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Sri Lanka orders COVID-19 booster shots for frontline workers, tourism industry
Sri Lanka orders COVID-19 booster shots for frontline workers, tourism industry

Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Friday ordered frontline workers and tourism staff to be given a third booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine next month, part of a bid to reopen the travel industry and revive the economy. More than 1 million people including security personnel, health care staff and tourism industry workers will be given third shots of the Pfizer vaccine beginning Nov. 1, the president's office said in a statement. So far Sri Lanka has fully vaccinated a little over 60% of its 22 million people.

Salmonella from Mexican onions has infected more than 650 people in 37 states, CDC says
Salmonella from Mexican onions has infected more than 650 people in 37 states, CDC says

Throw away any red, white, or yellow onions you have at home that do not have a sticker or packaging, the CDC says.

As virus cases rise, so do pleas for Russians to get vaccine
As virus cases rise, so do pleas for Russians to get vaccine

As she stood in the courtyard of the morgue holding the body of her grandmother who died of COVID-19, Ramilya Shigalturina had a message for anyone still resisting vaccinations. "I'm begging all Russians: Please get vaccinated, because it's really dreadful and dangerous," said the resident of Nizhny Novgorod, the country's fifth-largest city. When Russia last year became the first country to launch a coronavirus vaccine, called Sputnik V, it was hailed as a matter of national pride and a sign of its scientific know-how.

Hong Kong halts cruise-to-nowhere as COVID-19 suspected in crew member
Hong Kong halts cruise-to-nowhere as COVID-19 suspected in crew member

Hong Kong authorities prevented a Royal Caribbean cruise ship from departing the city's terminal late on Thursday as a crew member was suspected to have COVID-19 after routine testing, the government and the cruise operator said. All have to undergo compulsory testing but were allowed to leave the ship as they did not have direct contact with the crew member. The 40-year-old crew member tested positive for COVID-19 in Malaysia in July and then tested negative for more than 10 times since returning to Hong Kong in August.

EXPLAINER: Is it time to get a COVID-19 booster? Which one?
EXPLAINER: Is it time to get a COVID-19 booster? Which one?

Millions more Americans just became eligible for COVID-19 boosters but figuring out who's eligible and when can be confusing - and adding to the challenge is that this time around, people can get a different type of vaccine for that extra dose. Just like the initial shots, boosters are free and will be available at pharmacies, doctor offices and clinics. Q: Why are boosters needed?

Hospitals struggle with drug shortages as supply chain issues persist
Hospitals struggle with drug shortages as supply chain issues persist

American hospitals are undergoing another emergency on top of the pandemic, as the struggle to fill drug orders for hundreds of patients.

New Zealand sets 90% vaccine target to end lockdowns and reopen
New Zealand sets 90% vaccine target to end lockdowns and reopen

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday that the country will end its strict coronavirus lockdown measures and move to a system to live with the virus only when 90% of the country is fully vaccinated. All District Health Boards in the country will need to achieve 90% vaccine rates, Ardern said, which would make the South Pacific nation one of the most vaccinated country in the world. "Ultimately we have balanced the desire to re-open quickly while continuing to keep people safe," Ardern said at a news conference.

CDC advisory panel clears the way for J&J, Moderna and mix-and-match COVID boosters
CDC advisory panel clears the way for J&J, Moderna and mix-and-match COVID boosters

Quick approval by the CDC director is expected, allowing J&J, Moderna and mix-and-match boosters to be given within days.

Melbourne reopens as world
Melbourne reopens as world's most locked-down city eases pandemic restrictions

MELBOURNE (Reuters) -Melbourne residents flocked to the city's pubs, restaurants and hair salons in the early hours of Friday after the world's most locked-down city emerged from its latest spate of restrictions designed to combat the spread of COVID-19. Australia's second-largest city has so far endured 262 days, or nearly nine months, of restrictions during six separate lockdowns since March 2020, representing the longest cumulative lockdown for any city in the world. In Melbourne, people were seen cheering and clapping from their balconies, while cars honked horns continuously at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday when lockdown restrictions in place since early August ended.

