Sources: US to recommend COVID vaccine boosters at 8 months – Delta-Optimist
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. experts are expected to recommend COVID-19 vaccine boosters for all Americans, regardless of age, eight months after they received their second dose of the shot, to ensure lasting protection against the coronavirus as the delta variant spreads across the country.
Federal health officials have been actively looking at whether extra shots for the vaccinated would be needed as early as this fall, reviewing case numbers in the U.S. as well as the situation in other countries such as Israel, where preliminary studies suggest the vaccine’s protection against serious illness dropped among those vaccinated in January.
An announcement on the U.S. booster recommendation was expected as soon as this week, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
Doses would only begin to be administered widely once the Food and Drug Administration formally approves the vaccines. That action is expected for the Pfizer shot in the coming weeks.
Last week, U.S. health officials recommended boosters for some with weakened immune systems, citing their higher risk of catching the virus and evidence that the vaccines’ effectiveness waned over time.
The director of the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Francis Collins, said Sunday the U.S. could decide in the next couple weeks whether to offer coronavirus booster shots to Americans this fall.
Among the first to receive them could be health care workers, nursing home residents and other older Americans, who were some of the first Americans to be vaccinated once the shots received emergency use authorization last December.
Since then, more than 198 million Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with more than 168 million fully vaccinated. Still, the country is experiencing a fourth surge of virus cases due to the more transmissible delta variant, which is spreading aggressively through unvaccinated communities but is also responsible for an increasing number of so-called “breakthrough infections” of fully vaccinated people.
Israel, which exclusively administered the Pfizer shot, has been offering a coronavirus booster to people over 60 who were already vaccinated more than five months ago in an effort to control its own surge in cases from the delta variant.
For months, officials had said data still indicated that people remain highly protected from COVID-19, including the delta variant, after receiving the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna regimen or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. But U.S. health officials made clear Sunday they are preparing for the possibility that the time for boosters may come sooner than later.
“There is a concern that the vaccine may start to wane in its effectiveness,” Collins said. “And delta is a nasty one for us to try to deal with. The combination of those two means we may need boosters, maybe beginning first with health care providers, as well as people in nursing homes, and then gradually moving forward” with others, such as older Americans who were among the first to get vaccinations.
He said because the delta variant only started hitting the U.S. hard in July, the “next couple of weeks” of case data will help the U.S. make a decision.
Officials were continuing to collect information as well about the J&J vaccine, which was only approved in the U.S. in late February, to determine when to recommend boosters, one of the officials said.
The White House has said that even though the U.S. has begun sharing more than 110 million vaccine doses with the world, the nation has enough domestic supply to deliver boosters to Americans should they be recommended by health officials.
Global health officials, including the World Health Organization, have called on wealthier and more-vaccinated countries to hold off on booster shots to ensure the supply of first doses for people in the developing world.
Zeke Miller, The Associated Press
Women More Likely to Suffer Adverse Mental Health Effects After Stroke: Report
A new report from the Heart and Stroke Foundation shows that women are more likely to suffer adverse mental health effects after a stroke, and that services and supports are lacking.
The report, Stroke and Mental Health: The Invisible and Inequitable Effects on Women, was released on Thursday.
Dr. Clair Barefoot, clinical psychologist at the Nova Scotia Rehabilitation Centre, says recovering from a stroke can take a big toll on people.
That, coupled with the additional roles women often take on—such as caring for children, can cause additional strain and force them to leave rehab early.
Barefoot says supports and services are generally lacking across Canada.
She says it is quite difficult and expensive for people to find personalized care, so she would like to see more psychologists in hospitals and more funding for the private sector so that people can access more of those services after they’re discharged.
Grail says over 400 patients incorrectly informed they may have cancer
Cancer test maker Grail Inc said on Friday that its telemedicine vendor erroneously sent letters to about 400 patients suggesting they may have developed cancer.
Grail’s flagship cancer detection blood test Galleri is designed to detect more than 50 types of cancer before symptoms appear.
The company, owned by Illumina Inc, ILMN-Q said the letters were mistakenly sent by PWNHealth due to a software issue and that it “was in no way related to or caused by an incorrect Galleri test result”.
Grail said it had reached out to the patients immediately after the issue, adding that no patient health information has been disclosed or breached due to this.
The software issue being faced by PWNHealth has now been resolved, it said.
Illumina is currently appealing regulatory orders in the U.S. and EU, which are asking the gene sequencing company to divest Grail after it jumped regulators to close its acquisition of the cancer test maker.
