Bioethics.com

Subscribe to Bioethics.com feed
Your global information source on bioethics news, issues, & events
Updated: 1 hour 35 min ago

COVID-19 Data Miss a Lot of People–Raising Questions

March 15, 2021

(NPR) – What does it take to make good data? That’s an important question, especially after a year of watching COVID-19 statistics being lobbed around by the minute. We need good data to see how this year has gone and to know what action to take in the future.  Unfortunately, says Dr. Paul Spiegel of Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Humanitarian Health, in lower-income countries and among certain at-risk populations, reliable data aren’t always available. So when people cite statistics, much of the world is left out or assigned inaccurate data. 

The post COVID-19 Data Miss a Lot of People–Raising Questions first appeared on Bioethics.com.

New Ebola Outbreak Likely Sparked by a Person Infected 5 Years Ago

March 15, 2021

(Science) – An Ebola outbreak in Guinea that has so far sickened at least 18 people and killed nine has stirred difficult memories of the devastating epidemic that struck the West African country between 2013 and 2016, along with neighboring Liberia and Sierra Leone, leaving more than 11,000 people dead. But it may not just be the trauma that has persisted. The virus causing the new outbreak barely differs from the strain seen 5 to 6 years ago, genomic analyses by three independent research groups have shown, suggesting the virus lay dormant in a survivor of the epidemic all that time.

The post New Ebola Outbreak Likely Sparked by a Person Infected 5 Years Ago first appeared on Bioethics.com.

China Asks Visa Applicants to Get Inoculated with Chinese-Made Vaccines.

March 15, 2021

(New York Times) – China raised the stakes in the international vaccine competition on Saturday, saying that foreigners wishing to enter the Chinese mainland from Hong Kong will face fewer paperwork requirements if they are inoculated with Chinese-made coronavirus vaccines. The policy announcement, which covers foreigners applying for visas in the Chinese territory, comes a day after the United States, India, Japan and Australia announced plans to provide vaccines more widely to other countries. The four so-called Quad powers promised to help finance the production in India of at least a billion doses of coronavirus vaccine by the end of next year.

The post China Asks Visa Applicants to Get Inoculated with Chinese-Made Vaccines. first appeared on Bioethics.com.

South Africa’s Drop in Covid-19 Cases Adds to Questions About Waves of Infections

March 15, 2021

(Wall Street Journal) – Then something unexpected happened: Covid-19 cases started dropping. Since mid-January, confirmed Covid-19 infections in South Africa have fallen from a record of nearly 22,000 a day to around 1,000, without a large-scale vaccination campaign or stringent lockdown. Fewer than 5% of Covid-19 tests are finding traces of the virus, a sign that health agencies are missing fewer cases. The government has lifted most of its remaining virus restrictions for the country of 60 million people. The cause of this steep decline in cases remains somewhat of a mystery. 

The post South Africa’s Drop in Covid-19 Cases Adds to Questions About Waves of Infections first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Pfizer/BioNTech Say Data Suggests Vaccine 94% Effective in Preventing Asymptomatic Infection

March 15, 2021

(Medscape) – Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE said on Thursday that real-world data from Israel suggests their COVID-19 vaccine is 94% effective in preventing asymptomatic infections, meaning it could significantly reduce transmission. The companies also said the latest analysis of the Israeli data shows the vaccine was 97% effective in preventing symptomatic disease, severe disease and death. That is basically in line with the 95% efficacy Pfizer and BioNTech reported from the vaccine’s late-stage clinical trial in December.

The post Pfizer/BioNTech Say Data Suggests Vaccine 94% Effective in Preventing Asymptomatic Infection first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Global Rise in Childhood Mental Health Issues Amid Pandemic

March 12, 2021

(Associated Press) – For doctors who treat them, the pandemic’s impact on the mental health of children is increasingly alarming. The Paris pediatric hospital caring for Pablo has seen a doubling in the number of children and young teenagers requiring treatment after attempted suicides since September. Doctors elsewhere report similar surges, with children — some as young as 8 — deliberately running into traffic, overdosing on pills and otherwise self-harming. In Japan, child and adolescent suicides hit record levels in 2020, according to the Education Ministry.

The post Global Rise in Childhood Mental Health Issues Amid Pandemic first appeared on Bioethics.com.