Queen Elizabeth spent a night in hospital for first time in years
Queen Elizabeth spent a night in hospital for first time in years

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain's 95-year-old Queen Elizabeth spent a night in hospital for the first time in years for what Buckingham Palace termed 'preliminary investigations' but returned to Windsor Castle on Thursday where she was in good spirits. "Following medical advice to rest for a few days, the queen attended hospital on Wednesday afternoon for some preliminary investigations, returning to Windsor Castle at lunchtime today, and remains in good spirits," the palace said in a statement. She returned to her desk for work on Thursday afternoon and was undertaking some light duties, the source said.

Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots greenlighted by CDC
Moderna and Johnson & Johnson booster shots greenlighted by CDC

Up to 99 million Americans are now eligible for an additional dose.

Do you need another shot? Can you mix and match vaccines? COVID booster questions, answered.
Do you need another shot? Can you mix and match vaccines? COVID booster questions, answered.

COVID-19 boosters are expected to become widely available in the coming days and everyone eligible will be able to choose their preferred vaccine.

Qatar mandates private health insurance for expatriates
Qatar mandates private health insurance for expatriates

Employers in Qatar will be required to provide health insurance coverage for expatriates and their families under a new law issued by the emir this week, a senior Qatari official said on Thursday. Currently, foreign residents and visitors can access basic public health care for free by paying a nominal fee for a government health card and employers are not obliged to provide additional private health insurance. The law, which was carried on state news agency QNA on Wednesday, takes effect six months after it is published in the official gazette.

Neurologist pleads not guilty to sexually abusing patients
Neurologist pleads not guilty to sexually abusing patients

A neurologist pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal charges alleging he was a serial sexual abuser of women who had gone to him for help with debilitating, chronic pain. Dr. Ricardo Cruciani entered the plea in federal court in Manhattan, prosecutors said. Cruciani, 63, who lives in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, was arrested Wednesday morning in Pocono Pines, Pennsylvania, on charges he abused patients over 15 years at his offices in New York City, Philadelphia and Hopewell, New Jersey.

Fact check: No evidence American Airlines, Amtrak workers walking out over COVID-19 vaccine mandates
Fact check: No evidence American Airlines, Amtrak workers walking out over COVID-19 vaccine mandates

There is no evidence Amtrak and American Airlines employees are organizing mass walkouts over vaccine mandates.

China is pushing a new Covid origin theory: Maine lobsters
China is pushing a new Covid origin theory: Maine lobsters

In mid-September, Marcel Schliebs, a disinformation researcher at the University of Oxford, spotted the emergence of a surprising coronavirus origin theory.

Children sick with COVID and other bugs flooded hospitals in the fall. Doctors worry what winter will bring.
Children sick with COVID and other bugs flooded hospitals in the fall. Doctors worry what winter will bring.

Inside this Iowa children's hospital a weary staff contends with a crush of kids sick with COVID and other illnesses, with no end in sight.

Study: More infectious diseases inevitable due to climate change especially in lower-income countries
Study: More infectious diseases inevitable due to climate change especially in lower-income countries

Climate change is creating ideal conditions for infectious diseases to spread more quickly, according to The Lancet Countdown's annual climate report out Wednesday.Why it matters: It's just one of the increasingly urgent threats to human health emerging from global climate change.The big picture: Climate studies show that extreme weather events - such as more powerful hurricanes, heavier rainstorms, larger wildfires and hotter and longer-lasting heat waves - are worsening worldwide due to the bu

Biogen
Biogen's controversial Alzheimer's drug is bombing

Biogen sold $300,000 worth of Aduhelm in the third quarter, well below Wall Street's expectations, which prompted analysts at Raymond James to call the Alzheimer's drug "potentially the worst drug launch of all time" amid Biogen's "persistent hyperbole about the drug's purported benefits." The big picture: Aduhelm's controversial approval and high price tag have shaped the market reaction. Health insurers are hesitant to cover Aduhelm until Medicare makes a decision next year, and doctors aren't

US marks 200M COVID-19 shots shared with world
US marks 200M COVID-19 shots shared with world

The U.S. on Thursday donated its 200 millionth COVID-19 shot to help vaccinate the rest of the world, the White House announced. The Biden administration aims to lead a global vaccination campaign even as it rolls out boosters for domestic use, which critics say diverts doses from those who are in greater need around the world. The donated doses include more than 120 million in surplus from the U.S. stockpile of shots, as well as the initial deliveries of the 1 billion doses the Biden administration has purchased from Pfizer for overseas donation by September 2022.

