Britain authorises temporary use of flu vaccine to help meet demand

By Reuters Staff

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain has authorised the temporary use of the Flublok flu vaccine and ordered millions of doses as it seeks to give jabs to more people during the coronavirus pandemic.

A surge in demand for vaccines to ward off winter flu has led to shortages in some European cities, raising the risk of a potentially lethal “twindemic” as COVID-19 cases spike.

Britain is targeting the vaccination of more than 30 million people, nearly half the population, and said it had given authorisation for the supply of Flublok, which has been used in the United States for the last three winters.

“Flublok has been in regular use in the United States – and the evidence shows that it is an excellent product,” deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van Tam said.

“I want to reassure everyone that all vaccines have undergone robust clinical trials and rigorous checks by the regulator to ensure they are safe, effective and of a high quality.”

Flublok received authorisation for temporary supply from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The MHRA has the power to take such a step when it is satisfied that a medicine is safe and effective in response to a public health threat.

The regulator has been given extra powers during the course of the pandemic, such as being able also to temporarily authorise any coronavirus vaccine that meets safety and quality standards before it has received a full licence.

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All seniors could get COVID-19 vaccine by end of January, HHS head says

All seniors, health care workers, first responders and vulnerable individuals could be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of January, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar told reporters Wednesday (Oct. 21) during a news briefing

But this ambitious timeline rests on a critical factor: enough data to know that the vaccine is safe and effective. Not even the drug companies conducting late-stage phase 3 clinical trials know yet if their candidate vaccines meet those standards.

The question of “when” we will know whether those vaccines are safe and effective “will really be dependent on events in the trial. That’s outside of anyone’s control,” Azar said. In order to understand whether or not a potential vaccine is protective against COVID-19, enough people enrolled in the trial need to be exposed naturally to the virus. 

Related: The most promising coronavirus vaccine candidates

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which is testing one of the leading vaccine candidates in the U.S., expects to have enough safety and efficacy data by the third week of November. Assuming the results are positive, the company will at that point apply for emergency use authorization (EUA) in the U.S., according to a statement published online Oct. 16 by the company’s Chief Executive Officer Albert Bourla.

But even if vaccines are approved, it’s not clear how long it will take to manufacture and distribute them to everyone in the U.S. As part of the government’s Operation Warp Speed, many of the leading vaccine candidates are already being manufactured prior to trial results. These vaccines will be ready to be distributed before they are given approval, Azar said.

By the end of the year, officials expect that there will be enough FDA-authorized vaccine to be able to vaccinate the most vulnerable individuals, Azar said. “Then by the end of January, we expect we’ll have enough to vaccinate all seniors as well as our health care workers and first responders. And by the end of March to early April, enough vaccine for all Americans who would want to take a vaccine.” However, he did not mention children, an age group on which the leading vaccines have not yet been tested and who will thus likely receive a vaccine much later.

Trust roadblocks

“Having a vaccine ready is one thing, being able to deliver it is yet another,” said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious-diseases specialist at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee. “I think that process will take much longer than this timeline.”

One of the reasons for that is public skepticism on the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, which runs high especially in African American and ethnic communities that have been disproportionately affected by the virus, Schaffner told Live Science. Surveys have shown that as many as half of Americans do not trust these vaccines, he said. That’s because “this whole process is so politicized, unfortunately.”

When a vaccine is approved, assuming that it meets the standards of efficacy and safety and has been thoroughly vetted by

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Schenectady practice helping to eliminate nerve pain

SCHENECTADY — Cyndie Powell loves to cook.

But her lower back pain and sciatica were so bad that she had to sit on a stool in her kitchen in order to cook. She couldn’t stand the pain from standing after just five minutes.

Powell, a resident of Schuylerville who works as a program manager and financial consultant for 1st Scotia Wealth Management, tried everything to dull the pain.

She tried over-the-counter pain relievers and massage. She visited a chiropractor. And she didn’t want to get surgery.

“Nothing really ever made the pain go away,” Powell said.

