Supplies and medicine – Medic Buzz Sat, 18 Sep 2021 03:54:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Supplies and medicine – Medic Buzz 32 32 Why didn’t FDA advisers want to recommend Covid-19 booster injections for everyone? Sat, 18 Sep 2021 01:25:00 +0000 They recommended a more limited step: emergency use authorization for people 65 years of age and older and for people at high risk of serious infection. Then they came back and added health workers and others at high risk of getting infected at work – even if they weren’t at particularly high risk for serious illness.

But why not just go ahead and say anyone who wants a booster can get one? Members of the Advisory Committee on Vaccines and Related Biologics spoke effusively as to why.

“The stated purpose of this vaccine has been to protect against serious disease,” said Dr. Paul Offit, professor of pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, at the meeting. “The data shows that these vaccines do just that,” he added. “This is exactly what you would expect.”

Even Pfizer said its vaccine is still very successful in preventing serious illness, hospitalizations and death in the United States, with an effectiveness of over 90%. The company argued that it might not last longer, but many VRBPAC members did not buy it.

They don’t see enough evidence to warrant booster shots for everyone

“In my opinion, we need this in our arsenal – a booster now, especially for the elderly and (those with) other high-risk conditions – but I share my colleagues’ angst about the issue. the paucity of safety data, ”said Dr. Mark Sawyer, professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego.

“I hope the CDC will roll this out gradually.”

Dr Michael Kurilla, an infectious disease specialist at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, said he suspected Pfizer was going too far in extrapolating data on the elderly to a younger population.

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“So it’s not clear that everyone needs strengthening except for a subset of the population who would clearly be at high risk for serious illness,” Kurilla said. “It’s not clear to me that the data we’re seeing right now is applicable to the general population.”

They would like a lot more data and a chance to look for the wrong conclusions

Dr Philip Krause, deputy director of the FDA’s Office of Vaccine Research and Review, noted that Pfizer was using data that had not been reviewed by experts.

“One of the problems is that much of the data that has been presented and discussed today is not peer reviewed and has not been reviewed by the FDA,” Krause said.

Krause, along with another FDA vaccine official, Marion Gruber, signed an article published by The Lancet earlier this week, saying it was too early to start giving people reminders.

Kurilla noted that Pfizer’s studies relied heavily on antibody measurements, without examining other important aspects of the immune response.

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“It’s a little disappointing that there have been very few reports on cellular immune responses and that the focus is entirely on neutralizing antisera,” Kurilla said. Immunologists point out that lasting protection comes from immune cells called B cells and T cells, and Pfizer only presented data on the antibody response.

“We lack data, including solid data on the vaccine doses that were administered,” said Dr. Hayley Ganz, professor of pediatrics at Stanford University Medical Center.

They worry about young adults and teens

“We are being asked to approve this as a three dose vaccine for people 16 years of age and older, without any clear evidence, the third dose for a younger person, compared to an older person, has value.” , Offit said. .

“If it is not of value, then the risks may outweigh the benefits. And we know that the 16 to 29 year old is at higher risk for myocarditis,” he added.

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Dr Doran Fink of the FDA told the meeting that the agency was not sure either. “We really don’t have enough data yet to know what the risk of myocarditis or pericarditis would be following a booster dose,” he said. Studies have shown that young adults and older adolescents, especially men, are at a higher risk for this rare heart inflammation after receiving an mRNA vaccine like that from Pfizer, although the problem resolves quickly with a fast processing.

Details on that risk might not come out, however, Fink said, until the booster doses have been administered more widely.

“We have discussed the need for such surveys with vaccine manufacturers,” Fink said.

“I don’t think we would feel comfortable giving it to a 16 year old for all the reasons everyone has mentioned,” said Dr Eric Rubin, chair of the Department of Immunology and Diseases. infectious diseases from the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

They think it’s more important to get more people vaccinated the first time

Dr Cody Meissner, professor of pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine, said he didn’t think boosters would significantly help control the pandemic.

