Pfizer vaccine nears authorization for use

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Governor Cuomo bans indoor dining in New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday announced he was banning dining out in New York City from Monday, as hospitalization and infection rates continue to rise. Cuomo said eating inside was “too risky” as the city faces an increase in COVID-19 cases.

He did not say when indoor dining would resume, but take out, deliveries and alfresco dining will remain open.

Up to 300,000 Covid cases worldwide can be traced back to Boston conference

A conference held in Boston in February was linked to between 205,000 and 300,000 cases of Covid-19 worldwide, according to a new study published Thursday in the journal Science.

The conference, in which nearly 200 people gathered for a Biogen company meeting, was at the heart of local outbreaks in Massachusetts at the start of the pandemic and has become one of the most prominent examples of a mass-market event. But in the new study, the researchers show how far the virus was able to spread from conference attendees.

Through genetic analyzes, scientists found that about 1.6% of all cases of Covid-19 in the United States could be traced to the Biogen conference. In Florida alone, researchers estimated that more than 71,000 cases had genetic links to the Boston super-spreader event.

There is no official definition of a mass event, but they are generally characterized as incidents that result in large clusters of infection. Other examples include a cluster of more than 180 cases in June that were traced to a restaurant and bar in East Lansing, Michigan. And an indoor wedding in Maine in August is believed to have resulted in at least 176 coronavirus cases and seven deaths.

Louisville Zoo snow leopard tests positive for Covid

A 5-year-old female snow leopard at the Louisville Zoo in Kentucky has tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19 in humans.

This is the first confirmed case of SARS-CoV-2 infection in a snow leopard, the zoo said.

The zoo said in a press release on Friday that it was awaiting the results of its two male snow leopards – Kimti and Meru.

All of the cats have “very mild symptoms,” the statement said, adding that the zoo “continues to monitor their health closely.”

The snow leopards all started showing minor respiratory symptoms, including a dry cough or occasional wheezing, within the past two weeks.

NeeCee reportedly contracted the infection from an asymptomatic staff member “despite the zoo’s precautions,” the statement said.

All three cats are expected to recover and no other animal in the zoo is showing symptoms.

The zoo said the risk of infected animals, including the snow leopard, transmitting the virus to humans is “considered low” because Covid-19 “remains primarily a disease transmitted from person to person.”

Long-term care facilities expect coronavirus vaccine in less than two weeks

Walgreens and CVS are gearing up for the coronavirus vaccine rollout, which could begin in less than two weeks.

Once the vaccine is approved for emergency use authorization and administered to healthcare workers and first responders, Walgreens is expected to distribute the vaccine to vulnerable long-term care facilities – and this could start as early as December 21. , Walgreens Chief Medical Officer Kevin Ban said on Friday TODAY.

“We are working very hard to make sure that the vaccine is distributed and administered safely, but also that people have the facts to make a decision so that they decide to be vaccinated,” Ban said.

The federal government has contracted with Walgreens and CVS to immunize millions of residents in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. While healthcare workers and nursing home residents will receive the vaccine first, initial supplies will not cover the 21 million healthcare workers and 3 million long-term care residents across the country.

When can we expect to see Clorox wipes return to the shelves?

Consumers looking for Clorox wipes to sanitize counters and surfaces for coronavirus will face challenges until at least “mid-2021,” company chief executive Eric Reynolds told NBC News.

The new date marks the third time the company has pushed back the availability of wipes, which were one of the first things to disappear from stores as the pandemic took hold, along with toilet paper and paper towels. .

In May, the company said supplies would be ready this summer. In August, an executive said it would take at least until the end of 2020. Yet at the end of the year, wipes are still hard to find on shelves – or to get a premium through retailers in. line.

Although Clorox has increased its capacity, manufacturing and shipping 1 million containers every day and hiring more than 2,000 employees worldwide, that is still not enough to meet demand which has jumped 500% since the start of the pandemic.

The biggest delay is the fabric itself, made from non-woven polypropylene, a plastic also used in face masks, which is sourced from specialist suppliers.

Read the story here.

How to Get a Covid Vaccine: Everything We Know, From Cost to Effectiveness

Public health experts are bracing for what they expect to be a dark and deadly winter. But as the vaccines become available, they will eventually give way to a more hopeful spring.

As the United States stands on the brink of potentially taming the virus, NBC News spoke with more than half a dozen experts to answer the most pressing questions about Covid-19 vaccines and the coming months.

As part of the effort, NBC News also compiled data on the number of Americans living near pharmacies who prepare to distribute vaccines – and places where it might be difficult to get one.

Read the full story here.

Russian scientists denounce lack of public data on country’s Covid vaccine

A group of scientists from leading Russian universities has issued an open letter denouncing the lack of publicly available data on the safety and efficacy of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine.

Calling the process “completely unacceptable” and “ridiculous”, the letter titled “Behind the Hype: Design Flaws, Poor Execution and Questionable Publication” calls on the British medical science journal The Lancet to withdraw an article published by the Russian Gamaleya Institute according to which the Russian vaccine was safe and effective.

“This totally unacceptable, if not ridiculous, political decision to create competition between vaccines is a violation of the most important testing standards,” say the authors of the letter.

In the Lancet letter, the Gamaleya Institute said their phase II trials showed the vaccine was safe and effective.

In Russia, these claims have not raised any significant challenge from government officials or state media. Shortly after the publication of these early results in The Lancet, Russia registered the vaccine with regulators and began distributing it beyond phase III trials.

The letter was published last month but was first reported in Russian media on Thursday. One of the authors of the letter is Vasily Vlasov, a virologist at the Higher School of Economics and a former adviser to world health organizations.

The authors of the letter say they requested the raw research data that Gamaleya used in their article, so that their claims could be examined, but “for over two months they have not responded to our request.”

“We see this as a flagrant violation of the ethical standards of the publication,” they added.

Live events industry lost $ 30 billion in 2020, post says

Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the concert trade publication Pollstar estimates the total revenue lost for the live events industry in 2020 at over $ 30 billion.

Pollstar said on Friday that the live events industry should have hit a record $ 12.2 billion this year, but instead suffered $ 9.7 billion in losses.

In March, hundreds of artists announced that their current or upcoming tours would have to be postponed or canceled due to the pandemic. While a small number of artists have performed drive-through concerts and others have hosted digital concerts, the majority of artists have not performed live in 2020.

Pollstar said the projected $ 30 billion loss figure includes “unreported events, ancillary income including sponsorships, ticketing, concessions, merchandise, transportation, restaurants, hotels and other economic activities related to live events.

Four months that will decide the future

How could a microscopic virus bring the richest and most powerful country in the world to its knees?

Americans might have expected their country to mobilize its enormous financial and intellectual resources, and technological power, to fend off Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Instead, he was paralyzed for almost a year and is now heading into a winter that one of his top doctors says could be the most serious public health crisis in history. Ten months after the first death from Covid-19 in the United States, the country is heading towards an appalling step: 300,000 deaths out of more than 15 million confirmed cases.

Yes, the vaccines are coming and the first vaccinations can start next week. But their cumulative effect on the nation’s health won’t be felt until 2021. If Americans don’t change their behavior quickly, experts warn, the weeks and months to come will be filled with more death and despair, d crowded hospitals and unemployment queues, and increased political polarization and alienation.

“We have to act like everyone we come in contact with has Covid, and we are going to have to make the kind of sacrifices beyond what we were asked to do in March and April,” said Dr Kavita. Patel, primary care physician. in Washington who is a researcher at the Brookings Institution.

Read the full story here.

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