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Second COVID-19 Vaccine Trial Paused Over Unexplained Illness

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Eli Lilly has suspended tests on a coronavirus antibody treatment over a potential safety concern. This comes one day after Johnson & Johnson put its covid-19 vaccine tests on hold after a trial volunteer became sick.  The company is investigating whether the participant’s “unexplained illness” is related to the shot.

Johnson and Johnson said in a statement on Monday evening that although illnesses, accidents and other so-called adverse events, quote, “are an expected part of any clinical study, especially large studies,” its physicians and a safety monitoring panel would try to determine what might have caused the illness.

The company did not provide any further details about the illness.

Final stage testing of a vaccine made by Astra-Zeneca and Oxford University remains on hold in the U.S. as officials examine whether an illness in its trial poses a safety risk.  The company said that trial was stopped when a woman developed severe neurological symptoms consistent with transverse myelitis, a rare inflammation of the spinal cord.

Johnson and Johnson was aiming to enroll sixty thousand volunteers to prove its single-dose approach is safe and protects against the coronavirus.  Other vaccine candidates in the U.S. require two shots.

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Health News

U.S. FDA Grants Emergency Authorization For COVID-19 Treatment From Regeneron

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The U.S. Food and drug administration has granted emergency authorization for the Regeneron antibody treatment, the same drug that was administered to president Donald Trump after he was diagnosed with COVID-19.

The drug’s approval is limited in scope for people who have tested positive for the coronavirus and who are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19.

Regeneron says it will have enough of the drug for at least eighty thousand patients by the end of this month.  It says, by the first week of January, it would have enough for 200,000 patients, and for 300,000 by the end of January.

The United States has surpassed the 12 million infection mark, and nearly two hundred seventy Americans have died from complications from the disease.

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At Least 26 Dead In Central America From Powerful Hurricane Iota

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26 persons have been confirmed dead in the wake of powerful hurricane iota, which is still battling some parts of central America.

Iota made landfall Monday night in Nicaraguaith continued heavy rains that are expected to cause mudslides and life-threatening flash and river flooding.

In Nicaragua, state-run radio reported at least 16 persons died in that country alone.  Vice president Rosario Murillo said two children also died while trying to cross a river on Monday.

More than 114,000 homes have no power and more than 47,000 are without water.

In Honduras, five persons have died and more than 61,000 persons are now living in shelters.

Colombian president Iván Duque confirmed two persons are dead, six others are wounded, and one person is missing.

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Brexit: UK ‘Will Be Less Safe Without EU Security Deal’

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Britain’s top counter-terrorism officer, Neil Basu says a Brexit deal is “incredibly important for the safety and security of the United Kingdom.

Basu says the deal would guarantee better security and law enforcement agreement than the UK currently has.

Talks between the UK and EU are ongoing, but deadline for a deal is set for December.

The UK left the EU in January, but continues to follow current EU rules until the end of the year while negotiations take place.

Any deal would need to be ratified by the UK and EU parliaments.

The UK had wanted to maintain the current access to shared databases, but the EU says that is not available to none EU members.

Basu says the UK needs to negotiate a security treaty that either retains or improves on the current position.

Meanwhile, prime minister Boris Johnson says he is confident the UK will prosper outside the EU if a post-Brexit trade deal is not agreed with the bloc.

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