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FDA Approves Third COVID Vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Saturday approved Johnson & Johnson's single-shot coronavirus vaccine for emergency use after its advisory panel unanimously backed the vaccine a day earlier.

Adding a third vaccine to the country's arsenal will help boost the nation's limited supply of the two authorized shots, from Pfizer and Moderna. The first 20 million doses from J&J should be...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • February 28, 2021
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FDA Set to Approve Third COVID Vaccine

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Friday that it will move quickly to approve Johnson & Johnson's single-shot coronavirus vaccine for emergency use after its advisory panel unanimously backed the vaccine earlier in the day.

In a statement, the agency said it has notified the company and federal officials involved in vaccine distribution so they can prepare to ship the vaccin...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • February 27, 2021
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Education Level Now Prime Driver of COVID Vaccine Hesitancy: Poll

In the early weeks of the U.S. vaccine rollout, race looked like it would determine who was willing to get a shot in the arm, but education level now plays the most powerful role in that decision, new research shows.

More than three-quarters of adults with at least a bachelor's degree have been vaccinated or plan to be, compared to 53% of those without a college degree, according to a new...

In Israel, Widespread Vaccination Slashes Severe COVID Cases in Older Patients

FRIDAY, March 26, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Israel is among the first nations in the world to have a majority of its citizens vaccinated against the new coronavirus. That effort may be already paying off, with rates of severe COVID-19 cases declining by two-thirds among Israelis over the age of 69, a new report finds.

"These findings provide preliminary evidence of ...

Expert Panel Set to Consider Approval of J&J COVID Vaccine

An advisory panel for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will spend Friday weighing whether a coronavirus vaccine made by Johnson & Johnson should be approved for emergency use.

The expert panel is expected to endorse the vaccine, meaning that the United States could have a third vaccine at its disposal as early as Saturday, The New York Times reported.

Scientists f...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • February 26, 2021
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COVID Cases, Deaths Plummet in Nursing Homes After Vaccine Rollout

In a hopeful turnaround during a long pandemic, U.S. nursing homes that were once the epicenter of coronavirus infections are now seeing both cases and deaths fall steeply as the country's vaccination rollout starts to take hold.

From late December to early February, new cases among U.S. nursing home residents fell by more than 80 percent, nearly double the rate of improvement in the...

Could Americans Get to COVID Herd Immunity by Late Spring?

Hungry for good news on the pandemic? One epidemiologist believes Americans might reach herd immunity to the new coronavirus as soon as late spring.

That's the view held by Suzanne Judd, a professor with the school of public health at the University of Alabama (UA) at Birmingham. To come to that conclusion, she reviewed recent research and data from her home state.

"I really am star...

Pharmacies Will Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines: What You Need to Know

Need a COVID-19 vaccine? Your neighborhood pharmacy may soon have one on hand.

Pharmacies across the United States are joining the coronavirus vaccination effort, as part of the Biden administration's push to reach herd immunity as quickly as possible in this country.

Federal officials plan to ship 2 million doses a week to more than 40,000 retail and long-term care pharmacies natio...

Pfizer, Moderna Tell Congress a Big Jump in Vaccine Supply Is Coming

Officials from both Pfizer and Moderna delivered reassuring news about their COVID-19 vaccines to Congress on Tuesday: There will be a sharp rise in the delivery of doses in the coming month, and they will be able to provide enough doses to vaccinate most Americans by summer.

By the end of March, Pfizer and Moderna expect to have delivered a total of 220 million vaccine doses to the ...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • February 24, 2021
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U.S. COVID Death Toll Passes 500,000

President Joe Biden marked the unthinkable milestone of half a million Americans lost to coronavirus with a somber, candlelit ceremony at the White House on Monday night.

"The people we lost were extraordinary," Biden said. "They span generations. Born in America, immigrated to America. But just like that, so many of them took their final breath alone in America."

