Health News StoriesExcerpts of Key Health News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of health news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
Santa Clara County health leaders announced a drop in its COVID-19 death toll by nearly a quarter after it refined its approach in reporting the data. The county reported that it had reviewed each COVID-19 fatality and was only counting those whose cause of death was from the virus and not those who tested positive for COVID-19 at the time of death but did not necessarily die from the virus. The new approach meant that the death toll dropped by 22%, specifically from 2,201 to 1,696 deaths. "It is important to go back and do this accounting to see if COVID was actually the cause of death," said ... Infectious Disease expert Dr. Monica Gandhi. "I think that transparent communication is an upside, I mean, in the sense that it's true that if we did this across the nation, it would bring our death rate lower. A downside of that, could be that people will say, 'Well, it wasn't as serious as you said.'" The refined approach in Santa Clara County comes as county officials try to figure out the true impact of the virus on the community. Last month, Alameda County health leaders refined their approach to reporting COVID-19 deaths as well and also registered a drop in that county's death toll by about a quarter. "In the midst of everything COVID people were sort of putting down that cause of death as COVID," Gandhi said. "It is important to go back and do this accounting to see if COVID was actually the cause of death." Gandhi believes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may soon ask all counties to do the same.
Note: Read an informative article showing how COVID numbers have been inflated in many ways. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
The new coronavirus variants have raised concerns about whether vaccines will remain effective against this disease. But the vaccines themselves could drive the evolution of more mutants. The virus is always mutating. And if one happens to produce a mutation that makes it less vulnerable to the vaccine, that virus could simply multiply in a vaccinated individual. But even if that happens, that's only one step in the process. If the vaccine keeps virus levels low, even mutated viruses, the infected person won't produce enough to spread to other people. Unfortunately, at the moment, scientists can't answer the most basic questions about this process. How much does the virus actually replicate inside a person who has been vaccinated with either one dose or two? And how effective is that vaccine at limiting infection enough so that the virus levels stay low and prevent the spread to other people? Andrew Read at Penn State University says, whatever the answers may be, vaccine resistance or escape, as it's called, isn't nearly as scary as bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics. And this evolutionary pressure is present for any vaccine that doesn't completely block infection. Many vaccines, apparently, including the COVID vaccines, do not completely prevent a virus from multiplying inside someone even though these vaccines do prevent serious illness.
Note: This informative article presents further data that vaccines lead to increased mutation in viruses. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
As Covid raged, so did the country's other epidemic. Drug overdose deaths rose nearly 30 percent in 2020 to a record 93,000, according to preliminary statistics released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's the largest single-year increase recorded. The deaths rose in every state but two, South Dakota and New Hampshire, with pronounced increases in the South and West. Several grim records were set: the most drug overdose deaths in a year; the most deaths from opioid overdoses; the most overdose deaths from stimulants like methamphetamine; the most deaths from the deadly class of synthetic opioids known as fentanyls. In recent years, annual drug overdose deaths had already eclipsed the peak yearly deaths from car crashes, gun violence or the AIDS epidemic. The death toll from Covid-19 surpassed 375,000 last year, the largest American mortality event in a century, but drug deaths were experienced disproportionately among the young. In total, the 93,000 deaths cost Americans about 3.5 million years of life, according to a New York Times analysis. By comparison, coronavirus deaths in 2020 were responsible for about 5.5 million years of life. The pandemic itself undoubtedly contributed to the surge in overdose deaths, with disruption to outreach and treatment facilities and increased social isolation. Overdose deaths reached a peak nationally in the spring of 2020, in the midst of the pandemic's most severe period of shutdowns and economic contraction.
Note: This is one of the many, sad but predictable consequences of the lockdown. Note also that the NY Times blames it on the pandemic never once mentioning it was the consequences of the lockdown much more than the pandemic itself that caused these many deaths. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus and health from reliable major media sources.
