CDC panel to meet Tuesday to vote on COVID-19 vaccine priority

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ATLANTA — A panel of U.S. advisers will meet Tuesday to vote on how scarce, initial supplies of a COVID-19 vaccine will be given out once one has been approved.

Experts have proposed giving the vaccine to health workers first. High priority also may be given to workers in essential industries, people with certain medical conditions and people age 65 and older.

Tuesday's meeting is for the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, a group established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The panel of experts recommends who to vaccinate and when — advice that the government almost always follows. The agenda for next week's emergency meeting was posted Friday.

Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech have asked the Food and Drug Administration to allow emergency use of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate. Moderna Inc. is expected to also seek emergency use of its vaccine soon.


FDA's scientific advisers are holding a public meeting Dec. 10 to review Pfizer's request, and send a recommendation to the FDA.

Manufacturers already have begun stockpiling coronavirus vaccine doses in anticipation of eventual approval, but the first shots will be in short supply and rationed.

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Who will get coronavirus vaccine first? Full list

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Coronavirus has impacted the globe for almost a year, plunging countries into tough lockdowns, infecting more than 61 million people and killing more than 1.4 million. Scientists have been working on a vaccine for the virus in a bid to return to normal life and prevent further deaths, and several have seen breakthroughs in recent weeks. Now across the UK, vaccines could be given out as soon as next month. 

Dubbed the biggest vaccination campaign in history, the Government is hoping to begin rolling out doses before the end of December.

This will come as a relief to many across the UK, with thousands of Britons isolating or shielding due to the risks associated with COVID-19.

In order to begin roll out as soon as possible, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has set the order of priority for the whole of the UK.

The priority list is being done on a basis mostly according to age according to recent reports.

Read More: Coronavirus vaccine to be rolled out in 10 days as hospitals on alert 

NHS England’s COVID-19 vaccine deployment programme was seen by HSJ and reportedly showed when each group is likely to begin receiving it.

The NHS is planning to create capacity with GP-run facilities, “large scale mass vaccination sites”, NHS trusts, and “roving models” for people who cannot travel.

According to documents seen by the publication, the current plan would mean those of highest priority vaccinated by the end of February.

As a whole, by the end of April 88.5 million vaccination doses will be issued across England, with two doses per person 18 and older.

Priority for the virus is yet to be confirmed by the JCVI.

The vaccine will be rolled out in stages, prioritising certain members of the community based on a range of factors.

So far it appears this is the list of those first to receive the vaccine in descending order:

  • Care home residents and staff
  • All of those aged 80 and over and health and social care workers
  • All of those aged 70 and over and those judged clinically extremely vulnerable individuals (not including pregnant women and those under 18)
  • All of those aged 65 and over
  • Those aged 18 and over in an at risk group (More on this below)
  • All of those aged 60 and over
  • All of those 55 years and over
  • All of those 50 years and over

However, the final priority list has not yet been announced and is still being drawn up by the JCVI.

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What is an at-risk group?

People over the age of 18 are considered to be in an at-risk group if they meet the following conditions:

Have chronic kidney, liver, heart or vascular disease

Have chronic respiratory disease such as COPD, severe asthma or cystic fibrosis

Have chronic neurological disease like Parkinson’s, cerebral palsy, dementia, motor neurone disease

Have asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen

Those with type 1 diabetes

Those with type 2 diabetes requiring insulin or oral medication, diet-controlled diabetes

Those with immunosuppression – anyone on chemotherapy, people taking certain drugs which suppress the immune system or transplant patients

The close relatives or carers of immunocompromised adults

Those who are classed as morbidly obese – those with a body mass index of over 40

Those with severe mental illness

Adult carers

Younger adults in long-stay nursing homes and residential care settings

The timeline for vaccine roll-outs according to the HSJ is as follows –

  • Care home residents and staff, healthcare workers – from the beginning of December
  • Ages 80 plus – from mid-December
  • Everyone aged 70-80 – from late December
  • Everyone aged 65-70 – from early January
  • All high and moderate risk under 65s – from early January
  • Everyone aged 50-65 – from mid-January and
  • Everyone aged 18-50 – from late January but with the bulk of this group vaccinated during March.