“It is very important that the main message that we are still sending is that we have to get two doses for everyone. Everyone has received the primary series,” he said. “This booster dose is not likely to make much of a difference in the behavior of this pandemic.”

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“It’s a frustrating place when we have more than enough vaccine stocks in the United States and yet we have not been able to achieve the level of coverage that would better control the pandemic than we have,” said Dr Melinda Wharton, director of the division of immunization services at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Boosters are probably not the action that will have the greatest impact on health in the United States,” she said.

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GST Council Meeting Today Agenda Gasoline and Diesel Prices Swiggy Zomato Covid Medicines Pan Masala Fri, 17 Sep 2021 06:03:06 +0000

New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is chairing a crucial meeting of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council today in Lucknow. The 45th GST Council meeting is expected to review the tax rate of more than four dozen items and discuss tax breaks on 11 Covid drugs. The meeting is attended by all state and UT finance ministers and senior officials from central and state governments.Also Read – Taarak Mehta’s Nidhi Bhanushali Will Enter Salman Khan’s Bigg Boss 15? This is what we know

The key issues of taxing gasoline and diesel under the single national GST tax and a proposal to treat food delivery apps such as Zomato and Swiggy like restaurants and collect a tax from 5% on the GST on the supplies they make would be considered by the board at its meeting, PTI reported. Also Read – Garena Free Fire Redeem Codes August 26, 2021: Check Latest Codes, How To Redeem, Multiple Rewards

“The Minister of Finance Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman will chair the 45th GST Council meeting at 11 a.m. in Lucknow today. MOS Shri Pankaj Chaudhary will attend the meeting, in addition to state and UT finance ministers and senior government and state union officials, ”the finance ministry tweeted. Also Read – Monsoon chaos in UP kills 38 people in two days, heavier rains likely

Price of gasoline, diesel

  • In light of the Kerala High Court order, the Council will also discuss the taxation of gasoline and diesel under the GST, a decision that could require huge compromises from central and central governments. state on the income they receive by taxing these products, according to the PTI report.
  • In June, the Kerala High Court, on the basis of a lawsuit, asked the GST Council to decide whether to include gasoline and diesel within the scope of the GST.

Online meal delivery Swiggy, Zomato

  • To combat tax evasion, the proposal to make food delivery platforms like Swiggy and Zomato responsible for paying the goods and services tax on catering services provided through them would also be considered by the Council, according to the PTI report.
  • Once approved by the GST Council, food delivery applications will be required to collect and file GST with the government, in place of restaurants, for deliveries made by them. There would be no additional tax burden for the end consumer.

GST rate on 32 items

  • The council will also review and clarify GST rates on 32 goods and 29 services, according to the PTI report.
  • The items examined are the drugs Zolgensma and Viltepso for personal use, solar photovoltaic modules, copper concentrate, soft drinks with fruit juice, coconut oil, sweet scented supari, oncology drugs and locomotives. diesel-electric.

Medicines against Covid

  • The GST Council will deliberate on the proposal to extend the current structure of concessional tax rates on Amphotericin B, Tocilizumab, Remdesivir, and blood thinners like Heparin, until December 31, 2021, from the 30 current September.
  • The tax rate for amphotericin B, tocilizumab was lowered to “Nile,” while remdesivir and heparin were reduced to 5% in June 2021, PTI reported.
  • He could also discuss the proposal to reduce the GST from 12% to 5% on seven additional drugs until December 31, 2021. These are itolizumab, posaconazole, infliximab, bamlanivimab and l ‘etesevimab, casirivimab and imdevimab, 2-deoxy-D-glucose and Favipiravir.