Rates of infectious sexual diseases on the decline in region – CambridgeToday
Unprotected sex with more than one partner in a six month period is the biggest risk factor behind a recent rise in syphilis cases in Waterloo region, according to a report on infectious disease trends from Region of Waterloo Public Health.
The annual infectious diseases surveillance report gathers and analyzes information on the infectious diseases that physicians, laboratories and hospitals are required to report to the region’s public health unit in line with Ontario Public Health Standards.
Infectious diseases are illnesses caused by microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and parasites that have the potential to cause serious illness and outbreaks.
There were 116 reports of infectious syphilis in the region last year, a rate of 17.8 per 100,000 population compared to 23.1 across the province. The number is down from a high of 143 reported cases in 2021, and a rate of 22.2 per 100,000 that was higher than the provincial average of 20.6.
The report says rates of syphilis, while lower than the province, have increased substantially in recent years, especially among females. This trend has also been observed in the province, which suggests a shift in epidemiology and sexual health practices.
The most common sexually transmitted infections in Waterloo Region continue to be chlamydia and gonorrhea.
There were 1,388 cases of chlamydia reported across the region last year, a rate of 192.8 per 100,000 population compared to 255.9 provincially. That’s down slightly from the age-standardized rate of 196.9 per 100,000 reported in 2021.
Gonorrhea case counts continued to spike across the province in 2022, while experiencing a slight decline in the rate of infection in Waterloo region.
Waterloo region reported 266 cases last year, a rate of 38.2 per 100,000. That’s compared to 77.5 per 100,000 province-wide.
Across the board, the demographic with the highest number of cases of sexually transmitted infections locally and across the province is the 20 to 29 age group.
Mpox, previously known as monkeypox, was declared a disease of global public health concern and became a newly reportable disease in Ontario in 2022.
There were only four local cases of mpox last year. Public Health says it has been monitoring the situation, working with health care providers to provide up-todate treatment guidance, and providing mpox vaccines to high-risk individuals.
The mpox virus is most commonly spread to people through close, physical contact with an infected person.
Campylobacter enteritis and salmonellosis were the most common enteric diseases in Waterloo Region in 2022. The local rates for enteric diseases were similar to or lower than those of the province.
Risk factors for enteric illnesses such as Campylobacter enteritis and salmonellosis include consuming undercooked meats and unpasteurized dairy products, ingesting contaminated food or water, and contact with infected persons.
Rates of vaccine preventable diseases in Waterloo Region were similar to those of the province. The most common vaccine preventable diseases in Waterloo Region were pneumococcal disease and pertussis (whooping cough).
In 2022, as we returned to normal activities, we saw a return of circulating respiratory viruses including pertussis with rates higher than had been seen during the first two years of the pandemic.
Public Health says immunization is the best way to prevent whooping cough. Pneumococcal vaccine is also recommended for infants, older adults 65 years and older, and those at high risk from the infection.
Region of Waterloo Public Health undertakes a number of activities to prevent or reduce the burden of infectious diseases in the community.
Programs and services include case management, contacts and exposures for diseases of public health significance; inspections, investigations and outbreak management, including community outbreaks and those in institutions; health promotion activities and services for primary care providers, emergency service workers, childcare providers, and other community groups; and clinic-based services for sexual health, immunization, and tuberculosis screening and management.
Region of Waterloo Public Health says it will provide highlights of respiratory disease trends, including influenza, in a report to council this fall.
The social media apps we use, from best to worst – Mashable
Revealing show cleverly pairs two female Impressionists – The Globe and Mail
Halifax-area wildfire 85% contained and not expected to spread, officials say – CBC.ca
Silver investment demand jumped 12% in 2019
Iran anticipates renewed protests amid social media shutdown
Search for life on Mars accelerates as new bodies of water found below planet’s surface
News22 hours ago
Man charged after allegedly threatening to shoot Toronto mayoral candidates, police say – CBC.ca
Tech22 hours ago
Apple's AR/VR Headset Expected to Enter Mass Production in October Ahead of Late 2023 Launch – MacRumors
News21 hours ago
Housing affordability in Canada just saw the biggest improvement in almost 4 years – Global News
Real eState10 hours ago
‘All hell is going to break loose’: Property titan and Shark Tank star Barbara Corcoran says Elon Musk is right about commercial office space
Real eState23 hours ago
Calgary home sales reach new May record: real estate board – CBC.ca
Economy22 hours ago
Equities may rally since the U.S. economy remains strong: Dennis Mitchell – BNN Bloomberg
Science22 hours ago
Scientists discover mysterious cosmic threads in Milky Way – The Guardian
Tech21 hours ago
Meta reveals the new Quest 3 VR headset with a $499.99 price tag – Space.com