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Coronavirus vaccines cutting hospitalization after first dose – POLITICO

First data from England and Scotland suggests vaccines are reducing hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 and appear to be preventing transmission, English and Scottish public health officials reported on Monday.

Based on the latest data, scientists in England estimate that hospitalization and death rates will fall around 75 percent in those who receive a single dose of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine. And this may be an “underestimate,” according to Mary Ramsay, head of immunization at Public Health England, since the analysis included people vaccinated 14 days ago and therefore doesn’t measure the four weeks it takes to fully account for the increase in protection, especially in older people.

Limiting data to more than four weeks ago “would see an even more profound drop,” she said.

The news comes as the U.K. announces plans to lift lockdown restrictions — in place since before Christmas — including letting all children return to school on March 8, and allowing groups of up to six people meet outdoors starting on March 29.

In the over 80s, the jab is 57 percent effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 three to four weeks after the first dose. This rises to more than 85 percent after the second dose.

In this group, those who become infected after vaccination are around 40 percent less likely to be hospitalized, compared with the non-vaccinated. And they are 56 percent less at risk of dying at least 14 days after receiving the first dose. Hospitalizations and deaths rates are falling fastest in this cohort since the peak in mid-January, suggesting that vaccination is having a positive impact.

The younger vaccinated group — health care workers under 65 — showed a 72 percent protection against infection with a single dose, rising to 85 percent after the second dose. Health care workers in the study are tested every two weeks.

“Reducing the people with infection, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, is the biggest thing that will reduce transmission,” said Susan Hopkins, strategic response director to Public Health England.

While the study hasn’t yet reported data on participants’ viral loads, Hopkins said they also expect to see lower levels of the virus. The study will also follow up contacts of health care workers to see if any become positive.

The data published by Public Health England looks only at the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine, since this has been distributed the longest. It also demonstrates it is effective at protecting against the so-called U.K. or Kent variant (B.1.1.7).

To date, more than 17.5 million people have received a first dose of either vaccine.

Research from Scottish universities and Public Health Scotland, meanwhile, finds that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine reduced the risk of hospitalization by 94 percent four weeks after the first dose, while the BioNTech/Pfizer jab reduced the risk by 85 percent.

Overall, the vaccination program in Scotland has cut hospital admissions by more than 85 percent, according to the study.

This article is part of POLITICO’s premium policy service: Pro Health Care. From drug pricing, EMA, vaccines, pharma and more, our specialized journalists keep you on top of the topics driving the health care policy agenda. Email [email protected] for a complimentary trial.

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Taylor Swift On Cutting Her Own Hair In Quarantine

“That’s kind of how it’s been.”

While talking about the new album with Zane Lowe, Swift admitted that she hasn’t gotten a single haircut since quarantine started — not only that, but she’s been turning the scissors on her own dome.

View this video on YouTube

Apple / YouTube / Via

“I haven’t had a haircut by anyone except for myself since lockdown started,” she admitted. “And that’s kind of how it’s been.”

That means that Swift styled herself for both folklore and evermore‘s accompanying photos — and she had good reason to do so, too.

Tasrightsmanagement2020 / Getty Images

“How can I make art and make visuals that go with this art where I can’t ask my hair and makeup people and my stylist to quarantine for two weeks away from their families?” she asked.

Dave J Hogan / Getty Images

“I’m not going to ask them to do that, and ask them to fly and expose themselves to the virus. So how can I possibly make a cover on my own? Could I just sort of DIY this?”

Swift worked with a photographer that “works alone” to capture the images, on the fly: “We were carrying bags of film out in fields. And I’d be touching up my lipstick and then I’d run out into a field and she’d take pictures. It was really fun.”

Impressive stuff, considering how it all turned out. Is there anything Taylor Swift can’t do? ANYTHING?!?

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California is ahead of other states in cutting carbon emissions, report says

San Francisco’s household emissions were nearly three times lower than the national average — 1.03 tons of carbon dioxide per capita vs. 2.83 for the United States — and lower than any other major city included in the research paper. In Los Angeles, the average household contributed 2.28 tons of carbon dioxide for the year, compared to 3.64 in Oklahoma City, 3.11 in Denver and 2.69 in Boston.

