Tag: Vaccine

HEALTH
Doctors in Birmingham plead for public help to ‘keep people alive until the vaccine is here’

With intensive care units filling fast and COVID-19 case numbers surging across the state, doctors and public health workers in Birmingham asked Alabamians to take the virus seriously and be as cautious as possible and limit the size of Christmas celebrations.

“I want to make a plea to the community,” said Dr. Mark Wilson, Jefferson County health officer, in an online press conference Friday with doctors from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “We’re in the holiday season. We understand that sacrifice is needed for success.

“This year, I ask that you make just one more sacrifice. Please have a Christmas celebration with family just inside your household.”

On Wednesday, the Jefferson County Health Department reported that there were only 13 available ICU beds in the county. The Alabama Hospital Association on Thursday reported that only 7 percent of ICU beds were available statewide, and none in Montgomery.

Wilson said

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HEALTH
VA Announces Plan for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution


As vaccine supplies increase, additional veterans will receive vaccinations based on age, existing health problems and other factors that increase the risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19. The vaccines will be offered at no cost to all service members enrolled in VA health care, it said.

“VA is well prepared and positioned to begin COVID-19 vaccinations,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie in a press statement. “Our ultimate goal is to offer it to all veterans and employees who want to be vaccinated.”

‘Herculean effort’

The VA submitted an order for 73,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and an additional 122,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine to be distributed once it has authorization from the Food and Drug Administration.

“It is not an adequate amount,” said Richard Stone, M.D., executive in charge at the VA’s Veterans Health Administration at a recent Senate hearing. “This will be a long process

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HEALTH
White House threatens FDA chief’s job over vaccine approval

WASHINGTON — White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Friday pressed Food and Drug Administration chief Stephen Hahn to grant an emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine by the end of the day or face possible firing, two administration officials said.

The vaccine produced by Pfizer Inc. and its German partner BioNTech won a critical endorsement Thursday from an FDA panel of outside advisers, and signoff from the agency — which was expected this weekend — is the next step needed to get the shots to the public.

The FDA is not required to follow the panel’s guidance, but the devastation caused by the virus makes the vaccine’s authorization almost certain.

Meadows spoke to Hahn by telephone Friday, according to a senior administration official who was familiar with the call but was not authorized to discuss private conversations.

The chief of staff also told Hahn his job was

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HEALTH
NY Gives OK to Pfizer Vaccine Ahead of Final FDA Approval; NYC Opens Command Center on Monday



a person wearing a costume: A health worker injects a person during clinical trials for a Covid-19 vaccine at Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Florida, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. Drugmakers racing to produce Covid-19 vaccines pledged to avoid shortcuts on science as they face pressure to rush a shot to market. Photographer: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images


© Bloomberg via Getty Images

A health worker injects a person during clinical trials for a Covid-19 vaccine at Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Florida, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. Drugmakers racing to produce Covid-19 vaccines pledged to avoid shortcuts on science as they face pressure to rush a shot to market. Photographer: Eva Marie Uzcategui/Bloomberg via Getty Images


What to Know

  • The FDA’s vaccine advisory panel approved Pfizer’s COVID vaccine — one of the final steps before millions of doses of the shot can be delivered across the country
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state will receive its first deliveries of COVID-19 vaccine Sunday or Monday as the pandemic is landing more patients into hospitals across the state
  • New York City is slated to receive an estimated 72,000 doses — the most for any region in the state. Long Island will receive the second highest
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HEALTH
COVID-19 vaccine is recommended even if you already had the virus

More than 15 million Americans have been infected by the COVID-19 virus, and many may be questioning whether they need to receive one of the two coronavirus vaccines now on the verge of approval from U.S. regulators.

Short answer: Yes.

“They will be asked to stand in line and get a vaccine also,” said Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn. “There will be no distinction made, in part because we think there’s no adverse event that will occur, and also the protection from the vaccine actually may be more long-lived, of longer duration than that you get from the natural infection.”

Coronaviruses are notorious for prompting a flawed and incomplete immune response in humans, infectious disease experts say.

It’s one reason why science has yet to come up with a cure for the common cold.

“With the four seasonal beta

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HEALTH
HHS Head Alex Azar: Feds Eye Monday or Tuesday for First Coronavirus Vaccine Shots | Health News

Officials expect to begin vaccinating Americans against the coronavirus early next week, according to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

“We could see people getting vaccinated Monday, Tuesday of next week,” Azar said on ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Friday.

Azar’s comments come after a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee on Thursday voted in favor of issuing a vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech an emergency use authorization.

Cartoons on the Coronavirus

The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted 17-4 with one person abstaining that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh the risks for individuals 16 years of age and older.

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn said Friday that the agency is “rapidly” working on issuing an emergency use authorization.

“Following yesterday’s positive advisory committee meeting outcome regarding the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has informed the sponsor that it will rapidly work

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