Managers and career staff in the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention tampered with the assessments of dozens of chemicals to make them appear safer, according to four scientists who work at the agency. The whistleblowers, whose jobs involve identifying the potential harms posed by new chemicals, provided ... detailed evidence of pressure within the agency to minimize or remove evidence of potential adverse effects of the chemicals, including neurological effects, birth defects, and cancer. Information about hazards was deleted from agency assessments without informing or seeking the consent of the scientists who authored them. Some of these cases led the EPA to withhold critical information from the public about potentially dangerous chemical exposures. In other cases, the removal of the hazard information or the altering of the scientists' conclusions in reports paved the way for the use of chemicals, which otherwise would not have been allowed on the market. William Irwin, [one] of the four whistleblowers, who has worked at the EPA for over 11 years as a toxicologist, was ... moved out of the office after repeatedly resisting pressure to change his assessments to favor industry. Irwin said that while it had seemed obvious that the pressure stemmed from chemical companies, the science adviser in the office made the point irrefutably clear during an argument over one particular chemical assessment.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption from reliable major media sources.
Interviews with more than two dozen experts on pesticide regulation – including 14 who worked at the EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs, or OPP – described a federal environmental agency that is often unable to stand up to the intense pressures from powerful agrochemical companies, which spend tens of millions of dollars on lobbying each year and employ many former EPA scientists once they leave the agency. The enormous corporate influence has weakened and, in some cases, shut down the meaningful regulation of pesticides in the U.S. and left the country's residents exposed to levels of dangerous chemicals not tolerated in many other nations. This reporting has brought to light several instances in which the overlooking, burying, or scuttling of science has had direct consequences for human health. The alarming discoveries include an EPA report warning about the link between the pesticide glyphosate and cancer that never saw the light of day; the failure to consider evidence that a neonicotinoid pesticide causes brain damage; the refusal to investigate evidence that another pesticide that is an ingredient in Roundup may cause cancer ... and the agency's waiving of the vast majority of toxicity tests at the request of industry. The scientists who have identified these hazards described immense pressure from within the agency to overlook the risks they found. And several said they faced retribution for calling attention to the dangers of pesticides.
A colonoscopy might cost you or your insurer a few hundred dollars – or several thousand, depending on which hospital or insurer you use. Long hidden, such price variations are supposed to be available in stark black and white under a Trump administration price transparency rule that took effect at the start of this year. It requires hospitals to post a range of actual prices – everything from the rates they offer cash-paying customers to costs negotiated with insurers. While imperfect and potentially of limited use right now to the average consumer, the disclosures that are available illustrate the huge differences in prices – nationally, regionally and within the same hospital. Prices are all over the map. In Virginia, for example, the average price of a diagnostic colonoscopy is $2,763, but the range across the state is from $208 to $10,563. Patients can try to find the price information themselves by searching hospital websites, but even locating the correct tab on a hospital's website is tricky. But if you do want to try, here's one tip: "You can Google the hospital name and the words 'price transparency' and see where that takes you," says Caitlin Sheetz, director and head of analytics at the consulting firm ADVI Health. When it comes to compliance, "we're seeing the range of the spectrum," says Jeffrey Leibach, a partner at the consulting firm Guidehouse, which found earlier this year that about 60% of 1,000 hospitals surveyed had posted at least some data, but 30% had reported nothing at all.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
Sweden broke with most of the rest of the world and never mandated that people wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic. Now its even dropping its loose recommendation to use them. Sweden's Public Health Agency said that its recommendation people wear face masks on rush hour on public transport ends on Thursday. It had advised masking between 7 a.m. and 9 a.m., and 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., but only when people could not easily distance themselves from others. There were no circumstances in which the government said people had to wear masks in other public places. The agency says on its website that "advice on mouth protection in public transport during rush hour is removed" from July 1. The announcement comes as part of a wider easing on the same day, including the axing of restrictions on restaurant opening hours and more people being allowed at events. Jan Albert, an infectious diseases expert at Sweden's Karolinska Institute, [said] that he thought Sweden's new change made sense. He cited the falling number of new coronavirus cases in Sweden ... and the fact that many of the most vulnerable people in Sweden have now been vaccinated. Most of the world's governments have required people to wear face masks in certain situations, and some European countries have made people wear them outside. While other nations implemented lockdowns, Sweden had few rules. But its deaths did stay lower than many other European countries.
