Bioethics.com

Subscribe to Bioethics.com feed
Your global information source on bioethics news, issues, & events
Updated: 2 hours 31 min ago

COVID-19 Virus Reinfections Rare, But Riskiest After Age 65

March 19, 2021

(Medscape) – The first large study of its kind reveals that SARS-CoV-2 reinfections remain rare, although people older than 65 are at higher risk. When researchers analyzed test results of 4 million people in Denmark, they found that less than 1% of those who tested positive experienced reinfection. Initial infection was associated with about 80% protection overall against getting SARS-CoV-2 again. However, among those older than 65, the protection plummeted to 47%.

The post COVID-19 Virus Reinfections Rare, But Riskiest After Age 65 first appeared on Bioethics.com.

AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 Vaccine Cleared by EU After Blood-Clot Concerns

March 19, 2021

(Wall Street Journal) – The European Union’s health agency said the Covid-19 vaccine produced by AstraZeneca PLC was “safe and effective” and didn’t increase the risk of blood clots, a decision that prompted several major bloc members to say they would resume inoculation campaigns. Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the Netherlands said they would start vaccinating residents again after the European Medicines Agency on Thursday said new expert analysis concluded that the benefits of using a Covid-19 vaccine produced by AstraZeneca outweigh its potential risks.

The post AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 Vaccine Cleared by EU After Blood-Clot Concerns first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Dark History of Deceptive Sterilization of Thousands of Latinos Weighs on COVID-19 Vaccinations

March 18, 2021

(The Hill) – In a survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation from Jan. 11 to 18, 6 out of 10 “Black and Hispanic adults say they do not have enough information about where to get the vaccine, compared to about half of White adults who say the same,” according to a press release. A demographic analysis released in February by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that Black and Hispanic Americans are underrepresented among vaccinated Americans. But access to health care is only part of the picture. The other part is a history of abuse at the hands of the scientific and medical communities that has led to a deep mistrust among communities of color. For many Latino Americans, especially the more than 15 million living in California, the state’s ugly history of eugenics is just one generation removed — although it was a generation lost.

The post Dark History of Deceptive Sterilization of Thousands of Latinos Weighs on COVID-19 Vaccinations first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Lessons from the COVID-19 Crisis: Overcrowding Hospitals Cost Lives

March 18, 2021

(NPR) – Health care systems endured a stress test like no other over the past year as COVID-19 patients filled up hospital beds and intensive care units. Health care workers pleaded with the public to “flatten the curve,” yet each surge in 2020 was worse than the next. Now two recent studies quantify the consequences of flooding hospitals with COVID-19 patients and add urgency to continued efforts to keep cases and hospitalizations down. The research, from both the United States and the United Kingdom, shows that when ICUs fill up, COVID-19 patients’ chances of dying from the disease rise dramatically — despite improvements in treatment and care developed since last spring.

The post Lessons from the COVID-19 Crisis: Overcrowding Hospitals Cost Lives first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Five Reasons Why COVID Herd Immunity Is Probably Impossible

March 18, 2021

(Nature) – That threshold is generally achievable only with high vaccination rates, and many scientists had thought that once people started being immunized en masse, herd immunity would permit society to return to normal. Most estimates had placed the threshold at 60–70% of the population gaining immunity, either through vaccinations or past exposure to the virus. But as the pandemic enters its second year, the thinking has begun to shift. In February, independent data scientist Youyang Gu changed the name of his popular COVID-19 forecasting model from ‘Path to Herd Immunity’ to ‘Path to Normality’. He said that reaching a herd-immunity threshold was looking unlikely because of factors such as vaccine hesitancy, the emergence of new variants and the delayed arrival of vaccinations for children.

The post Five Reasons Why COVID Herd Immunity Is Probably Impossible first appeared on Bioethics.com.

New Models Could Help Scientists Study the Earliest Stages of Embryonic Development

March 17, 2021

(STAT News) – A pair of research teams unveiled two new ways to replicate a key structure from the earliest days of embryonic development — an advance that could provide important new insight into human development and pregnancy loss, but which also raise thorny questions about research with embryo-like models.

The post New Models Could Help Scientists Study the Earliest Stages of Embryonic Development first appeared on Bioethics.com.