Pan Masala, brick ovens

  • The Council will also discuss the interim report of a state ministerial group on the capacity-based taxation of pan masala and the composition scheme of brick kilns and stone crushers, in accordance with the report of the PTI.
  • The Panel recommended a special composition regime in the brick kiln sector with effect from April 1, 2022, prescribing a 6% GST rate, without ITC, similar to the service sector rate.
  • He also suggested raising the GST rate on the supply of bricks from 5% to 12% (with ITC), effective April 1.
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What is an ECMO machine? Shortages are straining dying COVID patients Thu, 16 Sep 2021 20:02:09 +0000

RN Erin Beauchemin monitors an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine connected to a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at Harborview Medical Center on Friday, May 8, 2020, in Seattle.

RN Erin Beauchemin monitors an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine connected to a patient in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at Harborview Medical Center on Friday, May 8, 2020, in Seattle.


From masks, to tests, to hospital beds, to ventilators. The current COVID-19 pandemic continues to strain medical resources and medical personnel like never before.

Now another life-saving machine is in short supply, and the shortage is sending desperate patients thousands of miles across the country and forcing their loved ones to make hundreds of calls to nearby hospitals in the hope of making more. hand on one.

ECMO, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, is a machine that replaces the function of the heart and lungs by sucking blood out of the body, pushing it through an artificial lung that supplies it with oxygen, and then returning it to the body. the heart. The last resort procedure does not treat COVID-19, but allows patients to rest and recover enough to get off the machine.

The highest level of life support, ECMO machines are intended only for those who are still clinging to life despite the use of all existing therapies including mechanical ventilation and medication. It’s a complicated machine that requires a specially trained team of health workers, so only certain hospitals are equipped to transport them.

Stories of desperate loved ones have been reported since at least August in several states, particularly those in the South with low vaccination rates, including Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Texas and California.

Due to limited supply, some hospitals are making ‘similar to a combat medicine triage scenario”Dr. Erik Osborn, a pulmonary critical care medicine specialist at Inova Health System in Virginia, told the American Lung Association in January.

“In a context where you have limited resources, you want to use those limited resources on the patients who are most likely to survive,” Osborn said. “By doing this, it allows us to save as many lives as possible, but it presents extremely difficult choices for healthcare providers. “

ECMO is often a “matter of life and death”

India Jones’ vaccinated husband has been fighting for his life in LaGrange, Georgia since he contracted the coronavirus.

“He is i have been on a vent for five days nowJones told CBS46. “He’s 31, healthy, never been sick, and COVID pneumonia has really eaten up his lungs. … ECMO could absolutely be a matter of life and death because his lungs must have a chance to heal.

Jones said she had “turned” her house into a call center, “and we have called hundreds of hospitals across the South.” It has been about two weeks since her husband was hospitalized with COVID-19; she is still looking for a facility with an available ECMO machine.

Christine Stead, CEO of the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) – a nonprofit that tracks data on ECMO centers around the world – told WUSF Public Media in August that “patients have been transported many kilometers to have access to ECMO care. I think there was one recently in Florida who went to Connecticut for care where there is capacity right now.

According to data from the ELSO register, 7,581 COVID-19 patients initiated ECMO there are at least 90 days to September 16. The in-hospital mortality rate for these patients is 48%.

Survival rates for ECMO in the United States are estimated to be around 50%.

Why are ECMO machines rare?

ECMO involves a highly specialized machine. For this reason, treatment is usually limited to large hospitals, according to Dr. Todd Rice, medical director of the intensive medical care unit at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Tennessee.

“A lot of hospitals just don’t have the staff or the expertise to do it. So it’s limited to a number of very specialized hospitals in the country, ”Rice told WKRN in August. Yet as more and more young, usually unvaccinated people contract severe COVID-19, the demand for ECMO is increasing, as they are more likely to benefit and survive after ECMO treatment than older people.

ECMO also requires specially trained staff who can handle side effects ranging from bleeding to kidney failure, as well as the machines themselves.

“A patient who is on ECMO needs their own dedicated nurse, and often a special team that has a dedicated ECMO, called perfusionists, who look after the pump, and a medical team. who also cares for the patient, ”Rice said. noted. “It’s really, really, really a lot of work.”

