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A clinical trial of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine involving young children and teenagers has been halted by Oxford researchers as British drug regulators conduct a safety review of the two-shot regimen.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency is looking into a possible link between the COVID-19 vaccine and blood clots in people across the world, including in several European countries. So far, there have only been 30 cases of blood clots out of 18 million doses administered across the European continent, including seven fatalities. Most of the cases were diagnosed as cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, which are clots that drain blood from the brain and can lead to strokes.
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Marco Cavaleri, the head of vaccines for the European Medicines Agency, told an Italian newspaper Tuesday the agency was prepared to confirm a link between the troubled vaccine and blood clots, but the EMA issued a statement to Agence France Presse denying those claims, saying it expected to announce its findings either Wednesday or Thursday.
The AstraZeneca vaccine has had a troubled rollout across the world, initially because of a lack of information from its late-stage clinical trials on its effect on older people, which has slowed vaccination efforts throughout Europe. Many nations stopped administering the AstraZeneca vaccine because of the blood clotting incidents.
Britain adds Moderna vaccine
Meanwhile, Britain is adding the highly successful Moderna two-shot vaccine to its immunization campaign beginning Wednesday in Wales. Moderna’s vaccine is the third approved for use in Britain after the AstraZeneca and Pfizer versions.
The 17 million doses of the Moderna vaccine ordered by Britain comes as it deals with a shortfall of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine due to manufacturing issues.
The pandemic has sickened more than 132.5 million people across the globe since it was first detected in central China in late 2019, and more than 2.8 million deaths have been reported, according to the Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Research Center. [[ COVID-19 Map – Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center (jhu.edu) ]] Brazil’s health ministry reported 4,195 deaths on Tuesday, its worst single-day death toll from the pandemic, pushing the number of coronavirus fatalities there to nearly 337,000, the second-highest in the world, just behind the 556,529 deaths in the United States.
The pandemic is continuing to wreak havoc on preparations for the upcoming Tokyo Summer Olympic Games. The governor of the western Japanese prefecture of Osaka said Wednesday he is canceling the traditional Olympic torch relay, which was due to move through Osaka next week, due to a record high of 878 new infections posted on Tuesday.
Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura declared a medical state of emergency Wednesday, warning that the prefecture’s medical system is near collapse, with a hospital bed occupancy rate at 70 percent capacity. Yoshimura attributed the spike in new infections to new, more contagious variants of the infection that are spreading rapidly across Osaka. The COVID-19 disease is caused by the coronavirus.
Japan is dealing with a rising rate of new infections amid an extremely slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.
COVID impact on brain
A new study published Wednesday in the medical journal Lancet Psychiatry has found that 34 percent of COVID-19 survivors suffer from either neurological or psychiatric conditions within six months of infection.
An analysis of more than 230,000 patients revealed that 17 percent were diagnosed with anxiety, with 14 percent suffering from mood disorders.
The researchers also found that survivors were at 44 percent greater risk of suffering from a neurological and psychiatric illness compared with people recovering from flu and at 16 percent greater risk than people suffering from other respiratory tract infections. (VOA/KB)
A large majority of Indians seem convinced that social media is responsible for the increased gulf between the Hindu and Muslim communities in the country.
This was revealed by a nationwide poll conducted by IANS-CVoter with a sample size of 1942 using random sampling on December 5, one day before the beginning of the 30th anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992.
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Close to half the respondents surveyed, 48.2 per cent to be precise felt that social media had increased the gulf between the communities to a large extent.
About 23 per cent of the respondents felt that social media had increased the gulf to some extent. In effect, more than 71 per cent Indians hold social media responsible for the recent friction between the two communities.
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In contrast, 28.6 per cent were of the opinion that social media had no role to play in this phenomenon. If you look at political divides, 40.7 per cent of NDA voters felt social media was responsible to a large extent while 53.6 per cent of opposition voters felt the same.