Note: How is it that Sweden, which was hit hard by the virus in the beginning, has had fewer hospitalizations and deaths per million than the US and 2/3 of the other European countries without a lockdown or requiring masks? For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
At least 10 out of 26 Indonesian doctors who have died from Covid-19 this month had been fully vaccinated with Sinovac, prompting health experts to consider whether medics should receive alternative doses to boost immunity. Indonesia, which has relied on the Chinese-made vaccine for its health workers, is struggling with a new surge in coronavirus cases. On Monday the country announced 20,694 new infections. In Kudus, a town in central Java, more than 500 medical workers have tested positive for Covid-19 over the last two weeks, including one doctor who died. All were fully vaccinated. The data, released by the risk mitigation team of the Indonesian Medical Association (IMA), adds to questions about the level of protection that Sinovac provides against new, more infectious variants. The vaccine was approved for emergency use this month by the World Health Organization, which said efficacy results showed it prevented symptomatic disease in 51% of those vaccinated, and prevented severe Covid-19 and hospitalisation in 100% of the studied population. However, several countries that have vaccinated a large proportion of their population and used the Chinese-made Sinovac or Sinopharm vaccines as part of their inoculation campaigns have reported recent outbreaks. These include Mongolia, Seychelles, Bahrain and Chile.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
New fear-based headlines are popping up every day about the SARS-COV-2 delta variant, now the dominant strain in the U.S., with the focus on evidence of its increased transmissibility, questions about its particular ability to "break through" vaccine protection and the impact that the variant may have on a return to school. The public health emergency of the pandemic as we knew it in California has entered a new stage. We are now in a "control" phase in our state. Vaccines provide a force field of immunity in our communities that leave mainly unvaccinated, high-risk individuals (and those without prior COVID-19 infection) vulnerable to serious disease. That number is getting smaller every day ... and the epidemiology is clear that children are not at high-risk for severe disease. There is no evidence that children have served as vectors for transmission of the virus, have worse long-term outcomes or that the delta variant has led to higher rates of hospitalization in children. In fact, we are seeing exactly what we would expect to see with a successful vaccination campaign: As more adults gain immunity, children are protected, too. This is particularly important as plans for school reopening in the fall reach high gear. The negative health and educational impacts of school closures on children are now abundantly clear. The WHO Europe's guidance should be taken to heart by state and local officials here in California: In-person restrictions and school-closure should be a measure of last resort.
Note: California remains on the only U.S. state which requires children to wear masks in school. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
A monkey virus that contaminated polio vaccine given to tens of millions of Americans in the 1950s and '60s may be causing rare human cancers. For four decades, government officials have insisted that there is no evidence the simian virus called SV40 is harmful to humans. But in recent years, dozens of scientific studies have found the virus in a steadily increasing number of rare brain, bone and lung-related tumors - the same malignant cancer SV40 causes in lab animals. Even more troubling, the virus has been detected in tumors removed from people never inoculated with the contaminated vaccine, leading some to worry that those infected by the vaccine might be spreading SV40. By the end of 1996, dozens of scientists reported finding SV40 in a variety of bone cancers and a wide range of brain cancers, which had risen 30 percent over the previous 20 years. Then, Italian researchers reported finding SV40 in 45 percent of the seminal fluid samples and 23 percent of the blood samples they had taken from healthy donors. That meant SV40 could have been spreading through sexual activity, from mother to child, or by other means, which could explain how those never inoculated with the contaminated vaccine ... were being infected. Dr. James Goedert, the chief of the NCI's Viral Epidemiology Branch ... acknowledged that research is needed to resolve the question of whether SV40 is prevalent in the human population and, if so, how it might be spreading. But Goedert said he has no plans for such studies.
