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Coronavirus vaccine – weekly summary of Yellow Card reporting

Severe Allergy

This advice is that people with a previous history of severe allergic reactions to any ingredients of the vaccine should not receive it. People who receive the vaccine should be monitored for at least 15 minutes afterwards.

The foregoing is taken from the UK Government web site on COVID-19 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-vaccine-adverse-reactions/coronavirus-vaccine-summary-of-yellow-card-reporting

See below the summary of the full version of the above link.

Summary

At the time of this report, more than 120,000 people across the UK have died within 28 days of a positive test for coronavirus (COVID-19). Rates of COVID-19 infection and hospitalisation remain high.

Vaccination is the single most effective way to reduce deaths and severe illness from COVID-19. A national immunisation campaign has been underway since early December 2020.

Two COVID-19 vaccines, Pfizer/BioNTech and Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccines, are currently being used in the UK. Both have been authorised for supply by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) following a thorough review of safety, quality, and efficacy information from clinical trials. In clinical trials, both vaccines showed very high levels of protection against symptomatic infections with COVID-19. We expect data to be available soon on the impact of the vaccination campaign in reducing infections and illness in the UK.

All vaccines and medicines have some side effects. These side effects need to be continuously balanced against the expected benefits in preventing illness.

The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was evaluated in clinical trials involving more than 44,000 participants. The most frequent adverse reactions in trials were pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, myalgia (muscle pains), chills, arthralgia (joint pains), and fever; these were each reported in more than 1 in 10 people. These reactions were usually mild or moderate in intensity and resolved within a few days after vaccination. Adverse reactions were reported less frequently in older adults (over 55 years) than in younger people.

The Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine was evaluated in clinical trials involving more than 23,000 participants. The most frequently reported adverse reactions in these trials were injection-site tenderness, injection-site pain, headache, fatigue, myalgia, malaise, pyrexia (fever), chills, arthralgia, and nausea; these were each reported in more than 1 in 10 people. The majority of adverse reactions were mild to moderate in severity and usually resolved within a few days of vaccination. Adverse reactions reported after the second dose were milder and reported less frequently than after the first dose. Adverse reactions were generally milder and reported less frequently in older adults (65 years and older) than in younger people.

The MHRA’s role is also to continually monitor safety during widespread use of a vaccine. We have in place a proactive strategy to do this. We also work closely with our public health partners in reviewing the effectiveness and impact of the vaccines to ensure the benefits continue to outweigh any possible side effects.

Part of our monitoring role includes reviewing reports of suspected side effects. Any member of the public or health professional can submit suspected side effects through the Yellow Card scheme. The nature of Yellow Card reporting means that reported events are not always proven side effects. Some events may have happened anyway, regardless of vaccination. This is particularly the case when millions of people are vaccinated, and especially when most vaccines are being given to the most elderly people and people who have underlying illness.

This safety update report is based on detailed analysis of data up to 14 February 2021. At this date, an estimated 8.3 million first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and 6.9 million doses of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine had been administered, and around 0.6 million second doses, mostly the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, had been administered. This represents an increase of 2.8 million on the previous week.

As of 14 February 2021, for the UK

  • 26,823 Yellow Cards have been reported for the Pfizer/BioNTech
  • 31,427 have been reported for the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine
  • 177 have been reported where the brand of the vaccine was not specified

For both vaccines, the overall reporting rate is around 3 to 5 Yellow Cards per 1,000 doses administered.

In the week since the previous summary for 7 February 2021, we have received a further 2,616 Yellow Cards for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, 10,999 for the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine, and 64 where the brand was not specified. A higher number of doses of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine were administered in the last week than the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

For both vaccines, the overwhelming majority of reports relate to injection-site reactions (sore arm for example) and generalised symptoms such as ‘flu-like’ illness, headache, chills, fatigue (tiredness), nausea (feeling sick), fever, dizziness, weakness, aching muscles, and rapid heartbeat. Generally, these happen shortly after the vaccination and are not associated with more serious or lasting illness.

These types of reactions reflect the normal immune response triggered by the body to the vaccines. They are typically seen with most types of vaccines and tend to resolve within a day or two. The nature of reported suspected side effects is broadly similar across age groups, although, as was seen in clinical trials and as is usually seen with other vaccines, they may be reported more frequently in younger adults.

Severe allergy

On 9 December 2020, the MHRA issued preliminary guidance on severe allergic reactions after the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine due to early reports of anaphylaxis. Following a further detailed review, this advice was amended on 30 December to the current advice. This advice is that people with a previous history of severe allergic reactions to any ingredients of the vaccine should not receive it. People who receive the vaccine should be monitored for at least 15 minutes afterwards.