And it doesn’t help when other medical resources are strained.

“Across the country, we have all been limited by personnel, equipment and even physical bed space. If you’re going to put someone on a complicated machine, you want to make sure you have people who know how to take care of that machine and monitor the patient for any side effects, ”said Osborn of Inova Health System in Virginia. . “There is a national shortage of nurses; thus, some places lack nurses, then they may run out of ECMO machines, and finally they run out of actual beds. Over the past month, as expected, things have gotten worse.

Another challenge: COVID-19 patients are not the only ones who need ECMO treatment.

“There are people with heart failure, pneumonia, and several other causes of lung failure who could benefit from ECMO,” Osborn said. “So we have our regular patients and on top of that we are adding COVID-19 patients and a lot of intensive care units across the country literally don’t have enough staff or beds. “

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Katie Camero is a McClatchy National Real-Time Science reporter. She is a Boston University alumnus and has reported for the Wall Street Journal, Science and The Boston Globe.

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Lebanon’s drug shortage leaves patients in limbo Tue, 14 Sep 2021 20:11:00 +0000

QLEIAT, Lebanon – Saydi Mubarak and his mother share a bond that goes beyond a close mother-daughter relationship: They were both diagnosed with breast cancer a year ago and have undergone months of chemotherapy in a Beirut hospital, facing anxiety, hair loss. and uncertainty for the future.

Today, they share the fear of not being able to get the drugs they need to complete their treatment because in Lebanon, where a devastating economic crisis has disrupted daily life, there are hardly any drugs to be found.

The tiny Mediterranean country – once a medical hub in the Middle East – is struggling with severe shortages of medical supplies, fuel and other essentials. The economic crisis, described as one of the worst in the past 150 years, is rooted in decades of corruption and mismanagement by a political class that has racked up debts and done little to encourage local industries, forcing the country to depend imports for almost everything.

But these imports are difficult to obtain as the Lebanese pound has lost more than 90% of its value since 2019 and the central bank’s foreign exchange reserves are drying up. The crisis was made worse by a massive explosion that destroyed the country’s main port last year.

For months, drugstore shelves have been bare, exacerbated by panic buying and vendors withholding drugs, hoping to sell them later at higher prices amid the uncertainty. Hospitals are at a breaking point, barely able to afford diesel to run generators and day-to-day rescue machinery.

Drug shortages threaten tens of thousands of people, including cancer patients. In desperation, many have taken to social media or turned to travelers from overseas. Nowadays, Lebanese visitors and expats often arrive with suitcases full of pills, vials and other medical supplies for relatives and friends.

Mubarak, a 36-year-old high school teacher and mother of two boys, says the feeling of not being safe never leaves her. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in July last year, weeks before her mother, Helen Akiki, discovered a lump in her breast.

After months of chemo, Mubarak underwent a mastectomy in December. She is currently undergoing therapy which is expected to take 10 years, consisting of a daily pill and a monthly injection of hormones to make sure the cancer does not come back.

As the shortages became more severe and Mubarak was unable to find the hormone, the family posted their story on Instagram with Mubarak’s cell phone number.

For the next day and a half, the phone kept ringing – Lebanese around the world offered to send him the drugs. Six days after the due date for an injection, a traveler from neighboring Jordan delivered the drug to him personally.

“It was very moving,” said Mubarak, sitting in the garden of her one-story house in Qleiat, a mountain town north of Beirut, as her sons ran, feeding chickens and rabbits. She said the traveler refused to accept payment.

Obtaining the drug is not the last hurdle for Mubarak and his mother. Due to the fuel crisis in Lebanon, they worry about whether they will find enough gas every time they need to travel to Beirut for treatment. Recently, Akiki was told that the hospital could not find the drug used in the serum for its therapy. They replaced it with an injection which she said was more painful.