Until she met Laura Brown, a physical therapist and massage therapist in Schenectady who earlier this year invested in buying and getting trained to operate a electrical stimulation, or eSTIM, medical device made by a company called Calmare.

The machine has the ability to target five separate parts of the body by sending electronic pulses that “reset” the nerves, making them essentially forget the pain. The device can help with fibromyalgia, migraines, sciatica, neuropathy and what is known as Complex Regional Pain Syndrome.


Brown’s business is known as Capital Region Calmare. She operates the only licensed Calmare facility in the local area. Until now, patients who wanted to try the technology would have to travel to Stony Brook on Long Island. Brown has continued to operate her massage business as well.

“I’ve seen firsthand the extraordinary pain relief it’s provided to individuals who have tried traditional treatments, sometimes for years, without success,” Brown said, “There is no better feeling than giving someone his or her life back by re-introducing them to a world without pain, and to do so without any side effects, drugs or surgical procedures is a huge benefit.”

The treatment by the device is not covered by insurance, although some of the physical therapy done as part of the treatment is. The initial session when Brown evaluates a patient costs $100, while each subsequent session costs $250, although Brown offers 10 treatments at a discount for $2,000.

Powell, who has been working from home during the pandemic but travels an hour for treatments, said she got relief after each treatment. The pain would come back to a degree after each one.

But after four sessions, Powell said the pain went away for good. And there was no pain or side effects. She says the electronic therapy is a great alternative to opioids that are often prescribed for back pain. Patients often need more than four sessions.

“It was like a miracle,” Powell said.

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Most voters believe the coronavirus is out of control in the U.S., poll says

A new poll suggests the majority of Americans believe the coronavirus is out of control in the United States as a new wave of infections is moving through the country less than two weeks before the presidential election. 

The Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday found that 6 in 10 likely voters say the spread of the coronavirus is out of control in the U.S., while 35 percent of respondents believe the spread is under control. 


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The survey also found 57 percent of likely voters disapprove of President Trump’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak compared with 41 percent of respondents who said they approve. On handling the response to the deadly pandemic, 55 percent said they believed former Vice President Biden would do a better job, while 38 percent said Trump would. 

“In a historically chaotic election year, voters are feeling like the coronavirus is out of control,” Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy said. 

The U.S. continues to be the worst-affected country in the world with more than 8.3 million cases and more than 222,000 deaths as of Thursday.

The number of single-day coronavirus deaths reported in the U.S. on Wednesday reached its highest total in two months, rising to 1,237, after deaths nationwide had averaged about 700 a day through most of October, according to Reuters

More than 60,000 daily new cases have been reported for three straight days and hospitals in many states are beginning to exceed capacity. 

The resurgence comes after months of warnings from public health experts and officials who predicted outbreaks would worsen in the colder months alongside flu season. 

The poll of 1,426 likely voters was conducted from Oct. 16-19 with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points. 


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Repeal of Obamacare Could Leave Young Cancer Patients in the Lurch | Health News

By Cara Roberts Murez, HealthDay Reporter

(HealthDay)

THURSDAY, Oct. 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) — If Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is repealed, pediatric cancer patients could lose critical insurance coverage, a new study warns.

Kids with cancer often require intensive treatment and long-term follow-up to beat the disease. The ACA allows them to stay on their parents’ insurance coverage to age 26 and bans exclusion of patients with preexisting conditions.

The U.S. Supreme Court is poised to rule on the future of the ACA this fall. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco’s Benioff Children’s Hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia studied the potential impact of dismantling it on 18- to 25-year-old cancer patients.

“We know that even brief disruptions in insurance have been associated with harmful health consequences,” said first author Dr. Lena Winestone, of the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCSF. “Strict adherence to chemotherapy regimens, for example, is essential for those patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia,” the most common pediatric cancer.

Researchers tracked patients born in 1982 or later who were diagnosed with cancer between 2000 and 2015. Most had leukemia, lymphoma or tumors of the brain or spine.