J&J Jab Effective in Countries with Variants: WHO Experts

March 17, 2021

(Medical Xpress) – The WHO’s expert vaccine advisers on Wednesday recommended Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 jab for use in countries where coronavirus variants of concern are circulating. The World Health Organization gave its seal of approval on Friday to the vaccine, which has the advantages of being a single-shot jab that can be stored at regular refrigeration rather than ultra-cold temperatures.

The post J&J Jab Effective in Countries with Variants: WHO Experts first appeared on Bioethics.com.

CDC’s ‘Huge Mistake’: Did Misguided Mask Advice Drive Up COVID Death Toll for Health Workers?

March 17, 2021

(Medscape) – A new wave of research now shows that several of those procedures were not the most hazardous. Recent studies have determined that a basic cough produces about 20 times more particles than intubation, a procedure one doctor likened to the risk of being next to a nuclear reactor. Other new studies show that patients with covid simply talking or breathing, even in a well-ventilated room, could make workers sick in the CDC-sanctioned surgical masks. The studies suggest that the highest overall risk of infection was among the front-line workers — many of them workers of color — who spent the most time with patients earlier in their illness and in sub-par protective gear, not those working in the covid ICU.

The post CDC’s ‘Huge Mistake’: Did Misguided Mask Advice Drive Up COVID Death Toll for Health Workers? first appeared on Bioethics.com.

China’s Latest Vaccine Is Made from Hamster Ovary Cells.

March 17, 2021

(New York Times) – China has approved its fifth Covid-19 vaccine, and it’s made from the ovary cells of hamsters. The vaccine was developed by Anhui Zhifei Longcom Biopharmaceutical Co. and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. It was developed by a team led by George Gao, the head of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The Chinese Academy of Sciences said in a statement on Tuesday that the Chinese government had given the shot authorization for emergency use on March 10.

The post China’s Latest Vaccine Is Made from Hamster Ovary Cells. first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Political Role Under Fire in European AstraZeneca Vaccine Suspensions

March 17, 2021

(Reuters) – The decision by more than a dozen European countries to suspend AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot faced deepening scrutiny on Wednesday, amid concerns the step could undermine public confidence and delay efforts to beat the coronavirus pandemic. The role of Germany, and in particular Health Minister Jens Spahn, is in the spotlight after a chaotic round of telephone diplomacy at the start of the week ended with the EU’s biggest states agreeing to put AstraZeneca on hold.

The post Political Role Under Fire in European AstraZeneca Vaccine Suspensions first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Why Experts Think We’ll Need to Vaccinate Children Against COVID

March 16, 2021

(Medical Xpress) – While children are generally spared the worst of the disease, under-18s account for roughly a fifth of the US population of 330 million, and millions have so far been infected. “If we really want to get towards herd immunity, that’s going to require as much as 80 percent of our population to be vaccinated, and we really can’t do that without vaccinating children,” Lee Savio Beers, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) told AFP.

The post Why Experts Think We’ll Need to Vaccinate Children Against COVID first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Scientists Plan to Drop the 14-Day Embryo Rule, a Key Limit on Stem Cell Research

March 16, 2021

(MIT Technology Review) – For the last 40 years, this voluntary guideline has served as an important stop sign for embryonic research. It has provided a clear signal to the public that scientists wouldn’t grow babies in labs. To researchers, it gave clarity about what research they could pursue. Now, however, a key scientific body is ready to do away with the 14-day limit. The action would come at a time when scientists are making remarkable progress in growing embryonic cells and watching them develop. Researchers, for example, can now create embryo-like structures starting even from stem cells, and some hope to follow these synthetic embryo models well past the old two-week line.

The post Scientists Plan to Drop the 14-Day Embryo Rule, a Key Limit on Stem Cell Research first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Moderna Begins Testing Covid Vaccine in Babies and Children

March 16, 2021

(New York Times) – The drug company Moderna has begun a study that will test its Covid vaccine in children under 12, including babies as young as six months, the company said on Tuesday. The study is expected to enroll 6,750 healthy children in the United States and Canada. Moderna declined to say how many had already signed up or received the first shots, according to a spokeswoman, Colleen Hussey.