Widespread use of the vaccine now suggests that severe allergic reactions to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are very rare. Anaphylaxis can also be a very rare side effect associated with most other vaccines.

Following very substantial exposure across the UK population, no other new safety concerns have been identified from reports received so far.

Conclusion

  • The increases in the number of ADR reports reflects the increase in vaccine deployment as new vaccination centres have opened across the UK
  • The number and nature of suspected adverse reactions reported so far are not unusual in comparison to other types of routinely used vaccines
  • The overall safety experience with both vaccines is so far as expected from the clinical trials
  • Based on current experience, the expected benefits of both COVID-19 vaccines in preventing COVID-19 and its serious complications far outweigh any known side effects
  • As with all vaccines and medicines, the safety of COVID-19 vaccines is being continuously monitored

Further information on the type of suspected adverse reactions (ADRs) reported for the COVID-19 mRNA Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca is provided in Annex 1. It is important to read the guidance notes to ensure appropriate interpretation of the data.

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UK government reports over 240 deaths shortly after coronavirus vaccination

by: Ramon Tomey – February 24, 2021

Tags: AstraZeneca, badhealth, badmedicine, badscience, Big Pharma, BioNTech, coronavirus vaccine, covid-19 pandemic, Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, Pfizer, United Kingdom, Vaccine deaths, vaccine injury, vaccine safety, vaccine wars, Wuhan coronavirus, Yellow Card reports

Image: UK government reports over 240 deaths shortly after coronavirus vaccination

(Natural News) The U.K. government reported that more than 240 people have died shortly after getting the Wuhan coronavirus vaccines. British citizens who died after vaccination reportedly obtained either the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or the AstraZeneca jab. These vaccine candidates were approved by the British regulator and subsequently used in mass vaccination efforts. Despite this, the U.K. government said it does not believe that the inoculations are to blame for the deaths.

In an extensive report released on Feb. 11, the U.K. government detailed all the adverse reactions reported by both medical personnel and COVID-19 vaccine recipients themselves. The report’s scope included all cases between early December 2020 and the end of January 2021.

According to the release, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) received 143 adverse reaction reports attributed to the Pfizer/BioNTech jab. The AstraZeneca vaccine made in partnership with the University of Oxford reported 90 adverse reactions. There were three reactions where the vaccine brand was not mentioned. Furthermore, a total of eight miscarriages were reported following COVID-19 vaccination – five for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and three for the AstraZeneca candidate.

To further monitor vaccine safety alongside mass immunization efforts, the MHRA introduced a Yellow Card Scheme to collect reports of any suspected side effects. More than 20,000 Yellow Card reports were linked to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine. On the other hand, the AstraZeneca jab rolled out last Jan. 4 had 11,748 Yellow Card reports. Seventy-two Yellow Card reports did not specify the brand of the vaccine.

Elderly people or those with underlying conditions made up the majority of the reports. However, the government said either of the vaccines did not play a role in the fatalities based on a review of individual reports and reporting patterns.

The report mentioned that for both vaccines, an overwhelming majority reported reactions at the injection site such as sore arms and generalized symptoms. These generalized symptoms included headache, chills, fatigue, fever, dizziness, and muscle aches. These happen shortly following the vaccination and are not associated with more serious illnesses. However, “spontaneous adverse reactions associated with anaphylaxis or anaphylactoid reactions” were also reported – 130 for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and 30 for the AstraZeneca jab.

Pfizer/BioNTech jab linked to vaccination deaths in other countries

According to the report, more than 9.2 million first doses of the COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the U.K.’s four constituent countries. Meanwhile, 494,209-second doses have been administered in the four areas. (Related: UK to deploy “resuscitation facilities” in coronavirus vaccination centers to treat wave of allergic reactions caused by vaccines.)

The U.K. is not the only country that has reported fatalities following COVID-19 vaccination. A number of medical personnel also died after getting vaccinated against the Wuhan coronavirus – most notably with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Florida obstetrician Dr. Gregory Michael died in January after getting inoculated with the first Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose. The 56-year-old received his first dose on Dec. 18, but small spots appeared on his hands and feet three days after immunization. He then visited the emergency room of his workplace, Mount Sinai Medical Center, where he was confined. Doctors then found out that the obstetrician had zero blood platelets.

Despite undergoing transfusions to restore his platelet count, it did little for Michael. He eventually suffered a stroke and died as he was set to undergo a last-minute surgical procedure. Michael’s wife Heidi Neckelmann said: “In my mind, his death was 100 percent linked to the vaccine. There is no other explanation.”

