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Respiratory Illnesses in China Not Caused by New Virus, CDC Director Testifies

FRIDAY, Dec. 1, 2023 (Healthday News) -- In testimony provided Thursday to members of Congress, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that a surge in respiratory illnesses in China is not being fueled by a new virus.

Instead, the spike can be linked to existing viruses and bacteria, including COVID-19, the flu, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and Mycop...

New COVID Variant Takes Hold in the United States

TUESDAY, Nov. 28, 2023 (Healthday News) -- The prevalence of a highly mutated COVID variant has tripled in the past two weeks, new government data shows.

Now, nearly 1 in 10 new COVID cases are fueled by the BA.2.86 variant, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported...

CDC to Release Infants' RSV Shots to Help Ease Shortage

THURSDAY, Nov. 16, 2023 -- To address a continuing nationwide shortage, more than 77,000 doses of RSV shots for infants were released Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The additional doses are of Beyfortus, a long-acting monoclonal antibody designed to protect infants too young for vaccination against RSV.

They...

Measles Cases Surge Worldwide, Killing 136,000 Last Year

Measles deaths are surging worldwide, prompted by a wave of infections among unvaccinated children, public health experts say.

Deaths from measles increased by 43% globally in 2022 compared to the year before, resulting from an 18% increase in measles cases, the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say in a new report published Thursday.

...

Childhood Vaccine Exemptons Hit Highest Level Yet: CDC

FRIDAY, Nov. 10, 2023 (Healthday News) -- In a sign that suggests many American parents have become dubious about the safety of childhood vaccines, new government data shows that immunization exemptions for kindergartners have reached their highest levels ever.

The latest statistics continue a decline in routine vaccinations for kids that increases the risk for highly contagious diseases,...

FDA Approves First Vaccine for Chikungunya Virus

FRIDAY, Nov. 10, 2023 (Healthday News) -- The first vaccine to prevent infection with the chikungunya virus was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Thursday.

The single-dose shot, known as Ixchiq, is approved for adults who are at increased risk of exposure to the virus.

“Infection with chikungunya virus can lead to severe disease and prolonged health problems, pa...

Best Way to Prevent Cervical Cancers: Immunize Boys Against HPV, Too

The best way to prevent cervical cancer in women is to give HPV vaccines to both boys and girls, a new study argues.

That way, herd immunity could help eradicate the cancer-causing virus, researchers say.

Cancer-related HPV strains declined significantly in Finnish towns where boys and girls both received the vaccine, according to findings published Nov. 8 in the journal

COVID Vaccine Won't Raise Miscarriage Risk

TUESDAY, Nov. 7, 2023 (HealthDay News) – A new study provides deeper insight into the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for people planning to become pregnant.

Boston University researchers found no increased risk of early or late-term miscarriage resulting from either the male or the female partner getting a COVID-19 vaccination prior to conceiving.

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • November 7, 2023
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  • At-Home, Inhaled Flu Vaccine Could Be on Horizon

    TUESDAY, Oct. 31, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Getting a yearly flu shot is one of the best ways to protect yourself from infection or severe illness, but not everyone likes shots.

    Now, there is some potentially good news for those who fear needles: A nasal spray flu vaccine that you can take or give at home is on the horizon. 

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is rev...

    Just 7% of U.S. Adults Have Gotten Updated COVID Vaccine

    Fewer Americans are rolling up their sleeves for the updated COVID-19 shot, leading health experts to call for a stepped-up vaccination campaign.

    Only 7% of adults and 2% of children in the United States have received the new vaccine, a nationwide survey conducted two weeks ago revealed.

    Experts expressed dismay at the numbers -- which were presented Thursday at a meeting held by t...

    CDC Advisors Say High-Risk Men Should Still Get MPox Vaccine

    THURSDAY, Oct. 26, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- High-risk men should still get their mpox vaccinations even after the ongoing outbreak ends, advisors to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Wednesday.

    That vulnerable group includes men who have sex with men; people who have more than one sexual partner; those who have recently had a sexually transmitted disease; a...

    Shortage of Shots That Protect Babies Against RSV Prompts CDC Alert

    Demand for a new shot that protects babies against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) has outpaced supply, prompting U.S. health officials to recommend the doses be saved for high-risk infants.

    In an alert posted Monday afternoon, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said nirsevimab (Beyfortus) should be reserved ...

    Pandemic Didn't Lower Parents' Trust in Childhood Vaccines

    Lots of vaccine disinformation spread during the pandemic, and doctors worried that may have given some parents pause about not only the risks of the COVID shot, but of childhood vaccines as well.

