The Defender’s COVID NewsWatch provides a roundup of the latest headlines related to the SARS CoV-2 virus, including its origins and COVID vaccines.
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Latest COVID Booster Shots Will Be Released Before Human Testing Is Complete
The Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve new COVID-19 booster shots this week — before the vaccines are tested on humans, according to a new report by The Wall Street Journal. The new boosters are similar to the COVID vaccines currently available in the U.S. with minor modifications that protect recipients from the latest version of the Omicron variant.
Instead of waiting on data from testing in humans, the agency will use data from trials in mice — as well as the real-world evidence of the safety of currently available COVID vaccines and test results from earlier iterations of boosters targeting older strains to evaluate the newest boosters, FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said.
Some health experts are wary of the decision to release the shots without completed human trials. In June, two experts penned an op-ed demanding that the FDA not rush through the roll-out of the newest shots.
“I’m uncomfortable that we would move forward — that we would give millions or tens of millions of doses to people — based on mouse data,” one of the authors, Paul Offit, told the Journal.
Moderna’s COVID Vaccine Lawsuit Looks Ahead to Future Markets
Moderna‘s unexpected patent infringement lawsuit against Pfizer and BioNTech over COVID vaccine technology says more about the future market for mRNA shots than the current state of the pandemic. With the federal government’s vaccine purchases likely to drop off, experts see top manufacturers jockeying for customers and using the technology for other conditions.
“Moderna looks at Pfizer’s success as a threat to market share,” said Jacob Sherkow, an authority on intellectual property and the life sciences University of Illinois’ College of Law and College of Medicine. “Filing suit may slow that down and be one way to ensure Moderna’s share of the product is going to remain a leader in this particular space.”
Moderna has said it is using its mRNA platform in four areas: infectious disease, cancer, rare diseases and autoimmune disorders.
“They’re trying to protect the franchise,” Erik Gordon, a University of Michigan business professor, lawyer and expert on the drug industry, told Axios’ Nathan Bomey. “They do want money — but I think the bigger money is money they hope to get in the future based on this platform.”
Annual COVID Boosters May Not Be Good Use of Resources: AstraZeneca Boss
But Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca’s chief executive officer, said that he is unclear on whether “boosting people every year is that critical.” In an interview with The Telegraph, Soriot said he believes most of the vaccinated population has a “foundation immunity against severe disease” at this point.
On boosting people every year, he said, “I’m not sure it’s a really good use of money, because most of the people now who catch it will just have symptoms if they get COVID, and that’s it.”
Biden’s COVID Plan Could Lead to Soaring Rates of Vaccine Fatigue
On August 16, CNN reported that Dr. Ashish Jha, the White House’s COVID response coordinator, said at an event that the government was working on getting out of the “acute emergency phase” of the pandemic in which it was buying vaccines, treatments and tests for the public to use for free. Instead, these products would move to the regular U.S. healthcare system.
At the same time, Jha added the government had raised money to buy updated booster shots for the BA.5 variant, which he expected to be ready in early- to mid-September and urged all U.S. citizens to get them once they’re available.
“Even with the currently freely available vaccines, we are having difficulty breaking through the ‘vaccine fatigue’ to get people to accept boosters,” said Dr. William Schaffner, professor of preventive medicine in the Department of Health Policy at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.
Rockefeller Foundation Wants Behavioral Scientists to Come up With More Convincing COVID Vaxx Narratives
In yet another sign that the COVID vaccination agenda of globalist institutions did not do quite as well as they had originally hoped, the Rockefeller Foundation has revealed that it (along with other non-profits) has been pumping millions of dollars into a behavioral science project meant to figure out why large groups of people around the world refuse to take the jab.
The “Mercury Project” is a collective of behavioral scientists formed by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), a non-profit group that receives considerable funding from globalist organizations and governments. The stated goals of the project are rather non-specific, using ambiguous language and mission statements. However, the root intentions appear to be focused on using behavioral psychology and mass psychology elements to understand the global resistance to the recent COVID compliance efforts.
Mercury groups will be deployed in multiple nations and regions and will study vaccine refusal and the medical “disinformation” that leads to it. They are operating with the intent to tailor vaccination narratives to fit different ethnic and political backgrounds, looking for the key to the gates of each cultural kingdom and convincing them to take the jab.
‘A Collective Trauma’: COVID Keeps Its Grip on Mental Health of Many Patients
Eric Wood, a mental health professional who leads virtual support groups for Indiana judges and attorneys, can look at a screen full of heads nodding in reaction to what someone said and know that the meeting is providing some relief for participants who have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Wood, who lives in Indianapolis, can also see how his wife, Diane Keller Wood, has made gradual improvements in her recovery from long COVID’s significant effects on her mental and physical health.
Still, Keller Wood and the jurists, like millions of other Americans, have not fully recovered from the mental health problems connected to the pandemic and the surrounding societal upheaval over the last two and a half years.
While there are indications that, at least among U.S. adults, the rates of anxiety and depression have decreased from the spikes seen during the first year of the pandemic, they still remain higher than before COVID, and there still aren’t enough psychiatrists and therapists.
Biden Administration to Stop Sending Free At-Home COVID Tests Friday
A stockpile of the tests is being depleted, and officials want to have enough on hand in the event of a fall surge, the source said.
The giveaway, which includes tests mailed at no cost to recipients who request them at Covidtests.gov, will end Friday, according to an announcement on the site — unless there’s a surprise round of funding from Congress, the source said.
Struggling With Long COVID? Here’s What Experts Say You Should — and Should Not — Eat
Fatigue, brain fog, heart palpitations and breathing difficulties. Those are just some of the common symptoms of “long COVID” that can affect people in the long term after recovery from infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Long COVID is essentially post-infection conditions that could linger for weeks, months or years — long after a person tests negative for COVID-19. It can also be referred to as post-COVID conditions or chronic COVID.
CNBC Make It finds out what you should and shouldn’t eat if you think you have long COVID.
U.S. Government to Provide $11 Million for Production of Monkeypox Vaccine
The Denmark-based company, which is the maker of the only approved monkeypox vaccine, had earlier this month signed up Michigan-based Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing to package the shot.
More than 90 countries where monkeypox is not endemic have reported outbreaks of the viral disease. Globally, the number of confirmed cases has crossed 47,600 with over 17,000 cases reported in the United States so far.
CDC Cautiously Optimistic That Monkeypox Outbreak Might Be Slowing as Cases Fall in Major Cities
“We’re watching this with cautious optimism, and really hope that many of our harm-reduction messages and our vaccines are getting out there and working,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters Friday during an update on the monkeypox outbreak.
Although monkeypox cases are still increasing nationally, the speed of the outbreak appears to be slowing, Walensky said. The U.S. has reported nearly 17,000 monkeypox cases since May, more than any other country in the world, according to CDC data.