to get our flu shots, and instead of getting our flu shots they gave us both adult Pfizer vaccines,” Bardarson said.
The Keystone Centre is also home to one of the province’s COVID-19 vaccination supersites.
A pediatric version of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, which is one-third the dosage of the version for those age 12 and up, was recently approved for use in kids ages five to 11.
But children under five — like Dali — are not eligible for any of the COVID-19 vaccines available right now.
As for Jenna Bardarson, she’s had two COVID-19 vaccine doses and isn’t due for her third until January.
She was shocked when a health-care provider told her a mistake was made.
“I was concerned about … my daughter as we were starting to have side-effects and stuff,” she said. “I really was kind of angry and wanted to speak to someone.”
Bardarson says both she and her daughter had fevers and headaches. Dali started vomiting a few days after they got the shots.
Over a week later, Bardarson says she still hasn’t been able to get an answer from health officials about how the vaccine they were mistakenly given could impact her health, or her daughter’s.
Bardarson says she doesn’t want her experience to deter others from getting vaccines, but encourages them to ask questions.
“If you are going in and taking your child or even yourself in just a flu shot … double-check with your health-care provider or whoever is doing it just make sure they have the right medication,” she said.
Bardarson says she understands that health-care workers may be tired and overworked, but says mistakes like this are dangerous.
Risks from mistake low: Manitoba Health
In an emailed statement to CBC, Manitoba Health and Seniors Care acknowledged a woman and a three-year-old were mistakenly given an adult dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and said it has investigated the mistake.
Such medication errors “are rare, but they do occur,” the statement said.
The parent “was informed of the error and provided information about the risks, which in this case was low,” the health department said.
It also said staff from the Prairie Mountain regional health authority reached out to Bardarson and further discussed the matter, and provided her with an update on the investigation.
“Followup conversations have occurred with the immunizer involved, and based on their immediate recognition of the error and disclosure to a supervisor, no further corrective action has been taken,” Manitoba Health said.
Bardarson told CBC she hopes new measures will be put in place to make sure a similar incident doesn’t happen to anyone else.
Pfizer, Moderna shots safe during in vitro fertilization; healthy gut bacteria may help prevent long COVID
The following is a summary of some recent studies on COVID-19. They include research that warrants further study to corroborate the findings and that has yet to be certified by peer review.
mRNA vaccines safe during in vitro fertilization
COVID-19 vaccines using mRNA technology do not affect fertility outcomes during in-vitro fertilization (IVF), researchers have found.
They compared rates of fertilization, pregnancy, and early miscarriage in IVF patients who had received two doses of the vaccines from Pfizer with BioNTech or ModernaO> with those in unvaccinated patients. The 222 vaccinated and 983 unvaccinated patients who underwent ovarian stimulation – medical treatment to stimulate development of eggs – had similar rates of eggs retrieved, fertilization, and embryos with normal numbers of chromosomes. The 214 vaccinated and 733 unvaccinated patients who underwent frozen-thawed embryo transfer – where their eggs were collected from the ovaries and fertilized by sperm in a laboratory, creating embryos that were frozen and later thawed and transferred to the womb – had similar rates of pregnancy and early pregnancy loss, according to a report published on Tuesday in Obstetrics & Gynecology.
“Our findings contribute to the growing body of evidence regarding the safety of COVID-19 vaccination in women who are trying to conceive,” the researchers concluded.
Healthy gut bacteria may protect during COVID
The bacteria living in your small intestine may contribute to the risk for long COVID after infection with SARS-CoV-2, new findings suggest.
Researchers analyzed the “gut microbiome” in 116 COVID-19 patients in Hong Kong in 2020, when regulations required that every infected person be hospitalized. More than 80% were mildly or moderately ill, but more than 75% had at least one persistent symptom. After six months, the most common symptoms were fatigue (reported by 31%), poor memory (28%), hair loss (22%), anxiety (21%) and sleep disturbances (21%), according to a report published on Tuesday in Gut. Analyses of stool samples obtained at hospital admission and over the succeeding months showed long COVID patients “had a less diverse and less abundant microbiome,” said Siew C. Ng of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. “Patients who didn’t develop long COVID had a gut microbiome similar to that of people without COVID-19.”
Lack of “friendly” immunity-boosting Bifidobacteria species was strongly associated with persistent respiratory symptoms, Ng noted. While the study cannot prove that healthy gut organisms prevent long COVID, the findings suggest “maintaining a healthy and balanced gut microbiota via diet, avoidance of antibiotics if possible, exercise and supplementing with depleted bacteria species including Bifidobacteria” might be helpful, she said.
New PCR test can identify variants
A new type of PCR test can quickly tell which variant of the coronavirus is causing infection, helping doctors choose the most effective antibody treatments, researchers said.
Most current PCR tests can check broadly for the presence of the virus but cannot identify specific variants. The new test uses special “probes” – fluorescently labeled molecules – called “sloppy molecular beacons” that glow in different colors when they attach themselves to DNA or RNA in the virus. When the sample from the patient is heated, the probes fall off their DNA or RNA targets and their color disappears. They fall off at different temperatures depending on the DNA or RNA sequence they were bound to. Because the variants each have some unique sequences, they can be identified based on the pattern of color changes at each temperature, explained Dr. David Alland of \?