Meanwhile, in Portugal, health worker Sonia Acevedo died just a mere two days after getting the COVID-19 jab. The 41-year-old mother of two who worked at the Portuguese Institute of Oncology (IPO) in Porto did not report any adverse effects after immunization. Acevedo was among more than 500 Porto IPO staff who were vaccinated against COVID-19 using the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Sonia’s father Abilio Acevedo said his daughter “was okay” and had no health problems. “She had the COVID-19 vaccine, but she didn’t have any symptoms,” he remarked. Abilio continued that he and his daughter even ate together on New Year’s Eve, not knowing that it would be the last time he would see her alive. He subsequently received a call informing him that Sonia was found dead the morning of Jan. 1. “My daughter left home and I never saw her alive again,” he lamented.

Sonia’s daughter Vania Figueredo meanwhile said that her mother had only complained about the “normal” discomfort in the injection site. Figueredo added that aside from this complaint, her mother felt fine. (Related: Nurse aide dies after receiving work-mandated coronavirus vaccine shot.)

Visit VaccineDeaths.com to find out more news about fatalities caused by the Wuhan coronavirus jabs.

Sources include:

LifeSiteNews.com; Gov.uk; DailyMail.co.uk 1; DailyMail.co.uk 2

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If this can be followed from the beginning it is recommended for all to follow as it is undoubtedly important that our authorities be responsible to share the information re the ‘vaccines’ to satisfy those who do not know why and how they should accept the COVID-19 ‘vaccine’
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India’s dramatic fall in virus cases leaves experts stumped

Reprint

By KRUTIKA PATHI and ANIRUDDHA GHOSAL, Associated Press – Associated Press – 16 February 2021

NEW DELHI (AP) — When the coronavirus pandemic took hold in India, there were fears it would sink the fragile health system of the world’s second-most populous country. Infections climbed dramatically for months and at one point India looked like it might overtake the United States as the country with the highest case toll.

But infections began to plummet in September, and now the country is reporting about 11,000 new cases a day, compared to a peak of nearly 100,000, leaving experts perplexed.

They have suggested many possible explanations for the sudden drop — seen in almost every region — including that some areas of the country may have reached herd immunity or that Indians may have some preexisting protection from the virus.

The Indian government has also partly attributed the dip in cases to mask-wearing, which is mandatory in public in India and violations draw hefty fines in some cities. But experts have noted the situation is more complicated since the decline is uniform even though mask compliance is flagging in some areas.

It’s more than just an intriguing puzzle; determining what’s behind the drop in infections could help authorities control the virus in the country, which has reported nearly 11 million cases and over 155,000 deaths. Some 2.4 million people have died worldwide.

“If we don’t know the reason, you could unknowingly be doing things that could lead to a flare-up,” said Dr. Shahid Jameel, who studies viruses at India’s Ashoka University.

India, like other countries, misses many infections, and there are questions about how it’s counting virus deaths. But the strain on the country’s hospitals has also declined in recent weeks, a further indication the virus’s spread is slowing. When recorded cases crossed 9 million in November, official figures showed nearly 90% of all critical care beds with ventilators in New Delhi were full. On Thursday, 16% of these beds were occupied.

That success can’t be attributed to vaccinations since India only began administering shots in January — but as more people get a vaccine, the outlook should look even better, though experts are also concerned about variants identified in many countries that appear to be more contagious and render some treatments and vaccines less effective.

Among the possible explanations for the fall in cases is that some large areas have reached herd immunity — the threshold at which enough people have developed immunity to the virus, by falling sick or being vaccinated, that the spread begins to slacken, said Vineeta Bal, who studies immune systems at India’s National Institute of Immunology.

But experts have cautioned that even if herd immunity in some places is partially responsible for the decline, the population as a whole remains vulnerable — and must continue to take precautions.

This is especially true because new research suggests that people who got sick with one form of the virus may be able to get infected again with a new version. Bal, for instance, pointed to a recent survey in Manaus, Brazil, that estimated that over 75% of people there had antibodies for the virus in October — before cases surged again in January.

“I don’t think anyone has the final answer,” she said.

And, in India, the data is not as dramatic. A nationwide screening for antibodies by Indian health agencies estimated that about 270 million, or one in five Indians, had been infected by the virus before vaccinations started — that’s far below the rate of 70% or higher than experts say might be the threshold for the coronavirus, though even that is not certain.

