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2 More Deaths Linked To J&J Vaccine, CDC Panel Says

2 More Deaths Linked To J&J Vaccine, CDC Panel Says

Update (1240ET): As we await the ACIP’s recommendation on whether J&J’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine should be allowed to be used on American patients as soon as this weekend, some distu



2 More Deaths Linked To J&J Vaccine, CDC Panel Says

Update (1240ET): As we await the ACIP's recommendation on whether J&J's Janssen COVID-19 vaccine should be allowed to be used on American patients as soon as this weekend, some disturbing new details about rare but deadly side-effects have emerged.

According to slides shared online that were presented to the ACIP team during today's meeting, two more people have died from a rare combination of blood clots and low platelet counts potentially linked to the J&J jab.

This brings the total known deaths to three, among nearly 7 million Americans who have received the shot. Seven more have been hospitalized, including four who landed in the ICU, while five have been discharged home, members of the CDC panel's safety workgroup found Thursday.

As we have reported, federal health officials called for a nationwide pause in use of the shot on April 13 after they received reports about six women between 18 and 48 who had developed the blood clots. When ACIP first met last week to examine the safety concerns around the J&J shot, members decided they didn't have enough data to make any recommendation.

The presentation, prepared by the CDC panel's safety subgroup, asserts that the risk of the clotting syndrome appears to be highest for women under 50, a group that includes about 7M American women. Meanwhile, the risk appears to be less than one in 7 million doses for men and women over 50. So far, cases have been reported in people aged 21 to 77, almost all of them women.

The full committee is expected to vote Friday on its recommendations for use of the vaccine. It is possible that the committee will recommend a warning label be added to the vaccine or suggest its use should be restricted by age, sex or both factors. Biden administration officials have previously said they would look to the CDC’s advisory panel for guidance on lifting the pause in the shot, and they are expected to make a final decision soon. "I think the FDA and I both feel strongly, and the CDC feels strongly that we need to act swiftly after that analysis," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters in a press briefing Friday. "But I do think that there is plenty of people who are interested in the J&J vaccine if just for convenience as well as for a single-dose option."

Read the rest of the pdf below:

05-COVID-Lee-508 by Joseph Adinolfi Jr. on Scribd

* * *

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices - the agency that advises the FDA and CDC on vaccines, and will ultimately decide the fate of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 jab - is set to meet Friday to decide whether to recommend that the halt on the J&J be lifted, or left in place for now.

While public-health authorities insist the societal benefits of the vaccine outweigh potentially deadly (but extremely rare) side effects like cerebral blood clots, the J&J jab has remained on halt for more than a week, despite assurances from Dr. Anthony Fauci that the halt would be lifted in a few days. At any rate, supplies of the J&J jab dried up shortly before the halt began thanks to a factory accident in Baltimore that spoiled 15M doses.

According to WSJ, a significant issue that the ACIP might consider on Friday is how the clot risk among J&J jab recipients measures up against the risk of clots that come with COVID-19 Blood clotting all over the body is one complication of severe forms of the disease. About 15% to 20% of Covid-19 patients who are admitted to intensive-care units develop blood clots.

A recommendation to lift the pause could prompt the FDA and CDC to put the vaccine back in circulation as early as this weekend, because millions of doses have already been distributed to vaccine sites.

The lifting of the pause could be accompanied by restrictions limiting the vaccine’s use to older adults, as well as possible warnings about the potential clot risk, according to people familiar with the matter.

The ACIP meeting is scheduled to begin at 1100ET, with a potential vote by 1700ET. It will be the ACIP’s second emergency meeting in 10 days to discuss the J&J vaccine. The committee, which advises the CDC, met April 14, one day after use of J&J’s vaccine was paused. But the committee, meeting online, deferred voting on a recommendation because members wanted more information about the vaccine’s risks and benefits.

After EU regulators highlighted a possible link between the J&J (and AstraZeneca-Oxford) jab and rare blood clots, J&J promised to update its packaging information to include a warning about possible clots. Nordic countries remain wary of the adenovirus-vector jabs (which includes not just AstraZeneca and J&J, but Russia's Sputnik V), and on Friday, Sweden's public health agency decided to recommend against using the J&J jab for patients under 65.

US regulators abruptly halted use of the J&J jab earlier this month after determining that at least six women experienced blood clots that were tied to the vaccine. At least one of those cases was fatal. The blood-clot risks are believed to be highest in patients with low blood platelet counts. The FDA initially authorized the J&J jab for use in the US in late February, making it the third jab - and first adenovirus-vector jab - approved in the US.

