News from Bioethics.com

New Long Covid Treatments Borrow from Brain Rehab Tactics

1 week 7 hours

(Wall Street Journal) – The newest patients in cognitive rehabilitation programs didn’t suffer concussions, traumatic brain injuries or strokes. They got Covid-19. Cognitive problems are some of the most persistent and common long-term symptoms that people struggle with months after getting Covid. Patients report short-term memory problems, slow processing speeds, poor word recall and difficulty multitasking. To help them, doctors at medical centers including Mayo Clinic, Yale and Johns Hopkins are starting to refer some patients to cognitive rehabilitation more typically used for patients with concussions and other traumatic brain injuries.

The post New Long Covid Treatments Borrow from Brain Rehab Tactics first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Vaccinating Africa: Countries Struggle to Deliver the Few Shots They’ve Got

1 week 7 hours

(Axios) – The first shipment of long-awaited coronavirus vaccines finally arrived in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on March 3. One month later, they’re still sitting in a warehouse in the capital, Kinshasa. Why it matters: Africa is at the back of the global line for vaccines, and most countries only expect enough doses to cover a fraction of their populations this year. But in some cases, even those limited supplies may not be fully deployed before they expire.

The post Vaccinating Africa: Countries Struggle to Deliver the Few Shots They’ve Got first appeared on Bioethics.com.

About 1 in 5 Clinicians Considers Quitting Due to Pandemic: Survey

1 week 7 hours

(Medscape) – The COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll on the well-being and work satisfaction of healthcare providers, a new survey of more than 5000 clinicians at an academic medical center illustrates. About 1 in 5 people reported considering leaving the workforce because of the challenges of working during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, 30% reported they are considering cutting back work hours.

The post About 1 in 5 Clinicians Considers Quitting Due to Pandemic: Survey first appeared on Bioethics.com.

FDA OKs First New ADHD Drug in Over a Decade for Children

1 week 1 day

(Associated Press) – U.S. regulators have approved the first new drug in over a decade for children with ADHD, which causes inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. The Food and Drug Administration late Friday OK’d Qelbree (KELL’-bree) for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children ages 6 to 17. It comes as a capsule that’s taken daily. Unlike nearly all other ADHD medicines, Qelbree is not a stimulant or a controlled substance, making it harder to abuse than older drugs. That’s been a problem with earlier ADHD treatments like Ritalin, nearly all of which contain the stimulants amphetamine or methylphenidate.

The post FDA OKs First New ADHD Drug in Over a Decade for Children first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Study: COVID-19 Vaccine Is Safe During Pregnancy And May Protect Baby, Too

1 week 1 day

(NPR) – Since the pandemic began, pregnant people have faced a difficult choice: to vaccinate or not to vaccinate. The risk of severe disease or even death from COVID-19 — while small — is higher during pregnancy. More than 82,000 coronavirus infections among pregnant individuals and 90 maternal deaths from the disease have been reported in the U.S. as of last month. But there’s very little data on whether the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective during pregnancy, because people who are pregnant or breastfeeding weren’t included in the initial clinical trials. (Pfizer recently began a new trial with 4,000 pregnant women.)

The post Study: COVID-19 Vaccine Is Safe During Pregnancy And May Protect Baby, Too first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Vermont Is 1st State to Give Minority Residents Vaccine Priority

1 week 1 day

(Kaiser Health News) – States have tried with limited success to get covid vaccines to people of color, who have been disproportionately killed and hospitalized by the virus. Starting Thursday, Vermont explicitly gave Black adults and people from other minority communities priority status for vaccinations. Although other states have made efforts to get vaccine to people of color, Vermont is the first to offer them priority status, said Jen Kates, director of global health and HIV policy at KFF. (KHN is an editorially independent program of KFF.) All Black, Indigenous residents and other people of color who are permanent Vermont residents and 16 or older are eligible for the vaccine.