“The message is that a large proportion of the population remains vulnerable,” said Dr. Balram Bhargava, who heads India’s premier medical research body, the Indian Council of Medical Research.

But the survey offered other insight into why India’s infections might be falling. It showed that more people had been infected in India’s cities than in its villages and that the virus was moving more slowly through the rural hinterland.

“Rural areas have lesser crowd density, people work in open spaces more and homes are much more ventilated,” said Dr. K. Srinath Reddy, president of the Public Health Foundation of India.

If some urban areas are moving closer to herd immunity — wherever that threshold lies — and are also limiting transmission through masks and physical distancing and thus are seeing falling cases, then maybe the low speed at which the virus is passing through rural India can help explain sinking numbers, suggested Reddy.

Another possibility is that many Indians are exposed to a variety of diseases throughout their lives — cholera, typhoid, and tuberculosis, for instance, are prevalent — and this exposure can prime the body to mount a stronger, initial immune response to a new virus.

“If the COVID virus can be controlled in the nose and throat, before it reaches the lungs, it doesn’t become as serious. Innate immunity works at this level, by trying to reduce the viral infection and stop it from getting to the lungs,” said Jameel, of Ashoka University.

Despite the good news in India, the rise of new variants has added another challenge to efforts here and around the globe to bring the pandemic under control. Scientists have identified several variants in India, including some that have been blamed for causing new infections in people who already had an earlier version of the virus. But they are still studying the public health implications.

Experts are considering if variants may be driving a surge in cases in the southern state of Kerala, which had previously been hailed as a blueprint for tackling the virus. Kerala now accounts for nearly half of India’s current COVID-19 cases. Government-funded research has suggested that a more contagious version of the virus could be at play, and efforts to sequence its genome are ongoing.

With the reasons behind India’s success unclear, experts are concerned that people will let down their guard. Large parts of India have already returned to normal life. In many cities, markets are heaving, roads are crowded and restaurants nearly full.

“With the reducing numbers, I feel that the worst of COVID is over,” said M. B. Ravikumar, an architect who was hospitalized last year and recovered. “And we can all breathe a sigh of relief.”

Maybe not yet, said Jishnu Das, a health economist at Georgetown University who advises the West Bengal state on handling the pandemic.

“We don’t know if this will come back after three to four months,” he warned.

___

The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Inauguration Live Updates: Biden and Harris Are Sworn In, Kicking Off New Era in Washington

reprint (Adapted)
Joseph R. Biden Jr. was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.CreditCredit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

https://nyti.ms/3itiXsV

Kamala Harris is the first woman and the first woman of color to serve as vice president. President Biden said he wanted to “restore the soul and secure the future of America” in his Inaugural Address.

RIGHT NOW Biden and Harris receive gifts after taking part in an inauguration like no other.

Video https://nyti.ms/391Dul7

Watch live coverage of the inauguration ceremony for Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the next president of the United States.CreditCredit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Watch live coverage of the inauguration ceremony for Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the next president of the United States.CreditCredit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Here’s what you need to know:

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/20/us/biden-inauguration/in-pictures-preparations-for-the-inauguration
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/20/us/biden-inauguration/inaugural-briefing-inauguration-firsts
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/20/us/biden-inauguration/they-are-preparing-the-white-house-for-a-new-president-and-they-have-just-five-hours-to-do-it
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/20/us/biden-inauguration/photos-of-joe-bidens-long-road-to-the-presidency
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/20/us/biden-inauguration/biden-and-harris-attended-mass-alongside-republican-and-democratic-leaders
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/20/us/biden-inauguration/some-people-pardoned-by-trump-can-still-be-tried-an-ex-mueller-prosecutor-argues
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/20/us/biden-inauguration/in-pictures-preparations-for-the-inauguration
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/20/us/biden-inauguration/in-his-last-minutes-as-president-trump-pardons-al-pirro
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/20/us/politics/trump-speech-fact-check.html
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/20/us/biden-inauguration/trump-departs-white-house

—–

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/20/us/politics/inauguration-fashion-purple.html
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/20/us/biden-inauguration/biden-sends-his-first-tweet-from-potus
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/20/us/politics/eugene-goodman-kamala-harris.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/20/us/politics/amanda-gorman-poet.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/20/us/politics/lady-gaga-biden.html
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/20/us/biden-inauguration/on-day-1-biden-will-wield-executive-authority-to-undo-trumps-legacy
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/20/us/biden-inauguration/biden-taking-office-amid-chaos-seeks-to-project-calm-resolve
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/20/us/biden-inauguration/biden-and-harris-take-part-in-an-inauguration-like-no-other
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/20/us/biden-inauguration/kamala-harris-is-sworn-in-as-vice-president-a-barrier-breaking-moment-in-us-history
https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/01/20/us/biden-inauguration/biden-sworn-in – Democracy has prevailed