Akiki says the two found the strength to face the battle together, though she struggles with the guilt that she herself fell ill when her daughter needed her most.

Shelves are mostly empty in the pharmacy for cancer drugs inside the government-run Rafik Hariri University Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon.
Photo AP / Hassan Ammar

“Now is not the time for me to be sick,” Akiki said. “I tell myself that what is important is her. A mother stops thinking about her right now.

Issam Shehadeh, head of the cancer department at Rafik Hariri University Hospital in Beirut, said the situation had deteriorated significantly over the past three months. The Ministry of Health’s stocks of essential drugs are now empty and many hospitals are unable to obtain supplies from importers who are holding back.

“We have reached a point where we have told patients that ‘we have no more means of treating you,” Shehadeh said. Doctors often have no other recourse but to advise patients to try to treat themselves. procuring medicines abroad, a difficult task for everyone, but especially for the poor, whose ranks are swelling in the economic crisis More than half of Lebanon’s 6 million inhabitants today live in poverty .

One of Shehadeh’s patients, Wahiba Doughan, with lung cancer, contacted relatives in France who sent enough medicine for two chemotherapy sessions. Relatives have refused to be reimbursed, but Doughan is worried about having to pay for future medication: a government-subsidized dose for a session in Lebanon costs $ 40, or a tenth of the price in France.

“I live in anxiety,” said Doughan, a 60-year-old civil servant. “I’ve found the dose now but maybe later I won’t.”

At the end of August, dozens of cancer patients gathered outside major United Nations offices in Beirut to call for international help. “We refuse to have a life countdown,” one banner read. Another said: “Our government is killing us. “

Najat Rochdi, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Lebanon, broke down in tears as he listened to patients talk about their plight. She said her office was in contact with potential donors, including the World Bank, to find solutions.

A new government has promised to take control of the economic crisis.

But in the absence of the Lebanese state, calls on social networks have mobilized the country’s large diaspora, as in the case of Mubarak.

Mubarak says she doesn’t know how to compensate those who sent her a three-month supply of drugs.

“I mention them in my prayers every day,” said Mubarak, a devout Christian. “God willing, people will continue to help each other. “

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The Recorder – Just say ‘neigh’ to ivermectin for COVID-19: Experts warn against using horse dewormer to treat coronavirus Fri, 10 Sep 2021 20:27:21 +0000

The Greenfield Farmers Cooperative Exchange showroom would span 12,000 square feet – with additional warehouses, a greenhouse, and an outdoor nursery – and would carry at least 22,000 items for anyone’s farm, home or garden. . And the equine section of the store is full of supplies. But you won’t find Ivermectin on the shelves anymore.

This is because he is now in a cabinet behind the front counter. It appears that western Massachusetts is not immune to the national phenomenon of taking the horse dewormer drug in an effort to prevent or treat COVID-19. Co-op director Jeff Budine said several people had visited the store in recent weeks to purchase ivermectin since unfounded rumors began circulating online.

“We know our customers quite well. But last week, personally, I waited for three different people (asking about ivermectin), ”he said. “You can sometimes tell a rider from a non-horse.”

Budine said staff members would not sell ivermectin for human use.

“If you read the label, it… says, ‘For horses only,’” he said.

The National Poison Data System reports that 459 cases of ivermectin overdose were reported in the United States in August, according to the BBC.

And the Mississippi Poison Control Center has reportedly received a spike in calls regarding potential ivermectin exposure, with at least 70% of recent calls “related to the ingestion of livestock or animal formulations of ivermectin purchased from centers for ivermectin. ‘livestock supply’. Eighty-five percent of the callers had mild symptoms, although one person was asked for a more in-depth assessment because of the amount of ivermectin allegedly ingested.

Misconceptions about the drug’s effectiveness against the novel coronavirus have been spread mainly by right-wing experts and online trolls.

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not authorized or approved ivermectin for use in the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 in humans or animals.