48.2 per cent to be precise felt that social media had increased the gulf between the communities to a large extent.Unsplash
Social media platforms have come under increased scrutiny of late for their alleged role in spreading misinformation, fake news, abusive and defamatory content and direct incitement to violence. It has become routine for state and local level administrations to temporarily ban access to social media platforms in areas that report tension and fears of violence.
A parliamentary committee has recently submitted a set of recommendations to regulate social media platforms. One major recommendation is to treat them as publishers while the other is to form a regulatory body on the lines of Press Council of India to regulate their activities. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : social media, Hindu, Muslim, community, country, poll, respondents, political, religious, misinformation, violence. abuse, regulations)
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Final preparations are in full swing at Six Senses Fort Barwara which will host the much talked about wedding of celebrity couple Vicky Kaushal and Katrina Kaif.
According to sources, the event company working for this wedding has procured crystal balls and chandeliers from abroad to give a royal look to the wedding. These will be installed in the hotel soon.
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Six Senses Hotel has also parked indicator vehicles on the road at frequent intervals for the guests to reach the hotel easily. A glass 'mandap' has been prepared and decorated in Rajwada style for the couple to take 'pheres' (rounds around the fire) as per Hindu rituals. Moreover, the glass carvings on the mandap is such that it creates an optical illusion.
This wedding ceremony will be held amidst tight security arrangements. Secret codes have been given to each of the guests, so that it is impossible to know which guest is staying in which room.
Mobile phones have been banned inside the venue. International photographers have been hired to shoot the entire wedding. The ceremonies will be held from December 7 to December 9, with bouncers and police personnel looking after the security arrangements. As many as 100 bouncers have arrived from Jaipur to look after security arrangements at the wedding.
Katrina and Vicky's wedding is to be solemnized on December 9.Unsplash
Vicky Kaushal and Katrina Kaif's outfits have been designed in Mumbai which they will wear during different wedding ceremonies.
As per information, Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal are scheduled to reach Hotel Six Senses Fort Barwara located at Chauth Ka Barwara, by 9 p.m. on Monday, via car from Jaipur where both are expected to receive a grand welcome by the hotel management.
Along with Vicky and Katrina, their family members too will reach the hotel on Monday. However, some close family members and other guests will reach the venue separately. Katrina's sister Natasha and friends reached Jaipur airport on Monday afternoon from where they left for the wedding venue by car.
Katrina and Vicky's wedding is to be solemnized on December 9. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : wedding, Bollywood, Vicky Kaushal, Katrina Kaif, Rajasthan, hotel, Fort Barwara, ceremony, photographer, bouncer, outfit)
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Meta-owned WhatsApp on Monday announced an incubator programme in India that will select 10 organisations and help them build digital solutions to tackle critical health issues.
Called the WhatsApp Incubator Programme (WIP), the initiative aims to facilitate positive and measurable health outcomes at scale by leveraging the WhatsApp Business Platform.
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"During the pandemic we have seen several innovative use cases of the WhatsApp Business Platform by government organisations, civic actors, city administrations and many more NGOs, both large and small, across sectors and locations," said Abhijit Bose, Head of WhatsApp India.
The selected organisations will also be provided with technical support in order to design, prototype and pilot their health use cases.Unsplash
Also Read : The story behind Whatsapp
"We hope the WhatsApp Incubator Programme brings forth more such innovative and unique solutions that will help solve India's healthcare needs," he said in a statement.
The selected organizations will also be provided with technical support in order to design, prototype and pilot their health use cases.
The company said that participating organizations get the opportunity to be mentored by industry experts, access on-ground ecosystems, receive support with impact measurement guidance, and a chance to network with funders to scale their use cases.
The programme, for which applications are open till December 24, is being administered by Quicksand Design Studio, WhatsApp said. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : Whatsapp, incubator, organizations, digital, health, business, pandemic, innovative, technical)
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