    Now, new research puts that worry to rest.

    “We did not see a significant increase in parents who are hesitant toward routine childhood vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to b...

    Getting COVID Raises Odds for Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Vaccination Lowers Risk

    COVID infection can raise the risk of a rare immune system attack on the body's nerves -- but vaccination might protect against it, a large new study suggests.

    The study, of more than 3 million Israeli adults and teenagers, found that COVID infection was linked to a substantially increased risk of developing Guillain-Barre syndrome in the next six weeks.

    GBS is a rare condition wher...

    More Than 7 Million Americans Have Gotten the New COVID Shots

    Following a rocky rollout, more than 7 million Americans have now gotten the newly updated COVID vaccines.

    Unfortunately, that's still lagging behind the number who sought booster shots last fall. For the the first updated boosters, 18 million people had received their shots by the same time last year,

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • October 13, 2023
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  • Nasal Spray COVID Vaccine Shows Promise in Early Trial

    New research points to the potential of a COVID-19 vaccine delivered through the nose.

    The phase 1 clinical trial showed that the product, administered nasally in two doses, delivered a significant immune response to multiple COVID variants.

    Called CoviLiv, the vaccine was tested as a primary vaccination series on healthy adults before development of the mRNA vaccines that are now a...

    Flu Shot Season Is Here: Why You (and Your Kids) Need One

    It's time to get the flu shot.

    They're important not just for adults, but also for children, and keeping the whole family safe, according to an expert in pediatrics.

    “You never know how bad a flu season will be,” said Dr. Mona Patel, attending physician in the department of general pediatrics at Children'...

    CDC Stops Issuing New COVID Vaccination Cards

    Wallet-friendly cards showing proof of COVID vaccinations served a purpose early in the pandemic, but they're on their way out.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stopped printing the cards, likely changing how people track their shots in the future.

    The cards people have ...

    In Early Trial, Promising Results for Moderna's Combo COVID-Flu Vaccine

    Moderna Inc. announced Wednesday that it has seen positive early results with a new vaccine that would guard against four strains of flu plus COVID-19.

    In interim findings from a Phase 1/2 trial, the vaccine showed both a strong immune response compared to the standard dose of flu vaccine in adults aged 50 to 64 and an enhanced flu shot in people aged 65 to 79. It also showed a strong res...

    Why So Many Americans Aren't Getting COVID Boosters

    More than 80% of eligible Americans did not get a COVID-19 booster shot last fall. Now, a new study reveals the reasons for the hesitation.

    Nearly 40% of survey participants said a prior COVID-19 infection factored into their decision to not get the booster. Another 31.5% were worried about side effects. And an additional 28% didn't think a booster would provide extra protection, while 23...

    FDA Approves Updated Novavax COVID Vaccine

    Federal regulators on Tuesday gave the go-ahead to an updated Novavax COVID vaccine, giving Americans a more traditional alternative to two recently revamped mRNA vaccines.

    Adolescents and adults who have previously received a COVID vaccine, but who haven't gotten the newly updated Pfizer or Moderna shots, now have this non-mRNA choice.

    "The COVID-19 vaccines have saved countles...

    Nobel Prize for Medicine Awarded to COVID Vaccine Pioneers

    This year's Nobel Prize for physiology or medicine has been awarded to two scientists who laid the groundwork years ago for the mRNA research that made COVID-19 vaccines possible.

    Dr. Katalin Karikó, the 13th woman to ever receive the honor, and

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • October 2, 2023
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  • Biden Administration Says Insurance Issues With COVID Shots Mostly Fixed

    Despite reports of trouble last week where some people may have been denied insurance coverage while seeking COVID shots at pharmacies, the Biden administration said Thursday those issues have been ironed out.

    That issue is "largely, if not completely," resolved after U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Secretary

    Getting COVID Shot During Pregnancy Helps Protect Newborns, CDC Study Finds

    When pregnant women get a COVID vaccine, it helps protect their newborns from the virus, a new government study shows.

    "These findings indicate that maternal vaccination during pregnancy could help prevent COVID-19--related hospitalization in infants too young to be vaccinated," researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wrote.

    Antibodies after COVID vaccin...

    Just 23% of U.S. Adults 'Definitely' Plan to Get New COVID Shot

    Just 23% of American adults say they 'definitely' will get the new COVID-19 vaccine, while another 23% say they will 'probably' get it, according to a new poll, which also finds interest in the shot falls along partisan lines.