In 2015, scientists William C. Campbell and Satoshi Omura won a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their decades-old discovery and application of ivermectin to treat parasitic infections. But COVID-19 is spread by a virus – not parasites – and the FDA warns that overdoses of ivermectin can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure, allergic reactions, dizziness, pain problems. balance, convulsions, coma and even death.

Dr Armando Paez, an infectious disease specialist at Baystate Health, explained that ivermectin is an effective antiparasitic agent being researched as a possible drug “that can essentially neutralize” the COVID-19 virus. He said ivermectin has been used to treat the virus in many countries that lack the resources the United States has. At least two articles based on hospital records of COVID-19 patients have been withdrawn because the company that allegedly analyzed the raw data will not allow their validity to be independently validated.

The side effects of ivermectin can exacerbate those of other drugs, Paez said, noting that the drug should only be taken in a clinical trial. He said large doses can be dangerous and small doses are likely ineffective against COVID-19. Paez also mentioned that overdoses can add to the strain hospitals are already under due to a fourth wave of coronavirus infections.

Ashlee Girard, an Amherst Farmers Supply employee, said the store hasn’t sold more ivermectin than usual, although a horse owner jokingly mentioned that she would take it for herself .

“We only sell it to customers we know,” she said. “We know who we’re selling to. We have a pretty close-knit group around here.

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a recent study examining trends in ivermectin distribution in outpatient retail pharmacies in the United States during the pandemic showed an increase over average from 3,600 prescriptions per week between March 2019 and March 2020 to a peak of 39,000 prescriptions during the week ending January 8, 2021. But, between early July and mid-August, the CDC reported more than 88,000 prescriptions issued, an increase of 2,344%.

The Tractor Supply Co. store in Greenfield posted “Ivermectin Product Advisories” in its equine section, warning that the drug is an active ingredient in some of the products carried and has not been approved by the FDA for use. treat COVID-19 in humans.

“These products are only suitable for animals and are clearly labeled as such,” says the notice.

Contact Domenic Poli at: or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.

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Blue Cross announces grace period for bonuses | Way of life Tue, 07 Sep 2021 22:51:00 +0000

For members affected by Hurricane Ida.

RED STICK – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana will extend the grace period for paying member bonuses until October 1, 2021. Members recovering from Hurricane Ida, which hit southeast Louisiana on the 29th August as a Category 4 storm, will not have their coverage insurance canceled for non-payment until that date.

The grace period applies to premiums for health insurance plans, as well as premiums for dental plans, vision plans, southern national life insurance plans, and health plans. Equitable Life and Disability Insurance.

Members should be aware that their claims may be pending during this time if their policies are not up to date. To keep insurance active beyond October 1, 2021, it is important that members pay their premiums in full to avoid a drop in coverage due to non-payment.

Blue Cross will follow all state and federal rules related to insurance coverage, and future notices may extend this premium grace period. Visit for the latest updates. For more information, members can contact Blue Cross Customer Service at the number on their identity card.

Other services related to hurricane Ida Croix Bleue

A Indeed:

Early refills of prescription drugs for a limited time. Members who are having difficulty refilling a prescription can call the pharmacy number on their ID card for assistance.

$ 0 telehealth medical visits until September 6 with BlueCare. Blue Cross members can have 24/7 online medical visits through BlueCare, the insurer’s telehealth platform, free of charge using the IDA code. Members can also have a behavioral health appointment for $ 0 using the IDA code until September 6.

BlueCare works on any device with the internet and a camera, such as a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or computer, and is available in all 50 states. Create your BlueCare account on or with the BlueCare mobile app (one word) for Apple and Android devices.

Members should also ask their regular health care providers if they offer telehealth services, online or over the phone.

Replacement of some medical supplies and equipment such as hearing aids, walkers or prostheses that were damaged during the storm. Members can call customer service at the number on their identification card to report damaged supplies or equipment and see if it can be replaced.