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Oxford coronavirus vaccine approved in UK with ‘millions to get jab within weeks’

Reprint – Adapted

It could lead to an end to lockdown by February with 15 million people most at risk of dying or getting seriously ill with coronavirus having reportedly been identified for urgent inoculationmirror

By Abigail O’Leary & Ryan Merrifield Updated 07:57, 30 DEC 2020

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/breaking-oxford-coronavirus-vaccine-approved-23228554

Matt Hancock on Oxford vaccine “It brings forward the day we can all get our lives back to normal”

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/breaking-oxford-coronavirus-vaccine-approved-23228554

A Covid-19 vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca has been approved for use in the UK, paving the way for mass rollout.

The jab, which has been described as a “game-changer”, was given the green light by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The UK has ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine – enough to vaccinate 50 million people, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirming a January 4 rollout.

He called it “fantastic news”, adding vaccinations could “really accelerate” in the coming weeks.

It comes hours before today’s coronavirus tier review could plunge 15 million more people in the toughest restrictions as early as tonight, it is claimed.

The Oxford University and AstraZeneca have been approved for emergency use in the UK (Image: Getty Images)
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Essex authorities declare major incident as coronavirus cases overtake first wave

Two-thirds of the country could reportedly move into Tier 4, potentially as soon as midnight.

Pressure has mounted on the Government to act as hospitals across England warned of increasing strains on services due to Covid-19 patient numbers.

Admissions have reached their highest levels during the pandemic, while 51,135 further cases and 414 deaths were reported on Tuesday.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock speaking on Wednesday morning
Health Secretary Matt Hancock speaking on Wednesday morning

Mr. Hancock said he couldn’t put a figure on the exact number of jabs that will be given but emphasised two vaccines means “we can go faster than previously”.

“Also because this Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine doesn’t have to be kept at that ultra-low temperature, it means it’s easier to distribute, for instance in GP settings and in care homes,” he continued.

“The vaccine is our way out of this pandemic so it brings forward the day on which we can all get our lives back to normal.”

The new jab is easier to distribute than the existing Pfizer one (Image: PA)

NHS chief executive Sir Simon Stevens this week said approval of the Oxford vaccine, weeks after the Pfizer inoculation was greenlit, sets the UK on track to vaccinate “all vulnerable people” by late spring.

This could amount to as many as 22 million people, with official guidelines listing all those over 50 as among the “vulnerable”.

In turn, lockdowns and tiers could be scrapped as soon as February.

Also this morning local authorities in Essex have declared a “major incident” as the number of coronavirus cases threatens to overwhelm health services in the county.

(Image: Getty Images)

Figures from NHS England showed there were 21,787 patients in NHS hospitals in England as of 8 a.m. on Tuesday, compared with 20,426 on Monday, and 18,974 at the first wave peak on April 12.

Five of the seven NHS regions in England are currently reporting a record number of Covid-19 hospital patients: Eastern England, London, the Midlands, south-east England, and south-west England.

The other two regions, north-east and north-west England, remain below peak levels that were set in mid-November.

The new jab is easier to distribute than the existing Pfizer one (Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Referring to the Oxford vaccine, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: “The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to authorise Oxford University/AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine for use.

“This follows rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA, which has concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality, and effectiveness.”

Data published in The Lancet medical journal in early December showed the vaccine was 62% effective in preventing Covid-19 among a group of 4,440 people given two standard doses of the vaccine when compared with 4,455 people given a placebo drug.

Of 1,367 people given a half first dose of the vaccine followed by a full second dose, there was 90% protection against Covid-19 when compared with a control group of 1,374 people.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson with a vial of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine (Image: Getty Images)

The overall Lancet data, which was peer-reviewed, set out full results from clinical trials of more than 20,000 people.

Among the people given the placebo drug, 10 were admitted to hospital with coronavirus, including two with severe Covid which resulted in one death.

But among those receiving the vaccine, there were no hospital admissions or severe cases.

The half dose followed by a full dose regime came about as a result of an accidental dosing error.

However, the MHRA was made aware of what happened and clinical trials for the vaccine were allowed to continue.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriot suggested that further data submitted to the regulator showed the vaccine could match the 95% efficacy achieved by the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.

“We think we have figured out the winning formula and how to get efficacy that, after two doses, is up there with everybody else,” he said.

