What Pfizer's plan for a third coronavirus vaccine dose means for you


CNN 09 July, 2021 - 08:51pm 58 views

Maricopa County health experts expect the Delta Variant to increase in Arizona

FOX 10 News Phoenix 09 July, 2021 - 05:04pm

County health experts are expecting the Delta Variant to spread fast in Arizona and in some states.

We've seen a couple surges with the coronavirus, and now there are concerns that another could be on the way. To so-called "Delta Variant" is behind it, causing cases to increase again in more than a dozen states.

The Delta Variant is growing at a fast rate around the country and county health experts are expecting it to increase in the next few months.

Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, Infectious Disease Specialist with Maricopa County, says the strain in May was 3% and June was 19%.

"We know in the U.S the Delta strain is the dominant strain in the U.S, we expect to see more and more of the Delta strain circling here in the county," said Sunshine.

In the Valley, a long term facility is experiencing an outbreak, and this illustrates how fast the Delta Variant can spread. The county has not released the location.

"We really need to be prepared to see more and more of the Delta strain circulating the best way to do that is be fully vaccinated," said Sunshine.

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Phoenix-area health officials warn about threat of COVID Delta variant - KTAR.com

KTAR.com 09 July, 2021 - 03:31pm

PHOENIX – Local public health officials said Friday they are seeing evidence that a highly contagious variant of COVID-19 is spreading in metro Phoenix.

However, approved vaccines provide strong protection from the Delta variant, which made up about one fifth of the Valley’s COVID-19 cases in June, according to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health.

“The vaccine is highly effective against the Delta variant, but you have to get the full vaccine series to get the maximum protection,” Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, county medical director for disease control, said in a press release. “The majority of people who get the Delta variant are not fully vaccinated.”

Health officials are not only urging unvaccinated people to roll up their sleeves; they also are reminding those who have received one shot of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines to get their second dose. Even if a month or more has elapsed, it’s not too late to complete the series to gain full protection.

“If we can get more people vaccinated, the virus won’t have as many opportunities to spread and everyone will be more protected,” Sunenshine said.

The Delta variant was detected in some of the cases from a recent outbreak at a long-term care facility, which the county health department has been working with to enhance infection control measures.

“Unfortunately, this underscores how much more contagious the Delta variant is and how quickly it can spread from person to person, especially to people who are not fully vaccinated,” Maricopa County Public Health Executive Director Marcy Flanagan said in the release.

“The Delta variant has been increasing in Maricopa County since April and represented about 20% of sequenced cases during the month of June. We expect it will continue to increase, as it is now the dominant variant in the U.S.”

For information about metro Phoenix vaccine availability, Maricopa County Public Health has a locator page that lists pharmacies, government-run sites, health clinics and pop-up distribution events.

Appointments may be required depending on the provider, but many accept walk-ins.

The minimum age to receive the Pfizer shot has been reduced to 12, but it’s still 18 for the other approved versions, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson.

Maricopa County reported 584 new COVID-19 cases on Friday morning with one additional death, putting the Phoenix area’s totals at 563,477 infections and 10,318 fatalities from the virus.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

For Arizona vaccine information, visit azdhs.gov/findvaccine.

For all articles, information and updates on the coronavirus from KTAR News, visit ktar.com/coronavirus.

The Delta variant threatens another school year. That can't happen.

Yahoo News 09 July, 2021 - 04:55am

That piece was published on June 23.

Now in the first full week of July, things look a little different — and more than a little darker.

As I write, it has just been announced that the delayed 2020 Summer Olympics will take place under a COVID-19 state of emergency. With the Delta variant producing a spike in new cases in Japan, fans will be banned from attending events, which will take place before empty seats.

This comes about a week since I first noticed a subtle change to the home page of The New York Times. Every day, the paper posts data about new cases and new deaths, showing a 14-day trendline. For the past several months, since last winter's deadly peak in cases and the widespread distribution of vaccines, the trend has been downward: one day down 28 percent from two weeks previously, the next day down 19 percent, and so on. The magnitudes varied from day to day, but they were always negative, the trendline always down. But not anymore. Over the past two weeks, the trend reversed, with negative signs replaced by positive daily changes.

This shouldn't be surprising. We've seen it coming. The horrifying numbers of deaths in India from the more contagious Delta variant. The deeply troubling statistics coming out of the U.K., where half the country is fully vaccinated and yet the number of daily new COVID cases (most of them Delta) has increased 13-fold since early May. Then, a few days ago, a study out of Israel (57 percent fully vaccinated) claiming to show that the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine at preventing the disease falls from the 90-percent range to something around 64 percent with the Delta variant, though those who become sick experience milder symptoms. Even more recently, press reports out of Israel indicate that the number of serious cases of COVID has doubled in the past week — including a fully vaccinated 46-year-old who died of the disease.

What does this mean for the United States, where just 48 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated and many of the holdovers are opposed to receiving the shot? Nothing good. Though it need not necessarily mean a return to anything resembling the widespread closures and restrictions and low-grade panic that prevailed from March 2020 through the subsequent twelve months. Most of those at gravest risk — above all the elderly — have been vaccinated. Even if the worrisome results of the Israel study are replicated by others, that would portend a widely circulating disease that makes people feel like crap for a week or two but in the vast majority of cases proves to be non-fatal. That's something we've lived with for decades with the flu. There's no reason to think such an eventuality would upend our lives like the full-on pandemic response of a year ago.