The post Moderna Begins Testing Covid Vaccine in Babies and Children first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Germany, France, Italy Suspend Use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 Vaccine

March 16, 2021

(Wall Street Journal) – Germany, Italy, France and Spain joined the ranks of European countries that have temporarily halted use of the Covid-19 shot made by AstraZeneca AZN 2.62% PLC over blood-clot concerns, dealing another blow to the continent’s sluggish vaccination rollout and threatening the credibility of the vaccine itself. A cascade of cautionary pauses that started last week picked up Monday. Denmark was the first to suspend the shots. Ireland, Norway, the Netherlands and Iceland have also said they would wait for Europe’s bloc-wide medicines regulator to investigate a small number of serious blood-clotting issues among people who had received the AstraZeneca shot.

The post Germany, France, Italy Suspend Use of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 Vaccine first appeared on Bioethics.com.

AstraZeneca to Seek US Authorization for COVID-19 Vaccine This Month or Early Next: Sources

March 16, 2021

(Medscape) – AstraZeneca Plc is preparing to file for U.S. emergency use authorization (EUA) for its COVID-19 vaccine later this month or early April after accumulating enough data to judge the inoculation’s efficacy, sources with knowledge of the ongoing clinical trial told Reuters on Friday. The British drugmaker completed enrollment in its trial of more than 32,000 volunteers in January and now has data on at least 150 cases of COVID-19, two sources familiar with the trial told Reuters.

The post AstraZeneca to Seek US Authorization for COVID-19 Vaccine This Month or Early Next: Sources first appeared on Bioethics.com.

New Data on Worldwide Mental Health Impact of COVID-19

March 16, 2021

(Medscape) – A new survey that assessed the mental health impact of COVID-19 across the globe shows high rates of trauma and clinical mood disorders related to the pandemic. The survey, carried out by Sapien Labs, was conducted in eight English-speaking countries and included 49,000 adults. It showed that 57% of respondents experienced some COVID-19-related adversity or trauma. Roughly one quarter showed clinical signs of or were at risk for a mood disorder, and only 40% described themselves as “succeeding or thriving.”

The post New Data on Worldwide Mental Health Impact of COVID-19 first appeared on Bioethics.com.

EMA Launches Review of Clot Risk with AstraZeneca COVID Vaccine

March 16, 2021

(Medscape) – The Pharmacovigilance Risk Assessment Committee (PRAC) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is investigating cases of thromboembolic events related to AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, but says the benefits currently still outweigh risks.  As of March 10, 30 cases of thromboembolic events had been reported among nearly 5 million people vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine in the European Economic Area, which includes European Union (EU) countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway.

The post EMA Launches Review of Clot Risk with AstraZeneca COVID Vaccine first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Top Portugal Court Nixes Euthanasia Law, Says It’s Imprecise

March 15, 2021

(Medical Xpress) – Portugal’s Constitutional Court on Monday blocked a law passed by parliament introducing euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide for terminally ill and gravely injured people. The court said in a statement that the law is imprecise in identifying the circumstances under which those procedures can occur. The judges rejected the law in a 7-5 ruling.

The post Top Portugal Court Nixes Euthanasia Law, Says It’s Imprecise first appeared on Bioethics.com.

The Curious Case of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 Vaccine

March 15, 2021

(STAT News) – AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine is facing a crisis of confidence, with one European country after another, as if seized by a fit of panic, temporarily suspending its use over concerns about reports of blood clots in people who received it. Denmark, Iceland, and Norway had earlier said they would temporarily stop using the two-dose vaccine. On Sunday, Ireland announced a similar decision. France, Germany, and Italy followed on Monday.

The post The Curious Case of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 Vaccine first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Germany, Italy, France Suspend AstraZeneca Shots Amid Safety Fears, Disrupting EU Vaccinations

March 15, 2021

(Reuters) – Germany, France and Italy said on Monday they would suspend AstraZeneca COVID-19 shots after several countries reported possible serious side-effects, but the World Health Organization. (WHO) said there was no proven link and people should not panic. Still, the decision by the European Union’s three biggest countries to put inoculations with the AstraZeneca shot on hold threw the already struggling vaccination campaign in the 27-nation EU into disarray.

The post Germany, Italy, France Suspend AstraZeneca Shots Amid Safety Fears, Disrupting EU Vaccinations first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Pages