Can new variants of the coronavirus keep emerging?
Can new variants of the coronavirus keep emerging?

When a virus infects a new species, it needs to adapt to the new host to spread more widely, says Andrew Read, a virus expert at Pennsylvania State University. "The virus could take on a mutation that makes the immune response less effective," he says.

Fact check: Pfizer
Fact check: Pfizer's FDA-approved vaccine is available in US

The authorization from the FDA changed, but the vaccine didn't. Comirnaty is simply the brand name for Pfizer's shot.

Onions from Mexico linked to salmonella outbreak in 37 states
Onions from Mexico linked to salmonella outbreak in 37 states

If you can't tell where your onions are from, you should throw them away, the CDC says.

Clinton shares first update on recovery following hospitalization:
Clinton shares first update on recovery following hospitalization: 'I'm really glad to be back home'

Former President Bill Clinton spoke out for the first time following his hospitalization. In a video posted on Twitter Wednesday night, Clinton, 75, said he's feeling better, and is "on the road to recovery." "I'm really glad to be back home."

Melbourne readies to exit world
Melbourne readies to exit world's longest COVID-19 lockdowns

Millions in Melbourne are readying to come out of the world's longest COVID-19 lockdown on Thursday night after Victoria state hit a key vaccination target, with pubs, restaurants and cafes racing to reopen their doors to fully vaccinated customers. Melbourne's residents have been enduring their sixth pandemic lockdown since early August to quell an outbreak fuelled by the Delta strain. By Friday, the city of five million would have spent a cumulative 262 days, or nearly nine months, under stay-home orders since March 2020 - the world's longest, exceeding a 234-day lockdown in Buenos Aires, according to Australian media.

Abortion pill providers are fielding high-volume requests from Texans who want to safely terminate their pregnancies
Abortion pill providers are fielding high-volume requests from Texans who want to safely terminate their pregnancies

Texans are beginning to scramble for options to terminate their own pregnancies after the rollout of SB8.

Thousands of children have suffered from a mysterious Covid-related condition
Thousands of children have suffered from a mysterious Covid-related condition

More than 5,200 of the 6.2 million U.S. children diagnosed with Covid have developed MIS-C, or multisystem inflammatory syndrome.

Short-sleepers are more likely to suffer from irregular and heavy periods
Short-sleepers are more likely to suffer from irregular and heavy periods

Menstrual periods can disturb sleep, but sleep troubles can worsen menstrual symptoms. Catherine McQueen/Getty ImagesThe Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work. The big idea Menstruating women who sleep less than six hours a night tend to suffer heavier and irregular periods. That is the conclusion from our new study, which was recently published in the Journal of Sleep Research. We found that those who got less than six hours of sleep on average nightly were 44% more lik

Fact check: Are smokers at less risk for contracting the coronavirus?
Fact check: Are smokers at less risk for contracting the coronavirus?

More information is needed after a French study suggested nicotine might play a role in preventing some illness from the coronavirus.

Biogen CEO:
Biogen CEO: 'Major bottleneck' still limits Alzheimer's drug

A new Alzheimer's drug from Biogen brought in only $300,000 in sales during its first full quarter on the market, continuing a slow debut complicated by coverage questions and concerns from doctors. The infused drug, hailed as a potential breakthrough treatment for a fatal disease, has encountered a health care system that "remains a major bottleneck" in keeping the treatment from patients, CEO Michel Vounatsos said Wednesday. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug, named Aduhelm, in June and later said it was appropriate for patients with mild symptoms or early-stage Alzheimer's.