The investigators contrasted insurance status in four age groups, including a group who turned 19 within two years of the ACA’s adoption. They were matched by cancer type, diagnosis date, demographics and treatment characteristics to patients who were two years older and, therefore, unprotected by the ACA.

They did similar comparisons with patients who were 23 to 25 years of age and between 26 and 28 when the ACA went into effect.

The average time to end of coverage was 26 months, compared to 22 months for the older group — a 15% lower risk of insurance loss. The younger patients also were more likely to retain coverage for four years — 37% versus 31%.

Winestone was senior author on a 2019 study that showed private insurance coverage may boost survival in pediatric cancer patients. In that study, 71% of patients with private insurance were alive five years after being diagnosed with bone and soft-tissue sarcomas, compared to 61% of patients with public insurance.

“Cancer survivors experience ongoing loss of income and financial burden related to their medical issues,” Winestone said in a UCSF news release. “At a time when unemployment is rising to unprecedented levels, due to the economic fallout of the pandemic, the Affordable Care Act provides a mechanism for patients to maintain access to their parents’ health insurance.”

The findings were published Oct. 22 in JCO Oncology Practice.

Copyright © 2020 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Fitness programme launched at fire stations

In a bid to boost fitness within the force, the Fire and Rescue Services Department has opened a gym in Villupuram to help firefighters attached to 14 fire stations in Villupuram and Kallakurichi districts remain physically fit for the task.

The gym was set up by Robin Castro, District Fire Officer of Villupuram district. A 2019-batch officer, Mr. Castro has introduced a schedule for all the 145 firefighters in Villupuram and Kallakurichi districts to remain physically and mentally fit.

Inspired by the Director General of Police (DGP) of the Fire and Rescue Services Department, C. Sylendra Babu, a fitness enthusiast, Mr. Castro has roped in enthusiastic firefighters, including commandoes attached to the force, to make time for an hour of practice daily before resuming work.

On an average, firemen in the two districts attend to 130 distress calls besides executing rescue operations.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the personnel are also engaged in the decontamination of public places under the civic bodies.

“Such a fitness programme was necessary to not only keep the force fit but also reduce their stress levels. This has helped them improve their performance,” he said.

As part of their training, the commandos have to run for 5 km daily, followed by weight training for 20 minutes, rope training and tyre exercises.

The team, led by Mr. Castro, also goes cycling during the weekends, covering a minimum of 100 km.

P. Sivagurunathan, leading fireman attached to the Villupuram Fire Station, said that the physical training has been an integral part of his daily routine.

“I make it a point to exercise at the gym here daily for one-and-a-half hours. This has not only helped me build muscles but also improve my overall well-being and productivity,” he said.

Mr. Castro said that the facilities for weight training have been introduced for firemen in all the 14 stations in the two districts.

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CDC changes definition of coronavirus ‘close contact’

The Centers for Disease Control has changed its definition of who is considered a “close contact” with someone who has coronvirus.

Previously, CDC defined close contact as being within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes. That definition was used to determine when a person should be quarantined. Now, a “close contact” is defined as being within 6 feet of an infected person or persons for at least 15 minutes over a 24-hour period, indicating multiple brief encounters can contribute to spread of COVID-19.

While the CDC said data on the subject was limited, “15 cumulative minutes of exposure at a distance of 6 feet or less can be used as an operational definition (of a close contact) for contact investigation,” the guidance noted.

The change comes after a study looked at the spread of coronavirus at a Vermont prison when an employee contracted the virus after brief, close contact with infected incarcerated people that added up to more than 15 minutes over the course of an 8-hour shift.

Time of exposure does contribute to rate of transmission, however, CDC said.

“In general, the longer you are around a person with COVID-19 (even if they do not have symptoms), the more likely you are to get infected,” CDC said.

People who have come into close contact with a coronavirus-infected person are supposed to quarantine and be tested.

According to the CDC, the number of cases in the country are on an upswing with 70% of health districts experiencing an increase. The average daily case county in the past week was 13% higher than the previous 7 days, CDC said.