Note: A follow-up article one week later is titled "New documents show the monkey virus is present in more recent polio vaccine." This BBC article further confirms these claims. And this video suggests that early vaccine creators knew they could cause cancer and that HIV may have been brought into the US through vaccines. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on vaccines from reliable major media sources.
Since 9/11, four times as many U.S. service members and veterans have died by suicide than have been killed in combat, according to a new report. The research, compiled by the Costs of War Project at Brown University, found an estimated 30,177 active duty personnel and veterans who have served in the military since 9/11 have died by suicide, compared with 7,057 killed in post 9/11 military operations. The figures include all service members, not just those who served in combat during that time. The majority of the deaths are among veterans who account for an estimated 22,261 of the suicides during that period. "The trend is deeply alarming," the report says. "The increasing rates of suicide for both veterans and active duty personnel are outpacing those of the general population, marking a significant shift." The Department of Veterans Affairs releases information on deaths by suicide, but it does not distinguish by conflict. The report's author, Thomas "Ben" Suitt III, took the VA data and estimated the total number of veteran suicides based on their ages and other factors. A total of 5,116 active duty service members have died by suicide since Sept. 11, 2001, the report says. Figures for the National Guard and Reserves are not available for the first 10 years, but from 2011 to 2020 an estimated 1,193 National Guard and 1,607 Reservists have died by suicide. In an interview, Suitt said the number 30,177 is likely well below the actual number of suicides for active duty and veterans.
At the bedside of a single Covid-19 patient who's already received the full official treatment protocol and is failing anyway, the decision to administer a drug like ivermectin, or fluvoxamine, or hydroxychloroquine, or any of a dozen other experimental treatments, seems like a no-brainer. Nothing else has worked, the patient is dying, why not? Telescope out a little further, however, and the ivermectin debate becomes more complicated, reaching into a series of thorny controversies, some ridiculous, some quite serious. The ridiculous side involves ... the censorship of ivermectin news. Anyone running a basic internet search on the topic will get a jumble of confusing results. YouTube's policies are beyond uneven. It's been aggressive in taking down videos ... and doling out strikes to independent media figures. Ivermectin has suffered the same fate as thousands of other news topics since Donald Trump first announced his run for the presidency nearly six years ago, cleaved in two to inhabit separate factual universes for left and right audiences. The drug has become a test case for a controversy that's long been building in health care, about how much input patients should have in their own treatment. Should people on their deathbeds be allowed to try anything to save themselves? That seems like an easy question to answer. Should the entire world be allowed to practice self-care on a grand scale? That's a different issue.
Note: Don't miss the entire article to see just how crazy the medical establishment has become in treating COVID. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the coronavirus from reliable major media sources.
One remarkable aspect of the Covid-19 pandemic has been how often unpopular scientific ideas, from the lab-leak theory to the efficacy of masks, were initially dismissed, even ridiculed, only to resurface later. Another reversal in thinking may be imminent. Some scientists have raised concerns that the safety risks of Covid-19 vaccines have been underestimated. But the politics of vaccination has relegated their concerns to the outskirts of scientific thinking. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System, or Vaers ... is a database that allows Americans to document adverse events that occur after receiving a vaccine. Vaers data for Covid-19 vaccines shows an interesting pattern. Among the 310 million Covid-19 vaccines administered, several adverse events are reported at high rates in the days immediately following vaccination, then drop sharply thereafter. The silence around these potential signals of harm reflects the policy surrounding Covid-19 vaccines. The stigma of such concerns is bad for scientific integrity and could harm patients. Four serious adverse events follow this arc, according to data directly from Vaers: low platelet count (thrombocytopenia); non-infectious myocarditis or inflammation of the heart, especially in those under 30; deep vein thrombosis. The implication is that the risks of a Covid-19 vaccine may outweigh the benefits for some low-risk populations, such as children, young adults, and people who have recovered from Covid-19.