    More people plan to get seasonal flu shots and the new vaccine to help prevent severe symptoms for respiratory syncytial virus or RSV.

    The poll -- by the nonp...

    President Biden Gets COVID, Flu Shots

    President Joe Biden has been freshly vaccinated for three major respiratory viruses that could spread widely this fall and winter.

    Biden got both the updated COVID booster and his annual flu shot on Friday, White House physician Kevin O'Conno...

    RSV Vaccine Given in Pregnancy to Help Shield Newborns Receives Full U.S. Approval

    Women may soon have a vaccine they can take during a pregnancy to help protect their newborn from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

    Following approval one month ago by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday also approved the shot, called Abrysvo. That marks the last hurdle needed for the vaccine to become widely available.

    �...

    Many Americans Frustrated in Search for Low-Cost COVID Boosters

    Americans seeking out the new COVID boosters are finding themselves held back by insurance entanglements and supply delays.

    Some insurers have balked at covering the vaccines, with people arriving at shot appointments only to be told that they'll have to pay $100 or more out of pocket for the jab.

    And in other places, booster appointments simply aren't available due to supply short...

    Today's COVID Is Increasingly Looking Like a Cold or Flu

    Symptoms of mild COVID-19 infection have shifted this season, and now are more akin to those of allergies and the common cold, doctors say.

    Many people with COVID-19 now are presenting with upper respiratory symptoms like runny nose, watery eyes and a sore throat, said Dr. ...

    It's Time to Start Preparing Against Flu, RSV & COVID-19

    Kids are back in school and it's time to think about viruses, for both yourself and them.

    It could be an early flu season in the United States, if what happened in the Southern Hemisphere offers any insight, according to Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles.

    The flu vaccine is now available in some locations. A new COVID-19 booster has been approved by federal health officia...

    A COVID Vaccine-by-Mouth Could Be on the Way

    An oral vaccine for COVID-19 appears to produce the sort of immune response that could quickly stamp out a developing infection, according to results from a small-scale primate study.

    Some monkeys given an experimental COVID vaccine tablet under their tongue developed the type of antibodies that might block the coronavirus as it attempts to infect the body through the mucous membranes of ...

    CDC Panel Gives Support to New COVID Booster Shots

    Following on an approval granted Monday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, an expert panel from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday also signed off on new COVID boosters for Americans.

    Final approval is expected from CDC Director Dr. Mandy Cohen, which would set the stage for the updated vaccines to soon become available.

    The COVID-19 shots from Pf...

    FDA Approves New COVID Booster Shots

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday gave the green light to new COVID boosters for Americans, setting the stage for the updated vaccines to become available within days.

    The COVID-19 shots from Pfizer and Moderna will join the flu shot and newly approved RSV shots as part of a three-pronged public health strategy to tame the spread of all three viruses this coming winter. The ...

    In Good News for U.S., Flu Vaccine Working Well in South America

    In a finding that should ease the minds of Americans ahead of another flu season, this year's vaccines have already cut the risk of hospitalization in half during the South American winter, health officials report.

    Even better, the flu virus strains that have been detected in the United States have so far shown a similar pattern to those in South America, although that could still change....

    Anti-Vax Trend May Harm Pet Dogs, With Half of Owners Against Immunization

    Some people mistrust the safety and effectiveness of human vaccines for COVID-19 and other diseases, a fact that became abundantly clear during the pandemic.

    Now, a new survey of 2,200 dog owners shows this mistrust may often extend to canine vaccinations.

    The finding suggests there is spillover between the issues, with those who have negative feelings about human vaccines more lik...

    FDA Approval of New COVID Boosters Could Come by Friday

    New COVID-19 booster shots could soon pass the needed hurdles for vaccinations to begin next week.

    Sources familiar with U.S. Food and Drug Administration plans say boosters could be approved as soon as Friday, NBC News reported.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is scheduled to meet on Tuesday. CDC director

    Making Sure You Don't Get RSV This Winter: An Expert Offers Tips

    Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common viral infection that affects people of all ages, with infants and older adults being particularly vulnerable to severe complications.

    Preventing the spread of RSV requires a multi-pronged approach that includes vaccination, good hygiene practices and public health initiatives.

    You may have seen recent reports about newly approved vacci...