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Hoda Kotb Gave Daughter Haley, 3, a 'Secret Signal' During Thanksgiving Parade — See Her Cute Reaction!

Hoda Kotb found a covert way to send her daughter a sweet message during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade broadcast.

While co-hosting the 94th annual holiday parade coverage on NBC with Savannah Guthrie on Thursday, the Today personality, 56, briefly tugged on her ear at one point — a "secret signal" she later revealed was intended for her 3½-year-old daughter, Haley Joy. Kotb also shares daughter Hope Catherine, 18 months, with fiancé Joel Schiffman.

"Told Haley I would give her a secret signal from parade to say i love you! tug on my ear a la @carolburnett," the mom wrote on Instagram, adding that "Hopey slept thru parade! Naptime!"

Kotb shared a video that was captured of Haley reacting to the moment on TV, the little girl adorably giggling at her mom's signal as Schiffman gave her a kiss on the cheek.

Guthrie, 48, posted her own Thanksgiving tribute to her kids, daughter Vale, 6, and son Charles "Charley" Max, 4, writing on Instagram alongside a gallery of photos: "Thankful."

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Last month, Kotb shared photos of her family in their Sesame Street Halloween costumes, with Kotb in a red Elmo shirt and matching headband, her mother Sameha and Hope in Cookie Monster–themed getups, Schiffman as Big Bird and Haley as Abby Cadabby, complete with a multi-colored tulle skirt and puff-ball headpiece.

The TV journalist and her adorable brood met up with other "characters" during their adventure, carrying balloons featuring familiar faces from the show and wearing face masks as they posed for a group photo.

"Sunnnnnyyyy days sweepin' the clouds awayyyyy! Happy Halloween," Kotb captioned the photo, quoting the show's iconic theme song.

Last month, Kotb confirmed that she had completed paperwork to kickstart the adoption process for a third child after welcoming both of her daughters via adoption. The This Just Speaks to Me author opened up to PEOPLE about adopting again, sharing that her mindset is that "you just wait and see if it's meant to be for you."

"I feel like families come in so many different shapes and sizes and as long as there's lots of love, I think they'll endure. I'm just going to wait and see on that one," she said in October.

Haley is in preschool now, and when Kotb drops her off and picks her up from the socially distanced classroom sessions, she can't help but rave about parenthood with the other moms, she said.

"One of my favorite things is standing six feet apart from the moms at the place, waiting for her to come out. And literally, she sprints out the door … and I scoop her up. It's the best," said Kotb. "When they go in, I'm watching her face. When I see her pointing to her friend saying, 'That's my mom out there,' it makes me want to weep."

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High cholesterol: Six ways to lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of stroke

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Too much cholesterol increases your risk of a deadly stroke. Thus, reducing your cholesterol levels can help save your life. How do you do this?

The Stroke Association explained eating too much saturated fats (such as butter) can increase cholesterol levels.

Cholesterol is carried in the blood by proteins called lipoproteins; there are two types:

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL)

LDL “carries cholesterol from your liver to the cells that need it”, but it can build up in your artery walls if there is too much.

HDL carries LDL “away from the cells and back to the liver, where it’s broken down or passed out the body”.

When there’s too much LDL cholesterol, it can have adverse effects on your health.

The condition has no noticeable symptoms, therefore it’s important to get your levels checked by a blood test.

This is especially important if you have a high risk profile; this includes being over 40, being overweight, high blood pressure or diabetes.

You must also be on top of your cholesterol levels if you have a history of heart disease or high cholesterol runs in your family.

Ban trans fats

To reduce your cholesterol levels, WebMD suggests banning trans fats from your diet.

Cardiologist Suzanne Steinbaum explained: “They raise your LDL, lower your HDL, and increase your risk of developing heart disease and stroke.”

Found in fried foods, baked goods (such as frozen pizza), look out for “hydrogenated oil” on food packaging – it’s another name for trans fats.

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Lose weight

WebMD certified that dropping 10lbs if you’re overweight will cut your LDL levels by up to eight percent.

It’s reasonable and safe to lose between one to two pounds each week (and no more).


Another cardiologist Sarah Samaan said: “Exercising at least two-and-a-half hours a week is enough to raise HDL and improve LDL.”