Note: This article is also available here. Read a revealing article on how the WHO is flip flopping on the safety of vaccines for children. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
A CDC safety group said there's a "likely association" between a rare heart inflammatory condition in adolescents and young adults mostly after they've received their second Covid-19 vaccine shot, citing the most recent data available. There have been more than 1,200 cases of a myocarditis or pericarditis mostly in people 30 and under who received Pfizer's or Moderna's Covid vaccine, according to a series of slide presentations published Wednesday for a meeting of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Myocarditis is the inflammation of the heart muscle, while pericarditis is the inflammation of the membrane surrounding the heart. The agency said there have been 267 cases of myocarditis or pericarditis reported after receiving one dose of the mRNA vaccines and 827 reported cases after two doses through June 11. Roughly 300 million of the shots had been administered as of June 11. Men under 30 make up the bulk of the cases, the CDC said. Of the 295 people who have developed the condition and have been discharged, 79% of them have fully recovered. Nine people were hospitalized, with two in intensive care as of June 11. The CDC is coordinating its investigation with the Food and Drug Administration, which last month authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for adolescents ages 12 to 15. Symptoms, which include chest pain and shortness of breath, typically develop within a week of receiving the shot with most developing within four days, the agency said.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
The COVID-19 vaccines' second dose can pack a heavy punch. But while most people experience flu-like symptoms and complain of a sore arm, musician and anti-lockdown activist Eric Clapton says his side effects included frozen limbs. Clapton wrote a note recently to Italian architect Robin Monotti Graziadei, who has shared numerous anti-lockdown posts on social media, where he called his experience receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine "disastrous." The former Cream guitarist said he got the vaccine in February. "I took the first jab of AZ and straight away had severe reactions which lasted ten days, I recovered eventually and was told it would be twelve weeks before the second one," Clapton wrote. "About six weeks later I was offered and took the second AZ shot," he continued. "Needless to say the reactions were disastrous, my hands and feet were either frozen, numb or burning, and pretty much useless for two weeks, I feared I would never play again, (I suffer with peripheral neuropathy and should never have gone near the needle.) But the propaganda said the vaccine was safe for everyone." The side effects of the AstraZeneca vaccine – which has not been approved yet for use in the U.S. – are described by the U.K. government as "mild to moderate in nature" and are expected to go away after a few days.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on coronavirus vaccines from reliable major media sources.
US data on influenza deaths are a mess. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges a difference between flu death and flu associated death yet uses the terms interchangeably. There are significant statistical incompatibilities between official estimates and national vital statistics data. Compounding these problems is a marketing of fear - a CDC communications strategy in which medical experts "predict dire outcomes" during flu seasons. The CDC website states what has become commonly accepted and widely reported in the lay and scientific press: annually "about 36,000 [Americans] die from flu" and "influenza/pneumonia" is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. But why are flu and pneumonia bundled together? David Rosenthal, director of Harvard University Health Services, said, "People don't necessarily die, per se, of the [flu] virus. What they die of is a secondary pneumonia. So many of these pneumonias are not viral pneumonias but secondary [pneumonias]." In a written statement, CDC media relations responded to the diverse statistics: "Typically, influenza causes death when the infection leads to severe medical complications." Most such cases "are never tested for virus infection. The CDC uses indirect modelling methods to estimate the number of deaths associated with influenza." Thus the much publicized figure of 36,000 is ... an estimate generated by a model.
MDMA - most commonly known as a party drug - could be more effective than therapy alone at treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The results of a keenly-awaited trial suggest two-thirds of people no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis after treatment. The study represents a significant step towards approval of the drug in the US. PTSD can be the result of a very distressing or frightening event, or longer-term series of experiences. That might include accidents, abuse, rape, combat or illness. And it can be very difficult to treat. This trial, run by US charity the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (Maps), found 88% of people had a "meaningful reduction in symptoms" and 67% no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis at all after 18 weeks and three sessions of MDMA-assisted therapy. Talking therapy alone led to a significant improvement in 60%, and remission in 32% of people. The participants in the study, which was published in the journal Nature, had suffered from PTSD for an average of 14 years. MDMA appears to work in part by calming the amygdala. In people with PTSD and anxiety disorders, this part of the brain can overreact, sounding the alarm over seemingly small events. When we are babies, and again during adolescence, we experience periods where our brains are very pliable. The scientists involved in the study speculate that psychedelics and similar-acting drugs like MDMA might allow a "reopening" of this critical window of brain development.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.
