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Five reasons why young people should get a COVID booster vaccine

Since immunity from COVID vaccination begins to wane over time, it’s important that everyone, irrespective of age, receives their boosters as soon as…



Sarayut Sridee/Shutterstock

Vaccination has played a substantial role in reducing the impact of COVID across the globe, and allowed life in most countries to gradually return to something like how we remember it before the pandemic. Researchers estimate that tens of millions of lives have been saved thanks to COVID vaccines.

Given immunity to the initial course of vaccines wanes over time, booster doses are important. As with the original doses, boosters were rightly offered first to the most vulnerable. But a third dose has been available to all adults in the UK since December 2021.

Data shows more than 90% of people in England aged over 70 have received a booster or third vaccine dose. But coverage in younger adults is much lower. For example, just over 70% of young adults aged 18–24 have had one vaccine, with only 39% having received a booster.

Quarter life, a series by The Conversation

This article is part of Quarter Life, a series about issues affecting those of us in our twenties and thirties. From the challenges of beginning a career and taking care of our mental health, to the excitement of starting a family, adopting a pet or just making friends as an adult. The articles in this series explore the questions and bring answers as we navigate this turbulent period of life.

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COVID vaccines: why second boosters are being offered to vulnerable people in the UK – but not young and healthy people yet

COVID: how careful do I still need to be around older and vulnerable family members?

COVID vaccines for children: uptake in the UK is slow – here’s why parents might be hesitant

It’s been clear since early in the pandemic that older age and a variety of underlying medical conditions put people at much higher risk of getting very sick or dying from COVID. This contrasts sharply with otherwise healthy young people where the incidence of serious illness, hospitalisation and death has been much lower.

Given this, it’s reasonable to ask why young adults should bother having a COVID vaccination, let alone additional booster shots. Here are some of the reasons they should.

1. Immunity from COVID vaccines wanes over time

Some vaccines, such as the MMR vaccine (measles, mumps and rubella), can provide lifelong protection. In contrast, the effectiveness of COVID vaccines begins to decline in the months afterwards.

Immunity doesn’t simply drop off a cliff. It’s a more gradual decline, with a typical reduction of about 21% in protection against infection and 10% against severe disease in the six months after vaccination.

Although the decline in immunity can be more pronounced in the elderly and those with weakened immune systems, all age groups are affected. And any notable reduction in immunity will provide opportunities for increased virus transmission, and ultimately be reflected in increased incidence of serious illness, hospitalisation and death.

Fortunately, protection can be effectively restored after a booster with an mRNA vaccine.

2. Protecting other people

Vaccination doesn’t only provide protection to the person being vaccinated. COVID vaccination also indirectly protects the population as a whole by reducing onward spread of the disease.

Many young adults live in households with, or meet regularly with, elderly or clinically vulnerable relatives or friends. They might have partners who are pregnant. People who are not fully vaccinated have a higher likelihood of being infected with COVID and passing it on to their close contacts.

This is clearly illustrated in Israeli research which found that children in households with two vaccinated parents were much less likely to catch COVID.

3. Reducing the impact of long COVID

Many people of all ages continue to report symptoms of COVID for months after the original infection, termed “long COVID”. Long COVID can be debilitating, and has been reported even after relatively mild infections. It may occur in up to 30% of people who get COVID, though estimates have varied.

It remains unclear why some people are affected while others are not. But fortunately, research shows that vaccination reduces the risk of long COVID. One study suggests a reduction of about 15%, while another suggests the risk is halved. Having a booster may further reduce this risk.

Whatever the precise level of protection, given continually high numbers of COVID infections, even a 15% reduction will lead to significantly fewer long COVID cases.

4. Fewer days off work or study

For young adults in employment or education, the increased protection provided by being fully vaccinated will mean fewer days off work or interruptions to education due to illness with COVID or long COVID. At a time of increasing financial pressure, for some this may mean fewer days of income lost.

5. COVID vaccines are safe

Over the past two years, billions of COVID vaccine doses have been administered across the globe. COVID vaccines have proven to be very effective and, importantly, safe.

Some serious side effects were identified on very rare occasions, such as a certain type of blood clot and myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle). But through careful monitoring, we have been able to identify potential risk factors for these rare side effects, and determine which vaccines and doses are most appropriate for which groups.

A young man has a plaster put on after he has received a vaccination.
Billions of COVID vaccines have now been administered globally. CDC/Unsplash

Certain people have expressed concerns that repeated use of vaccines could weaken the immune system. This is not true. We have been administering annual flu vaccinations for decades with no evidence that this negatively affects our immune systems.

Vaccines also don’t harm fertility. On the contrary, they may well protect against the sexual dysfunction reported by some people with long COVID. They are also safe for use during pregnancy.

It’s true that infection itself can also confer some immunity against future infection. But vaccination is a much more precise and safe way of providing this.

Preparing for what’s to come

COVID infections in the UK have begun to gradually decline over the summer months. But what might happen next is uncertain. There is concern that as we approach the winter, a new variant could cause infections and hospitalisations to skyrocket, especially if it has mutations that help it to evade vaccine protection.

