Covid-19 vaccine in the US: CDC investigating potential heart problems, vaccination lottery...

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Covid-19 vaccine in the US live updates: CDC investigating potential heart problems, vaccination lottery....

US vaccine latest news live: Fri 28 May 2021

Headlines

- Single-dose covid Janssen vaccine approved in the UK

- Dr Fauci points to likely need for booster shots

- WHO reports 14% drop in global covid-19 cases

- Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline launch Phase 3 trial for covid vaccine

- 50% of US adults now fully vaccinated, as Biden calls the milestone "a big deal"

- Moderna claim vaccine 'strongly' protects against virus in 12 to 17 year olds

- Pennsylvania has become the 10th state to pass 70% vaccine target

- CureVac vaccine approval expected in June

- Pfizer and BioNTech pledge to give one billion doses to low- and middle-income countries by end of year

- California won’t create vaccine passport, but large events may require vaccine/test proof

- US vaccine roll-out to children aged 12-15

- Study shows AstraZeneca vaccine works well as third booster

- Over 133 million US citizens now fully vaccinated (track CDC data here)

US covid-19: 33.23 million cases / 593,881 deaths (live updates from JHU)

Scroll through some of our related articles:

Vietnam detects hybrid of Indian and UK Covid-19 variant

Vietnam health minister Nguyen Thanh Long said on Saturday the country has detected a new variant of the coronavirus, a mix of the Indian and UK Covid-19 variants that spreads quickly by air, online newspaper VnExpress reported.

After successfully containing the coronavirus for most of last year, Vietnam is now battling an outbreak that is spreading more quickly. Nearly 3,600 people have been infected in 31 of its 63 cities and provinces since late April, accounting for more than half of the country's total infections. "After running gene sequencing on newly detected patients, we have discovered a new variant that is a mix of India and UK ones," Nguyen Thanh Long was quoted as saying. "More specifically, it is an Indian variant with mutations that originally belong to the UK variant," he said.

VnExpress quoted Long as saying Vietnam would announce the newly discovered variant to the world soon. Vietnam had previously reported seven virus variants: B.1.222, B.1.619, D614G, B.1.1.7 (the UK variant), B.1.351, A.23.1 and B.1.617.2 (the Indian variant). Laboratory cultures of the new variant, which is much more transmissable that the previously known types, revealed that the virus replicated itself very quickly, explaining why so many new cases appeared in different locations in a short period, Long was quoted as saying. The Southeast Asian country has registered 6,396 coronavirus cases so far, with 47 deaths.

"We should not be vaccinating during a pandemic" - Luc Montagnier

French virologist and 2008 Nobel Prize winner Luc Montagnier has explained why it is a mistake to conduct large-scale vaccination programs during a pandemic as the process is actually causing the virus to mutate.  

"Mass vaccinations are a scientific error as well as a medical error. It is an unacceptable mistake. The history books will show that, because it is the vaccination that is creating the variants," he told Pierre Barnérias of Hold-Up Media. "There are antibodies, created by the vaccine, forcing the virus to find another solution or die. This is where the variants are created. It is the variants that are a production and result from the vaccination. I will show you that they are creating the variants that are resistant to the vaccine.

"Sometimes, the virus does the opposite to what we expect," he continued. "In stead of preventing infection, the vaccine is making the virus more dangerous. The virus is an intelligent piece of matter, it takes advantage of the antibody that we make with the vaccine. It is called 'antibody-dependent enhancement' and is well known, we have seen it with several viruses".

New study claims Covid-19 was artificially engineered in a lab

The Daily Mail has gained access to a new 22-page report authored by British Professor Angus Dalgleish and Norwegian scientist Dr. Birger Sørensen which shows how Covid-19 cannot be a virus which occurred naturally but due to unique genetic fingerprints, had to have been engineered in a laboratory.

The study claims that Chinese scientists artificially created Covid-19 in a Wuhan lab by splicing together a natural coronavirus found in cave bats with a new spike. They then tried to cover their tracks by reverse-engineering versions of the virus to make it look like it evolved naturally from bats.

Sørensen told the Mail that one of the distinguishing features of Covid-19 is that it has four amino acids all with a positive charge, which cause the virus to tightly cling to the negatively charged parts of human cells like a magnet, and so become more infectious. 'The laws of physics mean that you cannot have four positively charged amino acids in a row. The only way you can get this is if you artificially manufacture it,' Dalgleish told DailyMail.com.

