COVID mRNA Vaccines Safe, Effective for Babies and Toddlers, Says FDA Staff

Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccines proved safe and effective for kids under 5 years of age, paving the way for immunization of the only age group still awaiting access, according to FDA briefing documents released ahead of 2 days of advisory meetings. On Tuesday, the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) will meet…

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A massive new study confirms vaccinated people are still at risk of long COVID

Vaccines against COVID-19, while protective against hospitalization and death, may not be great at preventing long COVID after breakthrough infections, a new study finds. Epidemiologists associated with the US Department of Veteran Affairs looked at the medical records of 13 million individuals—mostly white male veterans aged 60 on average—including almost 34,000 who experienced breakthrough COVID-19…

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Over 50% of U.S. Population Has Contracted COVID-19, CDC Says

Half of the U.S. population has been infected with COVID-19, including 75% of children and adolescents, CDC officials announced on Tuesday. From December 2021 to February 2022, during the Omicron wave in the U.S., overall seroprevalence increased from 33.5% to 57.7%, reported Kristie Clarke, MD, of the CDC’s COVID-19 Emergency Response Team, and colleagues in…

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Teens Made Up Larger Share of Suicides Early in the Pandemic, Study Finds

Adolescent suicides made up a larger share of suicides at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic compared to prepandemic years, according to data from 14 states. In 2020, individuals ages 10-19 comprised a significantly higher proportion of total suicides versus the prepandemic period of 2015-2019 (6.5% vs 5.9%, respectively), a relative 10% increase, reported Marie-Laure…

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Under a new policy, federal agencies will have to weigh the climate costs of their actions

On April 19, the Biden administration restored a critical climate provision to a bedrock federal environmental law, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) which had been narrowed under former President Donald Trump. The standard will require new infrastructure projects to more broadly consider how they alter the environment, especially when they are planned near already…

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Scientific-Integrity Watchdog Slaps Lawsuit on Maker of Homeopathic Pills

A nonprofit scientific advocacy group sued Boiron last week for deceptively marketing its homeopathic products, legal documents show. The Center for Inquiry (CFI) filed the lawsuit Thursday against Boiron, a Pennsylvania-based manufacturer that sells homeopathic treatments, claiming that the company deceives customers about the nature and effectiveness of its products. The complaint alleges that Boiron…

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Droughts threaten one of the Southwest power grid’s biggest electricity generators

This article was originally featured on High Country News. Thirty-nine years ago, due to record-breaking snowfall in the Upper Colorado River Basin, Lake Powell rose substantially, catching river managers off-guard. By late June, the reservoir was nearly overflowing, forcing operators—for the first time ever—to rely on the spillways. Instead of giving relief, that precipitated a…

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Fourth Pfizer Dose Averts Most Severe COVID Outcomes in Older Adults

A fourth dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine provided modest protection against infection in older adults, as well as greater protection against more severe outcomes, real-world data from Israel showed. In a cohort of 182,122 matched pairs of adults ages 60 and up, relative vaccine effectiveness ranged from 52% against asymptomatic infection to 76% against…

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Bell’s Palsy, Other Rare Events Not Linked With COVID-19 Vaccines

Immune-mediated neurologic events did not increase after COVID-19 vaccination, electronic health record data in the U.K. and Spain showed. No safety signal was found between COVID-19 vaccines and Bell’s palsy, encephalomyelitis, Guillain-Barré syndrome, or transverse myelitis, reported Daniel Prieto-Alhambra, MD, PhD, of the University of Oxford in England, and co-authors. However, rates of Bell’s palsy,…

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COVID Antivirals Appear to Hold Up Against BA.2

While two monoclonal antibody combinations showed neutralizing activity against the Omicron subvariant BA.2, both required substantially higher concentrations to produce a response in patients with COVID-19, Japanese researchers said, while antivirals appeared to be less affected. Casirivimab/imdevimab (REGEN-COV) and tixagevimab/cilgavimab (Evusheld) inhibited BA.2, but the titer of monoclonal antibodies “required for a 50% reduction in…

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