On Monday, Calum Semple, professor of outbreak medicine at the University of Liverpool and a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), described the vaccine as a “game-changer” but said it would take until summer to vaccinate enough people for herd immunity – when the virus struggles to circulate.

“To get the wider community herd immunity from vaccination rather than through natural infection will take probably 70% to 80% of the population to be vaccinated, and that, I’m afraid, is going to take us right into the summer, I expect,” he said.

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Covid vaccine: How does a vaccine get approved?

Receiving The Vaccine

– BBC News

The NHS is carrying out the biggest mass vaccination campaign in its history with a jab that protects against Covid-19. Some people have been surprised to learn how a process which usually takes at least ten years could have been done in less than one.

Posted in Announcements/Greetings, COVID-19, Featured, Features, Health, International, Local, News, Regional, Science/Technology0 Comments

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UK approves Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine; rollout begins next week

Freezers needed for vaccine en route to Cayman

By Reshma Ragoonath – December 2, 2020

The UK has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, becoming the first country in the world to approve a vaccine for its population in the fight against COVID-19.

The BBC reported early Wednesday morning that Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said the vaccine is safe to be rolled out. It offers up to 95% protection against COVID-19 illness.

Cayman’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Lee welcomed the announcement in an early morning tweet, saying, “Great news that the UK has licensed the first Covid-19 vaccine.”

He told the Cayman Compass, “I think the whole world is excited that vaccines are now becoming available to help us work our way out of this pandemic. There are still difficult times ahead, especially for countries struggling with rising infection rates, but as we begin to get our most vulnerable vaccinated, so too will we begin to feel more relaxed. The government has been working on its vaccination plans and will share these soon.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week said Overseas Territories like Cayman will benefit from Britain’s purchase of vaccines.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock, speaking with the BBC on Wednesday, said the first 800,000 doses will be available in the UK from next week. The bulk of the rollout will come next year.

He said people should wait to be contacted by the National Health Services.

“I’m confident now, with the news today, that from spring, from Easter onwards, things are going to be better. And we’re going to have a summer next year that everybody can enjoy,” Hancock told the BBC.

Johnson also told the BBC, “It’s the protection of vaccines that will ultimately allow us to reclaim our lives and get the economy moving again.”

Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla, according to CNN, hailed the emergency authorisation as “a historic moment in the fight against COVID-19”.The UK has ordered 40 million doses of the US and German companies’ collaborative vaccine, which is enough to vaccinate 20 million people, CNN reported.

The BBC reported that elderly people in care homes and care home staff will be the priority, followed by over-80s and health and care staff.

It said, “because of the limited stocks and need to store at -70C, the very first vaccinations are likely to take place at hospitals so care home residents may not be immunised until later”.

Meanwhile, here in Cayman, freezers needed to store COVID-19 vaccines are en route to the islands.

Prior to Wednesday’s announcement of the UK’s approval of the vaccine, Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez said he expected COVID immunisation doses to begin arriving a few weeks after the vaccine had been formally approved.

Williams-Rodriguez, speaking on the Cayman Compass talk show The Resh Hour last week, said the Health Services Authority has already started preparations to receive the vaccine and is finalising a distribution plan.

The main vaccines in contention worldwide have different storage requirements, with the one from Pfizer/BioNTech needing to be kept at -75 degrees Celsius (-103 degrees Fahrenheit), and the Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines maintained at between 36 and 46 degrees Fahrenheit.

The vaccine Cayman is going to get, Williams-Rodriguez said, is more likely going to be one that needs to be stored at -75 Celsius.

Williams-Rodriguez added in an email to the Compass on Tuesday that the HSA is “in conversations with Public Health England regarding the type of COVID vaccine to be received, once approval is given by the relevant authorities in the UK”.

Williams-Rodriguez confirmed that the HSA has ordered three freezers that are able to store vaccines at -80C, and expects the equipment to arrive in the Cayman Islands in about a week, saying “there are no concerns with our storage capacity”.

He said he anticipated vaccine doses to arrive in Cayman by the end of December or early January.

“This vaccine has gone through all the safety protocols by international organisations, so we feel that these vaccines are safe, and they will be used for all those persons that are at risk,” Williams-Rodriguez said.

The vaccine will be distributed free to the public, he said, adding it will not be mandatory.

“It will be strongly recommended, especially if you have a chronic condition and you’re a high-risk person, or you have a family member in the household who is high risk; it is strongly recommended that person [receives] the vaccine,” he said.

Williams-Rodriguez expressed confidence in the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness, saying he and his family will be taking it.