This can be achieved by working out in 10-minute chunks throughout the day.

Fibre foods

Foods high in soluble fibre – such as oatmeal, apples, prunes and beans – keep the body from absorbing cholesterol.

WebMD stated: “Research shows that people who ate five to 10 more grams of it each day saw a drop in their LDL .”

In addition, fibre helps you to feel fuller for longer, so any cravings for snacks can be diminished.

To avoid abdominal cramping or bloating, it’s advisable to increase your fibre intake slowly.

Nutty snacks

If you do still crave a snack, try a small portion of nuts; this is because they contain sterols.

Sterols too can keep the body from absorbing cholesterol. However, nuts are high in calories, so do keep portion control in mind.


Feelings of stress can increase cholesterol levels, according to WebMD. Thus, taking time to relax may help.

Keep your cholesterol levels in check by reading an engaging book, or going for a leisurely walk.

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Nailed It! Jennifer Lopez Goes Nude for New Single’s Steamy Cover

Surprise, surprise! Jennifer Lopez is baring it all as she gears up to release her next big hit.

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The two-time Grammy nominee, 51, unveiled the cover art for her new single, “In the Morning,” on Wednesday, November 25. In the image, Lopez is completely naked and only wearing her massive engagement ring from Alex Rodriguez.

“Surprise! Here’s the official cover art for #InTheMorning ✨ ,” she captioned the post. “Single drops Friday ✨.”

A post shared by Jennifer Lopez (@jlo)

The day before releasing the official cover, Lopez teased the upcoming single by sharing a snippet of the track along with a video clip that contained various shots of her bare body.

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It is no secret that Lopez has put in the hard work to stay fit over the years. When she appeared in Us Weekly’s “Best Bodies” issue in 2015, the Hustlers actress opened up about her fitness routine.

“Very rarely will I skip my workout,” she told Us at the time. “Sometimes, I work too late the night before, and I’m like, ‘Ugh, I can’t do this.’ But I tell myself, ‘Just do it. It’s only an hour.’ It’s just talking yourself off the ledge of being a lazy bum.”

The Bronx native added that she will always “try to live a healthy lifestyle” and is “always looking for something that’s gonna help me embrace that lifestyle.” Lopez additionally said that she is motivated to stay in shape because of her 12-year-old twins, Max and Emme, whom she shares with ex-husband Marc Anthony.

“I try to teach them the right things to eat: a lot of greens, fruits, and grains,” she previously shared. “They’re starting to learn that’s a way of life.”

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Lopez is an ageless beauty. In a 2018 cover story for Harper’s Bazaar, she shared her secret for boosting her confidence in her fifth decade.

“Affirmations are so important. I am youthful and timeless. I tell myself that every day, a few times a day,” she told the magazine at the time. “It sounds like clichéd bullshit, but it’s not. Age is all in your mind. Look at Jane Fonda.”

The “Lonely” singer has been engaged to Rodriguez since March 2019. Throughout their relationship, the retired New York Yankees player has frequently gushed about what a powerhouse she is.

“Jennifer is an amazing person. She’s the hardest working. She’s got, like, 10 jobs,” Rodriguez, 45, said on ABC’s Nightline in 2017. “She loves sports, she’s an athlete herself, great mother, great daughter, great friend.”

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South Korea virus cases hit highest level since March

South Korea reported its highest daily number of coronavirus cases since March on Thursday, with a surge of new infections sparking fears of a major third wave.

Officials announced 583 new cases after several weeks of fresh infections ranging between around 100 and 300.

The latest cases have mostly been clusters at offices, schools, gyms and small gatherings in the greater Seoul area, the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency said.

New infections also emerged within the military, including dozens of newly enlisted soldiers at a boot camp—prompting the defence ministry to bolster its virus measures.

“We are now in a situation where virus outbreaks can happen at any place,” health minister Park Neung-hoo said.

The government tightened social distancing rules in the capital and the surrounding regions this week as authorities scrambled to contain the spread of the virus.

The measures include closing nightclubs and bars and restricting the number of visitors at weddings and funerals to 100.

Cafes are only allowed to serve takeaways and all restaurants must close by 9pm, with only deliveries permitted afterwards.