Tyler Durden Fri, 04/23/2021 - 12:55

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War, peace and security: The pandemic’s impact on women and girls in Nepal and Sri Lanka

The impacts of COVID-19 must be incorporated into women, peace and security planning in order to improve the lives of women and girls in postwar countries…



Nepalese girls rest for observation after receiving the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19 in Kathmandu, Nepal. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

Attention to the pandemic’s impacts on women has largely focused on the Global North, ignoring countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka, which continue to deal with prolonged effects of war. While the Nepalese Civil War concluded in 2006 and the Sri Lankan Civil War concluded in 2009, internal conflicts continue.

As scholars of gender and war, our work focuses on the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. And our recently published paper examines COVID-19’s impacts on women and girls in Nepal and Sri Lanka, looking at policy responses and their repercussions on the women, peace and security agenda.

COVID-19 has disproportionately and negatively impacted women in part because most are the primary family caregivers and the pandemic has increased women’s caring duties.

This pattern is even more pronounced in war-affected countries where the compounding factors of war and the pandemic leave women generally more vulnerable. These nations exist at the margins of the international system and suffer from what the World Bank terms “fragility, conflict and violence.”

Women, labour and gender-based violence

Gendered labour precarity is not new to Nepal or Sri Lanka and the pandemic has only eroded women’s already poor economic prospects.

Prior to COVID-19, Tharshani (pseudonym), a Sri Lankan mother of three and head of her household, was able to make ends meet. But when the pandemic hit, lockdowns prevented Tharshani from selling the chickens she raises for market. She was forced to take loans from her neighbours and her family had to skip meals.

Some 1.7 million women in Sri Lanka work in the informal sector, where no state employment protections exist and not working means no wages. COVID-19 is exacerbating women’s struggles with poverty and forcing them to take on debilitating debts.

Although Sri Lankan men also face increased labour precarity, due to gender discrimination and sexism in the job market, women are forced into the informal sector — the jobs hardest hit by the pandemic.

Two women sit in chairs, wearing face masks
Sri Lankan women chat after getting inoculated against the coronavirus in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in August 2021. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

The pandemic has also led to women and girls facing increased gender-based violence.

In Nepal, between March 2020 and June 2021, there was an increase in cases of gender-based violence. Over 1,750 incidents were reported in the media, of which rape and sexual assault represented 82 per cent. Pandemic lockdowns also led to new vulnerabilities for women who sought out quarantine shelters — in Lamkichuha, Nepal, a woman was allegedly gang-raped at a quarantine facility.

Gender-based violence is more prevalent among women and girls of low caste in Nepal and the pandemic has made it worse. The Samata Foundation reported 90 cases of gender-based violence faced by women and girls of low caste within the first six months of the pandemic.

What’s next?

While COVID-19 recovery efforts are generally focused on preparing for future pandemics and economic recovery, the women, peace and security agenda can also address the needs of some of those most marginalized when it comes to COVID-19 recovery.

The women, peace and security agenda promotes women’s participation in peace and security matters with a focus on helping women facing violent conflict. By incorporating women’s perspectives, issues and concerns in the context of COVID-19 recovery, policies and activities can help address issues that disproportionately impact most women in war-affected countries.

These issues are: precarious gendered labor market, a surge in care work, the rising feminization of poverty and increased gender-based violence.

A girl in a face mask stares out a window
The women, peace and security agenda can help address the needs of some of those most marginalized. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha)

Policies could include efforts to create living-wage jobs for women that come with state benefits, emergency funding for women heads of household (so they can avoid taking out predatory loans) and increasing the number of resources (like shelters and legal services) for women experiencing domestic gender-based violence.

The impacts of COVID-19 must be incorporated into women, peace and security planning in order to achieve the agenda’s aims of improving the lives of women and girls in postwar countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Luna KC is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Research Network-Women Peace Security, McGill University. This project is funded by the Government of Canada Mobilizing Insights in Defence and Security (MINDS) program.

Crystal Whetstone does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

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CDC Announces Overhaul After Botching Pandemic

CDC Announces Overhaul After Botching Pandemic

After more than two years of missteps and backpedaling over Covid-19 guidance that had a profound…



CDC Announces Overhaul After Botching Pandemic

After more than two years of missteps and backpedaling over Covid-19 guidance that had a profound effect on Americans' lives, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced on Wednesday that the agency would undergo a complete overhaul - and will revamp everything from its operations to its culture after failing to meet expectations during the pandemic, Bloomberg reports.