“We’ve got to be prepared once the vaccine gets here that we will have everything in place, all the necessary arrangements that are needed, and we will have a plan ready to go that we can start vaccinating,” he said.

On Monday, The Guardian newspaper in the UK reported that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, of which the UK has secured 40 million doses, is set for regulatory approval within days which could allow hospitals to start immunising frontline health workers as soon as 7 Dec.

“The government has secured 100 [million] doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and has asked the regulator to assess it for emergency deployment,” the report in The Guardian said. “A further 2 [million] doses of the US Moderna vaccine have also been ordered, bringing its total to 7 [million] for the UK. All three vaccines involve two doses received several weeks apart.”

Posted in COVID-19, Health, International, Local, News, Science/Technology0 Comments

CCRIF-UWI-Donation-December-1-2020-Photo-3

CCRIF SPC Provides US$250,000 (J$35 Million) to The University of the West Indies for Scholarships and Tuition Fees

The following is a release from CCRIF SPC as dated, that is of particular interest, to the left behind students from Montserrat, those with the desire to move up with higher education, but cannot because of the absence of the necessary resources so to do.

Kingston, Jamaica, December 1, 2020. On November 26, CCRIF SPC (formerly the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility) presented a cheque for US$250,000 (J$35 million) to The University of the West Indies (The UWI) for scholarships and for covering the tuition fees of students who are in need of financial support this academic year.

L-R: Pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Dale Webber; UWI Mona Guild President Sujae Boswell; University Registrar Dr. Maurice Smith; CCRIF Scholar Matthew Arnold; CCRIF Technical Assistance Manager and Corporate Communications Manager Elizabeth Emanuel; and CCRIF Board Member Mrs. Saundra Bailey at the handing over of US$250,000 (J$135 million) for scholarships and tuition support to The UWI

Approximately US$108,000 or J$15 million of the US$250,000 (J$35 million) is already allocated for scholarships for 2020/21 at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels and this is about the usual amount that CCRIF has been providing to The UWI annually since 2010 and can be considered merit scholarships since they are based largely on the performance of students. The remaining US$142,000 or J$20 million has been provided to cover the tuition fees of the most needy students, who due to the COVID-19 pandemic are finding it difficult to pay tuition and who are at risk of either being de-registered or not completing their studies. This latter support is part of the Facility’s COVID-19 response geared to supporting our members and other key stakeholders.

According to Saundra Bailey, CCRIF Board Member “Since 2010, CCRIF has provided The UWI with 71 scholarships totalling US$761,230 or almost J$107 million. CCRIF continues to view its investments in scholarships as critical to building a cadre of individuals who possess the knowledge and skills to advance the resilience of the small island and coastal states of our region.”

Outside of support to students at The UWI, graduates of The University also have benefited from CCRIF scholarships to study for postgraduate degrees in the USA and the UK as well as internships at national and regional organizations involved in disaster risk management and meteorology and at a number of departments and centres of The University itself such as the Disaster Risk Reduction Centre, Climate Studies Group Mona, and the Seismic Research Centre.

University Registrar, Dr. Maurice Smith in acknowledging CCRIF’s contributions, commented that both The UWI and CCRIF have had a longstanding relationship and today’s handing over ceremony is significant as it is an expression of support not only for the regional institution but the talented students who are pursuing programmes related to CCRIF’s mandate.

Professor Dale Webber, Principal of the Mona Campus and Pro-Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for Climate Change and Disaster Preparedness, signaled his gratitude for the tuition support for students in civil engineering, geography, and geology. He asked CCRIF to consider students pursuing programmes in actuarial science, computer science, and social work as these areas are critical to strengthening the region’s response to disaster management.

Earlier this year, CCRIF expanded its partnership with The UWI even further when the two organizations signed a new memorandum of understanding which went beyond offering scholarships and established a framework for the promotion and facilitation of disaster risk management, including modeling, disaster risk financing, and climate change adaptation as well as research, capacity-building and resilience-building initiatives that will support and advance the Caribbean Community’s (CARICOM’s) ambition of making the Caribbean the world’s first climate-resilient zone.

One of the first outputs of this new MOU was the development of a new course called Fundamentals of Disaster Risk Financing for Advancing Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which is currently being offered through The UWI Open Campus. Over 30 students are members of the first cohort to take this Continuing and Professional Education Certificate course, which offers four continuing education units.

