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WHODDUNIT? IT’S THE VACCINE (THIS TIME).
Researchers believe they have a good idea how the polio outbreaks in the United States, United Kingdom, and Israel may have started. Oral polio vaccines. Specifically, the outbreaks stemmed from shedding live virus in fecal matter soon after vaccination. Per the Associated Press, “Scientists have long known about this extremely rare phenomenon. That is why some countries have switched to other polio vaccines. But these incidental infections from the oral formula are becoming more glaring as the world inches closer to eradication of the disease and the number of polio cases caused by the wild, or naturally circulating, virus plummets. Since 2017, there have been 396 cases of polio caused by the wild virus, versus more than 2,600 linked to the oral vaccine, according to figures from the World Health Organization and its partners.” Vaccines are not perfect and some vaccines much less perfect than others. Unfortunately, this will undoubtedly add fuel to the anti-vax fire that continues to burn uncontrolled. https://bit.ly/3AFhP03
SO MANY CHOICES.
Times have certainly changed since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic when there were only two or three vaccines available. Now, there are plenty of choices (in some countries, at least), so much so that it’s not clear which one a person should get come booster time. Thankfully, the good folks at Nature put together a rough guide to getting your booster. According to the article, “Several physicians told Nature that the decision should be a personal one, and people should factor in whether they’re at risk of serious disease, their community’s infection rate and how well they can shield themselves from SARS-CoV-2. “It’s a lot of individual decision-making,” says Meagan Deming, an infectious-disease specialist at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.” It also depends on how long the wait is for the Omicron-specific vaccine. https://go.nature.com/3PI9ZXI
BETTER LATE THAN NEVER.
There are big changes afoot in the United States when it comes to drug pricing. Per Reuters, “The U.S. government will soon begin hiring experts and collecting the data needed to launch direct negotiations over prescription drug prices for older and disabled people, a top Biden administration official told Reuters. President Joe Biden last week signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act, introducing new policies to tackle climate change, taxes and the rising cost of medicines.” The Act will for the first time allow the federal Medicare health plan for people age 65 or older and the disabled to negotiate prices on up to 20 drugs a year. It also sets limits on drug price increases for Medicare and caps out-of-pocket costs for those enrolled in the program. https://reut.rs/3dQ2eSk
ANYWHERE-BUT-HERE MAGICAL THINKING.
Science did a deep dive into what appears to be a pattern of scientific obfuscation by Beijing and Chinese scientists when it comes to determining the origins of Sars-CoV-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19. According to the article, “[Yet] Chinese researchers have published a flurry of papers supporting their government’s ‘anywhere-but-here’ position. Multiple studies report finding no signs of SARS-CoV-2–related viruses or antibodies in bats and other wild and captive animals in China. Others offer clues that the virus hitched a ride to China on imported food or its packaging. On the flip side, Chinese researchers are not pursuing—or at least not publishing—obvious efforts to trace the sources of the mammals sold at the Huanan market, which could yield clues to the virus’ origins.” Not. Really. Surprising. There, I said it. https://bit.ly/3T7T2J6
Thanks for reading. Let’s be careful out there.