Editorial: The COVID-19 vaccine is a gift from science. Accept it
In three separate announcements in recent weeks, three scientific teams at different pharmaceutical companies have given a weary, frightened world what it needs: a verifiable path to defeat the coronavirus pandemic, end the suffering and start the process of returning life to the normal rhythms of “before.”Imagine again going to work and school, to restaurants and concerts without significant risk of infection. Imagine being able to travel. Imagine hugging family members and friends. We are likely to get there in 2021 because a safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine appears on pace for emergency reg...
OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma pleads guilty to federal crimes
The company responsible for thousands of overdose deaths at the hands of its drug OxyContin pleaded guilty to federal crimes Tuesday.Purdue Pharma, owned and operated by the Sackler family while it pushed the painkilling opioid to addicts, formally admitted to the federal charges as part of a plea agreement signed in October.The settlement also requires Purdue to pay $8.3 billion to the federal government, but that probably won’t happen because Purdue declared bankruptcy last year, the Wall Street Journal reported. Its remaining money is being saved to pay the numerous states, cities and count...
New York Daily News
UPS boosts dry ice capabilities in preparation for vaccine transport
UPS said it has boosted its dry ice production capabilities in preparation for the task of distributing COVID-19 vaccines that must be kept at freezing temperatures.As the logistics industry prepares to ship vaccines around the world, experts have raised concerns about a potential dry ice shortage.UPS said it can now produce as much as 1,200 pounds of dry ice per hour at its U.S. facilities.The company said the boosted capacity will ensure there’s enough dry ice to pack shipments from its health care facilities in Louisville, Kentucky and Dallas, Texas, as well as Ontario, Canada.UPS is also p...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Nation and world news briefs
Biden-Harris ticket surpasses 80 million votesThe 2020 Democratic president ticket made history for several reasons and now can claim the most number of votes in a presidential election.President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have 80,033,996 votes with as many as millions more still to tally, according to a running count by the nonpartisan Cook Report.That’s a lead of more than 6 million over Trump, who now has 73,878,907 votes.The batch of votes that put Biden and Harris over the historic benchmark in the Cook Report were absentee ballots from Erie County in Buffalo, ...
Tribune News Service
Millions of kids are skipping vaccines this year, Blue Cross study finds. 'The US is on the precipice of a severe immunization crisis.'
Millions of American children are skipping vaccines that protect against potentially deadly or disabling illnesses due to concerns about COVID-19, according to a new Blue Cross Blue Shield Association analysis of millions of medical claims.Children are on track to miss an estimated 9 million vaccine doses in 2020, a decrease of 26% for measles compared with 2019, and a decrease of 16% for polio, according to the analysis.That leaves an estimated 88% vaccination rate for measles, less than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention herd immunity requirement of 93%.“The U.S. is on the precip...
CDC advisory committee discusses who should get first vaccine doses
A key committee that will advise the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on who should get the first doses of COVID-19 vaccine agreed Monday on initial priorities and an ethical framework. But the hourslong meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) demonstrated just how complicated it will be to get the vaccine into the arms of millions of people.First off, the different vaccines in development have different attributes, such as how they work and can be distributed, and it isn’t yet known which products will be approved first by the Food and Drug Admi...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Teens are the youngest volunteers in COVID-19 vaccine trials
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Teenagers won’t be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine when adults do, because there’s not yet proof of safety and efficacy.But teen volunteers such as San Jose’s Allyson Eisenman are bringing it within closer reach, participating in a Kaiser study that could accelerate the vaccine’s potential use in young people.“I really wanted to do what I can help us get out of this” pandemic, said Eisenman,17, “and hopefully get back to what will be the new normal.“I’m not the best with needles,” she confessed. “But it was like any other shot.”Until now, vaccination has focused on adults. Wh...
The Mercury News
Mets second baseman Robinson Cano tests positive for steroid, will be suspended 162 games
NEW YORK — Robinson Cano’s legacy was at stake, and he blew it.The Mets second baseman tested positive for stanozolol and will be suspended for the entire 2021 season, Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday.Stanozolol is a steroid and a violation of MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy. This is the second time in Cano’s career that he’s run afoul of the policy; he was suspended 80 games in 2018 for testing positive for a diuretic. (Diuretics are banned under the PED rules because they can often mask PED use.)The 162-game ban is the automatic length of a suspension for a second positiv...
New York Daily News
Why a coronavirus vaccine might not get things back to normal
SEATTLE — Coronavirus infections are climbing to record highs nationwide. Patients are filling hospitals in some states. Experts fear we’re in for a dark winter.A shot of hope could be coming, as vaccine makers are deep in clinical trials. Governments are stockpiling doses and preparing for efficient delivery of a vaccine, should one be proven safe and effective.But over time, the stiffest challenge when it comes to vaccines may not be creating, approving or distributing them. It might be getting people to take them.Americans’ willingness to be vaccinated dropped over the summer, with about ha...
The Seattle Times
Antidepressant may help prevent serious illness in COVID-19 patients, study finds
ST. LOUIS — A small study released by Washington University has shown that a long-used antidepressant may reduce the likelihood that COVID-19 will turn deadly.The drug fluvoxamine, given to patients within a week of experiencing symptoms, seems to help prevent some of the most serious complications of the illness and make hospitalization and the need for supplemental oxygen less likely.The study was published online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.The research involved 152 patients infected with the coronavirus. Eighty were given fluvoxamine; the rest, a placebo. After two w...
St. Louis Post-Dispatch