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FRIDAY, June 11, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- If you're obese, you're far more likely to have long-lasting health issues if you get COVID-19 and survive, a new study warns.

You are more likely than patients who aren't obese to be hospitalized. You're more likely wind up in the intensive care unit, need to be put on a ventilator and suffer from long-haul COVID than patients ...

As the number of people fully immunized against COVID-19 rises into the hundreds of millions, immunologists and infectious disease experts now are pondering a new question in the unfolding pandemic.

Namely, how long will vaccine immunity last, and will people who've gotten the jab need booster shots to maintain their protection?

It's an important question, as waning immunity in the ...

U.S. regulators have extended the expiration date on millions of Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine doses by six weeks, the company announced Thursday.

A U.S. Food and Drug Administration review concluded the shots remain safe and effective for at least 4 1/2 months, J&J said in a statement. In February, the FDA first authorized the vaccine for up to three months when stored at no...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • June 11, 2021
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The United States plans to purchase 500 million doses of Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine that it will then donate to countries in need around the world.

The first 200 million doses will be sent out this year, with 300 million more shared in the first half of next year, three people familiar with the plan told the Washington Post on Wednesday.

COVAX, the World Health Organizati...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • June 10, 2021
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Very rarely, blood clots can develop after COVID-19 vaccination, and doctors in Canada describe a new test and treatment for the condition in a case study of three patients.

All three developed the condition called vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Two developed blood clots in their legs, and the third had blood clo...

The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines appear to be safe for people with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), a new study finds.

IBDs -- which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis -- are chronic conditions caused by an overreactive intestinal immune system, resulting in chronic diarrhea and other digestive symptoms.

In this study, researchers looked at 246 adult IBD pati...

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine may be linked with rare cases of low blood platelet levels, a new study suggests.

Platelets are blood cells that help prevent blood loss when vessels are damaged. Low platelet levels may cause no symptoms, but they can lead to an increased risk of bleeding or clotting.

Researchers analyzed data from 5.4 million people in Scotland, including 2.5 mill...

The highly contagious coronavirus variant that brought India to its knees this spring now accounts for 6 percent of new cases in the United States, the Biden administration said Tuesday.

Luckily, vaccines appear to work well against this version of the virus, which has spread like wildfire in Great Britain and threatens a full reopening of that country.

"It's essentially taking over...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • June 9, 2021
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While some people may be ready and eager to reconnect with family and friends at social gatherings post-pandemic, it's OK to feel apprehensive.

As restrictions loosen because infection rates are plummeting and more people are getting vaccinated, many people are experiencing feelings that they didn't expect -- such as anxiety about returning to social situations, according to a psych servi...

A real-world study shows that even when folks who get the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines do have 'breakthrough' infections, those illnesses are mild.

The study, from researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is among the first to show that people who get COVID-19 despite being fully or partially vaccinated are less likely to have serious illness or to infec...

New research suggests that many people who've undergone an organ transplant do not get an immune response from COVID-19 vaccines that's strong enough to ward off a "breakthrough" infection.

In a new review of 14 such cases, these breakthrough COVID-19 infections occurred in 10 recipients of new kidneys, two liver recipients, one lung recipient and one heart recipient, said a research team...

Plunging vaccination rates are imperiling President Joe Biden's goal of getting COVID shots into the arms of at least 70% of American adults by July 4, while public health experts worry that Southern states, where immunization numbers are the lowest, could see a spike in cases over the summer.

The United States is averaging fewer than 1 million shots per day, a decline of more than t...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • June 7, 2021
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U.S. teens are getting their COVID shots -- how does that change their daily lives?

Besides letting teens resume many of their normal activities, U.S. authorization of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for people as young as 12 is crucial to slowing the spread of the coronavirus, one expert says.

"We know that teenagers can not only get COVID-19 but they can also transmit the virus,"...

An initial 25 million doses of coronavirus vaccines will be sent out this month to a "wide range of countries" in Latin America, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and Africa, along with the Palestinian territories, war-ravaged Gaza and the West Bank, the White House announced Thursday.

The doses are the first of 80 million that President Joe Biden has promised to send overseas by the end of J...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • June 4, 2021
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In an effort to convince hesitant Americans to get their COVID-19 shots, President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced a host of new vaccination perks from a private-sector initiative.

"For all the progress we're making as a country, if you are unvaccinated, you are still at risk of getting seriously ill or dying or spreading disease to others, especially when Americans spend more time ...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • June 3, 2021
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Moderna plus Pfizer? J&J plus Moderna? There's a new clinical trial underway to assess the safety and effectiveness of mixing different types of booster shots in adults who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

"Although the vaccines currently authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration offer strong protection against COVID-19, we need to prepare for the possibility of ne...

Ethan Lindenberger knows what it's like when you have anti-vaxxer parents: At 18, he gained national notoriety when he sought vaccines in defiance of his mother's fervent wishes.

Now, the 20-year-old has some advice for teens facing a similar dilemma posed by the pandemic -- how to convince their anti-vaxxer parents to let them get the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Pfizer shot is now FDA--a...

