Eight German care home employees jabbed with 5 TIMES Pfizer vaccine dose, 4 hospitalized with Covid-like symptoms
Eight nursing home workers in Stralsund received five times the normal dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, sending half of them to the hospital with Covid-19 symptoms – but the company insists the megadose is safe.
A group of care home employees in the northeastern town of Stralsund was accidentally dosed with five times the prescribed amount of Pfizer-BioNTech’s newly approved Covid-19 vaccine on Sunday – the first day Germany began vaccinating healthcare workers and nursing home residents against the virus.
Eight employees received five times the 30-microgram (mcg) dose of the jab, which was recently christened Comirnaty. Four of those were hospitalized as a “precautionary measure” after experiencing flu-like (and Covid-19-like) symptoms, Vorpommern-Rügen district administrator Stefan Kerth revealed on Monday.
“I deeply regret this incident,” Kerth told reporters, expressing “hope” that “those affected suffer no serious side effects.”
While the prescribed dose for Comirnaty is just 30mcg, a spokeswoman for BioNTech insisted researchers had experimented with “increased dosages” during clinical trials and found doses of as much as 100mcg were tolerated without “serious consequences.” However, five times the normal dose would be 150mcg, half again as much as a 100mcg overdose, and it’s not clear if any of the clinical trials had tested such high doses.
The overdosed group consisted of seven women and one man, all aged between 38 and 54. The vaccine is being administered to elderly nursing home residents and employees at such facilities first, with a rollout for the general population to begin next year.
The arrival of pharmaceutical salvation has already encountered obstacles, however, with some districts rejecting their vaccine shipments on the suspicion they had not been kept at the ultra-cold temperature of -70 degrees Celsius required to retain safety and effectiveness.
Seven districts in Bavaria opted to return 1,000 shots after the ‘cold’ boxes in which they arrived registered internal temperatures up to 15 degrees Celsius, dismissing BioNTech’s claim that the comparatively lukewarm vaccine shipment was “probably okay.”
Medical authorities also discovered on Monday that, while vaccine containers were supposed to carry five doses, Comirnaty’s vials actually included closer to six – an anomaly dismissed as intentional “slight overfill” by the manufacturer. However, EU health officials warned that “under no circumstances” were vaccine leftovers from multiple containers meant to be mixed.
While the European Union was initially hesitant to rush the Pfizer jab to market, and even criticized the UK for bragging about being the first country to embrace the experimental shot, continental health authorities stepped up their delivery timetable earlier this month when member nations, including Germany, complained about the delay. European countries began vaccinating people over the weekend, with the authorities recommending anyone over 16 years of age receive the dual-dose shot.
Courtesy of rt.com
Everton’s home game with Manchester City has been postponed due to a “number of positive coronavirus cases” among their scheduled visitors.
The Premier League match had been due to kick-off at Goodison Park at 8pm tonight, but is now set to be played at a later date.
On Christmas Day, Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus and defender Kyle Walker – along with two members of staff – were revealed to have tested positive for COVID-19 and entered self-isolation.
The club has now reported further coronavirus cases and, as well as the postponement of the Everton game, will close their first team training ground for an “indeterminate period”.
A statement from Manchester City said: “After the latest round of COVID-19 testing, the club returned a number of positive cases, in addition to the four already reported on Christmas Day.
“With the security of the bubble compromised, there posed a risk that the virus could spread further amongst the squad, the staff and potentially beyond.
“Based on strong medical advice the Premier League, in consultation with both clubs, have decided to postpone the fixture.”
The club said its playing squad and associated bubble would undergo further testing before any decision is taken on when to resume training.
Everton – who are currently joint second alongside Leicester in the league, but could have gone level on points with Liverpool at the top of the table with a victory – had no say in the decision to call off the match.
The late postponement was also a huge disappointment to 2,000 supporters as Goodison Park is one of only two Premier League grounds – the other being neighbouring Anfield – to be allowed to admit fans under the UK’s tiered system of lockdown restrictions.
A Premier League statement said the move to postpone the match was taken following medical advice.
