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Americans love to have choices, and now there are three COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the United States.

But infectious disease experts say that all three protect strongly against severe COVID-19, so there is only one criteria to use in deciding which vaccine is the best.

"There is a single best vaccine. It's the one that's available to you today," said Dr. William Schaffner...

FRIDAY, March 5, 2021 (Healthday News) -- Coronavirus restrictions should not be lifted until the daily toll of new U.S. cases falls below 10,000, "and maybe even considerably less than that," Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday.

The last time the United States saw that low a number was almost a year ago. The daily case count hasn't fallen below 50,000 since mid-October, and the seven-da...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • March 5, 2021
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Many women suffer through countless urinary tract infections (UTIs), but a new study in mice offers hope that a vaccine could one day bring their nightmares to an end.

"Although several vaccines against UTIs have been investigated in clinical trials, they have so far had limited success," said senior study author Soman Abraham, a professor of pathology, immunology and molecular genetics &...

There's new evidence that fast-spreading variants of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 are more resistant to antibody treatments and vaccines.

Researchers assessed variants first identified in South Africa, the United Kingdom and Brazil and found that they can evade antibodies that work well against the original version of the coronavirus that triggered the pandemic.

This means t...

Some people given the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine may develop a reaction at the injection site that can first appear more than a week after they get the shot, research shows.

A minority of patients may experience a large, red, sometimes raised, itchy or painful skin reaction, according to researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston.

Although the reaction was seen in ...

THURSDAY, March 4, 2021 (Healthday News) -- In a finding that suggests overweight people should be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccines, a new report released Thursday shows the risk of death from coronavirus infection is about 10 times higher in countries where most of the population is overweight.

The World Obesity Federation report found that 88 percent of deaths due to COVID-19 in t...

WEDNESDAY, March 3, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- The first U.S. case of a Brazilian COVID-19 variant that doctors fear can re-infect the previously sick surfaced in Minnesota in early January 2021, and the more infectious variant has since been found in four other states, a new government report says.

Known as the P.1 variant, it first appeared in a Minnesotan who'd recentl...

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the emergency use of Johnson & Johnson's single-shot coronavirus vaccine, adding a third weapon to the arsenal the United States is building to battle the pandemic.

The overall effectiveness of the J&J vaccine in protecting recipients against any case of COVID-19 (66%) is not as high as that of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines (95%). But ...

TUESDAY, March 2, 2021 (Healthday News) -- The United States will stick with its plan to give millions of Americans two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Monday.

The nation's top infectious diseases expert told the Washington Post that shifting to a single-dose strategy for those two vaccines could leave people less protected, allow...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • March 2, 2021
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MONDAY, March 1, 2021 (Healthday News) -- The amount of COVID-19 testing being done in the United States has fallen by 30 percent in recent weeks, even though testing can curb the spread of coronavirus and spot new outbreaks quickly.

From a high of nearly 14 million tests a week in early January, the pace fell to fewer than 10 million — a level not seen since October — for the we...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • March 1, 2021
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Putting the oldest people near the front of the line for COVID-19 shots will save more lives and may extend their lifespan, too, researchers say.

The new study findings challenge the view that older people should be lower on the list for shots because they have a shorter life expectancy, according to the team from the University of California, Berkeley.

"Since older age is accompani...

While many Americans await their turn for the COVID vaccine, a potentially record-setting number have already had their flu shot.

That's the key finding in a nationwide poll of more conducted in December by the University of Georgia, involving more than 1,000 adults . In all, 43.5% of respondents said they had already had a flu shot, 13.5% said they would "definitely" get one; and 9.3% s...

That swollen lymph node under your arm could be a temporary side effect of a COVID-19 shot and not a sign of serious health problems.

Radiologists from Massachusetts General Hospital noticed an increase in patients with swollen underarm lymph nodes as they were doing routine mammogram screenings. So they established an approach to help prevent delays in both vaccinations and breast cancer...

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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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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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...

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 ...

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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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...

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...

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...

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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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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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...

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...

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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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 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...

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...

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...

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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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...

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 ...

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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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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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...

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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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 ...

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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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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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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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...

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 ...

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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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.

<...

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...

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 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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