“We have already performed a clinical study which showed that the assay was 100% sensitive and 100% specific for identifying variants of concern including Delta and Omicron,” Alland said. “We are asking the N.J. Dept of Health to clear our test” so that New Jersey labs can use it, he added. A typical hospital molecular laboratory would be able to perform it, his team reported on Friday on medRxiv ahead of peer review.
U.S. study finds slight myocarditis risk with mRNA vaccines
There is a small but increased risk for heart muscle inflammation, or myocarditis, following receipt of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found.
The 1,626 cases documented in the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System from December 2020 through August 2021 “exceeded the expected rates,” the researchers reported on Tuesday in JAMA. Overall, 73% of reported cases were in people under age 30, and 82% were males. The highest rates were found among adolescent and young adult males. For every million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, there were roughly 71 cases of myocarditis in males ages 12 to 15 and 106 cases in males ages 16 or 17. In young men ages 18 to 24, the rate per million doses was roughly 52 with the Pfizer shots and 56 after Moderna shots. About 96% of patients with myocarditis were hospitalized. In 87%, symptoms were gone by the time they were discharged. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs were the most common treatment.
“This risk should be considered within the context of the significant benefits of COVID-19 vaccination in preventing COVID-19 infection and potential serious complications,” said a spokesperson for the authors, who noted that COVID-19 itself confers a 16-times higher risk for myocarditis. “The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination continue to outweigh any potential risks.”
Click for a Reuters graphic on vaccines in development.
(Reporting by Nancy Lapid; Editing by Bill Berkrot)
A third of airline pilots still not flying as pandemic drags on -survey
More than one-third of airline pilots are still not flying as the pandemic continues to take its toll on aviation globally, according to a new survey, though the situation has improved from a year earlier when the majority were grounded.
A poll of more than 1700 pilots by UK-based GOOSE Recruitment and industry publication FlightGlobal, released on Wednesday, found 62% globally were employed and currently flying, up from 43% a year earlier.
The proportion of unemployed pilots fell from 30% to 20%, while 6% were on furlough, compared with 17% previously as air traffic began to bounce back from 2020 lows.
But in the Asia-Pacific region, the worst-hit globally by a drop in international travel due to tough border restrictions, the proportion of those unemployed rose from 23% to 25%. The region also had the lowest number that were employed flying at 53%.
“We have … seen some expatriates return home from the region due to concerns over quarantine or being stuck for long periods away from friends and family,” the report on the survey said.
Hong Kong’s Cathay Pacific Airways, a large expatriate employer in Asia, has lost hundreds of pilots through the closure of its Cathay Dragon regional arm as well as almost all of its overseas bases during the pandemic.
Pilot attrition at Cathay has also been rising amid strict layover rules that leave crew members locked https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/locked-hotels-hong-kongs-covid-19-rules-take-mental-toll-cathay-pilots-2021-11-26 in hotels when they are not flying.
Of the pilots still flying globally, 61% told the survey they were concerned about their job security.
“It appears only Northern America is back to post-COVID passenger numbers,” said an unnamed captain flying in the Middle East and Africa. “The rest of the world, especially developing nations, are still struggling to get vaccines, and are still not travelling.”
(Reporting by Jamie Freed in Sydney; Editing by David Gregorio)
Soccer-Premier League says minimum four COVID-19 cases needed for fixture postponement
Premier League sides can apply for a fixture postponement only if they have a minimum of four positive COVID-19 cases in their squads, the league said on Wednesday following a meeting of representatives of all 20 clubs.
A total of 22 games have been called off this season due to COVID-19 outbreaks and the subsequent unavailability of players, with the league being criticised by some clubs for their handling of the crisis.
Earlier, a match could be postponed if one of the teams did not have 13 available outfield players — and one goalkeeper — “either from its squad list or its appropriately experienced Under-21 players”.
“Following a club meeting today, the Premier League’s COVID-19 match postponement guidance has been updated to include a COVID-19 impact threshold,” the league said in a statement.
“From now on, if a club applies to postpone a match on the grounds of insufficient players due to COVID-19, they must have a minimum of four positive cases within their squad.”
The new guidelines will kick in ahead of the game between Burnley and Watford on Feb. 5.
The previous rule came under heavy scrutiny, with some clubs being accused of “manipulating the system” in order to get games postponed during the busy festive period.
Tottenham Hotspsur were most vocal in their criticism following the postponement of the north London derby earlier this month, saying they were “extremely surprised” that the request from Arsenal, who had one COVID-19 case, was accepted.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel and his Arsenal counterpart Mikel Arteta had also called for more clarity around postponements related to COVID-19.
The league added: “Club applications will continue to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The Premier League Board examines a number of factors, including the ability of a club to field a team; the status, severity and potential impact of COVID-19.”
On Monday, the league said it had reported 16 new infections of COVID-19 in the previous week, continuing a downward trend in the number of positive cases for a fourth week.
(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)
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