“The board agreed to rearrange the game as a precaution, and further testing will now take place tomorrow,” the statement said.
“The decision has been taken with the health of players and staff the priority.”
A day after Walker and Jesus’ positive tests were announced, Man City played Newcastle at home on Boxing Day, winning 2-0.
The Everton fixture is only the second Premier League game to be called off because of positive tests for coronavirus since Project Restart began towards the end of the first UK lockdown.
The match between Aston Villa and Newcastle, which had been set to take place on 4 December, was postponed due to COVID cases within the Newcastle camp.
Courtesy of Sky News
Heavy snow has hit parts of the UK today, including in the West Midlands and the Cotswolds, as police warned people to take care due to delays on the roads.
There were reports of snow falling in counties such as Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Staffordshire as well as in Birmingham and Stourbridge, and lighter dustings as far south as Devon.
Gloucestershire Police tweeted: “Heavy snow is starting to fall in the rural parts of the county. This will cause delays on the roads. Only go out if it is essential to do so.
“We are receiving a number of reports of snow around the county causing disruption, particularly in the Forest of Dean and the A417 around Birdlip. Please stay safe and avoid all unnecessary travel.”
Staffordshire Police also warned of “serious disruption”, with several roads in the area impassable.
Snow and ice warnings remain in place for much of the UK today as a cold snap bites in the aftermath of Storm Bella.
It comes as around 90 flood warnings are still in force in England, along with about 160 less serious flood alerts.
Snow had already fallen in parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland and England, including in the Peak District in Derbyshire, on Sunday.
The Met Office has issued a yellow “be aware” warning for snow and ice on Monday until 6pm in London, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Southampton and West Berkshire, as well as Gloucestershire, Swindon, Wiltshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.
The warning said: “Further rain, sleet and snow is likely at times this afternoon. For many, this will not settle on roads.
“However, 1 to 3cm is possible in a few places, mainly on high ground above 200 metres where some icy surfaces are also possible. The rain, sleet and snow will clear steadily southwards by early evening.”
The forecasters’ advice warns of the potential for injuries from icy surfaces and delays to trains and road transport.
There has also been a new yellow warning issued for snow and ice covering much of the country from 6pm today to 10am on Tuesday.
The Met Office said: “Ice is likely to form on untreated surfaces during Monday night, especially where showers move well inland.
“Some of the showers will be wintry and could produce 2 to 5cm of lying snow above 250 metres, mostly over the Pennines and North York Moors where up to 10cm is possible.
“Elsewhere, most places will see little or no snow, but a slight covering of a centimetre or so is possible in a few places.”
Large swathes of London, the Midlands, the South, the South West, plus the east of England and Wales have also been warned that snow and ice could hit on Wednesday and Thursday.
The chilly temperatures follow several days of extreme weather over the Christmas period, which saw severe flooding in parts of southern England before Storm Bella arrived on Boxing Day, with winds of more than 100mph.
Sky News weather presenter Isobel Lang said: “There will be wintry showers around eastern and southeastern counties of England, although the area of more persistent wintry weather moving southwards over central, southern and southwest England is more of a concern.
“Some snow is likely through the morning there, especially over Salisbury Plain, the Mendips and the Cotswolds.
“Some places will miss the showers and see some good sunny spells but everywhere will feel cold, particularly in the brisk winds in the west.”
Further into the week and towards the New Year, the Met Office says conditions will remain cold with sunshine and the possibility of wintry showers.
As of 12pm on Monday, 88 flood warnings remained in place across England calling for immediate action as flooding was expected, alongside 162 flood alerts.
Parts of Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire have been badly affected, with some people forced to evacuate their homes due to the floods.
There were also some flood warnings and alerts in Wales.
Courtesy of Sky News
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Distances: 434 km SE of Şalālah, Oman / pop: 163,000 / local time: 09:46:46.8 2020-12-28
Depth: 10 km
Distances: 48 km SE of Zagreb, Croatia / pop: 698,000 / local time: 06:28:07.1 2020-12-28