One strong correlation to greenhouse gas emissions was geography.

The West had some of the lowest carbon emissions: California (23 carbon dioxide equivalents per square meter of a house), Oregon (34), Washington (34), Utah (34), Idaho (37) and Nevada (40). All eight of the highest-emitting states were in the central and southern parts of the country: North Dakota (74), West Virginia (70), Missouri (69), Oklahoma (67), Kansas (65), Iowa (64), Mississippi (63) and Kentucky (63).

Examining data in 8,858 Zip codes, researchers also found households in high-income neighborhoods contributed 25 percent more carbon dioxide than households in low-income neighborhoods. In the Los Angeles metro area, for example, the affluent Hollywood Hills, Brentwood and Sherman Oaks Zip codes had among the most greenhouse gas emissions, while Inglewood, Fullerton and Huntington Park had some of the lowest.

“The tendency for affluence and (average floor space) to increase together is a key emissions driver for wealthier households,” researchers wrote.

As temperatures rise, Bay Area cooling centers present an obstacle during a pandemic.

While increased density, commonly associated with a smaller carbon footprint, did show some correlation, the apparent effect from the income gap was far wider.

“Variation in (greenhouse gas) intensity among the ZIP codes likely reflects differences in climate, building characteristics, and carbon intensity of the electrical grid, such that the overall relationship between density and emissions is attenuated,” researchers wrote.

Households in states with warmer climates consumed less energy, measured by kilowatt (kW) hours per square meter. The national average is 147 kW hours per square meter, while Florida (97), Arizona (103) and California (109) had the lowest rates in the nation. Los Angeles consumed even less than the state, at 103 kW hours per square meter.

Researchers began with the goal of identifying where in the nation’s households are likely to need the most aggressive action to meet the 2025 and 2050 goals set forth by the Paris Climate Agreement. Residential emissions account for 20 percent of the total in the United States, they said, and would by themselves be the world’s sixth-largest polluter of greenhouse gases, on the scale of Germany.

— San Jose Mercury News

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Celebrity Entertaiment

Kylie Jenner Says She’s “Cutting Off These Quarantine Pounds” as She Poses in a Bikini

Kylie Jenner is setting some fitness goals.

Taking to her Instagram Stories, the Kylie Cosmetics founder revealed that she wants to lose her “quarantine pounds” with a steamy video.  

“ok cutting off these quarantine pounds starting tomorrow,” she captioned the post, which was a throwback snap from January of this year and features Jenner sporting a bikini.

In the past, the 22-year-old has teamed up with her famous sisters to join their workouts. After welcoming daughter Stormi Webster in 2018, a source close to Jenner told E! News that she likes to do a “lot of HIIT (high intensity interval) training and needs to be constantly switching up the moves” and that working out with her sisters turns breaking a sweat into a “really fun family event in the mornings.”

“She loves working out with her sisters and they motivate her a lot,” the insider said at the time. But, according to the source, Jenner isn’t the biggest fan of working out in general. 

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Naples man arrested for cutting pregnant woman and trying to rob her

NAPLES, Fla. — According to deputies, a man was arrested for cutting a pregnant woman’s hand and attempting to rob her food stand.

It happened behind the Green Store, located at 11339 Tamiami Trail East, Friday night.

Deputies say, Kyle Morgan, 26, was identified by the victim and her husband. Collier County Sheriff’s Office says the victim was working at the food stand when she heard a knock at the back door. She opened it anticipating her husband, but it was the suspect holding a knife directed at her stomach and demanding money. She placed her hands up in front of her stomach, and the suspect cut her hand.

At this point, the victim’s husband arrived on the scene and confronted the suspect. The suspect began to wave the knife at the husband and fled the area in their truck. Deputies searched the area and located the suspect.

The suspect told deputies he was at the scene, but denied any involvement in the robbery, and claimed he ‘blacked out’ after the victim’s husband struck him.

Deputies arrested Morgan for attempted robbery, aggravated battery, grand theft auto, and violation of state probation.

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