The United States will soon be sending millions of coronavirus vaccine doses around the world, including Latin America, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Tuesday.

Still, exactly where those doses will go and when they will be delivered to countries that desperately need them was still unclear.

"Sometime in the next week to two weeks, we will be announcing the process by w...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • June 2, 2021
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TUESDAY, June 1, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- COVID survivors can relax when it comes to vaccination: A new study shows that getting immunized will not worsen any symptoms that linger long after infection, such as breathing difficulties, fatigue and insomnia.

The encouraging takeaway is based on a small analysis that looked at how 44 "long-haul" British COVID patients fared...

Americans flocked to beaches, parks and stadiums over Memorial Day weekend, as new coronavirus cases dropped to levels not seen since March 2020.

With more than 40% of the country fully vaccinated and the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases falling to about 12,000 per day, Americans showed they were eager to embrace post-pandemic life.

The Indianapolis 500 became the larges...

FRIDAY, May 28, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term data from northern Italy -- an area hit hard during the early days of the pandemic -- suggests that reinfection after recovery from COVID-19 infection is very rare, and immunity in former patients could be long-lasting.

"Natural immunity to SARS-CoV-2 appears to confer a protective effect for at least a year, which is s...

Many health experts hailed the recent approval of the Pfizer vaccine for those aged 12 to 15, but some parents have been hesitant to take their kids in for a shot.

"Parents naturally worry more about their children than they do about themselves -- I think that's parenting defined," said Dr. Hina Talib, a pediatrician and adolescent health specialist at the Children's Hospital at Montefior...

Seventy percent of American adults could be vaccinated by this summer, a new poll suggests.

The survey results bode well for the country and likely mean that President Joe Biden's goal of 70 percent vaccine coverage for adults by July 4 will be reached.

The Kaiser Family Foundation's latest survey found 62 percent of respondents said they had received at least one dose of a vac...

If more proof of the safety of vaccines is needed, a new study delivers fresh evidence that they carry few harms for children, adults and pregnant women.

"This in-depth analysis found no evidence of increased risk of serious adverse events following vaccines, apart from a few — previously known — associations," said Susanne Hempel, director of the Southern California Evidence Review C...

A widely used medicine for autoimmune diseases may lower people's immune response to the Pfizer mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, a new study suggests.

The drug, called methotrexate, is often given to patients with immune-mediated inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis/psoriatic arthritis.

"Our findings suggest that different strategies may need to be explored in p...

Half of America's adults are now fully vaccinated against the new coronavirus, U.S. officials announced Tuesday.

"This is a major milestone in our country's vaccination efforts," White House senior COVID-19 adviser Andy Slavitt said during a White House media briefing, noting that only 1% of Americans were vaccinated when President Joe Biden entered office in January.

Slavitt ...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • May 26, 2021
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Comedian and commentator Bill Maher recently made news of his own when he contracted COVID-19 despite being fully vaccinated.

But such breakthrough COVID-19 cases among the vaccinated are rare, according to new data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's COVID-19 Vaccine Breakthrough Case Investigations Team.

Nearly 10,300 SARS-CoV-2 infections have occurred in v...

Moderna's coronavirus vaccine fully protects children aged 12 to 17, the company announced Tuesday.

In a clinical trial that included more than 3,700 young volunteers, there were no cases of symptomatic COVID-19 infection in the two-thirds of participants who received both doses of the vaccine, which translates into an efficacy rate of 100%.

That's the same rate that was reported re...

U.S. officials on Monday warned all Americans not to visit Japan because of a spike in coronavirus cases there just two months before the Tokyo Olympics are set to start.

The travel advisories, one issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and one that came from the U.S. State Department, don't ban Americans from visiting Japan, but they could trigger higher trave...

A small number of teens and young adults have experienced heart inflammation after receiving mRNA COVID-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports.

The CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) said that it has received "relatively few" reports of the condition, known as myocarditis, among younger people who rece...

Fewer than 30,000 new coronavirus cases are now being reported daily in the United States, with deaths as low as they have been since last June.

Infection and death rates are dropping dramatically as nearly 50 percent of Americans have now received at least one vaccine shot, The New York Times reported.

"I think by June, we're probably going to be at one infection per ...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • May 24, 2021
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Leslie Maier lost her son, Chris, to meningococcal meningitis more than 15 years ago, but by telling his story she hopes to educate other parents about this rare but potentially deadly illness that a vaccine can prevent.

Soon after Chris passed away in 2005, Maier joined the board of the National Meningitis Foundation. Now she leads the foundation's new initiative, called the 16 Vaccine c...

Vaccines approved for use in the United States and Europe show protection against all of the more infectious coronavirus variants known to be circling the globe, the World Health Organization said Thursday.

"All COVID-19 virus variants can be controlled in the same way, with public health and social measures," European Regional Director Hans Kluge said during a media briefing, CB...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • May 21, 2021
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A small but significant percentage of Americans take medications that can hamper their immune system and its response to COVID-19 vaccines, researchers say.

Their analysis of data from more than 3 million adults under 65 with private insurance found that nearly 3% take immunosuppressive drugs. Those include chemotherapy medications and steroids such as prednisone.