Director Rochelle Walensky began telling CDC’s staff Wednesday that the changes are aimed at replacing the agency’s insular, academic culture with one that’s quicker to respond to emergencies. That will mean more rapidly turning research into health recommendations, working better with other parts of government and improving how the CDC communicates with the public. -Bloomberg

"For 75 years, CDC and public health have been preparing for Covid-19, and in our big moment, our performance did not reliably meet expectations," said Director Rochelle Walensky. "I want us all to do better and it starts with CDC leading the way.  My goal is a new, public health action-oriented culture at CDC that emphasizes accountability, collaboration, communication and timeliness."

As Bloomberg further notes, The agency has been faulted for an inadequate testing and surveillance program, for not collecting important data on how the virus was spreading and how vaccines were performing, for being too under the influence of the White House during the Trump administration and for repeated challenges communicating to a politically divided and sometimes skeptical public."

A few examples:

Walensky made the announcement in a Wednesday morning video message to CDC staff, where she said that the US has 'significant work to do' in order to improve the country's public health defenses.

"Prior to this pandemic, our infrastructure within the agency and around the country was too frail to tackle what we confronted with Covid-19," she said. "To be frank, we are responsible for some pretty dramatic, pretty public mistakes — from testing, to data, to communications."

The CDC overhaul comes on the heels of the agency admitting that "unvaccinated people now have the same guidance as vaccinated people" - and that those exposed to COVID-19 are no longer required to quarantine.

Tyler Durden Wed, 08/17/2022 - 12:22

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Why Is No One at Nike Working This Week?

And will the move gain broader acceptance among American employers?



And will the move gain broader acceptance among American employers?

You go into an office, pull at the door and find that it doesn't give and nobody's there. 

It may sound like the start of the common rushing-to-the-office-on-a-Saturday nightmare but, more and more, collective time off is being embraced by employees as part of a push for a better work culture.

While professional social media platform LinkedIn  (MSFT) - Get Microsoft Corporation Report and dating app Bumble  (BMBL) - Get Bumble Inc. Report had already experimented with collective time off for workers, the corporate ripples truly began with Nike  (NKE) - Get Nike Inc. Report.

In August 2021, the activewear giant announced that it was giving the 11,000-plus employees at its Oregon headquarters the week off to "power down" and "destress" from stress brought on by the covid-19 pandemic.

"In a year (or two) unlike any other, taking time for rest and recovery is key to performing well and staying sane," Matt Marrazzos, Nike's senior manager of global marketing science, wrote to employees at the time.

Nike Is On Vacation Right Now

The experiment was, not exactly unexpectedly, very well-received — a year later, the company instituted its second annual "Well-Being Week." Both the corporate headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., and three Air Manufacturing design labs with over 1,500 employees are closed for a collective paid vacation from Aug. 15 to 19.

"We knew it would be impactful, but I was blown away by the feedback from our teammates [...]," Nike's Chief Human Resources Officer Monique Matheson wrote in a LinkedIn post.

"Because everyone was away at the same time, teammates said they could unplug – really unplug, without worrying about what was happening back at the office or getting anxiety about the emails piling up."


Of course, the time off only applies to corporate employees. To keep the stores running and online orders fulfilled but not exacerbate the differences between blue and white collar workers, Nike gave its retail and distribution employees a week's worth of paid days off that they can use as they see fit.

Nike has tied the change to its commitment to prioritize mental health. In the last year, it launched everything from a "marathon of mental health" to a podcast that discusses how exercise can be used to manage anxiety and depression.

Rippling Through the Corporate World?

But as corporations are often criticized for turning mental health into positive PR without actually doing much for employees, the collective week off was perhaps the most significant thing the company did for workers' mental health.

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The practice of set office closures has long been common practice in many European countries. In France, not only corporate offices but even restaurants and retail stores empty out over the month of August for what is culturally considered sacred vacation time. 

But as American work culture prioritizes individual choice and "keeping business going" above all else, the practice has been seen as radical by many corporate heads and particularly small businesses that may find it more difficult to have such a prolonged drop in business. 

But in many ways, the conversations mirror some companies' resistance to remote work despite the fact that one-fourth of white-collar jobs in the U.S. are expected to be fully remote by 2023

"This is the kind of perk that makes employees want to stay," industry analyst Shep Hyken wrote in a comment for RetailWire. "And knowing they can’t completely shut the entire company down, I like the way they are compensating the distribution and retail store employees."

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