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Moderna And Pfizer Begin Late-Stage Coronavirus Vaccine

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Moderna And Pfizer Begin Late-Stage Coronavirus Vaccine

Many countries are in a race to produce vaccines for the treatment of Ccoronavirus.  Although there are some that are at an advanced stage, the two more promising potential coronavirus vaccines at this stage are those being developed by Moderna, a company based in the U.S. State of Massachusetts.  Wide scale testing began on Monday to determine their safety and effectiveness.

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The first dose of the experimental vaccine was administered to a volunteer in Savannah, Georgia.  He is the first of 30,000 healthy persons around the country who will receive two doses of the vaccine over the next several weeks in a late-stage phase of the study to see if people get infected or sick from COVID-19.

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The vaccine is being developed by researchers at the national institute of allergy and infectious diseases.  The institute’s head, Dr. Anthony Fauci told reporters on Monday the first results of the late-stage trial of the vaccine may be known by early November.

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If the trial is successful, Moderna will produce half a billion doses a year, with the hopes of making 1 billion doses annually beginning in 2021.

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Eighth Brazilian Cabinet Minister Tests Positive For Coronavirus

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Eighth Brazilian Cabinet Minister Tests Positive For Coronavirus

With more than 2.8 million cases of the Coronavirus confirmed in Brazil, the country fights the world’s worst outbreak outside the United States as another minister in Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s Cabinet tested positive for the virus making him the eight among the 23 cabinet ministers to be diagnosed.

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Jorge Oliveira, secretary of the presidency, has been working remotely in isolation since his diagnosis.

Recently, Brazilian ministers who have recently had contact with the country’s president Jair Bolsonaro have said they are being tested for coronavirus after the president disclosed he tested positive for the virus weeks back.

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On July 25, Bolsonaro resumed official meetings and travel after a test showed he was no longer infected after he and his wife, Michelle had contracted the disease.

Bolsonaro has in the past played down the risks posed by Coronavirus.

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According to the Health Ministry on Tuesday 51,603 new cases and 1,154 deaths were confirmed in the past 24 hours bringing the official death toll in Brazil to 94,665, since the pandemic began.

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Beirut Blast Death Toll Reaches 100 With More Than 4,000 Wounded

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Beirut Blast Death Toll Reaches 100 With More Than 4,000 Wounded

In Lebanon, at least 100 persons have been killed and nearly 4,000 injured after a huge explosion devastated the port area of the capital Beirut on Tuesday.

At the moment rescue workers in Lebanon are still searching through rubble looking for survivors for more than a hundred people who are missing.

President Michel Aoun who has called for an emergency cabinet meeting on Wednesday said that 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, used in fertilizers and bombs, had been stored for six years at the port without safety measures, a decision he said that was “unacceptable”.

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Many Lebanese are expressing immense shock and sadness at the destruction, and great anger towards those who allowed the explosion which sent shockwaves across the capital to happen.

According to BBC an eyewitness Hadi Nasrallah who narrated his ordeal after the explosion said he saw the fire but did not expect the blast. “I lost my hearing for a few seconds, I knew something was wrong, and then suddenly the glass just shattered all over the car, the cars around us, the shops, the stores, the buildings. Just glass going down from all over the building.”

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Dazed, weeping and injured people walked through streets searching for relatives as many were also left homeless by the blast, and some residents said their destroyed homes had been burgled in the night as their windows and doors were blown open.

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The head of Lebanon’s Red Cross, George Kettani, said at least 100 persons had been killed.

He said “we are still sweeping the area. There could still be victims. I hope not.”

The Lebanese government has said it will observe an official period of mourning for three days from Wednesday.

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Cancer Diagnoses Rates Fell By Half During US Lockdown

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Cancer Diagnoses Rates Fell By Half During US Lockdown

A latest study to examine the impacts of COVID-19 lockdowns has revealed that the number of cancers diagnosed weekly in the United States fell by almost fifty percent during March and April compared to the recent average.

The new analysis, published in JAMA Network Open, established a baseline period from January 2019 to February 2020 to determine the average weekly number of cancers diagnosed by six types: breast, colorectal, lung, pancreatic, gastric and esophageal.

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Trends that are being confirmed through ongoing studies showed that emergency room visits additionally appear to have dropped for heart attacks, strokes and even appendicitis.

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The authors from Quest Diagnostics, a laboratory company found “during the pandemic, the weekly number fell 46.4% (from 4,310 to 2,310) for the 6 cancers combined, with significant declines in all cancer types.”

The drop was particularly stark for breast cancer, with diagnoses rates falling 51.8 percent.

According to the UN, amid the Coronavirus pandemic, child vaccinations have also stalled globally and world health bodies are alarmed by the impact on the fight against HIV, malaria and tuberculosis as screening campaigns, logistics and access to health care have been disrupted.

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