Singapore extends COVID-19 curbs for a month as cases spike
Singapore extends COVID-19 curbs for a month as cases spike

Singapore will extend its social curbs to contain the spread of COVID-19 for around a month in order to ease the pressure on the healthcare system, the government said on Wednesday. The city-state in late September reimposed curbs that include limiting social interactions and dining out to two people in order to slow virus transmission. While Singapore has vaccinated more than 80% of its 5.45 million population, asymptomatic or mild cases have been rising steadily, spreading the virus and mounting pressure on hospitals and medical staff.

Walkouts and strikes hit hospitals in pandemic hot spots
Walkouts and strikes hit hospitals in pandemic hot spots

There have been at least 30 strikes of health care workers so far this year, according to a tracker from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Gates Foundation allots $120 million for poor nations to get COVID-19 drug
Gates Foundation allots $120 million for poor nations to get COVID-19 drug

The money will support efforts to develop and make generic versions of what could become the first oral antiviral medication for the disease if it wins regulatory approval, the foundation said in a statement. "Today's commitment will ensure that more people in more countries get access to the promising drug molnupiravir, but it's not the end of the story - we need other donors, including foundations and governments, to act," Co-Chair Melinda French Gates said https://refini.tv/3DXWbD2. Merck is developing the antiviral pill along with partner Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, to treat coronavirus infections that range from mild to moderate in severity and sought U.S. emergency use...

Pig-to-human transplants come a step closer with new test
Pig-to-human transplants come a step closer with new test

Scientists temporarily attached a pig's kidney to a human body and watched it begin to work, a small step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for life-saving transplants. Pigs have been the most recent research focus to address the organ shortage, but among the hurdles: A sugar in pig cells, foreign to the human body, causes immediate organ rejection. The kidney for this experiment came from a gene-edited animal, engineered to eliminate that sugar and avoid an immune system attack.

China
China's new home prices stall for first time since COVID-19

The average new home price in 70 major Chinese cities was unchanged in September month-on-month, compared with 0.2% growth in August, according to Reuters calculations based on data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Wednesday. The data showed 27 cities reported month-on-month gains, compared with 46 in August, the lowest since February 2020 at the height of China's COVID-19 outbreak. In September, some cities intensified their campaigns to drive speculators out of the property market.

FDA expected to allow
FDA expected to allow 'mix and match' for Covid-19 vaccine boosters

Two sources confirmed reporting that the federal agency plans to allow using a different vaccine type from the one used in initial doses.

Fox News host Neil Cavuto tests positive for COVID-19 and credits vaccine with saving his life
Fox News host Neil Cavuto tests positive for COVID-19 and credits vaccine with saving his life

"Had I not been vaccinated, and with all my medical issues, this would be a far more dire situation," Cavuto said in a statement on Tuesday.

Cincinnati Zoo vaccinates 80 animals against Covid-19
Cincinnati Zoo vaccinates 80 animals against Covid-19

The zoo said it's been vaccinating big cats, great apes, red pandas, goats, giraffes, river otters, skunks, bearcats, as well as some domestic dogs and cats.

Miami private school to require students who get vaccinated to stay home for 30 days
Miami private school to require students who get vaccinated to stay home for 30 days

A private school in Miami has told parents to keep children home for 30 days if they receive a Covid-19 vaccination.

Relief, eager anticipation for many Americans ahead of FDA decision on booster shots
Relief, eager anticipation for many Americans ahead of FDA decision on booster shots

For Mitchell Kronenberg, answers on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine can't come soon enough. A 42-year-old dad living outside Charlotte, North Carolina, Kronenberg enrolled in a clinical trial for the single-dose vaccine and got his shot last January. Since then, he's been patiently waiting for U.S. federal regulators to tell him what to do next to stay safe: Should he get another Johnson & Johnson shot?