EU Regulator Investigates COVID Vaccines for Link to Bleeding Disorder

March 12, 2021

(Reuters) – The European Union’s drugs regulator is investigating whether any of the three COVID-19 vaccines approved in the bloc might be linked to a blood clotting deficiency that can cause internal bleeding. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said on Friday that several cases of immune thrombocytopenia, a lack of platelets in the blood that can lead to bleeding and bruising, had been reported under its vaccine safety monitoring process.

The post EU Regulator Investigates COVID Vaccines for Link to Bleeding Disorder first appeared on Bioethics.com.

COVID-19 Brings a New Dawn for Messenger RNA Vaccine

March 12, 2021

(Axios) – The blockbuster success of messenger RNA vaccines in the COVID-19 pandemic could give a boost to efforts to use the technology to tackle cancers, malaria and other intractable illnesses. Why it matters: There’s a pressing need for new ways to prevent infection from viruses like HIV and influenza that conventional vaccines have struggled to address and to treat rare genetic diseases and cancers that kill millions each year. Vaccines and therapies based on messenger RNA (mRNA) hold promise as a solution, but the technology is still in its infancy. 

The post COVID-19 Brings a New Dawn for Messenger RNA Vaccine first appeared on Bioethics.com.

A Genetic Curse, a Scared Mom, and the Quest to ‘Fix’ Embryos

March 12, 2021

(Wired) – Mitochondrial diseases represent a rare but devastating constellation of illnesses that typically derive from a single misplaced letter of DNA, usually in the mitochondria but sometimes in the cell nucleus. Almost from the moment of birth, many children with mitochondrial disease (at least 1,000 each year in the US) struggle to move, breathe, or develop normally. There are a number of mitochondrial diseases, but among the most feared is Leigh’s syndrome. Infants born with Leigh’s rarely survive to their second birthday. As Messer scoured the internet for any tidbit of information that might help Ari, she thought, “Please don’t be this one.”

The post A Genetic Curse, a Scared Mom, and the Quest to ‘Fix’ Embryos first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Novavax’s Covid-19 Vaccine Effective in U.K. Study

March 12, 2021

(Wall Street Journal) – Novavax Inc. NVAX +6.04% released final results from clinical studies indicating its Covid-19 vaccine was effective against the coronavirus and a variant that emerged in the U.K., but less so against another variant in South Africa. The final data, reported Thursday by the Gaithersburg, Md., company, was generally consistent with interim results the company released from the same studies in late January. 

The post Novavax’s Covid-19 Vaccine Effective in U.K. Study first appeared on Bioethics.com.

WHO Says Its Advisory Committee Looking at AstraZeneca Vaccine Issues

March 12, 2021

(Reuters) – A World Health Organization expert advisory committee is currently looking at AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine after some countries paused distribution of it, but there is no reason not to use it, a spokeswoman said on Friday. Health authorities in several countries including Denmark, Norway, Iceland have suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s vaccine following reports of the formation of blood clots in some people who have been vaccinated.

The post WHO Says Its Advisory Committee Looking at AstraZeneca Vaccine Issues first appeared on Bioethics.com.

First Independent Report into Xinjiang Genocide Allegations Claims Evidence of Beijing’s ‘Intent to Destroy’ Uyghur People

March 11, 2021

(CNN) – The Chinese government’s alleged actions in Xinjiang have violated every single provision in the United Nations’ Genocide Convention, according to an independent report by more than 50 global experts in international law, genocide and the China region. The report, released Tuesday by the Newlines Institute for Strategy and Policy think tank in Washington DC, claimed the Chinese government “bears state responsibility for an ongoing genocide against the Uyghur in breach of the (UN) Genocide Convention.”

The post First Independent Report into Xinjiang Genocide Allegations Claims Evidence of Beijing’s ‘Intent to Destroy’ Uyghur People first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Special Report: Insider Alleges Eli Lilly Blocked Her Efforts to Sound Alarms About U.S. Drug Factory

March 11, 2021

(Reuters) – Mula was a top human resources officer at what was one of America’s largest biotech plants. Over the years, she had been investigating employee complaints about manufacturing problems related to multiple drugs, including the company’s blockbuster diabetes medication, Trulicity, according to internal company documents and email correspondence reviewed by Reuters.

