The findings, published Wednesday in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Nature, suggest some people formed unusual antibodies after receiving an adenoviral vector vaccine, and those antibodies could stick to certain blood platelet components, triggering clot formation.
COVID-19 vaccines from Oxford-AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, which both use adenoviral vector technology, are associated with rare cases of vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia or VITT, a clotting disorder characterized by low blood platelets.
“We do not know why these rare antibodies form in the first place, and we do not know why they cause blood clots in unusual places, but we do know the specific target of the VITT antibody,” McMaster researchers said in the study.
Ishac Nazy, the principal investigator and corresponding author, said some people formed VITT antibodies after being vaccinated with the adenoviral vaccines. Those unusual antibodies then bound to a platelet protein in the blood called platelet factor 4 (PF4) “in a very unique and specific orientation.”
The antibodies cluster PF4 proteins together to form immune complexes, which bind and activate platelets and leads to “a self-perpetuating vicious cycle of clotting events,” Nazy said in a release.
The research team used a molecular mapping technique to study the interaction between the VITT antibodies and the PF4 protein, finding the precise location on the PF4 where the VITT antibodies bound.
The study also compared blood samples from five VITT patients to 10 with a similar clotting condition known as heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, or HIT, and found patterns of platelet activation that were distinct from the HIT patient samples. That indicates the tests used to diagnose HIT aren’t suitable to diagnose VITT, the study said.
The study also found that VITT antibodies could bind “very tightly to PF4, more tightly than HIT antibodies.”
Nazy, who’s also the scientific director of the McMaster Platelet Immunology Laboratory, says he hopes the findings can make it easier to diagnose and treat VITT, as well as make vaccines safer.
John Kelton, co-investigator of the study and co-medical director of the McMaster Platelet Immunology Laboratory, said the next step is to “develop a rapid diagnostic and accurate test to diagnose VITT.” The researchers say current rapid tests are time-consuming and prone to false-negative results.
“Our major interest is now to move upstream from how the clots happen to preventing them from occurring,” he said in a release.
VITT was found to occur in one in 60,000 AstraZeneca recipients in Canada.
Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommended last month that provinces stop administering the AstraZeneca vaccine in most cases, adding that it preferred those who received first doses of AstraZeneca get an mRNA vaccine from either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna to complete their two-dose series.
In June, the estimated rate of developing VITT after a second dose was one in 600,000.
© 2021 The Canadian Press
Google delays workers' return to office, mandates vaccines – St. Albert Today
SAN RAMON, Calif. (AP) — Google is postponing a return to the office for most workers until mid-October and rolling out a policy that will eventually require everyone to be vaccinated once its sprawling campuses are fully reopened.
The announcement Wednesday came as the more highly contagious delta variant is driving a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
In an email sent to Google’s more than 130,000 employees worldwide, CEO Sundar Pichai said the company is now aiming to have most of its workforce back to its offices beginning Oct. 18 instead of its previous target date of Sept. 1.
The decision also affects tens of thousands of contractors who Google intends to continue to pay while access to its campuses remains limited.
“This extension will allow us time to ramp back into work while providing flexibility for those who need it,” Pichai wrote.
And Pichai disclosed that once offices are fully reopened, everyone working there will have to be vaccinated. The requirement will be first imposed at Google’s Mountain View, California, headquarters and other U.S. offices, before being extended to the more than 40 other countries where the Google operates.
Various government agencies already had announced demands for all their employees to be vaccinated, but the corporate world so far has been taking a more measured approach, even though most lawyers believe the mandates are legal.
Delta and United airlines are requiring new employees to show proof of vaccination. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are requiring their employees to disclose their vaccination status, but are not requiring staffers to be vaccinated.
Google’s vaccine mandate will be adjusted to adhere to the laws and regulations of each location, Pichai wrote, and exceptions will be made for medical and other “protected” reasons.
“Getting vaccinated is one of the most important ways to keep ourselves and our communities healthy in the months ahead,” Pichai explained.
Google’s decision to require employees working in the office to be vaccinated comes on the heels of similar moves affecting hundreds of thousands government workers in California and New York as part of stepped-up measures to fight the delta variant. President Joe Biden also is considering mandating all federal government workers to be vaccinated.