Vaccinations help protect families: National Institutes of Health
Vaccinations help protect families: National Institutes of Health

Getting a COVID-19 vaccine isn't just about protecting yourself, it goes a long way toward protecting your family, according to a new blog post by the director of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Francis Collins also noted in his Tuesday post that the data shows adults getting vaccinated helps protect those who can't get vaccines, especially children. "This is a chance to love your family -- and love your neighbor," Collins wrote.

U.S. captives in Haiti were helping rebuild quake-damaged homes
U.S. captives in Haiti were helping rebuild quake-damaged homes

The work of U.S. and Canadian missionaries kidnapped in Haiti over the weekend included helping rebuild homes following an August earthquake on the island, according to their Ohio-based organization that has aid projects all over the world. CAM added the missionary's work in Haiti included distributing Bibles and Christian literature, feeding the elderly and getting medicine to clinics. The gang that kidnapped the group is asking for $17 million -- or $1 million each -- to release them, Haitian Justice Minister Liszt Quitel told Reuters.

South African regulator rejects Russia
South African regulator rejects Russia's COVID-19 vaccine

The South African drug regulator has rejected the Russian-made coronavirus vaccine Sputnik V, citing some safety concerns the manufacturer wasn't able to answer. The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority, or SAHPRA, said in a statement Tuesday that the request for Sputnik V to be authorized could "not be approved at this time," referring to past failed HIV vaccines that used a similar technology. A late-stage study published in the journal Lancet last year in more than 20,000 participants found that Sputnik V was safe and about 91% effective in preventing people from becoming severely ill with COVID-19.

Click to Pray 2.0 - Vatican app gets up close and personal with God
Click to Pray 2.0 - Vatican app gets up close and personal with God

The Vatican on Tuesday rolled out its latest "Click to Pray" app, offering a personal planner among new functions for what it hopes will be an improved digital "praying experience" in a fast-paced world. In its own mini-version of a Silicon Valley-type unveiling, seven Church officials - including a cardinal - took part in a news conference to illustrate "Click to Pray 2.0", the first major update of the app since it was launched in 2016. Reporters were shown a punchy, polished video illustrating the app's new functions, including a personal planner to let users configure their moments of prayer for each day and receive reminders to put the rest of the world on hold.

Classless Trump derides Colin Powell in death: 'Anyway, may he rest in peace'

Former President Trump Tuesday derided Gen. Colin Powell in death as a turncoat who "made plenty of mistakes." Breaking with a near-unanimous chorus of...

US expected to authorize mix-and-match COVID booster shots
US expected to authorize mix-and-match COVID booster shots

Federal regulators are expected to authorize the mixing and matching of COVID-19 booster shots this week in an effort to provide flexibility for those seeking to maintain protection against the coronavirus. The upcoming announcement by the Food and Drug Administration is likely to come along with authorization for boosters of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson shots and follows the authorization of a third dose for the Pfizer vaccine for many Americans last month. The FDA was expected to say that, especially for the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna that have proved most effective against the virus, maintaining consistency in the vaccine course was still preferable.

FDA to Allow
FDA to Allow 'Mix and Match' Approach for COVID Booster Shots

WASHINGTON - The Food and Drug Administration is planning to allow Americans to receive a different COVID-19 vaccine as a booster than the one they initially received, a move that could reduce the appeal of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and provide flexibility to doctors and other vaccinators. The government would not recommend one shot over another, and it might note that using the same vaccine as a booster when possible is preferable, people familiar with the agency's planning said. But vaccin

Latino Catholics have one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the US
Latino Catholics have one of the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the US

Latino Catholics have embraced COVID-19 vaccines after a deadly year for Hispanics in the United States.

This woman wanted to die. Why was her euthanasia canceled?
This woman wanted to die. Why was her euthanasia canceled?

Colombian Martha Sepúlveda, who has ALS, was allowed to undergo euthanasia without a terminal prognosis. But it was canceled. Was it media exposure?

Natural immunity is good. Getting vaccinated after being sick with COVID-19 is better.
Natural immunity is good. Getting vaccinated after being sick with COVID-19 is better.

A growing body of research suggests previous coronavirus infection plus vaccination provides the strongest protection against COVID-19.


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