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More than 97,000 children tested positive for Covid-19 in the last two weeks of July, report says

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Dr. Stephen Hahn made the declaration in a video briefing with the American Medical Association. More than 5 million Americans have been infected with coronavirus, and more than 163,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins data. Hahn acknowledged that because of the speed with which the agency is working, some experts have questioned whether the FDA will compromise its scientific principles in reviewing clinical trial data. “Let me assure you that we will not cut corners,” Hahn said. “All of our decisions will continue to be based on good science and the same careful deliberative processes we have always used when reviewing medical products.”Many Americans are skeptical about a vaccine. Hahn said he has seen surveys that report a significant part of the public will be reluctant to get a Covid-19 vaccine. A CNN poll in May found one-third of Americans said they would not try to get vaccinated against Covid-19, even if the vaccine is widely available and low-cost. Hahn asked doctors on the briefing Monday to urge their patients to take the vaccine once it is approved.”We hope that you will urge your patients to take an approved vaccine, so that we can seek to establish widespread immunity,” …

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Real-life discussions may help counter anti-vaccination influences from social media

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Reviewed by Emily Henderson, B.Sc.Aug 10 2020
The flu vaccine is considered one of the great achievements in public health, and each year it prevents millions of people from getting sick and thousands of deaths. Even so, social media messages abound with skepticism and falsehoods about vaccination.

What effect, if any, do these social media messages have on actual vaccination behavior?

A new study on this underexplored subject, using big data and survey results from the 2018-19 flu season, finds strong associations between regional social media messages and vaccination attitudes and behavior. But when there are negative associations between social media content and vaccination, real-life discussions with family and friends appear to eliminate them.

The study, published in the journal Vaccine, analyzes 115,330 geolocated tweets about the flu and vaccination along with data from a survey of 3,005 U.S. adults conducted from September 2018 to May 2019. The research was done by Man-pui Sally Chan and Dolores Albarracín of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) of the University of Pennsylvania.


What we find is that some online discussions appear to have a negative influence on people’s attitudes and vaccine behavior – …

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University Of California Mandates Flu Vaccinations

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 Students are heading back to school and colleges are considering safety in the middle of the pandemic. So, on Friday, the president of the UC system released an executive order requiring all students and staff to get flu vaccines this fall.  Representatives from the UC say they anticipate a surge of flu cases in the fall and winter. The vaccines are a preventative measure. The goal is to limit the number of flu cases at healthcare facilities in order to save resources for COVID-19 patients.  The executive action requires vaccination for all faculty and staff working at a UC location to get a vaccine by November 1. The University system already has a rigorous immunization policy for students. This action adds influenza to the already existing vaccine requirements, and extends the rules to staff, who were not previously included in the guidelines. Students and staff will be able to request exemptions for medical and religious reasons. The UC and Covered California insurance plans cover flu vaccines at no additional cost.

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Inovio shares update on COVID-19 vaccine, and its financial outlook

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In March, during a public meeting with President Donald Trump and pharma executives, Kim touted Inovio’s “innovative, 21st-century platform” that enabled it to whip up its vaccine candidate in a mere three hours. Soon after, an analyst who is shorting Inovio’s stock accused the firm of “serial stock promotion.” And soon after that, two separate groups of shareholders filed lawsuits in federal court in Pennsylvania, accusing Kim and Inovio of exaggerated claims and financial improprieties.

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FDA won’t ‘cut corners’ to approve a Covid-19 vaccine, commissioner says – NewsChannel 3-12

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Safety will not be compromised for a Covid-19 vaccine, the US Food and Drug Administration commissioner said Monday.

Dr. Stephen Hahn made the declaration in a video briefing with the American Medical Association. More than 5 million Americans have been infected with coronavirus, and more than 162,000 have died, according to Johns Hopkins data.

Hahn acknowledged that because of the speed with which the agency is working, some experts have questioned whether the FDA will compromise its scientific principles in reviewing clinical trial data.

“Let me assure you that we will not cut corners,” Hahn said. “All of our decisions will continue to be based on good science and the same careful deliberative processes we have always used when reviewing medical products.”

Many Americans are skeptical about a vaccine. Hahn said he has seen surveys that report a significant part of the public will be reluctant to get a Covid-19 vaccine. A CNN poll in May found one-third of Americans said they would not try to get vaccinated against Covid-19, even if the vaccine is widely available and low-cost.

Hahn asked doctors on the briefing Monday to urge their patients to take the vaccine once it is approved.