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Hylete Aims to Create the Next Big Fitness Brand



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Hylete is a fitness lifestyle brand, with a wide assortment of apparel items for men and women. The company is also raising capital through an equity crowdfunding campaign on StartEngine. The minimum investment for Hylete is only $500.



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The co-founders of the company include Ron Wilson and Matthew Paulson, who both had high-level positions at companies like Jaco Clothing and Gathering Storm before starting the company. In 2012, they saw an opportunity to develop a better training short for those who were serious about fitness.

The reception was strong and the co-founders quickly moved into other categories like shirts, pants, hoodies, backpacks and cross-training shoes.

Background on the Company

One of the keys to the success of Hylete is its focus on personalization. This is certainly important for fitness requirements. To this end, the company has created a quiz on its website to determine the best fit for its clothing line. For example, there are 14 distinct styles for shorts.

Hylete has also spent much time cultivating an engaged community (there are over 81,000 followers on Instagram and the company’s products have gotten over 51,000 five-star reviews). Because of this, the company has received valuable feedback to improve its products.

Here are just a few of the company’s offerings:

  • Incline shorts: This uses a stretch woven fabric that has enough room for the hips and thighs, which means higher impact movement.
  • Urban joggers: This item strives for a both warmth and breathability. Some of the features include a drawstring waistband and an internal fleece fabric.
  • Altium sports bra: This has an X-strap for better support and comfort but does not grind into a woman’s shoulders.
  • Circuit II cross-training shoe: These allows you to choose between three types of insoles.
  • Nimbus tights: This is a legging that is meant to complement a person’s hips and legs.

What about the traction for the company? Well, the company has definitely shown strong growth. According to the investor materials, the compound annual growth rate is over 70% and last year’s sales hit $12.6 million. There are more than 300,000 customers and over 30,000 are certified fitness experts, who have provided content on the Hylete blog and social channels.

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Bottom Line On Hylete

The equity crowdfunding capital raise has gone quite well. So far, the company has received commitments for more than $734,000 from 974 investors (the valuation has been set at $44.8 million). Yes, it seems that the company’s own community has been essential for this success.

The investment also comes with several perks. That is, there is 50% off all regular-priced products and 10% discounts on clearance locker items. Then there is also free ground shipping for U.S. orders and one Hylete rewards point for each dollar invested.

But of course, as is the

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Childhood Absence Epilepsy Treatment Market Research Report by Drug, by Disease Type – Global Forecast to 2025

Childhood Absence Epilepsy Treatment Market Research Report by Drug (Lamotrigine, Phase 2 Drugs, and Valproate), by Disease Type (Atypical Absence Seizures and Typical Absence Seizures) – Global Forecast to 2025 – Cumulative Impact of COVID-19

New York, Oct. 22, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Reportlinker.com announces the release of the report “Childhood Absence Epilepsy Treatment Market Research Report by Drug, by Disease Type – Global Forecast to 2025 – Cumulative Impact of COVID-19” – https://www.reportlinker.com/p05913817/?utm_source=GNW

The Global Childhood Absence Epilepsy Treatment Market is expected to grow from USD 181.92 Million in 2019 to USD 263.89 Million by the end of 2025 at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 6.39%.

Market Segmentation & Coverage:
This research report categorizes the Childhood Absence Epilepsy Treatment to forecast the revenues and analyze the trends in each of the following sub-markets:

Based on Drug, the Childhood Absence Epilepsy Treatment Market studied across Lamotrigine, Phase 2 Drugs, and Valproate.

Based on Disease Type, the Childhood Absence Epilepsy Treatment Market studied across Atypical Absence Seizures and Typical Absence Seizures.

Based on Geography, the Childhood Absence Epilepsy Treatment Market studied across Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe, Middle East & Africa. The Americas region surveyed across Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and United States. The Asia-Pacific region surveyed across Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, South Korea, and Thailand. The Europe, Middle East & Africa region surveyed across France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, United Arab Emirates, and United Kingdom.