Dalgleish and Sørensen have authored a new study, which concludes that 'SARS-Coronavirus-2 has no credible natural ancestor' and that it is 'beyond reasonable doubt' that the virus was created through 'laboratory manipulation'. 

Read the full story on the Dalgleish/Sørensen study here:

 

New Jersey governor unveils ‘Shots at the Shore’ initiative

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy on Friday unveiled the ‘Shots at the Shore’ covid-19 vaccine initiative, which will provide vaccinations to people visiting Monmouth County beaches on Memorial Day weekend on Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 May.

“More than four million New Jerseyans have rolled up their sleeves and are already fully vaccinated against covid-19,” Murphy said. “Together, we are moving forward in our recovery, but we must continue working to reach our goal 4.7 million fully vaccinated New Jerseyans.

“We are grateful for the collaboration between our federal, state, and local governments, as well as our public and private partners, and for their commitment to providing easy and equitable access to vaccines. Through our ‘Shots at the Shore’ program, we’re giving New Jerseyans yet another reason to visit our beautiful beaches this Memorial Day weekend.”

CORONAVIRUS US

Can I take ibuprofen after getting covid-19 vaccine?

The CDC recommends talking to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medications to relieve any discomfort you may experience after getting vaccinated.

Full details

Travel advice CDC covid

CDC issues new holiday advice for US travellers

The latest guidance advises that fully vaccinated Americans can travel abroad for a summer holiday this year, but only to a select group of destinations.

Full details

(Photo: Martin Sylvest/AFP)

US NEWS

Who won Ohio vaccine lottery?

A 22-year-old aerospace engineer who recently moved to the Cincinnati area became the first to win $1 million in the Ohio Vax-a-Million lottery.

Full story

 

Blinken says US and India united in tackling covid-19

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a meeting with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on Friday that their two countries were united in tackling the covid-19 pandemic together.

Jaishankar, who has spent the past week in the United States seeking help to deal with India's coronavirus crisis, told reporters while standing with Blinken at the State Department India was grateful to the US administration for strong support and solidarity.

"The partnership between the United States and India is vital, is strong, and I think it's increasingly productive," Blinken said.

"We're united in confronting covid-19 together," he added. "We're united in dealing with the challenge posed by climate change, and we are partnered together directly through the Quad, other institutions in the United Nations, in dealing with many of the challenges we face in the region and around the world."

Jaishankar said India appreciated the United States for its "strong support and solidarity at a moment of great difficulty for us."

Ties between the United States and India have grown closer in recent years amid shared concerns about China's rise and they have increased cooperation through a four-country grouping known as the Quad, which also involves Australia and Japan.

US President Joe Biden's Indo-Pacific policy coordinator Kurt Campbell said on Wednesday that the United States is looking to convene an in-person summit of leaders of the Quad in the fall, with a focus on infrastructure.

The Quad held a first virtual summit in March and pledged to work closely on covid-19 vaccines, climate and security.

(Reuters)

State-run vaccine sites in Florida to close in June

All of Florida's state-run vaccine sites will close in June when vaccine distribution will be left in the hands of county health departments, doctors’ surgeries, pharmacies and clinics. A few sites will continue to provide vaccines up until 18 June. Vaccination sites at PortMiami and Port Everglades will offer doses until 20 June but for other sites and vaccine pop-ups, the last day will be Friday 25 June.

First Covid-19 vaccine approved for children aged 12 to 15 in EU

EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP) has recommended granting an extension of indication for the Covid-19 vaccine Comirnaty to include use in children aged 12 to 15. The vaccine is already approved for use in adults and adolescents aged 16 and above.

Comirnaty is a vaccine for preventing Covid-19. It contains a molecule called messenger RNA (mRNA) with instructions for producing a protein, known as the spike protein, naturally present in SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. The vaccine works by preparing the body to defend itself against SARS-CoV-2.

The use of the Comirnaty vaccine in children from 12 to 15 will be the same as it is in people aged 16 and above. It is given as two injections in the muscles of the upper arm, given three weeks apart.

The effects of Comirnaty in children were investigated in 2,260 children aged 12 to 15 years. This study was carried out in accordance with Comirnaty’s paediatric investigation plan (PIP), which was agreed by EMA's Paediatric Committee (PDCO).

Read the EMA's full statement here

WHO expert says Covid-19 origins have been "poisoned by politics"

The World Health Organization's (WHO) top emergency expert Mike Ryan on Friday urged for the separation of the 'politics' of the question of the origin of the coronavirus from the science of it, days after US President Joe Biden ordered aides to find answers to the question.