With this in mind, updated vaccines designed to provide broader protection against omicron, the currently dominant COVID variant, will be deployed in the UK this autumn to older and vulnerable groups now eligible for a fourth dose.

Meanwhile, it’s crucial that younger people who haven’t yet had their initial vaccines or booster shot come forward. Acting now will see us better prepared for future waves of infections as we enter the winter months, and help to reduce the impact the pandemic has on our health, society and an already pressured health service.

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

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Decrease in Japanese children’s ability to balance during movement related to COVID-19 activity restrictions

A team of researchers from Nagoya University in central Japan investigated how restrictions on children’s activities during the COVID-19 pandemic affected…



A team of researchers from Nagoya University in central Japan investigated how restrictions on children’s activities during the COVID-19 pandemic affected their life habits and their abilities to perform physical activities. By comparing medical examination data before and after the onset of the pandemic, they found that physical functions among adolescents deteriorated, including their dynamic balance. They also found that the children had higher body fat levels and worse life habits. Rather than a lack of exercise time, this may have been because of a lack of quality exercise due to activity restrictions.  

Credit: Credit must be given when image is used

A team of researchers from Nagoya University in central Japan investigated how restrictions on children’s activities during the COVID-19 pandemic affected their life habits and their abilities to perform physical activities. By comparing medical examination data before and after the onset of the pandemic, they found that physical functions among adolescents deteriorated, including their dynamic balance. They also found that the children had higher body fat levels and worse life habits. Rather than a lack of exercise time, this may have been because of a lack of quality exercise due to activity restrictions.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, in Japan, as in other countries, schools and sports clubs tried to prevent the spread of infection by reducing physical education and restricting outdoor physical activities, club activities, and sports. However, children who are denied opportunities for physical activity with social elements may develop bad habits. During the pandemic, children, like adults, increased the time they spent looking at television, smartphone, and computer screens, exercised less, and slept less. Such changes in lifestyle can harm adolescent bodies, leading to weight gain and health problems. 

Visiting Researcher Tadashi Ito and Professor Hideshi Sugiura from the Department of Biological Functional Science at the Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, together with Dr. Yuji Ito from the Department of Pediatrics at Nagoya University Hospital, and  Dr. Nobuhiko Ochi and Dr. Koji Noritake from Aichi Prefectural Mikawa Aoitori Medical and Rehabilitation Center for Developmental Disabilities, conducted a study of Japanese children and students in elementary and junior high schools, aged 9-15, by analyzing data from physical examinations before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. They evaluated the children’s muscle strength, dynamic balance functions, walking speed, body fat percentage, screen time, sleep time, quality of life, and physical activity time.  

The researchers found that after the onset of the pandemic, children were more likely to have decreased balance ability when moving, larger body fat percentage, report spending more time looking at TV, computers or smartphones, and sleep less. Since there were no changes in the time spent on physical activity or the number of meals eaten, Sugiura and his colleagues suggest that the worsening of physical functions was related to the quality of exercise of the children. The researchers reported their findings in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.  

“Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in Japan after April 2020, children have not been able to engage in sufficient physical education, sports activities, and outdoor play at school. It became clear that balance ability during movement was easily affected, lifestyle habits were disrupted, and the percentage of body fat was likely to increase,” explained Ito. “This may have been because of shorter outdoor playtime and club activities, which impeded children’s ability to learn the motor skills necessary to balance during movement.” 

“Limitations on children’s opportunities for physical activity because of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus have had a significant impact on the development of physical function and lifestyle and may cause physical deterioration and health problems in the future,” warned Ito. “Especially, the risk of injury to children may increase because of a reduced dynamic balance function.” 

The results suggest that even after the novel coronavirus becomes endemic, it is important to consider the effects of social restrictions on the body composition of adolescents. Since physical activities with a social element may be important for health, authorities should prioritize preventing the reduction of children’s physical inactivity and actively encourage them to play outdoors and exercise. The group has some recommendations for families worried about the effects of school closings and other coronavirus measures on their children. “It is important for children to practice dynamic balance ability, maintaining balance to avoid falling over while performing movements,” Ito advised. “To improve balance function in children, it is important to incorporate enhanced content, such as short-term exercise programs specifically designed to improve balance functions.” 

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Contradictions, Lies, And “I Don’t Recalls”: The Fauci Deposition

Contradictions, Lies, And "I Don’t Recalls": The Fauci Deposition

Authored by Techno Fog via The Reactionary,

Today, Missouri Attoney General…



Contradictions, Lies, And "I Don't Recalls": The Fauci Deposition

Authored by Techno Fog via The Reactionary,

Today, Missouri Attoney General Eric Schmitt released the transcript of the testimony of Dr. Anthony Fauci. As you might recall, Fauci was deposed as part of an ongoing federal lawsuit challenging the Biden Administration’s violations of the First Amendment in targeting and suppressing the speech of Americans who challenged the government’s narrative on COVID-19.

Here is the Fauci deposition transcript.