Johnson & Johnson must pay a $2.1 billion award to women who claimed its baby powder was contaminated with cancer-causing asbestos, after the U.S. Supreme Court left intact the largest verdict in the almost decadelong litigation over the iconic product. The top U.S. court without comment on Tuesday refused to consider J&J's objections to a St. Louis jury's 2018 finding that its talc-based powder helped cause ovarian cancer in 20 women. J&J prepared for the appeal's denial by announcing in February it was setting aside almost $4 billion to cover the St. Louis verdict. The company still faces more than 25,000 lawsuits blaming baby powder for causing cancers. J&J pulled the product off U.S. and Canadian shelves last year. Jurors in the St. Louis case awarded each woman $25 million in compensatory damages. The panel then added more than $4 billion in punitive damages, making the award the sixth-largest in U.S. legal history. The original verdict sparked a significant drop in J&J's shares. J&J has lost other cases at trial, with juries across the U.S. ordering it to pay hundreds of millions of dollars. Judges slashed some of those awards while others have been thrown out or are on appeal. J&J has won cases as well. Asbestos, which is often found where talc is mined, is a recognized carcinogen. The women also contended that J&J showed years of deceit about its product and disregard for the health of its customers and argued that warranted the punitive damage award.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption from reliable major media sources.
A new study that checked American women's breast milk for PFAS contamination detected the toxic chemical in all 50 samples tested, and at levels nearly 2,000 times higher than the level some public health advocates advise is safe for drinking water. "These harmful chemicals are contaminating what should be nature's perfect food," said Erika Schreder, a co-author. PFAS, or per and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of about 9,000 compounds that are used to make products like food packaging, clothing and carpeting water and stain resistant. They are called "forever chemicals" because they do not naturally break down and have been found to accumulate in humans. They are linked to cancer, birth defects, liver disease, thyroid disease, plummeting sperm counts and a range of other serious health problems. The peer-reviewed study ... found PFAS at levels in milk ranging from 50 parts per trillion (ppt) to more than 1,850ppt. The federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry ... recommends as little as 14ppt in children's drinking water. Studies of older children and adults have linked the chemicals to hormonal disruptions and suggests PFAS harm the immune system. Among steps that the authors recommend pregnant women and mothers take to protect themselves are avoiding greaseproof carryout food packaging, stain guards like ScotchGard, waterproof clothing that uses PFAS, and cooking products with Teflon or similar non-stick properties.
Note: PFAS may be partially responsible for sharply declining human fertility. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on health from reliable major media sources.
All covid-19 vaccines currently in use in the US are available under emergency access only. None of the covid-19 vaccines in use are actually "approved." Through an emergency access mechanism known as Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA), the products being rolled out still technically remain "investigational." Factsheets distributed to vaccinees are clear: "There is no FDA approved vaccine to prevent covid-19." One key difference between EUA and approval (also called "licensure," and which for vaccines is known as a BLA (Biologics License Application)) was the expected length of follow-up of trial participants. Unlike its clear articulation of two months for an EUA, the FDA has not committed to a clear minimum for approval. Among the six "first in disease" vaccines approved by the FDA since 2006, pre-licensure pivotal trials were a median of 23 months in duration. Duration of protection is not the only question that longer, placebo controlled trials can address. They also address vaccine safety. The BMJ asked Moderna, Pfizer, and Janssen (Johnson and Johnson) what proportion of trial participants were now formally unblinded, and how many originally allocated to placebo have now received a vaccine. Pfizer declined to say, but Moderna announced that "as of April 13, all placebo participants have been offered the Moderna covid-19 vaccine and 98% of those have received the vaccine." In other words, the trial is unblinded, and the placebo group no longer exists.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.