The post Vermont Is 1st State to Give Minority Residents Vaccine Priority first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Artificial Intelligence Can Now Design New Antibiotics in a Matter of Days

1 week 1 day

(Vox) – Imagine you’re a scientist who needs to discover a new antibiotic to fight off a scary disease. How would you go about finding it?  Typically, you’d have to test lots and lots of different molecules in the lab until you find one that has the necessary bacteria-killing properties. You might find some contenders that are good at killing the bacteria only to realize that you can’t use them because they also prove toxic to humans. It’s a very long, very expensive, and probably very aggravating process. But what if, instead, you could just type into your computer the properties you’re looking for and have your computer design the perfect molecule for you? 

The post Artificial Intelligence Can Now Design New Antibiotics in a Matter of Days first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Surviving the Crackdown in Xinjiang

1 week 1 day

(The New Yorker) – The two women had packed their clothes in the same bags. As they separated their things, her mother began to cry, and Sabit comforted her. Then she watched her mother, tears streaming down her cheeks, walk toward the gate. Once she was gone, the official turned to Sabit and coldly explained that she had been assigned a “border control”—a red flag, marking her for suspicion. “Your mother was here, so I didn’t mention it,” he said. “You should know what Xinjiang is like now. You’d best coöperate.”

The post Surviving the Crackdown in Xinjiang first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Johnson & Johnson Has Begun Testing Its Vaccine in Adolescents.

1 week 4 days

(New York Times) – Johnson & Johnson on Friday became the third company to enter the race to expand the use of its coronavirus vaccine to adolescents. Researchers have begun testing the drug maker’s vaccine in adolescents 12 to 17 years old, the company announced. Johnson & Johnson has been lagging its competitors. Pfizer and BioNTech announced on Wednesday that their coronavirus vaccine is extremely effective in young adolescents, perhaps even more so than in adults. Results from a similar trial of Moderna’s vaccine are expected in the next few weeks.

The post Johnson & Johnson Has Begun Testing Its Vaccine in Adolescents. first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Dutch Temporarily Halt AstraZeneca Shots for Under-60s

1 week 4 days

(Associated Press) – The Dutch government said Friday it is temporarily halting AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccinations for people under 60 following reports of very small number of people suffering unusual blood clots after receiving the shot. The Dutch decision comes three days after authorities in Germany also stopped using the AstraZeneca’s vaccine in the under-60s, citing fresh concerns over unusual blood clots reported in a tiny number of those who received the shots.

The post Dutch Temporarily Halt AstraZeneca Shots for Under-60s first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Ethical Questions Surround Plans for COVID Vaccine Passports

1 week 4 days

(Medscape) – As discussions about “vaccine passports” accelerate with more people worldwide completing their COVID-19 shots, ethical quandaries are coming into focus. Mark A. Hall, JD, of the schools of law and medicine at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and David M. Studdert, ScD, LLB, MPH, of the schools of law and medicine at Stanford University in California, lay out some of the top ethical considerations in a perspective published online Wednesday in the New England Journal of Medicine. Israel is already issuing “green passes.” Australia, Denmark, and Sweden have committed to implementing passports and the United States, the British government, and the European Union are considering their own versions, the authors note.

The post Ethical Questions Surround Plans for COVID Vaccine Passports first appeared on Bioethics.com.

FDA Authorizes First Covid-19 Tests for Repeat, at-Home Screening

1 week 4 days

(Wall Street Journal) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the first Covid-19 tests for repeated, frequent use by consumers at home to screen for infections even if they don’t have symptoms.The FDA late Wednesday gave the green light to three tests that are meant to be used frequently or multiple times over a few days—called serial tests. Consumers will be able to buy two of them over the counter without a prescription; the other, for use in such places as schools and doctors’ offices, requires a prescription. The FDA had previously authorized them for use among people with symptoms.

The post FDA Authorizes First Covid-19 Tests for Repeat, at-Home Screening first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Johnson & Johnson’s Vaccine Is Delayed by a U.S. Factory Mixup.

