Bioethics.com

Subscribe to Bioethics.com feed
Your global information source on bioethics news, issues, & events
Updated: 22 min 36 sec ago

AstraZeneca Shot Found to Be Protective Against Coronavirus Variant First Seen in U.K.

February 5, 2021

(New York Times) – The Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford protected people against a new, more contagious coronavirus variant at similar levels to the protection it offered against other lineages of the virus, Oxford researchers said in a paper released on Friday. The paper, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, said that the vaccine had 74.6 percent efficacy against the new variant, which was first detected in Britain and is known as B.1.1.7. That was similar to, though potentially slightly lower than, its efficacy against other lineages of the virus.

The post AstraZeneca Shot Found to Be Protective Against Coronavirus Variant First Seen in U.K. first appeared on Bioethics.com.

The COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Is Going to Create a Massive Waste Management Problem

February 5, 2021

(Fast Company) – An unintended consequence of COVID-19 safety procedures has been a surge in trash, from face masks to gloves to, now, the discarded syringes and needles from COVID-19 vaccines. If laid end to end, the needles from the number of vaccine doses needed to inoculate the entire U.S. population—about 660 million—would create enough waste to wrap around the Earth 1.8 times, according to OnSite Waste Technologies, a medical waste disposal company. It’s certainly worthwhile trash to create, but with the vaccine rollout in full effect, and President Joe Biden’s goal to deliver 100 million vaccinations in his first 100 days underway, companies that manage medical waste are having to handle this uptick.

The post The COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Is Going to Create a Massive Waste Management Problem first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Israel Says Vaccine Has Almost Halved COVID Cases Among Over-60s

February 5, 2021

(Reuters) – Vaccination of Israelis over the age of 60 has reduced the rate of that age group getting COVID-19 by almost half and the number of serious cases in that cohort by more than a quarter in the last two weeks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday. Israel began its vaccination program on Dec. 19 and has so far reached 35% of the 9 million population, the government says.

The post Israel Says Vaccine Has Almost Halved COVID Cases Among Over-60s first appeared on Bioethics.com.

States Shift COVID Vaccine from Long-Term Care to General Public

February 5, 2021

(Medscape) – Some states have started taking COVID-19 vaccine from allocations meant for long-term care facilities and offering it to the general public in order to more quickly vaccinate more residents, according to state health officials. The federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long Term Care — which contracted with CVS, Walgreens, and Managed Health Associates to vaccinate nursing home residents and staff — based its allocation of vaccine doses on the number of beds, not the actual census, which resulted in an “overallocation,” said Michael Fraser, CEO, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), in a call with reporters on Thursday.

The post States Shift COVID Vaccine from Long-Term Care to General Public first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Could Mixing COVID Vaccines Boost Immune Response

February 4, 2021

(Nature) – Researchers in the United Kingdom have launched a study that will mix and match two COVID-19 vaccines in a bid to ease the daunting logistics of immunizing millions of people — and potentially boost immune responses in the process. Most coronavirus vaccines are given as two injections: an initial ‘prime’ dose followed by a ‘boost’ to stimulate the immune system’s memory cells and amplify the immune response. The clinical trial will test participants’ immune responses to receiving one shot of a coronavirus vaccine produced by Oxford and drug firm AstraZeneca — which uses a harmless virus to carry a key coronavirus gene into cells — and one shot of the vaccine produced by drug company Pfizer, which uses RNA instructions to trigger an immune response.

The post Could Mixing COVID Vaccines Boost Immune Response first appeared on Bioethics.com.

‘Cruel’ Digital Race for Vaccines Leaves Many Seniors Behind

February 4, 2021

(Kaiser Health News) – With millions of older Americans eligible for covid-19 vaccines and limited supplies, many continue to describe a frantic and frustrating search to secure a shot, beset by uncertainty and difficulty.  The efforts to vaccinate people 65 and older have strained under the enormous demand that has overwhelmed cumbersome, inconsistent scheduling systems. The struggle represents a shift from the first wave of vaccinations — health care workers in health care settings — which went comparatively smoothly. Now, in most places, elderly people are pitted against one another, competing on an unstable technological playing field for limited shots.

