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GlaxoSmithKline Inks New COVID-19 Vaccine Research Pact – The Motley Fool

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GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) announced Tuesday that Medicago — a private company owned by Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma (OTC:MTZX.F) and Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) — will use GlaxoSmithKline’s adjuvant in a COVID-19 vaccine it expects to enter phase 1 trials this month.

Medicago’s recombinant coronavirus “Virus-Like Particles” will be combined with Glaxo’s pandemic adjuvant system to boost immune response, potentially allowing for less antigen per dose and thus, more available vaccine doses.

Image source: Getty Images.

In pre-clinical studies, Medicago’s antigen produced a “high level of neutralizing antibodies” after a single dose when combined with an adjuvant. A phase 1 trial utilizing GlaxoSmithKline’s adjuvant and an adjuvant from another undisclosed company will begin mid-July. The study will evaluate three vaccine dose levels on a one-dose and two-dose schedule.

If successful, the healthcare companies could make a vaccine from this collaboration available in early 2021. Medicago says it can produce up to 100 million doses by the end of 2021 and up to 1 billion doses per year by the end of 2023, when a new manufacturing facility under construction is complete.

Separately, GlaxoSmithKline’s adjuvant system is also being deployed in a COVID-19 program underway at Sanofi (NASDAQ:SNY) Sanofi expects that vaccine will enter phase 1 trials in September.

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Correction: Potential COVID-19 exposure at Chebucto Road HRM Park not Maritime Muslim Academy playground – HalifaxToday.ca

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NEWS RELEASE
NOVA SCOTIA HEALTH 

*************************

CORRECTION: Nova Scotia Health advising of potential COVID-19 exposure at Chebucto Road HRM Park, not Maritime Muslim Academy playground.

Nova Scotia Health is advising that the playground identified in the release about potential public exposure to COVID-19 on July 31, 2020 between 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. was incorrect. The playground with the potential exposure was the Chebucto Road HRM Park. It is located on 6235 Chebucto Road close to the Maritime Muslim Academy. The Maritime Muslim Academy playground was closed on July 31. 

We apologize to Maritime Muslim Academy and to anyone this misinformation may have impacted.

The advisory is related to an individual(s) who may have been asymptomatic before or experiencing mild symptoms that had previously gone unnoticed. The advisory is being issued out of an abundance of caution.

In addition, Nova Scotia Health is directly contacting anyone known to be a close contact of the person(s) confirmed to have COVID-19. 

It is anticipated anyone potentially exposed to the virus at this location on July 31 between 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. may develop symptoms up to, and including, August 16, 2020. 

Individuals in attendance during this period should self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. 

COVID-19 symptoms include:
•Fever (chills, sweats, etc.)
•Cough (new or worsening)
•Sore throat Headache
•Shortness of breath
•Muscle aches
•Sneezing
•Nasal congestion or runny nose
•Hoarse voice
•Diarrhea
•Unusual fatigue
•Loss of sense of smell or taste
•Red, purple or blueish lesions, on the feet, toes or fingers without clear cause

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms: Call 811 for assessment and identify that you were at the playground. Please self-isolate until you receive 811 advice on next steps.

Do not go directly to a COVID-19 assessment centre without being directed to do so by 811.

When Nova Scotia Health makes a public notification it is not in any way a reflection on the behavior or activities of those named in the notification.

Anyone travelling to Nova Scotia from outside of the Atlantic Provinces is expected to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving.

Full details on travelling to Nova Scotia are available at novascotia.ca/coronavirus 

All Nova Scotians are advised to continue monitoring for COVID-19 symptoms and are urged to follow Public Health guidelines on how to access care. 

-30-

Provincial media line: 1-844-483-3344 

NSHAmedia@nshealth.ca 

www.nshealth.ca

About Nova Scotia Health 

Nova Scotia Health provides health services to Nova Scotians and a wide array of specialized services to Maritimers and Atlantic Canadians. We operate hospitals, health centres and community-based programs across the province. Our team of health professionals includes employees, doctors, researchers, learners and volunteers. We also work in partnership with community groups, schools, governments, foundations and auxiliaries and community health boards. Visit nshealth.ca for more. 

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COVID-19 conspiracies creating a 'public health crisis' in Canada, experts say – CBC.ca

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A lively crowd gathered outside François Legault’s office in downtown Montreal in mid-July to send a message to the Quebec premier: His government cannot force them to wear masks in indoor public spaces to fight the spread of COVID 19.

“Long live freedom without a mask,” read one sign at the rally, which drew several dozen people. “My body, my choice” read another, alongside a drawing of a medical mask with a line across it.

The anti-mask movement is not unique to Quebec, nor are masks the only source of conflict in the country when it comes to public health directives around the novel coronavirus. But the issue is one of several at the heart of a growing online movement of disinformation around the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada.

Researchers say conspiracy theories about COVID-19 are spreading at an alarming rate across the country — and they warn misinformation shared online may lead to devastating consequences and push Canadians to shun important safety measures.

