Quick guide: COVID-19 vaccines in use and how they work
Here's a guide to the vaccines being used in different countries.Dozens of coronavirus vaccines entered clinical trials during 2020, and now, a handful have been authorized for emergency use in various countries — meaning the shots can be administered to the public while their developers continue to collect data on their safety and efficacy. Should they meet all the necessary criteria, these vaccines could be fully approved in the future, and in some places, they already have been.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory panel voted to recommend that the U.S. resume administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for people 18 years of age and older. This comes after an 11-day pause in administering the vaccine prompted by reports of extremely rare, but severe, blood clots that developed post-vaccination in a handful of people. © Provided by Live Science A vaccine syringe in front of a Johnson and Johnson logo.
During an Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices meeting held on Friday (April 23), the panel voted 10 to 4 to resume Johnson & Johnson vaccination among all age groups, but they recommended that a warning label be added to include the possibility that the vaccine may increase the risk of such blood clots.
20 ulcer symptoms to watch out for
Also known as gastric or peptic ulcers, stomach ulcers happen when part of the stomach or intestinal lining becomes eroded. For some, particularly older individuals, this condition may present no symptoms. However, others experience a variety of issues from mild discomfort to serious side effects. Luckily, with treatment, most stomach ulcers will heal within a couple of months. Let’s take a look at some of the signs of this problem.
Now, the CDC will decide whether to accept the recommendation, according to NBC News.
Related: Quick guide: COVID-19 vaccines in use and how they work
The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had recommended a pause in Johnson & Johnson vaccinations in the U.S. on April 13 to investigate six cases of the rare clotting disorder recently coined as "thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome" (TTS). In the week and a half since, officials have confirmed another nine cases, bringing the total to 15.
That's only a tiny proportion of the more than 8 million people who have been given the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the U.S. so far, according to the CDC. Of those cases, 13 were women between the ages of 18 and 49, and two were women who were 50 years of age or older. That means for women between the ages of 18 and 49, the risk of developing such blood clots appears to be 7 per million, and the risk for women who are 50 years of age or older appears to be 0.9 per million. There are another 10 cases that are currently under review, which may include males, according to the presenters at the ACIP.
CDC tells businesses to 'end the hygiene theater'
'People can be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 through contact with surfaces and objects, however the risk by this route of transmission is actually low,' said CDC director Dr Walensky.An army of sanitizing robots, round-the-clock cleaning staffs and UV lamp-wielding workers is being called of by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which has deemed the risk of contracting COVID-19 by touching surfaces 'low.
Three of those patients died and seven remain hospitalized. There wasn't a clear trend in risk factors among those who developed TTS other than being younger and female; seven were obese; two had hypothyroidism; two were using oral contraceptives; and two had high blood pressure.
Gallery: 10 ways COVID-19 changed the world (Live Science)
10 ways COVID-19 changed the world
The year 2020 was defined by the coronavirus pandemic, arguably the worst pandemic the world has seen in 100 years. The illness has affected nearly every aspect of life, from work and school to everyday activities like getting groceries, and even our wardrobes.
Here are just some of the ways COVID-19 changed the world.
A number of new words and phrases entered the general lexicon in 2020. We were told we need to "social distance," or stay six feet apart, so that we could "flatten the curve," or slow the disease's spread in order to reduce the burden on the healthcare system. People even became familiar with relatively obscure epidemiological terms like the "basic reproduction number" (R0, pronounced R-nought), or the average number of people who catch the virus from a single infected person. And of course the name of the illness itself, COVID-19, is a new term, with the World Health Organization officially naming the disease on Feb. 11 2020.
Pfizer vaccine efficacy: What protection does Pfizer vaccine give after second dose?
THE PFIZER Covid vaccine has been given to millions of people around the world, so what protection does the Pfizer vaccine give after a second dose has been administered?For the vaccine to be most effective, the Pfizer vaccine is given in two doses.
The must-have fashion item of 2020 was a small piece of cloth to put around your face.
With medical masks in short supply at the beginning of the year, sewing enthusiasts began churning out homemade masks for their communities. Then, clothing companies and retailers got on board, adding masks to their fashion lines. Now, in many parts of the world, you can't leave your house without putting on a mask.
At first, it was unclear whether wearing cloth masks would protect against COVID-19, but as the year went on, numerous studies showed the benefits of wearing masks, for both the wearer and those around them.
Anxiety and depression
The pandemic took a serious toll on people's mental health in 2020. One study published in August by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that levels of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts skyrocketed amid the pandemic.
The study could not determine the reason for the rise in mental health conditions, but factors relating to the pandemic, such as social isolation, school and university closures, unemployment and other financial worries, as well as the threat of the disease itself, may play a role, the authors said.
AstraZeneca vaccine: ‘Doctors had inkling it was the Covid jab’, say family of blood clot victim, 51
The husband and sons of 51-year-old want more details on the AstraZeneca vaccination side-effectsBut questions have emerged about whether people who have known risk factors for thrombosis should be offered the AZ jab or not. These include those who had a blood clot previously, have a family history, are pregnant, on hormone therapy or birth control pills, are obese, smoke, and have certain health conditions, such as cancer or heart failure.
As businesses began to open after initial lockdowns, people needed to adjust to a new normal to reduce the risk of spreading the disease from everyday activities. Businesses implemented universal mask policies. Dining switched to outdoors only. Waiting rooms became a thing of the past. You needed a reservation to go to the gym. And large gatherings and events were banned completely in many areas.