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Virginia Medical Society Helps Afghan Refugees at Dulles Airport | WDVM25 and DCW50 Sat, 04 Sep 2021 00:39:05 +0000

STERLING, Va. (WDVM) – The Virginia Medical Society is helping United Airlines by providing volunteer doctors to help Afghan refugees at Dulles International Airport in Qatar.

More than 6,000 Afghan refugees have arrived in Virginia. The Virginia Medical Society has started deploying medics from Dulles to Frankfurt, and returns on the same plane are now full of Afghans.

“Some of these flights are longer than 40 hours and they can’t get off the plane from the time they get on in Dulles. They are there until they stop in Ramstein and Qatar to pick up the passengers and go home, it’s a long flight, ”said Andrew Densmore, head of political advocacy for the Medical Society of VA. .

Initially, United Airlines contacted the office of Senator Mark Warner to put the airline in touch with the medical company.

“We are ready to respond to these calls not only to send people to the region, which is vitally important, but also to reflect on the issues. Medicine is a very complicated thing, health care is very complex, ”said Melina Davis, CEO / Executive Vice President of the Medical Society of VA.

While health officials provide medical care to those in need, some issues that arise are dehydration, headaches, high blood pressure, and heart emergencies.

“I know our doctors have made it a priority to bring things like kids’ Tylenol, cob pens, thigs like basic headache and fever medications, as well as their own PPE, and using the materials United Airlines provides on board, ”Densmore said.

Health officials have said they are ready to welcome more Afghan refugees en route.

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AMERICA / HAITITI – The Camillians come to the aid of the earthquakes: “We must give people dignity and love, as Jesus teaches us” Wed, 25 Aug 2021 14:00:04 +0000

AMERICA / HAITITI – The Camillians come to the aid of the earthquakes: “We must give people dignity and love, as Jesus teaches us”

Port au Prince (Agenzia Fides) – “Our medical team is mobilized and is already available to continue welcoming more and more people and providing them with the necessary care. We wish the Haitian people resilience, arm ourselves with courage and use our intelligence to live these difficult times by seeking solidarity and giving dignity and love to patients, as Jesus taught us “, said Father Robert Daudier, director of the Saint Camille hospital in Port-au-Prince, in an interview with Agenzia Fides on the program of material and spiritual aid launched by the Camillians after the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit the island of the Caribbean on August 14.
“At 8:30 am, said Father Robert, we felt the shock and, as a precaution, we left our houses. I contacted my colleagues who live in Jérémie, an area near the epicenter of the earthquake, and they told me that the whole region is seriously damaged and that we cannot move. Great damage was caused throughout the south of the country, “continued the priest,” where the population was already living in poverty before. With this catastrophic earthquake, the extremely precarious situation of the population becomes even more alarming. There are many human lives to mourn and severe damage to buildings and infrastructure ”. According to figures published by local authorities, the number of victims continues to increase: to date, more than 2,000 dead, 344 missing and more than 10,000 injured.
The Camillian religious present in Haiti, both in Port-au-Prince and in Jérémie, immediately began to provide the populations with first aid material. “In Jeremiah – reports the missionary – we lack almost all of our food, medicine and medical supplies to come to the aid of the population immediately. The roads are blocked by landslides and many villages are inaccessible “, explains Father Daudier,” there is the lack of drinking water, diesel and electricity. Last week, a group of volunteers left Saint Camille Hospital in Port-au-Prince in various vehicles to bring food, medicine, clothing and more to the victims of the earthquake, ”he said. he continued. “We continue to welcome the sick, injured and traumatized in earthquake zones. Our operating theaters are at full capacity ”.
“As soon as the emergency is over,” Father Robert said of future plans, “we will help build houses for the displaced. In September, two more containers with food, medical supplies, medicines and much more will be on the way. Once again, faced with yet another emergency – he concludes – we must continue to support families in the future and meet their needs “. (ES) (Agenzia Fides 8/25/2021)

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Flyers’ deal with Travis Sanheim could lead to additional deals Sun, 22 Aug 2021 17:52:06 +0000

After settling some cases before a possible arbitration hearing and signing a new contract with defenseman Travis Sanheim, the Philadelphia Flyers are likely not finished making roster decisions. Closing the Sanheim deal was key to the Flyers’ blue line, but his new deal – a deal that will cost $ 4.675 million over the next two seasons – means the Flyers will have to drop below the salary cap.