1 week 4 days

(New York Times) – Workers at a plant in Baltimore manufacturing two coronavirus vaccines accidentally conflated the ingredients several weeks ago, contaminating up to 15 million doses of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine and forcing regulators to delay authorization of the plant’s production lines. The plant is run by Emergent BioSolutions, a manufacturing partner to both Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, the British-Swedish company whose vaccine has yet to be authorized for use in the United States. Federal officials attributed the mistake to human error.

The post Johnson & Johnson’s Vaccine Is Delayed by a U.S. Factory Mixup. first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Protects for 6 Months or More, Study Shows

1 week 4 days

(Medscape) – The Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine affords at least 6 months of protection after the second dose, the companies announced today. The vaccine was 91.3% effective against COVID-19 in an analysis of 927 symptomatic people through March 13, as indicated by real-world data compiled since the vaccine was given emergency use authorization. This compares to 95% efficacy reported in the interim results that were announced on November 18, 2020. Furthermore, data released today show that the vaccine affords 100% protection against severe COVID-19, as defined by the US Centers for Disease Control and Protection. The vaccine was likewise effective in preventing COVID-19 in South Africa, where the variant of concern B.1.351 was first identified.

The post Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Protects for 6 Months or More, Study Shows first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Children Likely the ‘Leading Edge’ in Spread of COVID-19 Variants

1 week 4 days

(Medscape) – Public health officials in the Midwest and Northeast are sounding the alarm about steep new increases in COVID-19 cases in children. The increases seem to be driven by greater circulation of more contagious variants, just as children and teens have returned to in-person activities like sports, parties, and classes.

The post Children Likely the ‘Leading Edge’ in Spread of COVID-19 Variants first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Company Producing J&J Vaccine Had History of Violations

1 week 5 days

(Associated Press) – The company at the center of quality problems that led Johnson & Johnson to discard 15 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine has a string of citations from U.S. health officials for quality control problems. Emergent BioSolutions, a little-known company vital to the vaccine supply chain, was a key to Johnson & Johnson’s plan to deliver 100 million doses of its single-shot vaccine to the United States by the end of May. But the Food and Drug Administration repeatedly has cited Emergent for problems such as poorly trained employees, cracked vials and problems managing mold and other contamination around one of its facilities, according to records obtained by The Associated Press through the Freedom of Information Act. The records cover inspections at Emergent facilities since 2017. 

The post Company Producing J&J Vaccine Had History of Violations first appeared on Bioethics.com.

India Speeds Up Vaccinations as Cases Soar Again

1 week 5 days

(Science) – Just over 1 month ago, many Indians believed the pandemic was winding down. Cases of COVID-19 had declined continuously and dramatically for five straight months, travel restrictions had been lifted, and wedding season was in full swing. But now a second wave is hitting. Nationwide, cases have soared from just over 11,000 daily in mid-February to more than 60,000 per day as Science went to press, more than half of them in Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital. The remainder are concentrated in seven other states, but scientists worry the disease may soon surge across the country again. India is fighting the rise with new restrictions and efforts to step up vaccination. But although the country produces two authorized COVID-19 vaccines, its immunization campaign has yet to gather steam.

The post India Speeds Up Vaccinations as Cases Soar Again first appeared on Bioethics.com.

What It Will Take to Vaccinate the World Against COVID-19

1 week 5 days

(Nature) – Within just a few months, pharmaceutical firms have produced hundreds of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine. But the world needs billions — and as fast as possible. Companies say they could make enough vaccines to immunize most of the world’s population by the end of 2021. But this doesn’t take into account politically based delays in distribution, such as countries imposing export controls — or that the overwhelming majority of doses are going to wealthier countries. This situation is fuelling a campaign to temporarily waive intellectual-property rights so that manufacturers in poorer countries can make the vaccines more quickly themselves.

The post What It Will Take to Vaccinate the World Against COVID-19 first appeared on Bioethics.com.

CDC Adds New Medical Conditions to COVID-19 High-Risk List

1 week 5 days

(Medscape) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has added several new medical conditions to its list of those that predispose adults to more severe COVID-19 illness. Conditions that had previously been categorized as “might be” placing individuals at increased risk — but now are listed as high risk — include type 1 diabetes (in addition to type 2), moderate-to-severe asthma, liver disease, dementia or other neurological conditions, stroke/cerebrovascular disease, HIV infection, cystic fibrosis, and overweight (in addition to obesity). Substance use disorders, which hadn’t been previously listed, are now also considered high-risk.