“I think that people should be enormously concerned,” said Aengus Bridgman, a PhD candidate in political science at McGill University and co-author of a study published last month on COVID-19 misinformation and its impact on public health.

Social media can drive misinformation about COVID-19: study

The study found the more a person relies on social media to learn about COVID-19, the more likely they are to be exposed to misinformation and to believe it, and to disregard physical distancing and other public health guidelines.

About 16 per cent of Canadians use social media as their primary source of information on the virus, Bridgman said in a recent interview.

His research team surveyed nearly 2,500 people and examined 620,000 English-language Twitter accounts, but Bridgman said COVID-19 misinformation also spreads on other social media platforms, including Facebook, YouTube, Reddit, Instagram and Tumblr.

For example, a Facebook group called “Against mandatory mask-wearing in Quebec” has over 22,000 members to date, while another group with a similar mission has nearly 21,000 members.

People are dying because of these conspiracy theories and we’ve got to stop them.– Alison Meek, history professor at Western University.

The posts on these pages vary, from questioning the science behind wearing masks and lambasting Horacio Arruda, Quebec’s public health director, for the mandatory mask rule, to accusing the World Health Organization of bias and Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates of creating the virus.

Another study published in May at Carleton University indicated 46 per cent of Canadians believed at least one of four unfounded COVID-19 theories: the virus was engineered in a Chinese lab; the virus is being spread to cover up the effects of 5G wireless technology; drugs such as hydroxychloroquine can cure COVID-19 patients; or rinsing your nose with a saline solution can protect you from infection.

Bridgman said the speed at which these conspiracy theories circulate online makes it difficult to verify where they originate.

And while some right-wing groups in Canada are pushing these falsehoods, Bridgman said people across the political spectrum are vulnerable to them.

“This is a Canadian challenge,” he explained. “People across levels of education, across age groupings, across political ideas, all are susceptible to misinformation online. This is not a phenomenon that is unique to a particular community.”

COVID-19 protestors echo anti-vax movement

Protests have taken place across Canada since the provinces put COVID-19 lockdown measures in place earlier this year, from Vancouver, to Toronto and Quebec City, where hundreds rallied at the provincial legislature July 26 against mandatory mask-wearing.

Alexandre Barriere was among dozens of protesters denouncing the mask rule on July 19 outside Legault’s Montreal office.

He compared mask-wearing to a dog muzzle and said he didn’t believe the COVID-19 pandemic exists.

“We live to be free. We’re not in the world to be controlled like animals,” the 29-year-old said in an interview.

Another protester, 65-year-old Antonio Pietroniro, said the pandemic was “bogus” and warned that, after making masks mandatory, the government would force people to get vaccinated against the virus.

“They’re going to say you have to take the vaccine even though it hasn’t been proven to be safe,” he said, echoing the anti-vaccination movement that has gained prominence in Canada, the U.S. and other countries in recent years.

As people have emerged from COVID-19 isolation in their homes, several cities have implemented mandatory mask policies for indoor spaces, including stores, where physical distancing is difficult. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Alison Meek, a history professor at Western University, said there are similarities between COVID-19 conspiracy theories and the anti-vaccination movement.

Misinformation intentionally spread about COVID-19, she added, is also comparable to the conspiracy theories that circulated in the ’80s and ’90s during the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

“When you’re scared, when you’re frustrated, you want someone easy to blame … We want to point to somebody and say, ‘Aha! You’re the one — there’s a bad guy here that did it,’ as opposed to, ‘this is just how these pandemics actually work,’ ” Meek said in an interview.

Governments have had to adapt their public health directives to keep up with rapidly evolving science about the virus.

Public uncertainty around the scientific process, combined with mounting frustrations with lockdown measures and a struggling economy has created a perfect storm in which conspiracy theories can flourish, Meek said.

“All of those things are coming together right now to make these conspiracy theories a real public health crisis that’s getting more and more difficult to deal with.”

She said conspiracy theories need to be countered with facts and evidence, adding that people should be encouraged to think critically about where they are getting their information.

Both she and Bridgman lauded social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook for removing videos and other posts that spread misinformation about COVID-19 — but both academics also said more needs to be done.

“People are dying because of these conspiracy theories and we’ve got to stop them,” Meek said. “We’ve got to somehow figure out how to challenge them.”

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Today's coronavirus news: COVID-19 tracing app faces criticism; Conspiracy theories spreading at alarming rate – Toronto Star

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KEY FACTS

  • 7:15 a.m.: The federal government’s COVID-19 contact tracing app is facing criticism for its download requirements

  • 7:01 a.m.: Researchers say conspiracy theories about COVID-19 are spreading at an alarming rate across Canada

  • 5:33 a.m.: “Girls” mastermind Lena Dunham shares her “Covid Story”

The latest coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Monday. This file will be updated throughout the day. Web links to longer stories if available.