My daughter was in her final months of 8th grade when the pandemic hit. She struggled with asynchronous lessons that spring, missed out on middle school graduation, and then spent the bulk of her freshman year of high school feeling lethargic, unengaged, and angry at being forced to stare at a computer screen for 6-7 hours a day of online learning (not counting homework). Her grades wavered badly. She made no friends all year and took part in no extracurricular activities at all.

By March 2021, with the vaccines becoming more widely available and cases falling fast, the school began reopening. Eventually, she was back in the school building four days a week, at least most of the time. Other weeks, when students in her classes tested positive, or when her brother came down with COVID, she was back at home in quarantine, attending school online. But for most of April, May, and the first half of June, school had returned. She had to wear a mask all day and follow rules about distancing and treating corridors as one-way thoroughfares, but those were small prices to pay for the privilege of getting out of our house, attending classes and interacting with teachers in person, and socializing with peers.

I have to say that the prospect of cases in this country following the trajectory of the U.K. fills me with dread, mainly because of what it could mean for my daughter's sophomore year of school. Shutting down in-person instruction for high schoolers wouldn't make any sense at all. But that doesn't mean it won't happen.

The vaccines against COVID-19 are approved for kids over the age of 12. If our home state of Pennsylvania made receiving one of the shots a requirement for attendance, compliance would rise very high, rendering high schools among the safest places in the country. But what about lower grades? So far the vaccines have not been approved for kids under the age of 12. That could make elementary schools hotbeds of COVID transmission this fall. If the Delta variant proves as benign in children as earlier forms of the disease, and if students' older family members at home as well as teachers and staff members in schools are vaccinated, the negative consequences should be minimal.

But what if the Delta variant makes kids sicker? Or if the Israeli study is right and the Pfizer vaccine is significantly less effective against it, raising the likelihood of vaccinated teachers getting sick? The fatality of the disease might remain relatively low for exposed teachers. But tests revealing widespread presence of the virus in schools could inspire panic among anxious parents — and within teachers unions. Teachers in many school districts around the country have a track record now of prioritizing their own health and safety in the face of an uncertain epidemiological threat over the developmental — intellectual and social — needs of the nation's children. Will they make the same calculation if case numbers are surging again as we approach Labor Day?

I certainly hope not. The Biden administration as well as state and local officials around the country should be doing everything in their powers to ensure that all kids can return to something resembling normal schooling this fall. That means making vaccination against COVID a requirement for attendance for all kids older than 12 — and moving mountains to get the vaccines approved for younger kids in time for such a mandate to be universally enforceable before the start of the school year. We already require shots for measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, polio, and other diseases. Adding one more wouldn't be onerous or unreasonable, and it would do a world of good.

Beyond that, it just might be necessary for Americans to adjust their expectations around risk. If you've been vaccinated, you're highly unlikely to die from COVID in any of its variants up to now. But you might get sick. That holds for teachers and parents of kids, both of whom are accustomed to coming down with an endless parade of viruses in the course of every school year. This coming school year, if you've been vaccinated, one of those viruses might be a doozy. But you will be overwhelmingly likely to recover from it, just as you would from a nasty bout of the flu.

The risk calculation might have to change again if more dangerous variants arise that are even better at "breaking through" the protections afforded by the vaccines (and any boosters that can be devised). But until then, we look likely to be faced with an imperfect but manageable reality. The kids have stagnated long enough in a pedagogical and social limbo. Schools must be fully open this September, even if that means they, and we (parents and teachers), have to live under a threat of illness.

Another scuttled school year shouldn't be considered an option.

That’s out of a total 5,600 double-jabbed under-50s who had caught the disease in England up to 21 June.

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The findings offer hope for the 1 billion people around the world — including 12% of Americans — who suffer from migraines.

You've probably seen the headlines about people who were fully vaccinated but still contracted COVID-19: in my hometown of St. Louis, a woman contracted COVID a month after receiving her second dose of the vaccine, and a New York City man tested positive two weeks after getting the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Can You Still Get COVID-19 If You're Fully Vaccinated?

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Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease which affects millions of people across the globe, and according to Wiseguy Research, it is a market that could be worth over $10 billion by 2025. Sorrento Therapeutics (SRNE) has been eyeing this opportunity and is now one step closer to getting its osteoarthritis candidate through the lucrative door. On Tuesday, Sorrento announced that the FDA has given the green light for the company to begin the Phase 2 testing of its pain management candidate r

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“The data makes it increasingly clear that vaccines remain the most important tool we have to keep Covid-19 transmission and the incubation of variants low," Barbara Ferrer, the county's director of public health, said.

Arkansas still has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the US, due in large part to widespread vaccine hesitancy.

‘We are in our 40s and have two kids that are highly academically inclined, so we need to find an area with great schools.’

Negalem, from Ethiopia, would have died from the tumor once it grew big enough to stop her from eating and breathing. Now "she's a different girl."

"I have given birth to 15 children but I have no one," sobs Marie Ebop Ndjock, 77, her head buried between her arms on the table.

The outbreak adds evidence that suggests the delta variant has higher attack rates than other variants of concern.

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