And here are the highlights…

EcoHealth Alliance - the Peter Daszak group - is knee-deep in the Wuhan controversy, having been funded by the Fauci’s NIH for coronavirus and gain of function research in China (and having worked with the Chinese team in Wuhan). What does Fauci say about EcoHealth Alliance? Over two years after the COVID-19 pandemic began, and after millions dead worldwide, he’s “vaguely familiar” with their work.

In early 2020, Fauci was put on notice that his group - NIAID - had funded EcoHealth alliance on bat coronavirus research for the past five years.

This coincided with early reports - directly to Fauci, from Jeremy Ferrar and Christian Anderson - “of the possibility of there being a manipulation of the virus” based on the fact that “it was an unusual virus.”

Fauci conceded that he was specifically made aware by Anderson that “the unusual features of the virus” make it look “potentially engineered.”

Fauci couldn’t recall why he sent an article discussing gain of function research in China to his deputy, Hugh Auchincloss, telling him it was essential that they speak on the phone. He couldn’t recall speaking with Auchincloss via phone that day. But remarkably, Fauci did remember assigning research tasks to Auchincloss

Fauci was evasive on conversations with Francis Collins about whether NIAID may have funded coronavirus-related research in China, eventually stating “I don’t recall.”

The phrase “I don’t recall” was prominent in Fauci’s deposition. He said it a total of 174 times:

For example, Fauci couldn’t remember what anyone said on a call discussing whether the virus originated in a lab:

During that same call, Fauci couldn’t recall whether anyone expressed concern that the lab leak “might discredit scientific funding projects.” He also couldn’t recall whether there was a discussion about a lab leak distracting from the virus response. Fauci did remember, however, that they agreed there needed to be more time to investigate the virus origins - including the lab leak theory.

What else couldn’t Fauci remember? Whether, early into the pandemic, his confidants raised concerns about social media posts about the origins of COVID-19.

Yet Fauci did admit he was concerned about social media posts blaming China for the pandemic. He even admitted the accidental lab leak “certainly is a possibility,” contradicting his prior claims to National Geographic where he said the virus “could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated.”

Fauci also couldn’t recall whether he had any conversations with Daszak about the origins of COVID-19 in February 2020, but admitted those conversations might have happened: “I told you before that I did not remember any direct conversations with him about the origin, and I said I very well might have had conversations but I don't specifically remember conversations.” And he couldn’t recall telling the media early on during the pandemic that the virus was consistent with a jump “from an animal to a human.”

Fauci said he was in the dark on social media actions to curb speech and suspend accounts that posted COVID-19 information that didn’t fit the mainstream narrative: “I’m not aware of suppression of speech on social media.” Yet it was Fauci’s proclamations of the truth, whether about the origins of COVID-19 to the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine, that led to social media companies banning discussions of contrary information.

Regarding those removals of content, Fauci had no personal knowledge of a US Government/Social Media effort to curb “misinformation.” But he conceded the possibility numerous times.

Then there’s the issue of masks. In February 2020, Fauci informed an acquaintance that was traveling: “I do not recommend that you wear a mask.” Fauci would later become a vocal proponent of masks only two months later.

I’m near my Substack length limit - posting the excerpts does that - but you can see from Fauci’s testimony that his public statements about COVID-19 origins and the necessity to wear a mask didn’t match his private conversations. This has been known for some time, but it’s finally nice to get him on record.

Again, read it all and subscribe here.

Tyler Durden Mon, 12/05/2022 - 21:40

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Global Wages Take A Hit As Inflation Eats Into Paychecks

Global Wages Take A Hit As Inflation Eats Into Paychecks

The global inflation crisis paired with lackluster economic growth and an outlook…



Global Wages Take A Hit As Inflation Eats Into Paychecks

The global inflation crisis paired with lackluster economic growth and an outlook clouded by uncertainties have led to a decline in real wages around the world, a new report published by the International Labour Organization (ILO) has found.

As Statista's Felix Richter reports, according to the 2022-23 Global Wage Report, global real monthly wages fell 0.9 percent this year on average, marking the first decline in real earnings at a global scale in the 21st century.

You will find more infographics at Statista

The multiple global crises we are facing have led to a decline in real wages.

"It has placed tens of millions of workers in a dire situation as they face increasing uncertainties,” ILO Director-General Gilbert F. Houngbo said in a statement, adding that “income inequality and poverty will rise if the purchasing power of the lowest paid is not maintained.”

While inflation rose faster in high-income countries, leading to above-average real wage declines in North America (minus 3.2 percent) and the European Union (minus 2.4 percent), the ILO finds that low-income earners are disproportionately affected by rising inflation. As lower-wage earners spend a larger share of their disposable income on essential goods and services, which generally see greater price increases than non-essential items, those who can least afford it suffer the biggest cost-of-living impact of rising prices.

“We must place particular attention to workers at the middle and lower end of the pay scale,” Rosalia Vazquez-Alvarez, one of the report’s authors said.

“Fighting against the deterioration of real wages can help maintain economic growth, which in turn can help to recover the employment levels observed before the pandemic. This can be an effective way to lessen the probability or depth of recessions in all countries and regions,” she said.

Tyler Durden Mon, 12/05/2022 - 20:00

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