The post CDC Adds New Medical Conditions to COVID-19 High-Risk List first appeared on Bioethics.com.

New York Variant Does Not Escape Vaccines

1 week 5 days

(Medscape) – Antibodies induced by the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines and the antibody therapy from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals all are able to neutralize a coronavirus variant on the rise in New York, lab experiments show. The New York variant contains mutations – E484K, S477N and D235G – that experts feared might reduce antibody efficacy. The new results “show that this potential problem is not going to be a problem,” said Nathaniel Landau of New York University, who coauthored a report posted on bioRxiv ahead of peer review.

The post New York Variant Does Not Escape Vaccines first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Covid-19 Was the Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S. in 2020, Federal Health Researchers Report.

1 week 6 days

(New York Times) – Covid-19 was the third leading cause of death in the United States in 2020, displacing unintentional injuries and trailing only heart disease and cancer, federal health researchers reported on Wednesday. The coronavirus was the cause of death for 345,323 Americans in a year that exacted a steep price in lives lost. In roughly 30,000 additional cases, death certificates cited Covid-19 but it was not deemed the cause of death, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

The post Covid-19 Was the Third Leading Cause of Death in the U.S. in 2020, Federal Health Researchers Report. first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Over 100 Fully Vaccinated People Contract COVID-19 in Washington State, Officials Say

1 week 6 days

(ABC News) – Out of the 1.2 million people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in Washington, epidemiologists have reported evidence of 102 breakthrough cases in 18 counties since Feb. 1, representing less than 0.01% of all fully vaccinated individuals in the northwestern U.S. state. Most cases were patients who experienced only mild symptoms, if any, according to a press release from the Washington State Department of Health.

The post Over 100 Fully Vaccinated People Contract COVID-19 in Washington State, Officials Say first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Man’s Ebola Relapse Spawned Dozens of New Cases in Africa

1 week 6 days

(ABC News) – A man in Africa who developed Ebola despite receiving a vaccine recovered but suffered a relapse nearly six months later that led to 91 new cases before he died. The report adds to evidence that the deadly virus can lurk in the body long after symptoms end, and that survivors need monitoring for their own welfare and to prevent spread.

The post Man’s Ebola Relapse Spawned Dozens of New Cases in Africa first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Why Indoor Spaces Are Still Prime COVID Hotspots

1 week 6 days

(Nature) – When Lidia Morawska leaves home, she takes with her a slick, shoe-sized device that provides some sobering insights about the restaurants and offices she visits. Outside these buildings, her carbon dioxide monitor reads just above 400 parts per million (p.p.m.). But indoors is a different story. Even in a seemingly spacious, high-ceilinged restaurant, the number sometimes shoots up as high as 2,000 p.p.m. — a sign that the room has poor ventilation and could pose a risk for COVID-19 infection. Visual cues can be deceptive, even for Morawska, an aerosol scientist from the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. “The general public has no idea about this,” she says.

The post Why Indoor Spaces Are Still Prime COVID Hotspots first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Dramatic Drop in Common Viruses Raises Question: Masks Forever?

1 week 6 days

(Kaiser Health News) – A study released this month in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, led by researchers from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, found that across 44 children’s hospitals the number of pediatric patients hospitalized for respiratory illnesses is down 62%. The number of kids in the U.S. who have died of the flu this season remains in the single digits. Deaths have dropped dramatically, too, compared with the past 10 years: The number of flu deaths among children is usually between 100 and 200 per year, but so far only one child has died from the disease in the U.S. during the 2020-21 flu season. Adults aren’t getting sick either. U.S. flu deaths this season will be measured in the hundreds instead of thousands. In 2018-19, a moderate flu season, an estimated 34,200 Americans died.

The post Dramatic Drop in Common Viruses Raises Question: Masks Forever? first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Pages