The nation's ...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • February 23, 2021
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Got a Vaccine-Skeptical Relative? Here's How to Talk to Them

While more than 57 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the United States and many Americans eagerly await their turn to get a shot, not everyone wants one.

Vaccine skepticism isn't new, but you may be able to persuade skeptical loved ones to change their minds.

"Some people are probably thinking still that COVID-19 is like flu where you're sick for three or four...

New Variants Mean COVID Vaccines, Tests May Need Tweaking: FDA

The emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants could require a quick pivot on the part of pharmaceutical and medical device companies, to help stay one step ahead of COVID-19.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued guidelines Monday encouraging drug and test developers to pay attention to new coronavirus variants and be prepared to make that pivot if necessary.

The guidance provides...

Even as Pandemic Starts to Ease, U.S. COVID Death Toll Nears 500,000

While coronavirus infections in America plunge to levels not seen in months, the country prepares to mark the devastating toll of 500,000 dead so far in the pandemic.

The seven-day rolling average is now under 65,000 and the daily death toll is also dropping, with fatalities decreasing by 30 percent in the past week, the Washington Post reported. But top infectious disease expert...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • February 22, 2021
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You've Had Your COVID Vaccine: Here's What to Expect After

Worried or wondering about COVID-19 vaccines?

Many Americans are, so experts at Penn State Health are offering some reassuring insight.

"People are approaching this vaccine with more hesitation because it was approved quickly, but that really just speaks to how far we have come in vaccinology," said Dr. Mohammad Ali, an infectious disease physician at Penn State Health Holy Spirit M...

Pregnant Women Face Higher Odds of Coronavirus Infection

Pregnant women have high COVID-19 infection rates -- especially women of color -- and they should be near the front of the line for vaccines across the United States, researchers say.

"Our data indicates that pregnant people did not avoid the pandemic as we hoped that they would, and communities of color bore the greatest burden," said senior study author Dr. Kristina Adams Waldorf, an ob...

Pfizer Says COVID Shot 85% Effective After 1 Dose; May Not Require Deep Freeze

There was a double dose of good news Friday from COVID vaccine maker Pfizer: The company said just one dose may provide 85% protection against SARS-CoV-2, and vials of the vaccine might not require ultra-cold storage after all.

The latter finding could be a game-changer for vaccine distribution, because the need for refrigerators capable of storing vaccines at temperatures down to -112 de...

Approved U.S. COVID Vaccines Are Safe, New Review Confirms

Only a tiny fraction of the nearly 14 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the first month of vaccinations produced any sort of adverse event, U.S. health officials report.

There were 6,994 reports of adverse events following a shot of the COVID vaccine between Dec. 14, 2020 and Jan. 13, 2021, amounting to about half a percent of the 13.8 million doses doled out during that peri...

Battered by Winter Storms, U.S. Vaccine Rollout  to Redouble Efforts Next Week

After a week of brutal winter storms that stalled the country's coronavirus vaccination rollout, U.S. health officials said Thursday that vaccination efforts will have to ramp up rapidly as soon as the bad weather ends.

"We're going to just have to make up for it: namely do double-time when this thing clears up," Dr. Anthony Fauci told MSNBC on Thursday. "Obviously it's an i...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • February 19, 2021
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Communities of Color Struggling to Get Vaccines to Those in Need

The greatest threat from COVID-19 has been for Black and Hispanic Americans, who are three times more likely to be hospitalized and about twice as likely to die from an infection with the novel coronavirus, compared with white people.

Now, street-level community groups are stepping in with innovative ways to overcome longstanding racial disparities in health care and help step up vaccinat...

Should You Take a Painkiller Before Your COVID Vaccine?

You finally managed to score an appointment to be vaccinated against the new coronavirus and you're a little nervous about side effects, so taking a painkiller right before you get your shot seems like a smart idea.

Not so fast, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Instead, the agency is telling people not to take pain medications like Motrin, Advil or Tylenol before ...

Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines Less Effective Against South African COVID Variant

Two of the world's leading coronavirus vaccines don't work as well against a more contagious South African variant, though both did manage to neutralize the virus, two new studies show.

But experts pointed out that what level of neutralization is needed to actually protect against the variant is still unclear and these latest studies on the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were done in a lab s...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • February 18, 2021
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Biden Predicts All Americans Can Get COVID Vaccine by August

Every American who wants a coronavirus vaccine should be able to get one by the end of July, President Joe Biden said Tuesday.

His message, delivered during a town hall meeting hosted by CNN, was more optimistic than one he delivered last week when he warned that logistical hurdles would most likely mean that many people would still not have been vaccinated by the end of the...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • February 17, 2021
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Health Care After COVID: A New Focus on Infectious Diseases

When New York City was the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic last spring in the United States, nearby Mount Sinai South Nassau hospital was treating more than 400 COVID-19 patients at one time, remembers Dr. Aaron Glatt.

Infectious disease experts had warned for years about the potential for another pandemic, yet the scale of this pandemic was unprecedented according to Glatt, wh...

Winter Storm Slows U.S. COVID Vaccine Rollout

A massive winter storm that has crippled much of the United States has also brought much of the country's coronavirus vaccination campaign to a halt.

Clinics have closed and vaccine shipments have been stalled as snow, ice and frigid temperatures have grounded planes and made major roadways impassable, The New York Times reported.

The cancellations are just the latest hurdl...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • February 16, 2021
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Blacks, Hispanics at Higher Risk of COVID Death in U.S. Nursing Homes

TUESDAY, Feb. 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- U.S. nursing homes have been hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the toll on Black and Hispanic residents has been especially harsh, a new study confirms.

Researchers found that COVID-19 death rates were more than three times higher at U.S. nursing homes with the highest proportions of Black and Hispanic residents, compared ...

U.K. COVID Variant May Be More Lethal, and Could Become Dominant U.S. Strain by March

Even as efforts to vaccinate Americans gain steam, more evidence has emerged that suggests a coronavirus variant already known to spread faster is also likely to be more deadly.

The B.1.1.7 variant, which is thought to have originated in Britain, is already firmly entrenched in America and could soon become the dominant strain, according to Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the U.S. Cent...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • February 15, 2021
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Not the Flu: COVID Death Risk Is 3.5 Times That of Influenza

The risk of death from COVID-19 is more than triple that from seasonal flu, researchers in Canada say.

Their findings are similar to recent studies from the United States and France. The study was published Feb. 10 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

"We can now say definitively that COVID-19 is much more severe than seasonal influenza," said study author Dr. Amol ...

When Will Kids Get the COVID Vaccines?

For parents with questions about COVID-19 vaccines and children, Johns Hopkins Medicine experts offer answers.

While vaccinations for adults are underway in the United States, clinical trials for the first U.S. Food and Drug Administration-authorized COVID-19 vaccines haven't yet been completed for children and teens younger than 16.

Before that age group can receive a vaccine, the ...

U.S. Schools Can Reopen, With Safeguards in Place: CDC

It may be safe for many of America's kids to head back to classrooms, experts at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Friday.

According to the agency's new operational guidance, schools can safely reopen if they employ five key "layered mitigation" strategies based on the level of COVID-19 transmission in their communities. Those strategies include steps such ...

U.S. Will Have Enough Vaccine for All Americans by Summer: Biden

The United States will have enough COVID-19 vaccines to inoculate 300 million Americans by summer, President Joe Biden announced Thursday.

During a tour of the National Institute of Health's Viral Pathogenesis Laboratory, where the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine was created, Biden said his administration had secured the delivery of 600 million doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines over ...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • February 12, 2021
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COVID Vaccines Safe for Organ Transplant Recipients: Study

Here's some good news for people who've had solid organ transplants and have weakened immune systems: mRNA coronavirus vaccines are safe for these vulnerable folks, new research shows.

