By Dana Malcolm
June 16, 2022 – COVID-19 vaccine: Novavax has received full support from the US Food and Drug Administration’s Advisory Committee which has recommended that it be approved for Emergency Use Authorization.
Despite the support, the committee was concerned that Novavax testing had not been done against any of the newer variants, because of this they said the study was “less relevant to the current epidemiology of SARS-CoV-2”.
The FDA says vaccine efficacy against mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19 over a follow-up of 2.5 months after full vaccination with Novavax was 90.4 percent but it was not possible to assess sustained efficacy longer than that.
The FDA will need to conduct more reviews and get the go-ahead from the Centers for Disease Control CDC before the vaccine will be available for home use
PMH Dialysis Unit Gets Boost with Donation of 6 New Machines
#TheBahamas, September 27, 2022 – The Princes Margaret Hospital (PMH) Dialysis Unit received a significant boost as it officially took possession of six (6) donated dialysis machines on Wednesday. The donation of six (6) Fresenius 2008T Hemodialysis Machine with Bibag for Hemodialysis treatments was facilitated by Coral Pharmaceuticals Limited, representative for Renal Dynamics in the Bahamas.
The donation supports the need for dialysis machines for the Princess Margaret Hospital Dialysis Unit; especially considering the age of the existing equipment. Each device has the capacity to treat an estimated three (3) patients per day.
Making the presentation on behalf of Renal Dynamics was Mr. Nicholas Schweickert, Director of Operations. Renal Dynamics supports Dialysis Clinics / Units throughout the region and has done so for more than twenty-five (25) years. Renal Dynamics sells and supports hemodialysis machines, supplies and peritoneal dialysis products as well as facilitates training programs.
The refurbished equipment is valued at over $60,000.00 USD which includes not only delivery, shipping, and installation, but also training for nurses.
Receiving the dialysis machines on behalf of the hospital were PHA Chairman Mr. Andrew
Edwards, Deputy Managing Director. Dr. Keva Thompson, Director of PHA Foundations Mrs. Alana Major, Hospital Administrator Ms. Mary Lightbourne-Walker, and Assistant Director Supplies Management Agency Ms. Shavonne
Burrows. Sister Darnell Roker, Nurse Manager of the Dialysis Unit also attended the official handover representing the PMH Dialysis team.
Also present were Paul Bevans (Director) and Shenika Taylor (CEO) of Coral Pharmaceuticals Limited.
Chairman Edwards expressed the PHA’s and the Dialysis Unit’s gratitude to the representatives of Coral Pharmaceuticals and Renal Dynamics for the generous donation. He noted the ongoing support by Renal Dynamics demonstrates the necessity of private entities partnering with the PHA to enhance the quality of care offered.
The donated machines will replace some of the older equipment currently in use and will provide vital back-up for the remaining machines within the unit.
Photo Caption: L-R, Alana Major, Paul Bevens, Nicholas Schweickert, Keva Thompson, Andrew Edwards, Darnell Roker, Shavonee Burrows, Shenika Taylor
Nearly 400 tested as Uganda faces deadly Ebola resurgence
By Deandrea Hamilton & Dana Malcolm
#Uganda, September 27, 2022 – Uganda has declared an Ebola outbreak after 23 confirmed deaths from the virus and at the case fatality rate revealed at 64 per cent. There are at least 34 others infected with the disease.
The Health Ministry in Uganda has intensified messages and information on the signs and symptoms of the disease; a help hotline has also been established, said the commissioner of surveillance.
The interventions in the district have brought new fears to the country as quarantines are government managed and can last up to 21 days; already 13 people have escaped prompting continued concern of a mushrooming of case numbers.
Uganda has been largely free of the deadly disease for over a decade, the last outbreak was declared in 2012.
The Sudan Ebolavirus has a very high death rate and in previous outbreaks it has varied between 40 to 100 per cent.
The 2014-2016 outbreak affected Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia most, causing thousands of casualties.
Named after the Ebola River in The Democratic Republic of Congo where it was first found the virus spreads between human to human and human to animal contact. Earlier this year the DRC has a small outbreak caused by animal to human contact.
Media reports now indicate medical professionals have gone on strike at a hospital where several cases were detected; the nurses, pharmacists and trainee doctors have accused the government of not providing sufficient safety against possible infection.
Omicron Boosters, what they mean for Turks and Caicos Islands inventory of Vaccines
By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, September 18, 2022 – The Turks and Caicos Islands may be forced to dump boosters whether people want to take them or not if the UK follows the FDA’s lead on ‘updated boosters’.
During August the US Food and Drug Administration approved the emergency use of bivalent vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer as updated booster shots. The shots have two components one that protects against the original covid19 strain and one that protects against Omicron BA.4 and BA.5.
But what the agency also did was rescind its emergency use approval for the original monovalent boosters. Those boosters were the same formula as the original vaccines which means they were made to fight the initial strain of Covid and had limited efficacy against omicron and its variants.
The Turks and Caicos received thousands of those doses from the UK over the past nine months.
Now that there are several bivalent vaccines including ones that protect against Omicron and the BA.5/4 variants specifically the FDA has determined that there is no need for the original boosters. Those boosters, depending on who made them, are eligible to be used as primary doses for people who have never had a shot to prevent waste but the majority of the TCI population have already had their primary doses.
Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic the UK has been one of the front runners in approving and using cutting edge treatments to protect people from the disease. They have already approved the bivalent that fights the original strain of omicron
If the UK gives Moderna and Pfizer the nod and puts a ban on the old boosters the doses may have to be dumped.
Based on the extremely low booster uptake, that would mean thousands of doses down the drain.
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