    • Todd A. Mahr, MD, Executive Medical Director, American College Of Allergy, Asthma And Immunology HealthDay Reporter
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    • September 7, 2023
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    Study Confirms Effectiveness of Mpox Vaccine

    While it doesn't prevent infection altogether, new research shows the mpox vaccine does reduces the severity of disease in those who fall ill from the virus.

    An international team of scientists found that those people who had either mpox vaccination or a previous infection in 2022 had less severe disease.

    The researchers studied 38 mpox infections in 37 gay and bisexual men; among ...

    Moderna Says Updated COVID Shot Shields Against Highly Mutated New Variant

    Some good news for folks who are worried about the new, troublesome COVID variant known as BA.2.86: Moderna Inc. said Wednesday that its updated vaccine held its own against this highly mutated version of the virus.

    While approval for the newest version of the vaccine is still pending from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the company offered good reason for why the agency should gi...

    Rising COVID Hospitalizations, New Variants Have Americans on Edge

    A new COVID-19 surge is underway, with seasonal changes and new variants fueling an increase in hospitalizations and deaths.

    A new Omicron variant, named Eris, has become dominant in the United States amid signs that an even more highly evolved COVID variant called BA.2.86 is starting to spread across America.

    However, experts say the public should react to this latest surge not wit...

    Updated COVID Vaccines Will Roll Out Mid-September, Officials Say

    New COVID-19 booster shots, reworked to target variants circulating now, could be available by mid-September.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve them in a few weeks, CNN reported, citing unnamed senior administration officials.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will soon follow with a safety review and its recommendations. Its Adv...

    U.S. Kids' HPV Vaccination Rate Has Stalled

    For the first time in a decade, the rate at which American adolescents received the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has not increased, new data show.

    Current guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that both girls and boys receive t...

    U.S. Wastewater Tests Spot Highly Mutated Variant of COVID-19

    Public health officials have detected the new BA.2.86 variant of COVID-19 in U.S. wastewater, giving rise to concerns about the highly mutated variant in the United States.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the detection on Wednesday. ...

    COVID Vaccine Boosters Crucial for Some Cancer Patients: Study

    Cancer patients with immune systems weakened by treatment are among the groups most concerned about the continued spread of COVID-19 and the chance of the infection becoming severe.

    New research suggests more guidance on how often these patients need protective booster shots.

    It's not one-size-fits-all, but depends on the specific treatment, said scientists f...

    FDA Approves RSV Vaccine for Pregnant Women to Help Shield Newborns

    Women may soon have a vaccine they can take during a pregnancy to help protect their newborn from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), following U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the shot, called Abrysvo, on Monday

    The vaccine is designed to be given to pregnant women between 32 and 36 weeks of pregnancy as a way to protect infants from birth through 6 months from the sometimes ...

    Poll Shows Who Americans Trust (and Don't Trust) for Health News

    Misinformation about health and medicine is rampant in the United States, with far too many Americans being presented false claims and left wondering what to believe, a new survey reports.

    At least 4 in 10 people say they've heard 10 specific false claims about COVID-19, reproductive health and gun violence,

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • August 22, 2023
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  • Vaccines Against Shingles, Pneumonia May Also Lower Your Alzheimer's Risk

    Certain adult vaccines, including shingles and pneumonia shots, may also help seniors fight off Alzheimer's disease, new research reveals.

    Prior vaccination with the shingles vaccine, pneumococcus vaccine or the tetanus and diphtheria shot, with or without an added pertussis vaccine, are associated with a 25% to 30% reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers from t...

    Does Prior Omicron Infection Shield Against Future Infection? Maybe Not

    People may assume that a COVID-19 infection protects them the next time they encounter the virus, but that's not necessarily true.

    A new study of 750 vaccinated seniors living in retirement homes and long-term care facilities found that those infected during the first omicron wave were actually more vulnerable to reinfection with a later wave.

    "This research highlights the need for...

    'Do Your Own Research': Was It Dangerous Advice During the Pandemic?

    The idea of “doing your own research” didn't begin with the pandemic, but new research suggests that those who follow that ideology have been more likely to believe COVID misinformation.

    “We had heard the phrase a lot before,” prior to the pandemic, said researcher Sedona Chinn, a professor of life sciences ...

    Pediatricians' Group Urges That All Infants Get New RSV Shot

    All infants should receive the new long-acting preventive monoclonal antibody for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), the nation's leading pediatrics group said.

    The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) urged that access to the new medication, called nirsevimab, be equitable.

    RSV is common, contagious and sometimes deadly, the AAP said.

    The antibody boosts the immune system.

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