The study included 187 transplant recipients who received an initial dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer mRNA vaccines between Dec. 16, 2020 and Jan. 16, 2021.

The participants, median age 48, were r...

COVID Vaccine Reaction Can Mimic Breast Cancer Symptoms, But Doctors Say 'Don't Panic'

One side effect of COVID-19 vaccination is creating undue fear among women, causing them to worry that they might have breast cancer.

Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines can cause lymph nodes to swell, particularly those in the armpit on the side where the shot was received, experts say.

Some women are feeling these armpit lymph nodes and mistaking them for breast lumps, according ...

COVID Quarantines Not Necessary for Vaccinated People: CDC

Fully vaccinated Americans can now skip quarantines if they are exposed to someone infected with COVID-19, new federal guidelines say.

"Fully vaccinated persons who meet criteria will no longer be required to quarantine following an exposure to someone with COVID-19," the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in updated guidance posted Wednesday on its website.

T...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • February 11, 2021
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You've Had COVID: Maybe One Dose of Vaccine Is Enough, Studies Suggest

Could one shot of a coronavirus vaccine be sufficient if you suffered a case of COVID-19 earlier in the pandemic?

Yes, new research claims.

A pair of new, small studies found that patients previously infected with COVID who were given their first vaccine dose showed the sort of robust immune response that people generally tend to have following their second "booster" dose.

<...

Genes Could Raise COVID Risks for People With Down Syndrome

Certain genetic factors in people with Down syndrome may increase their COVID-19 risks.

Previous studies have found that people with Down syndrome are 10 times more likely to die from COVID-19, and experts have said they should be among those given priority for vaccination.

In this new study, Spanish researchers examined genetic differences in people with Down syndrome that might af...

Most Americans Unhappy With U.S. Vaccine Rollout: Poll

As the United States enters a critical phase of its national coronavirus vaccination campaign, a new poll shows that two-thirds of Americans are frustrated with how hard it is to get immunized against COVID-19.

The Gallup Poll, released Wednesday morning, comes as health officials across the country are desperately juggling precious vaccine doses so they can put second shots into the...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • February 10, 2021
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New Recommendations on Social Distancing After Vaccination Are Coming: Fauci

New guidance on what social distancing measures are best for people who are fully vaccinated is on the way, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday.

Right now, the advice from health officials is to keep wearing your mask, keep social distancing and keep away from gatherings after you receive both shots of coronavirus vaccine.

But during a meeting of the American Association for the Adva...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • February 9, 2021
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Why Your 2nd Dose of COVID Vaccine Is Likely to Feel Worse

His second COVID-19 vaccine shot wiped Dr. Greg Poland out.

Poland, 65, said he suffered five hours of shaking chills, fever up to 101 degrees, severe headache, nausea, ringing in his ears and a sore arm after getting his booster dose of the Moderna vaccine.

"I've never had a reaction to a vaccine like that," said Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic's Vaccine Research Group. "Ironic...

More Parents Balking at Giving Kids Cancer-Fighting HPV Vaccine

Although more teens are getting the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, parents' hesitancy is growing, a new study finds.

From 2012 to 2018, more doctors recommended their patients get vaccinated with the HPV vaccine -- from 27% to 49%. But at the same time, the number of parents who were reluctant to have their kids vaccinated increased from 50% to 64%, researchers found.

"Overall,...

British COVID Variant Gaining Strong Foothold in the United States

The highly contagious coronavirus variant that drove Britain into lockdown in December is now spreading quickly across the United States, a new study shows.

What has been dubbed the B.1.1.7 variant is doubling its prevalence every nine days in this country, according to a report posted on the preprint server MedRxiv on Sunday and not yet peer-reviewed or published in a journal. The ...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • February 8, 2021
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Kids Who Got Flu Shot Had Milder COVID Symptoms: Study

Here's a new reason to make sure your kids get their seasonal flu shot.