The post ‘Cruel’ Digital Race for Vaccines Leaves Many Seniors Behind first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Thanks to Physical Distancing, Masks, Doctors See Fewer Cases of Polio-Like Condition in Children

February 4, 2021

(STAT News) – Many of the respiratory viruses that normally spike in the United States in the fall and winter are circulating at notably low levels right now — a sunnier side effect of the precautions and policies meant to stem the spread of the coronavirus. The list of scarcer pathogens includes EV-D68. It’s an enterovirus and one of many bugs that causes colds, but is also believed to be the main driver of a rare, polio-like syndrome that develops in some children called acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM. Children with the condition have muscle weakness, paralysis, and, sometimes, breathing troubles.

The post Thanks to Physical Distancing, Masks, Doctors See Fewer Cases of Polio-Like Condition in Children first appeared on Bioethics.com.

With a Seductive Number, AstraZeneca Study Fueled Hopes That Eclipsed Its Data

February 4, 2021

(STAT News) – Media reports seized on a reference in the paper from Oxford researchers that a single dose of the vaccine cut positive test results by 67%, pointing to it as the first evidence that a vaccine could prevent transmission of the virus. But the paper, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, does not prove or even claim that — although it hints at the possibility.

The post With a Seductive Number, AstraZeneca Study Fueled Hopes That Eclipsed Its Data first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Beijing 2022: Human Rights Groups Call for Winter Olympic Boycott

February 4, 2021

(BBC) – A senior member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has rejected criticism of its decision to host next year’s Winter Games in China. More than 180 organisations have called on governments to boycott Beijing 2022 because of reported human rights abuses against ethnic minorities. The World Uyghur Congress described the event as “a genocide Olympics”. China’s treatment of its own citizens has been the subject of mounting criticism across the world.

The post Beijing 2022: Human Rights Groups Call for Winter Olympic Boycott first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Exclusive: Indigenous Americans Dying from Covid at Twice the Rate of White Americans

February 4, 2021

(The Guardian) – Covid is killing Native Americans at a faster rate than any other community in the United States, shocking new figures reveal. American Indians and Alaskan Natives are dying at almost twice the rate of white Americans, according to analysis by APM Research Lab shared exclusively with the Guardian. Nationwide one in every 475 Native Americans has died from Covid since the start of the pandemic, compared with one in every 825 white Americans and one in every 645 Black Americans.

The post Exclusive: Indigenous Americans Dying from Covid at Twice the Rate of White Americans first appeared on Bioethics.com.

New COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Data Could Shift Clinical Practice

February 4, 2021

(Medscape) – New data from phase 3 trials of monoclonal antibodies for patients with recent COVID-19 diagnoses, or at high risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection, could move the needle on clinician acceptance of the treatments, experts say. Two monoclonal antibody formulations, Eli Lilly’s bamlanivimab and Regeneron’s cocktail of two antibodies, casirivimab and imdevimab, received emergency use authorizations from the US Food and Drug Administration in November to treat mild to moderate COVID-19 in outpatients. But current recommendations from the Infectious Diseases Society of America’s COVID-19 treatment and guideline panel, based on data from a phase 2 trial of bamlanivimab, suggest against the routine use of the drug.

The post New COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Data Could Shift Clinical Practice first appeared on Bioethics.com.

COVID-19: Antibodies ‘Remain for at Least 6 Months’

February 4, 2021

(Medscape) – A study has found that 99% of people who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 retained antibodies to the virus for 3 months after infection. Researchers at UK Biobank found that 87.8% remained seropositive for the full 6 months that the study lasted. The discovery indicated that the antibodies produced following natural infection may provide a degree of protection for most people, scientists said.

The post COVID-19: Antibodies ‘Remain for at Least 6 Months’ first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Physicians Face Potential Peril with Leftover Vaccine Doses

February 4, 2021

(Medscape) – A Texas judge last week dismissed a theft charge against an emergency medicine physician recently fired from his public health job after he gave leftover COVID-19 vaccine doses to people he knew ? highlighting the difficult position many clinicians find themselves in when there are unused doses but no one is on hand to administer them to and the clock is ticking.