Thursday’s figures take the total number of recorded cases in the country to more than 32,000.

South Korea endured one of the worst early COVID-19 outbreaks outside mainland China, but brought it broadly under control with its “trace, test and treat” approach. It never imposed the kind of lockdowns ordered in much of Europe and other parts of the world.

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Anti-Obesity Day 2020: Simple ways to eat smart and beat weight gain

Snacking on wholesome fruits and vegetables instead of junk food will help you keep empty calories at bay and feel energised

Long working hours, sedentary lifestyle, stress are all contributing to a growing percentage of obese men and women in the Indian workforce. As a consequence, the health risks involved with being overweight or obese are also on a rise. The physical health problems can range from simple issues like fatigue, acidity to life-threatening illnesses like type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, hypertension, stroke, coronary artery diseases.

Bringing about a change in your eating habits is the first step towards tackling obesity. On Anti-Obesity Day, observed annually on November 26, here are a few tips to eat smart and beat obesity, recommended Geetanjali, dietitian/nutritionist, associated with Practo.

Honey and lemon

Start your day with a glass of warm water and add some honey and lemon juice to it. This helps detox your body and feel fresh.

Never miss your breakfast

Breakfast gives the body required calories at the beginning of the day itself, thereby reducing unwanted calorie intake.

Include more portions of fruits and vegetables

Snacking on wholesome fruits and vegetables instead of junk food will help you keep empty calories at bay and hence, energised.

Snack on a handful of nuts every day

Nuts are a powerhouse of nutrients and also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids which plays an important role in maintaining cardiovascular health.

Say no to sugar

Replace sugar with natural sweeteners like honey or jaggery if you feel tempted.

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Measure your food

This will help curb unwanted temptations. Maintain a food journal to note whatever goes inside your mouth in order to have control over it.

Be active

Be it yoga, walking, swimming, cycling, or a cardio workout, choose the one that suits your body, but keep it moving.

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Early birth linked to greater risk of hospital visits during childhood

Being born early (before 37 weeks’ gestation) is associated with a higher risk of hospital admission throughout childhood than being born at full term (40 weeks’ gestation), finds a study published by The BMJ today.

Although the risk declined as the children grew up, particularly after age 2, an excess risk remained up to age 10, even for children born at 38 and 39 weeks’ gestation, representing many potentially vulnerable children, say the researchers.

Preterm birth is a major contributor to childhood ill health. Existing evidence suggests that the risk of illness associated with preterm birth declines as children grow up, but it remains unclear at what age this begins to happen and how these changes vary by week of gestational age at birth.

To explore this further, a team of UK researchers set out to examine the association between gestational age at birth and hospital admissions to age 10 years and how admission rates change throughout childhood.

Their findings are based on data from more than 1 million children born in NHS hospitals in England between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2006. Children were monitored from birth until 31 March 2015 (an average of 9.2 years per child), during which time the researchers analysed numbers of hospital admissions.

Gestational age at birth was analysed in weeks, from less than 28 up to 42 weeks.

Over 1.3 million hospital admissions occurred during the study period, of which 831,729 (63%) were emergency admissions. Just over half (525,039) of children were admitted to hospital at least once during the study period.

After taking account of other potentially influential risk factors, such as mother’s age, marital status and level of social deprivation, and child’s sex, ethnicity and month of birth, the researchers found that hospital admissions during childhood were strongly associated with gestational age at birth.

The hospital admission rate during infancy in babies born at 40 weeks was 28 per 100 person years—this figure was about six times higher in babies born extremely prematurely (less than 28 weeks). By the time the children were aged 7-10 years, the hospital admission rate in children born at 40 weeks was 7 per 100 person years—this figure was about three times higher in those born at less than 28 weeks.

But even children born a few weeks early had higher admission rates. Being born at 37, 38, and 39 weeks’ gestation was associated with a difference in the rate of admission of 19, 9, and 3 admissions per 100 person years during infancy, respectively, compared with those born at 40 weeks.

The risk of hospital admission associated with gestational age decreased over time, particularly after age 2. However, an excess risk remained up to age 10, even for children born at 38 and 39 weeks’ gestation.

Although this excess risk at 38 and 39 weeks was relatively small, the large number of babies born globally at these gestational ages suggests that they are likely to have a large impact on hospital services, say the researchers.