A new study showed that it reduces kids' risk for symptoms and severe illness if they get COVID-19.

That conclusion is drawn from medical records of more than 900 children diagnosed with COVID-19 between February and August of last year.

Those who had their current flu shot were less likely to have COVID-1...

U.S. Sees Continued Drop in New COVID Cases

New coronavirus case counts are now steadily dropping across the United States, as the worst of the latest surge in the pandemic seems to be subsiding.

Nationally, that daily average peaked on Jan. 8, with nearly 260,000 new cases, The New York Times reported. But by Feb. 3, that figure was 136,442, a 47 percent drop from that peak.

Some parts of the country, including...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • February 5, 2021
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One Dose to Many, Or Two Doses to Fewer? Experts Explain U.S. Vaccine Rollout

COVID-19 vaccine shortages are leading some to question whether the United States would be better off simply trying to give a single dose to as many people as possible.

This view has been bolstered by early data from Israel indicating that a single dose of vaccine is extremely effective and can drive down infection rates.

But public health experts remain adamant that the approved tw...

Major Medical Groups Urge Americans to Get COVID Vaccine

Want to live like you did in the carefree days before the pandemic?

Just roll up your sleeve when your turn comes to get the COVID-19 vaccine, three major medical groups urge in a new public service campaign.

The vaccines are safe, effective and will help end the pandemic, according to the American Hospital Association, American Medical Association and American Nurses Association.

Study Shows Young COVID Survivors Can Get Reinfected

THURSDAY, Feb. 4, 2020 (HealthDay) -- Being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 is not a foolproof shield against reinfection, a small preliminary study warns.

The finding stems from tracking nearly 3,250 young U.S. Marine recruits between May and October. Of those, 189 had previously tested positive for the SAR-CoV-2 virus. During the six-week study itself, 10% of those who had ...

First Federal COVID Vaccination Sites to Open in California

The first COVID-19 vaccination sites run by the federal government will be opened in California as the Biden administration employs yet another tool to try to tame the coronavirus pandemic.

One center will be housed in the Oakland Coliseum where the Oakland Athletics baseball team plays and the other will be on the campus of California State University, Los Angeles, NBC News...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • February 4, 2021
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Israel Leads World in COVID Vaccinations, But Challenges Remain

Israel has become the world leader in COVID-19 vaccine rollouts, inoculating millions of its citizens against the coronavirus in a matter of weeks.

But the nation is still under a full lockdown and likely will remain so for a while longer, given the highly infectious nature of new COVID-19 variants out of the United Kingdom, South Africa and Brazil, said Dr. Ran Balicer, chair of Israel's...

Vaccines Saved 37 Million Lives, Mostly Children, Over Past Two Decades

They're medical miracles: A new report finds that vaccines against 10 major diseases prevented 37 million deaths between 2000 and 2019 in low- and middle-income countries worldwide, with young children benefiting most.

Vaccinations are also projected to prevent a total of 69 million deaths between 2000 and 2030, researchers say.

Their modeling study also shows that vaccination again...

Pfizer Vaccine Is 90% Effective 3 Weeks After First Shot, Early Study Shows

Just one dose of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine might be enough to largely protect people from being infected with COVID-19, preliminary research shows.

The vaccine became 90% effective 21 days after the first shot in a two-dose regimen, said British researchers who looked at data from Israel, where the vaccine has been rolled out to a large portion of the population.

"A second d...

Biden Administration to Start Shipping COVID Vaccines Directly to U.S. Pharmacies

The Biden administration said Tuesday that it will begin to deliver coronavirus much-needed vaccines directly to retail pharmacies across the country.

The partnership includes 21 national pharmacies and will eventually include 40,000 locations across the country. The first shipment of 1 million vaccine doses will go out Feb. 11, the Washington Post reported.

"This will...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • February 3, 2021
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