Company Usability Profiles:
The report deeply explores the recent significant developments by the leading vendors and innovation profiles in the Global Childhood Absence Epilepsy Treatment Market including AbbVie, Cavion, Inc., GlaxoSmithKline plc, Insys Therapeutics, Pfizer Inc., Pfizer Inc., and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd..

FPNV Positioning Matrix:
The FPNV Positioning Matrix evaluates and categorizes the vendors in the Childhood Absence Epilepsy Treatment Market on the basis of Business Strategy (Business Growth, Industry Coverage, Financial Viability, and Channel Support) and Product Satisfaction (Value for Money, Ease of Use, Product Features, and Customer Support) that aids businesses in better decision making and understanding the competitive landscape.

Competitive Strategic Window:
The Competitive Strategic Window analyses the competitive landscape in terms of markets, applications, and geographies. The Competitive Strategic Window helps the vendor define an alignment or fit between their capabilities and opportunities for future growth prospects. During a forecast period, it defines the optimal or favorable fit for the vendors to adopt successive merger and acquisition strategies, geography expansion, research & development, and new product introduction strategies to execute further business expansion and growth.

Cumulative Impact of COVID-19:
COVID-19 is an incomparable global public health emergency that has affected almost every industry, so for and, the long-term effects projected to impact the industry growth during the forecast period. Our ongoing research amplifies our research framework to ensure the inclusion of underlaying COVID-19 issues and potential paths forward. The report is delivering insights on COVID-19 considering the changes in consumer behavior and demand, purchasing patterns, re-routing of the supply chain,

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FDA opens private Covid vaccine meetings to the public in bid to gain trust as Trump pressures for fast approval

The FDA took the unusual step Thursday in opening to the public a routine meeting with an advisory group that’s weighing in on approving the coronavirus vaccine as the agency battles public concerns about its safety as well as political pressure from President Donald Trump to approve it before the Nov. 3 election.



a person in a blue shirt: A health worker injects a person during clinical trials for a Covid-19 vaccine at Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Florida.


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A health worker injects a person during clinical trials for a Covid-19 vaccine at Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Florida.

The Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee, an outside group of researchers and physicians who are advising the Food and Drug Administration on whether to approve a Covid-19 vaccine, debated the standards needed to ensure a Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective in a meeting broadcast on YouTube and C-SPAN. Those are key questions among medical experts who worry the U.S. will approve a vaccine before it has been adequately tested.

Officials at the meeting Thursday said the public forum was “critical” to build public trust and confidence in the development of potential vaccines, which are being developed in record time. FDA officials promised that any vaccine would undergo rigorous testing before being distributed to the public.

“Vaccine development can be expedited. However, I want to stress that it cannot, and must not, be rushed,” said Dr. Marion Gruber, director of FDA’s Office of Vaccines Research and Review, adding the agency would not lower its standards.

Trump has pushed the FDA to approve a drug in time to distribute by the Nov. 3 election — a daunting task even his closest advisors have said is near impossible.

“I think we should have it before the election, but frankly the politics gets involved and that’s okay. They want to play their games, it’s going to be right after the election,” Trump said in a video he posted on Twitter on Oct. 7. “The FDA has acted as quickly as they’ve ever acted in history. There’s never been a time, and no president’s ever pushed them like I’ve pushed them either, to be honest.”

The agency is approving drugs “in a matter of weeks” that used to take years, he added.

Video: Dr. Patel on how the White House should be dealing with the virus outbreak: ‘This should go well beyond what’s standard’ (MSNBC)

Dr. Patel on how the White House should be dealing with the virus outbreak: ‘This should go well beyond what’s standard’

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Four drugmakers backed by the U.S. are still conducting their late-stage trials, and medical experts don’t expect to see trial data needed for FDA authorization until later this month at the earliest.

Because of the pandemic, U.S. health officials and researchers have been accelerating the development of vaccine candidates by investing in multiple stages of research even though doing so could be for naught if the vaccine ends up not being effective or safe.

The FDA, under pressure from the White House, has faced skepticism from medical experts that the vaccine approval

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