Including today’s contribution, CCRIF’s overall support to The UWI over the period 2010 – 2020 has totalled over US$1 million (J$140 million), through programmes for scholarships and internships and the current MOU as well as two grants to the departments of Food Production and Geography at the St. Augustine campus for community-based disaster risk reduction projects, support to the Seismic Research Centre towards establishing and maintaining a new accelerometric network in the Eastern Caribbean and Jamaica to enhance the capability for identifying and mitigating seismic risk in the Caribbean, and a contract with Lumin Consulting for work related to the CCRIF-Caribbean Development Bank Integrated Sovereign Risk Management Project.

CCRIF also used the occasion to launch its Technical Paper Series #4, A Collection of Papers and Expert Notes on Disaster Risk Financing and Disaster Risk Management … Highlighting academic papers prepared by a selection of CCRIF scholarship winners”. This collection of papers highlights research conducted by nine recipients of CCRIF scholarships between 2010 and 2017. The academic papers include papers completed as part of course work, extracts from dissertations, as well as complete dissertations – all submitted as part of their degree requirements. The papers demonstrate the diversity of research topics undertaken by CCRIF scholarship recipients – which range from social issues such as a discussion of whether disaster scenes should be “off-limits” to victims’ relatives, and climate and risk communication to an analysis of the financial services sector responses to climate change risks to more technical discussions such as seismic analysis.

Elizabeth Emanuel, CCRIF Technical Assistance Manager and Corporate Communications Manager presents a synopsis of the new publication, A Collection of Papers and Expert Notes on Disaster Risk Financing and Disaster Risk Management … Highlighting academic papers prepared by a selection of CCRIF scholarship winners”. Copies of the publication will be provided to all campuses of The University of the West Indies.
Mrs. Saundra Bailey, CCRIF Board Member; Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of UWI Mona, Professor Dale Webber; and Elizabeth Emanuel, CCRIF Technical Assistance Manager and Corporate Communications Manager, peruse the publication “A Collection of Papers and Expert Notes on Disaster Risk Financing and Disaster Risk Management … Highlighting academic papers prepared by a selection of CCRIF scholarship winners”.

According to Mrs. Bailey, “During this pandemic, CCRIF has both levelled up and pivoted to ensure that our members and key partners and stakeholders are able to better confront and address the many challenges posed by climate change and COVID-19, with The UWI being one such partner.”

Website: www.ccrif.org | Email: pr@ccrif.org |  Follow @ccrif_pr |  CCRIF SPC

About CCRIF SPC:

CCRIF SPC is a segregated portfolio company, owned, operated, and registered in the Caribbean. It limits the financial impact of catastrophic hurricanes, earthquakes, and excess rainfall events to the Caribbean and Central American governments by quickly providing short-term liquidity when a parametric insurance policy is triggered. It is the world’s first regional fund utilising parametric insurance, giving member governments the unique opportunity to purchase earthquake, hurricane, and excess rainfall catastrophe coverage with the lowest-possible pricing. CCRIF was developed under the technical leadership of the World Bank and with a grant from the Government of Japan. It was capitalized through contributions to a Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) by the Government of Canada, the European Union, the World Bank, the governments of the UK and France, the Caribbean Development Bank and the governments of Ireland and Bermuda, as well as through membership fees paid by participating governments. In 2014, a second MDTF was established by the World Bank to support the development of CCRIF SPC’s new products for current and potential members and facilitate the entry of Central American countries and additional Caribbean countries. The MDTF currently channels funds from various donors, including: Canada, through Global Affairs Canada; the United States, through the Department of the Treasury; the European Union, through the European Commission, and Germany, through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and KfW. Additional financing has been provided by the Caribbean Development Bank, with resources provided by Mexico; the Government of Ireland; and the European Union through its Regional Resilience Building Facility managed by the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) and The World Bank.

Website: www.ccrif.org | Email: pr@ccrif.org |  Follow @ccrif_pr |  CCRIF SPC

About The UWI

For over 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe including the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development; the Canada-Caribbean Institute with Brock University; the Strategic Alliance for Hemispheric Development with Universidad de los Andes (UNIANDES); The UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies; the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ); The UWI-University of Havana Centre for Sustainable Development; The UWI-Coventry Institute for Industry-Academic Partnership with the University of Coventry and the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research with the University of Glasgow.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. 

As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. The world’s most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, has ranked The UWI among the top 600 universities in the world for 2019 and 2020, and the 40 best universities in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2018, 2019 and 2020. The UWI has been the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.  For more, visit www.uwi.edu.

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)

#ccrifspc #uwi #scholarships #covid-19 #donation #disasterriskfinancing  #parametricinsurance #theuwi

Posted in Announcements/Greetings, Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Education, Featured, International, Local, News, OECS, Science/Technology, Youth0 Comments

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