Although there is no way to ensure zero risk of catching COVID-19, officials said taking precautions could reduce the risk of spread. However, as the fall began, many areas went into lockdown again amid surging COVID-19 cases.
CDC says it does not yet recommend pregnant women get Covid vaccines
Director Dr Rochelle Walensky said Friday the 'CDC recommends pregnant people receive the COVID-19 vaccine,' but the agency has not updated its guidance with this strong language.'CDC recommends that pregnant people receive the COVID-19 vaccine,' director Dr Rochelle Walensky said in a Friday White House press briefing.
From the idea that drinking bleach can kill the norovirus to a theory that the virus was created in a lab as a bioweapon, the COVID-19 pandemic has generated a flurry of misinformation. Indeed, one study, published Aug. 10 in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, found that the pandemic has hatched more than 2,000 rumors, conspiracy theories and reports of discrimination.
Such false information can have serious consequences — the researchers of the new study found that COVID-19 related rumors were linked to thousands of hospitalizations and hundreds of deaths.
"Health agencies must track misinformation associated with ... COVID-19 in real time, and engage local communities and government stakeholders to debunk misinformation," the authors concluded.
With orders to stay at home as much as possible, many people decided to get a furry friend during quarantine.
The coronavirus pandemic has been a boon for pet adoptions, particularly dog adoptions. Many shelters, breeders and pet stores reported a surge in applications for dogs, with the demand far exceeding supply, according to The Washington Post. Some shelters reported double the number of adoptions compared with the previous year, and needed to resort to waitlists to handle the demand.
Not only is this good news for pets who need homes, but also for their humans, given that many studies show there are mental health benefits to pet ownership, according to NPR.
US could see lowest death rate since pandemic's early days by JUNE
B.1.1.7, the coronavirus variant first detected in the U.K., is now causing two out of every three COVID-19 cases in the U.S., according to the CDC. This variant is more contagious than older strains.New COVID-19 deaths may fall as low as 1,500 in a week by early June, according to new predictions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Children seem to be largely spared from the most severe effects of COVID-19, but they can still act as spreaders of the disease. So many schools across the U.S. and the world made the decision to close in 2020, and opt for virtual learning instead. Questions around how long to remain closed and how to safely reopen were the subject of much debate. As fall arrived with a number of schools still closed, many children seemed to be falling behind in learning. Statewide polls have found that nearly 9 in 10 parents are worried about their children falling behind at school due to the pandemic closures, according to The Educational Trust.
Coronavirus lockdowns, which slowed the normal hustle and bustle of cities to a near halt, also appeared to dramatically lower emissions of carbon dioxide around the world. A study published May 19 in the journal Nature Climate Change found that daily global carbon dioxide emissions dropped by 17% in early 2020, compared with levels in 2019. That appears to be one of the biggest drops in recorded history. But this temporary drop is far from enough to undo the harmful effects of man-made climate change.
"Although this is likely to lead to the largest cut in emissions since World War II, it will make barely a dent in the ongoing build-up of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere," Richard Betts, Head of Climate Impacts Research at the Met Office Hadley Centre in England, said in a statement.
The group discussed a spectrum of options for how to proceed with Johnson & Johnson vaccinations in the U.S., including continuing the recommendation that the vaccine can be given to everyone 18 years of age and older and the option of setting an age limit since the cases of TTS appear more common in younger populations.
CDC scientist Dr. Sara Oliver presented risk/benefit modeling on these various scenarios. Their modeling suggests that continuing the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for everyone ages 18 and older may cause 26 to 45 cases of TTS but would prevent 600 to 1,400 deaths and 800 to 3,500 intensive care unit (ICU) admissions. It would also allow flexibility and ability to vaccinate harder-to-reach populations.
If they recommend the vaccine just for people 50 years of age or older, it would likely lead to two or three cases of TTS and prevent 300 to 1,000 ICU admissions and 40 to 250 deaths.
The experts did not see a good reason to stop using the Johnson & Johnson vaccine completely or limit its use to certain age groups. The discussion mainly centered around whether to recommend the Johnson & Johnson vaccine to everyone ages 18 and older or recommend it with a warning that women under the age of 50 "should be aware" of the increased risk of TTS and have an option of choosing another COVID-19 vaccine.
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is an adenovirus-based vaccine that's similar to the one developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford. The AstraZeneca vaccine has also prompted cases of TTS and was paused across many countries while being investigated; most countries have resumed administering the AstraZeneca shot but with various age restrictions and guidelines, Live Science previously reported.
Of the more than 214 million doses of mRNA vaccines — those made by Moderna and Pfizer — administered in the U.S., there have not been any reports of TTS.
On Tuesday (April 20), the European Medicines Agency concluded that there is a possible link between the J&J vaccine and rare cases of these blood clots and that a warning should be added to the product information; Johnson & Johnson announced the same day that it will resume shipment of its vaccine to the European Union, Norway and Iceland.
Originally published on Live Science.
CDC director pleads with US parents to vaccinate their teens .
A new CDC report published Friday found that 204 adolescents in 14 states were hospitalized primarily for COVID-19 with 31.4% admitted to ICUs and 4.9% requiring intubation,It comes as a new report from the federal health agency found that COVID-19-related hospitalizations in U.S. children between ages 12 and 17 rose by 116 percent in April.