11:25 a.m.: A Norwegian cruise ship line halted all trips and apologized Monday for procedural errors after a coronavirus outbreak on one ship infected at least 5 passengers and 36 crew members. Health authorities fear the ship also could have spread the virus to dozens of towns and villages along Norway’s western coast.

The confirmed virus cases from the MS Roald Amundsen raise new questions about safety on all cruise ships during a pandemic even as the devastated cruise ship industry is pressing to resume sailings after chaotically shutting down in March.

The Hurtigruten cruise line was one of the first companies to resume sailing during the pandemic, starting cruises to Norway out of northern Germany in June with a single ship, then adding cruises in July to the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard.

The 41 people on the MS Roald Amundsen who tested positive have been admitted to the University Hospital of North Norway in Tromsoe, north of the Arctic Circle, where the ship currently is docked. The cruise line said it suspended the ship and two others — MS Fridtjof Nansen and MS Spitsbergen — from operating for an indefinite period.

11:15 a.m.: The U.S. reported more than 47,000 new coronavirus cases, the smallest daily increase in almost four weeks, despite signs of an uptick in new infections in some northeast and midwest states.

Total coronavirus cases world-wide surpassed 18 million Monday, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, with the U.S. accounting for more than a quarter of the tally. The U.S. death toll was approaching 155,000.

California reported 9,032 new cases for Saturday, higher than the previous day but down from its peak of more than 12,000 cases on July 21, according to the California Department of Health. The state has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the country, according to Johns Hopkins.

Florida, another hard-hit state, reported 7,084 new cases among residents, with more than 481,000 cases counted there since the start of the pandemic, according to the Florida Department of Health. The state closed some state-supported testing centers through Tuesday because of the now Tropical Storm Isaias.

10:39 a.m.: Danish organizers say the Tour de France start due to take place in Copenhagen next year has been moved to 2022 to avoid being held in the same month as the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics and the European Championship soccer tournament.

Copenhagen Mayor Frank Jensen says the move means the three-stage Tour start in his city will now be planned for July 1-3, 2022, adding that he hopes the coronavirus pandemic will have passed by then.

The 2021 Tour was scheduled set to start on July 2.

The Tour’s French organizers have yet to announce a replacement city for Copenhagen, although there have been reports that the three-week event could start from the French region of Brittany in 2021.

This year’s Tour, which was supposed to start in June, will now be held Aug. 29-Sept. 20 — starting in Nice.

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7:15 a.m.: The federal government’s COVID-19 contact tracing app is facing criticism for its download requirements, which restrict some Canadians from accessing and using the app.

The app requires users to have Apple or Android phones made in the last five years, and a relatively new operating system.

Christopher Parsons, a senior research associate at Citizen Lab, part of the Munk School of Global Affairs and Policy, says that makes the app inaccessible for older Canadians and other marginalized groups.

“The worst affected by (the pandemic) are Black, Indigenous, people of colour, people who often have a lower socio-economic bracket. Who’s not going to be able to install the application? That same group … that’s a problem,” he said.

Parsons says criticism should be directed at the federal government, not those who designed the app.

7:01 a.m.: Researchers say conspiracy theories about COVID-19 are spreading at an alarming rate across the country — and they warn misinformation shared online may lead to devastating consequences and push Canadians to shun important safety measures.

“I think that people should be enormously concerned,” said Aengus Bridgman, a PhD candidate in political science at McGill University and co-author of a study published last month on COVID-19 misinformation and its impact on public health.

The study found the more a person relies on social media to learn about COVID-19, the more likely they are to be exposed to misinformation and to believe it, and to disregard physical distancing and other public health guidelines. About 16 per cent of Canadians use social media as their primary source of information on the virus, Bridgman said in a recent interview.

5:33 a.m.: “Girls” mastermind Lena Dunham has shared her “Covid Story” in a lengthy Instagram post detailing her experience battling the virus as someone who suffers from chronic illness.

On Friday, the writer, actress and producer revealed she tested positive for COVID-19 in March after being “reluctant” to add her voice “to a noisy landscape on such a challenging topic.” Her early symptoms included achy joints, a high fever and “crushing fatigue.”

“Seeing the carelessness with which so many in the United States are treating social distancing … I feel compelled to be honest about the impact this illness has had on me, in the hopes that personal stories allow us to see the humanity in what can feel like abstract situations,” she wrote. “Suddenly my body simply… revolted. The nerves in my feet burned and muscles wouldn’t seem to do their job. My hands were numb. I couldn’t tolerate loud noises.

“I couldn’t sleep but I couldn’t wake up. I lost my sense of taste and smell. A hacking cough, like a metronome keeping time. Inability to breathe after simple tasks like getting a glass of water. Random red rashes. A pounding headache right between my eyes. It felt like I was a complex machine that had been unplugged and then had my wires rerouted into the wrong inputs. This went on for 21 days … that blended together like a rave gone wrong.”

Click here to read more coverage from Sunday

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