“We hope that you …

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Navigating another back-to-school mystery: Vaccinations

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Commissioner of Health Lance Frye, M.D., speaks during a news conference Thursday, July 9, 2020, in Oklahoma City. Despite rising numbers of confirmed cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 infections in Oklahoma, Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt said Thursday he remains opposed to mandating that residents wear masks. (AP photo/Sue Ogrocki)
OKLAHOMA CITY – Health officials are concerned fewer children are current on their immunizations. And parents must rely on 2-year-old school vaccination data.
One of the concerned parents is Rebecca Mauldin, who will send her 4-year-old son to a private school that accepts only children who are up to date on immunizations unless they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. He falls into that category after battling cancer and undergoing a liver transplant, she said.
His sister, who has no special health concerns, is a third-grader who started at the school last year after attending public school in Edmond for two years.
Mauldin said the number of non-medical exemptions at the public school was too high and climbing. It was a big factor in moving her daughter, she said.
“I see what happens in other areas when the vaccination rate gets too low and there are outbreaks of chickenpox and measles,” …

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Will a coronavirus vaccine help communities that need it most?

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There is growing concern that a potential coronavirus vaccine won’t reach the communities that have been disproportionately affected by the virus — primarily Black, Latinx and Indigenous people. A lack of trust and a shortfall of diversity in early clinical trials present challenges, said Dr. Uché Blackstock, an emergency medicine physician in New York.As more than 100 companies race to find a vaccine, about 41% of non-White Americans say they don’t plan to get it when it becomes available — compared to 33% of White Americans, according to a Gallup poll published last week. “There is this distrust between these communities and the health care system that’s valid and justified,” Blackstock, the founder of Advancing Health Equity, said on CBSN Monday.”Any vaccine distribution approach has to engage community-based organizations that are on the ground already doing the work in these communities and are often led by trusted leaders who community members know well,” she said.

Black Americans are 2.5 times more likely to die from COVID-19 compared to White Americans, according to the COVID Tracking Project. Latinx and Native Americans are between 1.3 and 1.5 times as likely to die as White Americans, the tracker found. Blackstock also expressed another concern: “Right now, we’ve had a …

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Wolf Administration highlights importance of vaccinations, introduces updated guidelines for new school year

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HARRISBURG >> The Pennsylvania departments of Education, Health, Human Services, and Insurance are reminding parents to ensure their children’s immunizations are up to date as part of back-to-school preparations. Vaccine requirements also extend to students of cyber and charter schools.Vaccines are a necessary precaution needed to protect infants, children and teens from serious childhood diseases such as measles, mumps and chickenpox. Staying up to date with immunizations provides the best protection against disease and is essential to individual and population health.Under the Affordable Care Act, most insurance plans, including those bought through the federal Marketplace, as well as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid are required to cover school vaccinations as a free preventive service without charging a copayment or coinsurance.

“Most insurance plans cover school vaccinations with no cost to the consumer, regardless of whether or not you have met your yearly deductible,” Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman said. “However, it is important to make sure that the doctor or provider who administers the immunization is within your health insurance plan’s network, or you could be responsible for the cost.”Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, parents and guardians should schedule immunization appointments early, as …

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Countering anti-vaccination influences from social media – with conversation

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BEGIN ARTICLE PREVIEW:

The flu vaccine is considered one of the great achievements in public health, and each year it prevents millions of people from getting sick and thousands of deaths. Even so, social media messages abound with skepticism and falsehoods about vaccination.
What effect, if any, do these social media messages have on actual vaccination behavior?
A new study on this underexplored subject, using big data and survey results from the 2018-19 flu season, finds strong associations between regional social media messages and vaccination attitudes and behavior. But when there are negative associations between social media content and vaccination, real-life discussions with family and friends appear to eliminate them.
The study, published in the journal Vaccine, analyzes 115,330 geolocated tweets about the flu and vaccination along with data from a survey of 3,005 U.S. adults conducted from September 2018 to May 2019. The research was done by Man-pui Sally Chan and Dolores Albarracín of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) of the University of Pennsylvania.
“What we find is that some online discussions appear to have a negative influence on people’s attitudes and vaccine behavior – which makes the people exposed to them …

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Exclusive: Federal officials launch vaccine pilot program – Roll Call

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Public health advocates say they’re worried that U.S. immunization could resemble the dysfunction of state-by-state testing standards or the chaotic distribution of personal protective equipment.A plan is needed to make the vaccine widely available, including to people who lack insurance, and convince skeptics to trust vaccines tested with unprecedented speed that may not have full Food and Drug Administration approval. The logistics of shipping and providing vaccines under precise conditions, managing potential supply chain shortages, monitoring patients, and ensuring equity will be complicated.Democrats in the House and Senate who oversee health issues have pressured the Trump administration for a plan.”Alarmingly, in the absence of a comprehensive plan, the Administration appears to be making decisions without the critical input of public health partners or consideration for the existing infrastructure the nation has long relied upon for the allocation, distribution, and tracking of vaccines,” Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee wrote in an Aug. 5 letter. The letter lamented that the public has “yet to be informed about how the Administration intends to ensure the equitable distribution of a vaccine.”CDC National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Director Nancy Messonnier held the first call with …

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