The post Physicians Face Potential Peril with Leftover Vaccine Doses first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Racing the Virus: Why Tweaking the Vaccines Won’t Be Simple

February 4, 2021

(Medscape) – After developing and rolling out COVID-19 vaccines at record speed, drugmakers are already facing variants of the rapidly-evolving coronavirus that may render them ineffective, a challenge that will require months of research and a massive financial investment, according to disease experts. Executives from Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc and partner BioNTech SE are considering new versions of their vaccines to respond to the most concerning variants identified so far. That is just one piece of the work needed to stay ahead of the virus, nearly a dozen experts told Reuters.

The post Racing the Virus: Why Tweaking the Vaccines Won’t Be Simple first appeared on Bioethics.com.

In the Vaccine Scramble, Cancer Patients Are Left Behind

February 3, 2021

(PBS) – Facing conflicting guidance and logistical chaos, many cancer patients are struggling to navigate the bumpy rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination campaign. Ideally, cancer patients who take immunosuppressant medications should receive vaccinations under the care of a doctor, or in a cancer center, where they can be closely monitored and encounter fewer people than they would at a mass distribution site. But the limited availability of the vaccine, plus the havoc and confusion surrounding the rollout, leaves patients grasping for answers.

The post In the Vaccine Scramble, Cancer Patients Are Left Behind first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Scientists Call for Fully Open Sharing of Coronavirus Genome Data

February 3, 2021

(Nature) – Researchers have posted huge numbers of SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences online since January 2020. The most popular data-sharing platform, called GISAID, now hosts more than 450,000 viral genomes; Soumya Swaminathan, the chief scientist at the World Health Organisation (WHO), has called it a ‘game changer’ in the pandemic. But it doesn’t allow sequences to be reshared publicly, which is hampering efforts to understand the coronavirus and the rapid rise of new variants, argues Rolf Apweiler, co-director of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) near Cambridge, UK, which hosts its own large genome database that includes SARS-CoV-2 sequences.

The post Scientists Call for Fully Open Sharing of Coronavirus Genome Data first appeared on Bioethics.com.

New Vaccine Puzzle: Who Should Get Which Shot?

February 3, 2021

(New York Times) – First came the good news. The European Union authorized a third vaccine. Then, the bad news. Regulators in country after country suggested restricting it to younger people until more testing was done. The decisions marked the start of a delicate new phase of vaccination drives, one in which a growing menu of coronavirus vaccines was accompanied by contentious debates about who should be given which shots.

The post New Vaccine Puzzle: Who Should Get Which Shot? first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Study Finds COVID-19 Vaccine May Reduce Virus Transmission

February 3, 2021

(Associated Press) – AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine does more than prevent people from falling seriously ill — it appears to reduce transmission of the virus and offers strong protection for three months on just a single dose, researchers said Wednesday in an encouraging turn in the campaign to suppress the outbreak.

The post Study Finds COVID-19 Vaccine May Reduce Virus Transmission first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Exclusive: Merck Anti-Baldness Drug Propecia Has Long Trial of Suicide Reports, Records Show

February 3, 2021

(Reuters) – Newly unsealed court documents and other records show that Merck & Co and U.S. regulators knew about reports of suicidal behavior in men taking the company’s anti-baldness treatment Propecia when they decided not to warn consumers of those potential risks in a 2011 update of the popular drug’s label.

The post Exclusive: Merck Anti-Baldness Drug Propecia Has Long Trial of Suicide Reports, Records Show first appeared on Bioethics.com.

China’s Push to Control Americans’ Health Care Future

February 3, 2021

(CBS News) – For all the polarization that grips Washington, here’s a source of rare consensus: the emerging threat of China’s push to acquire our health care data, including the DNA of American citizens. U.S. officials tell us the communist regime’s aggressive collection of our most personal information presents a danger both to national security and our economy.

The post China’s Push to Control Americans’ Health Care Future first appeared on Bioethics.com.

Pages