"We would like for everyone out there to separate, if they can, the politics of this issue from the science. This whole process is being poisoned by politics," Ryan said during a press conference, adding further studies are going to be needed to find the origins of the virus.

Minnesota reports 364 new Covid-19 cases and five deaths

Minnesota's Department of Health reported 364 new Covid-19 cases and five deaths relating to the virus for 27 May, the latest figures for the state. Hennepin recorded the most new cases (72), all of the five fatalities were over the age of 60. The total number of people who have died due to complications from Covid-19 stands at 7,408. More than 2.9 million Minnesotans aged over 12 years have received at least one dose of vaccine.

Covid-19 vaccine storage during hurricane season in Florida

Florida is preparing for the hurricane season while it continues to manage its Covid-19 vaccine rollout. So far, the state has administered 18,422,633 doses of the vaccines (around 85,869 doses per 100,000 people) but if this year's hurricane season is anything like last season's, the vaccination program will be affected.  

Clint Sperber, health officer for the St. Lucie County Health Department told WPTV, "My hope is everyone is getting vaccinated now. I would say approximately 50,000 doses per freezer that we could manage.

The Palm Beach County Health Department said the guidance will come from county and state leaders on when to halt COVID-19 vaccinations prior to a storm - although as Sperber points out, you never know how bad the storms will be...

Read Michelle Quesada's full report on the situation in Florida here:

Sputnik V

Russia declines to approve combined AstraZeneca, Sputnik V vaccine trials

The Russian health ministry's ethical committee has declined to approve clinical trials in Russia combining a British shot from AstraZeneca and Oxford University with Russia's Sputnik V vaccine, an AstraZeneca official told Reuters on Friday.

Irina Panarina, AstraZeneca general director in Russia and Eurasia, said the decision did not mean that the trials would never be approved or were definitively prohibited. Before the committee's decision she said that AstraZeneca had received questions about the trials from the health ministry and was now preparing a response to them, which would be sent next week.

Human trials of a Covid-19 vaccine combining a shot from AstraZeneca and Britain's Oxford University with Russia's Sputnik V vaccine were approved in Azerbaijan, the United Arab Emirates and Belarus, said Panarina.

Russia's health ministry did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment. Both vaccines, from AstraZeneca and Oxford university and Sputnik V, involve two doses, an initial shot and a booster. Sputnik, however, uses different viral vectors for its two shots. The idea for the trials is that participants first receive the AstraZeneca vaccine and then the first Sputnik V shot 29 days later.

Coronavirus US

How many people have died from the covid vaccine in the US?

Vaccine Safety 

With fears over heart issues being caused by covid-19 vaccines, many are wondering how many people have died after being vaccinated? Our team took a look at the numbers and the political messaging some are using to create fear. 

Florida governor Ron DeSantis finds himself at loggerheads with the CDC once again, this time regarding vaccination requirements for cruise ships. Elizabeth Nolan Brown has the full story.

Mexico

Mexico sees 12.5 mln AstraZeneca doses bottled in the country by June

Mexico expects to have 12.5 million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses bottled within its borders by June, Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Friday, as the country seeks to ramp up its inoculations program. (Reuters)

Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline launch Phase 3 trial for covid vaccine

Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline announced on Thursday that they have started enrolling volunteers for the Phase 3 clinical trial of their coronavirus vaccine.

"We are encouraged to see first vaccinations starting to take place in such an important, pivotal Phase 3 study, as we believe that our unique technology platform will provide a clinically-relevant vaccine option," Thomas Triomphe, executive vice president and global Head of Sanofi Pasteur, said in the statement.

He added: "We have adapted our vaccine development strategy based on forward-looking considerations as the virus continues to evolve, as well as anticipating what may be needed in a post-pandemic setting."This trial is testament to the urgency and agility in our approach to help overcome the ongoing impact of this pandemic."

CVS throws in tropical trips, Superbowl tickets in vaccine push

US pharmacy chain CVS is helping President Joe Biden's push to get 70% of Americans vaccinated against covid-19 by Independence Day, promising customers prizes ranging from tropical cruises to a trip to Superbowl LVI if they get shots.

The move by CVS, which has over 9,600 pharmacies across the US, adds to the range of incentives being offered by states and companies desperate to get vaccination rates up and American life back to some degree of normality.

(Reuters)

Dr Fauci suggest vaccine booster shots may well be required

Five months after the first covid-19 vaccine doses made their way to the nation's nursing homes, long-term care advocates are sounding the alarm about the need for a plan for a potential booster shot, out of concern that elderly long-term care residents will be the first to see the effects of the coronavirus vaccine wear off.