Two-thirds took an...

Virginia Terrell knew she wouldn't be allowed visitors after she checked into the hospital with COVID-19 late last month, but being braced for that reality didn't make her week-and-a-half stay any easier.

"You get pretty lonely," said Terrell, 59, who was treated at WakeMed and Duke Health hospitals in Raleigh, N.C. "It's helpful knowing that person will be there that day to see you, even...

Fully vaccinated people will likely need a COVID-19 booster shot within about a year, the nation's top infectious diseases expert and Pfizer's CEO said Wednesday.

"We know that the vaccine durability of the efficacy lasts at least six months, and likely considerably more, but I think we will almost certainly require a booster sometime within a year or so after getting the primary," D...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • May 20, 2021
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In a finding that offers the first evidence that the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is indeed protecting women from cervical cancer, new research shows cases in the United States have slowly but steadily declined over the last decade and a half.

However, other HPV-related cancers like anal, rectal and oral tumors continue to increase, suggesting that regular cancer screening also play...

The fully vaccinated will soon be welcome to visit countries in the European Union, officials there announced Wednesday.

The new measures for tourists and other travelers could take effect as early as next week, The New York Times reported.

Visitors will be allowed into the bloc's 27 member states if they've been fully immunized with vaccines approved by the European Union...

President Joe Biden announced Monday that the United States will share another 20 millions doses of coronavirus vaccines with countries that are in dire need of shots.

The move comes on the heels of his promise to share 60 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine with the world by July 4. This latest batch of 20 million doses will include Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccine...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • May 18, 2021
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Many Americans felt relief and joy at the announcement last week that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear masks at many indoor and outdoor locations.

But don't be surprised if those good feelings come tinged with stress or worry: Mental health experts said in a HealthDay Now interview that the COVID-19 pandemic has left a lasting mark on people's psyches, and folks will be stru...

Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline announced Monday that their coronavirus vaccine candidate produced powerful responses in a preliminary trial that followed an earlier setback in the vaccine's development.

In selected data that has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal, the vaccine "triggered strong immune response amongst adults of all age groups with 95% to 100% seroconversion...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • May 17, 2021
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While millions of Americans rejoiced in the news on Thursday that the fully vaccinated can now skip masks in most indoor and outdoor settings, some worried that it will be nearly impossible to distinguish those who have gotten their shots from those who have not.

"I think the challenge is that it's impossible to determine who is vaccinated and who is not vaccinated," said Gov. David ...

  • Ernie Mundell and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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  • May 14, 2021
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A single dose of a COVID-19 vaccine isn't enough to develop adequate antibodies in kidney dialysis patients, Canadian researchers report.

"We advise that the second dose of the [Pfizer] vaccine be administered to patients receiving hemodialysis at the recommended 3-week time interval and that rigorous SARS-CoV-2 infection prevention and control measures be continued in hemodialysis units ...

Sixty-seven percent of inmates in California prisons who were offered a COVID-19 vaccine have accepted at least one dose, a Stanford University study found.

"This is one of the largest state prison systems in the country, and if it can achieve high vaccination coverage among its incarcerated population, then the federal and other state prisons systems can and should do the same for the mo...

Men now have one more compelling reason to get a COVID-19 vaccine — doctors suspect the new coronavirus could make it hard to perform in the bedroom.

How? Coronavirus infection is already known to damage blood vessels, and vessels that supply blood to the penis appear to be no exception.

Researchers armed with an electron microscope found coronavirus particles in penile tissu...

In a decision that clears the way for schools to reopen safely next fall, U.S. health officials on Wednesday gave their final stamp of approval for Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine to be offered to children aged 12 to 15.

The decision, which opens up millions more young Americans for immunization, came as COVID-19 cases and deaths in this country have already plummeted to their lowest le...

Mixing the various COVID-19 vaccines -- for example, getting a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine but having your second dose be the AstraZeneca shot -- seems to increase the risk of side effects, a new study from Britain suggests.

Preliminary data from a study of 850 U.K. patients aged 50 and older that compared mixed dosing schedules of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines found an increa...

Contrary to misleading reports spread on social media, a new study finds the COVID-19 vaccine does no damage to the placenta in pregnancy.

In a study of placentas from patients who were vaccinated for COVID-19 during pregnancy, researchers found no evidence of any harm.

"The placenta is like the black box in an airplane. If something goes wrong with a pregnancy, we usually see chan...

An ambitious new vaccine effort is taking aim at future coronavirus mutations that may threaten global health down the road.

So far, the "pan-coronavirus vaccine" has proven 100% effective in testing among monkeys, investigators reported.

"Large outbreaks of coronaviruses have occurred three times in the last 18 years," explained study author Kevin Saunders, director of researc...

In rare cases, people who receive the two-dose Moderna COVID-19 vaccine may experience a red, itchy patch of skin a few days later at the injection site, a new report finds.

They shouldn't panic: This "COVID arm" reaction, although annoying, was short-lived in all cases and was easily treated with topical steroid creams, according to a team of researchers at Yale University.

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