The post Special Report: Insider Alleges Eli Lilly Blocked Her Efforts to Sound Alarms About U.S. Drug Factory first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Denmark, Norway and Iceland Suspend AstraZeneca COVID Shots After Blood Clot Reports

March 11, 2021

(Reuters) – Health authorities in Denmark, Norway and Iceland on Thursday suspended the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine following reports of the formation of blood clots in some people who had been vaccinated. Austria earlier stopped using a batch of AstraZeneca shots while investigating a death from coagulation disorders and an illness from a pulmonary embolism. Still, the European medicine regulator EMA said the vaccine’s benefits outweighed its risks and could continue to be administered.

The post Denmark, Norway and Iceland Suspend AstraZeneca COVID Shots After Blood Clot Reports first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Parents Are Demanding Surrogates Who Won’t Get the COVID Vaccine

March 11, 2021

(Vice) – As the availability of the coronavirus vaccines expands across the U.S., demand is booming among would-be parents for surrogates who have not yet gotten the COVID-19 vaccine and are willing to stay unvaccinated for nine months. Surrogacy agencies have been fielding so many requests for unvaccinated women that several have started specifically matching vaccine-averse prospective parents with surrogates who are willing to stay unvaccinated. But for those with pregnancies already underway, the decision about whether to vaccinate is forcing surrogates and would-be parents into tough conversations. Pregnant people face higher risks of severe illness if they catch COVID-19—which could lead them to give birth too early.

The post Parents Are Demanding Surrogates Who Won’t Get the COVID Vaccine first appeared on Bioethics.com.

New Analysis Seeks to Guide Educators on Reopening Schools

March 11, 2021

(Wall Street Journal) – A year after a new coronavirus prompted an abrupt wave of school closures, the science is becoming clearer about how schools can reopen safely and what role they play in further spread. A new analysis of more than 130 studies related to school reopening and safety across the world concludes that Covid-19 transmission is limited in schools with precautions in place, reopening doesn’t lead to increased cases in a community, and closing classrooms “should be a last resort.”

The post New Analysis Seeks to Guide Educators on Reopening Schools first appeared on Bioethics.com.

License-Plate Scans Aid Crime-Solving but Spur Little Privacy Debate

March 11, 2021

(Wall Street Journal) – License-plate readers are feeding immense databases with details on Americans’ driving habits, helping solve crimes despite little public awareness about the breadth of the data collected or how it is used. The vast network of automated license-plate scanners, which has been growing for decades, makes it nearly impossible to drive anywhere in the U.S. without being observed. The scanners first appeared on telephone poles and police cars, then on toll plazas and bridges, and in parking lots. Today, scanners are routinely placed on tow trucks and municipal garbage trucks, gathering images of plates on cars they pass while making their rounds.

The post License-Plate Scans Aid Crime-Solving but Spur Little Privacy Debate first appeared on Bioethics.com.

‘Reassuring’ Data on COVID-19 Vaccines in Pregnancy

March 11, 2021

(Medscape) – Pregnant women can safely get vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for COVID-19, surveillance data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest. More than 30,000 women who received these vaccines have reported pregnancies through the CDC’s V-Safe voluntary reporting system, and their rates of complications are not significantly different from those of unvaccinated pregnant women, said Tom Shimabukuro, MD, MPH, MBA, deputy director of the CDC Immunization Safety Office.

The post ‘Reassuring’ Data on COVID-19 Vaccines in Pregnancy first appeared on Bioethics.com.

MIS-C Follow-Up Proves Challenging Across Pediatric Hospitals

March 11, 2021

(Medscape) – The discovery of any novel disease or condition means a steep learning curve as physicians must develop protocols for diagnosis, management, and follow-up on the fly in the midst of admitting and treating patients. Medical society task forces and committees often release interim guidance during the learning process, but each institution ultimately has to determine what works for them based on their resources, clinical experience, and patient population. But when the novel condition demands the involvement of multiple different specialties, the challenge of management grows even more complex — as does follow-up after patients are discharged. Such has been the story with multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a complication of COVID-19 that shares some features with Kawasaki disease.

The post MIS-C Follow-Up Proves Challenging Across Pediatric Hospitals first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Health Officials Debate Vaccine Priority for People with Pre-Existing Conditions

March 10, 2021

(Axios) – Most states are making people with underlying conditions eligible for coronavirus vaccines, but which conditions differ by state and sometimes even by county, the New York Times reports.  The big picture: With health care workers and the oldest Americans increasingly vaccinated, public health officials are grappling with who should be next in line — a decision that could have life-or-death consequences.

The post Health Officials Debate Vaccine Priority for People with Pre-Existing Conditions first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Pages