Infections were the main cause of excess hospital admissions at all ages, but particularly during infancy. Respiratory and gastrointestinal conditions also accounted for a large proportion of admissions during the first two years of life.

This is an observational study, so can’t establish cause, and the researchers point to some limitations, such as being unable to take account of several factors that can impact child health like maternal smoking and breastfeeding.

However, they say this was a large study using routinely collected data over a 10 year period, and the findings remained relatively stable after further analyses, suggesting that the results withstand scrutiny.

As such, the researchers say their findings indicate that gestational age at birth “is a strong predictor of childhood illness, with those born extremely preterm being at the greatest risk of hospital admission throughout childhood.”

And the finding that infections were the main cause of excess hospital admissions at all ages prompt the researchers to call for targeted strategies to help prevent and better manage childhood infections.

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Bachelor in Paradise's Krystal Nielson Reveals Sex of Her Baby on the Way: 'The Wait Is Over'

Krystal Nielson is having a girl!

The Bachelor in Paradise alum, 33, revealed on Wednesday she is expecting a daughter with boyfriend Miles Bowles.

"I've been thinking it's a girl this whole pregnancy up until two weeks ago. And then I'm like, 'Oh my gosh, I think it's a boy,' " the star said in a video of her sex reveal. "So I'm very mixed — very emotional."

After being showered with a cloud of pink confetti, Bowles says he was "definitely surprised" by the baby news.

"I just can't wait to meet her," the mom-to-be adds.

Nielson first announced her pregnancy earlier this month with an emotional video shared on YouTube, which showed the moment the fitness coach learned the exciting news, as well as the parents-to-be taking maternity photos on the beach. In the footage, Nielson shared that her baby is due in April 2021.

"I'm feeling so anxious and excited and nervous and whoa, all of it. I'm just honestly ready. So ready," she said in the clip, adding later in a voiceover, "I can't wait to fill my heart with so much love in creating little pieces of me into this world and teaching them about love and teaching them the love I never had."

On a recent episode of the Almost Famous podcast, Nielson said she found out she was pregnant in August — just four months after she had started dating Bowles, whom she met through his mother Katie.

"I was ready to start a family in the near future, and I needed to make sure he was really in alignment with that in order for us to really move forward. So we had that conversation really early" she said.

Nonetheless, "Miles was speechless," when she told him she was expecting, according to the fitness coach.

"I think we both were, because we were just like, 'Whoa.' But ultimately, we just felt really blessed that this was a gift for us to come together," she said. "It was something that we had been asking for, I had been praying about. I knew that this was my year to start a family, and sometimes things happen a little sooner than you expect, but like, there's a bigger plan for us."

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The former reality star added that the pregnancy has given her a renewed sense of motivation.

"I've never felt such a passion and a purpose to show up day-to-day. It's really beautiful," she said.

"It's wild," Nielson added, calling pregnancy a "sacred" experience. "I feel so blessed to have Miles as a partner, for our families to be so excited, so supportive, and we just couldn't be more excited."

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First drug approved to treat rare metabolic disorder

(HealthDay)—The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first treatment for the rare genetic disorder primary hyperoxaluria type 1 (PH1), the agency announced Monday.

Oxlumo (lumasiran) is approved to treat PH1, the most common and most severe type of primary hyperoxalurias, which can lead to progressive kidney damage and eventually damage to other organs. One to three individuals per million in North America and Europe are believed to be affected by PH1.

The approval of Oxlumo was based on data from two studies. In the first study, a randomized, placebo-controlled trial, 26 patients aged 6 years and older received a monthly injection of Oxlumo followed by a maintenance dose every three months, while 13 patients received placebo injections. Patients who received Oxlumo had an average 68 percent reduction of oxalate in the urine compared with a 12 percent reduction for patients who received placebo. After six months, 52 percent of patients treated with Oxlumo versus none who received placebo reached a normal 24-hour urinary oxalate level. The second study was an open-label study of 16 patients all younger than 6 years who received Oxlumo. Data showed an average 71 percent decrease in oxalate in the urine after six months.

The most commonly reported side effects of Oxlumo include injection site reaction and abdominal pain.

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