Although vaccine companies have already begun clinical trials for booster shots, there is still not enough research to know if or when people will need them, experts tell ABC News.

"We don't have quite all the pieces yet," said Dr. Thaddeus Stappenbeck, chair of the Department of Inflammation and Immunity at Cleveland Clinic. "We don't know how long immunity lasts in any individual, because we just haven't had enough experience with this virus."

Laura Romero reports on the latest on booster shots.

CORONAVIRUS

Can a vaccinated person spread covid-19?

The continued vaccine rollout will be central to beating the coronavirus, but experts are still unsure if vaccinated people are less likely to pass on covid-19. The latest information from the CDC reads:

“We are still learning how well vaccines prevent you from spreading the virus that causes covid-19 to others, even if you do not have symptoms. Early data show that vaccines help keep people with no symptoms from spreading covid-19.”

Will Gittens brings you more.

Breaking | Janssen approved in UK

A single-dose covid vaccine made by Janssen has been approved for use in the UK by the medicines regulator.

The vaccine, which was 85% effective in stopping severe illness from covid-19 in trials, has met expected safety standards.

Twenty million doses have been ordered for the UK and will arrive later this year. It will be the fourth vaccine to be used in the UK to protect against covid-19.

Instagram your vaccine shot: Asian example

Despite the commencement of immunization programmes, it would seem that many still need some convincing over the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.

One way to do it is to spread reassurance through sharing pictures of those who have been successfully vaccinated without major side effects. This is what Khairulaming, a popular food vlogger has done by encouraging his followers to share and tag him in pictures of elder relatives getting vaccinated so that he could repost them.

With this, Khairulaming, whose full name is Khairul Amin Kamarulzaman, hopes to deter any fears or doubts that may arise due to anti-vaccination propaganda.

Full story from Celine Low.

Coronavirus

How many people have suffered myocarditis or heart problems after getting the Covid-19 vaccine?

On 17 May, the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that they were looking into a series of isolated incidents of myocarditis after a few people experienced the heart issue after being vaccinated.

The rates of the incident are not abnormal and some health experts expect that no connection to the vaccine will be found. Myocarditis is a condition that causes inflammation in the heart and is usually caused by an infection, among other reasons.

Get a better understanding from Maite Knorr-Evans.

Vaccine watch: incentives

ABC News’ Bob Woodruff explores the surge in incentives for Americans to get a covid-19 vaccine and whether they’re necessary to spur new vaccinations.

'Olympic virus' strain a risk of holding 2021 Games

The head of a Japanese doctors union on Thursday warned holding the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer, with tens of thousands of people gathering from around the world, could lead to the development of a new "Olympic" strain of the coronavirus, Reuters report.

Although Japan has repeatedly pledged to hold a "safe and secure" 2020 Olympics in Tokyo after a year-long postponement, it is struggling to contain a fourth wave of the pandemic and preparing to extend a state of emergency that covers much of the country.

Japanese officials, Olympics organisers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have all vowed the Games will go ahead, albeit under strict virus prevention measures. Foreign spectators have already been banned and a decision on domestic viewers is expected next month.

But even with these steps in place, worries remain about the influx of athletes and officials into Japan, where the vaccine process remains glacially slow and just over 5% of the population have received inoculations.

With people from over 200 nations and territories set to arrive in Tokyo, it will be dangerous to host the Games in July, said Naoto Ueyama, head of the Japan Doctors Union.

"All of the different mutant strains of the virus which exist in different places will be concentrated and gathering here in Tokyo. We cannot deny the possibility of even a new strain of the virus potentially emerging after the Olympics," he told a news conference.

"If such a situation were to arise, it could even mean a Tokyo Olympic strain of the virus being named in this way, which would be a huge tragedy and something which would be the target of criticism even for 100 years."

CORONAVIRUS

What are the most common covid-19 strains in the US?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified the UK variant as the most common strain of covid-19 circulating in the United States, one of a number of regionalised variants that have spread globally.

As the coronavirus spreads from person to person it can undergo modifications which alter the genetic make-up, and can potentially make it more transmissible, harder to detect and more deadly. The UK variant, known as B.1.1.7, is thought to spread more easily, be more deadly than other strains and has now spread across the world.

Will Gittens brings you all you need to know.

Covid-19 vaccine news: welcome

Hello and welcome to our dedicated live blog for Friday, 28 May 2021.

Here we aim to keep you fully up to date with all the latest news and updates regarding the covid-19 pandemic and all aspects of the vaccine development and rollout across the United States and around the world.

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