The rapid rise in cases during the past month has prompted more public health officials to urge stricter measures to help overcome vaccine skepticism and misinformation.
The vaccine requirement rolling out in California next month covers more than 240,000 government employees. The city and county of San Francisco is also requiring its roughly 35,000 workers to be vaccinated or risk disciplinary action after the Food and Drug Administration approves one of the vaccines now being distributed under an emergency order.
It’s unclear how many of Google’s workers still haven’t been vaccinated. In his email, Pichai described the vaccination rate at the company as high.
Google’s decision to extend its remote-work follows a similar move by another technology powerhouse, Apple, which recently moved its return-to-office plans from September to October, too.
The delays by Apple and Google could influence other major employers to take similar precautions, given that the technology industry has been at the forefront of the shift to remote work triggered by the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Even before the World Health Organization declared a pandemic in March 2020, Google, Apple and many other prominent tech firms had been telling their employees to work from home. This marks the third time Google has pushed back the date for fully reopening its offices.
Google’s vaccine requirement also could embolden other employers to issue similar mandates to guard against outbreaks and minimize the need to wear masks in the office.
While most companies are planning to bring back their workers at least a few days a week, others in the tech industry have decided to let employees do their jobs from remote locations permanently.
Michael Liedtke, The Associated Press
Samsung is already updating its Good Lock modules with Galaxy Z Fold 3 exclusive features – XDA Developers
Samsung is set to unveil the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 in a mega Galaxy Unpacked event next month. Both phones will undoubtedly bring along many hardware improvements across the board. They will also be the first to run the newest version of Samsung’s custom skin: One UI 3.1.1. Ahead of the official launch, Samsung has already started updating many Good Lock modules to support One UI 3.1.1 and Galaxy Z Fold 3/Flip Z 3.
New modules that have been updated (via TizenHelp) for One UI 3.1.1 and the new foldables include NavStar, MultiStar, Theme Park, and Nice Catch. Some of the newly added features will be exclusive to the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Flip 3, including the new media volume muted history in the Nice Catch module, the ability to import icon packs in the Theme Park module, and so on.
The NavStar module has also been updated with a new Show task stock feature which will allow the Fold 3 and supported tablets on One UI 3.1.1 to quickly switch between apps from the navigation bar.
Although you can download these new modules right now on your Galaxy device, some features might not work until you update to One UI 3.1.1. We don’t know what kind of new features and improvements One UI 3.1.1 will bring along, but it’s safe to assume it will likely be a minor update. In any case, with the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Flip 3 launch is just a couple of weeks away, we won’t have to wait long to find out what Samsung’s new skin has in store for us.
Screenshots courtesy: TizenHelp
OxygenOS 126.96.36.199 for OnePlus 7/7T series brings Widevine L1 fix, June patch – 9to5Google
OxygenOS 188.8.131.52 is now rolling out for the OnePlus 7 and 7T series with a notable fix for Widevine L1 issues plus the June 2021 security patch.
The OxygenOS 184.108.40.206 update was confirmed as rolling out on the OnePlus Forums(1) with this OTA providing quite a few fixes for common issues. With regard to the Widevine L1 problems, some OnePlus 7/7 Pro and 7T/7T Pro owners were unable to view videos in apps like Netflix at resolutions higher than 480p due to this issue. While this patch does resolve the problem, you might actually need to clear your device cache for it to resolve things. It’s annoying, but not quite as annoying as having to watch videos at low resolution.
Also included in the OxygenOS 220.127.116.11 update are fixes for battery and power consumption, better management of device overheating, and blurry viewfinders when launching the camera app in certain conditions. OnePlus has pushed the outdated June 2021 security patch here too, which is a bit disappointing to say the least. You can check out the full changelog below:
- Reduced Power consumption
- Improved overheating control management
- Fixed the issue of not being able to play high-definition videos on some video platforms
- Upgraded Android Security Patch to 2021.06
- File Manager
- Fixed the crash issue of the application
- Fixed the issue that the camera is blurred when shooting on fullscreen size
- Improved the stability
- Optimized the dialpad UI display effect
The OxygenOS 18.104.22.168 update is rolling out in stages with a small selection of users getting access first before a wider rollout in the coming days. If you are happy to sideload the update ZIP, then it may be worthwhile giving the excellent Oxygen Updater a try.
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