Josh Erickson of Pro Hockey Rumors slyly points out that the Flyers are about $ 650,000 over the upper limit of the salary cap. It’s not a huge amount of money and going over the cap is allowed during the offseason. That said, in order to be in line with the cap by the start of the 2021-22 NHL season, the Flyers have some work to do. The key here is that the Flyers can’t put together a 23-man roster as is and while they can play with fewer than 23 players, that’s not an ideal situation.

There are a few options. First, the Flyers can demote one or two AHL quit-eligible players – Tanner Laczynski, Jackson Cates and Morgan Frost are candidates – or they can make an additional trade to free up money, giving the team more than a few. a hundred thousand as a cushion.

Among the most likely business candidates are James van Riemsdyk and Travis Konecny. Both have been mentioned in possible business scenarios in the past and it would make sense for both of their names to reappear as the Flyers try to find a financial solution.

Which player is most likely to be moved?

As for Konecny, he has had an occasional relationship with Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault. No one should be shocked if it’s the move the Flyers are trying to make a priority. At the same time, he’s younger and carries a cap of $ 5.5 million for the next four seasons. He’s locked in with squad control, holds no trade protection under his contract and has been a productive player for the past four seasons. There would be interest if it became available.

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Cuba says the US embargo is “genocidal”. What is he really doing? Sun, 22 Aug 2021 09:00:45 +0000

Following historic protests in Cuba where thousands took to the streets, Cuban officials have repeatedly blamed the six-decade US embargo on food, fuel and medicine shortages in Cuba.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Cuban health officials insist the embargo restricts the import of crucial vaccine components – the communist country has produced its own Covid-19 vaccines – as well as components for the medical equipment such as respirators.

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel said the embargo was “genocidal” and called it “an American policy of economic suffocation”.

While the United States can export food, medicine, and medical supplies to Cuba, the embargo makes it more difficult.

The United Nations and human rights groups have called for an end to the embargo; in the United States, it is a subject of constant debate when it comes to American-Cuban politics.

When the embargo was fully implemented in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy, there was no trade. It was initially a response to Fidel Castro’s confiscation of US businesses and properties on the island following the 1959 Revolution, which was the largest expropriation of US assets ever. There are 5,913 certified unresolved claims – totaling $ 1.9 billion at the time – made by US citizens.

Over the years, the United States has added more embargo laws, making it tougher – while creating more exceptions. It is now a complex set of laws with many layers.

“The embargo has more holes than Swiss cheese,” said Pedro Freyre, president of Akerman’s International Practice, which provides legal advice to US-based companies affected by the embargo.

While food from the United States is available for export to Cuba, those wishing to sell on the island need approvals or licenses from the Treasury and Commerce departments, which makes it more cumbersome.

Sending drugs and medical supplies from the United States to Cuba is trickier because they cannot be exported if there is a “reasonable probability”The product could be used for torture, re-export or the production of Cuba’s biotechnology industry. It must be verified on site that the products are used for the intended purpose.

The State Department said it regularly allows the export of agricultural products, medicines and medical equipment, as well as humanitarian goods, to Cuba. In the first six months of 2021, Cuba imported $ 123 million worth of chicken from the United States

The majority of exports are in the agricultural sector and include chicken, soybeans and corn. In 2007, the United States was among the Cuba’s top five trading partners, and in 2008, US exports of agricultural products to Cuba peaked at $ 684 million. That number has since declined, as Cuba has diversified its network of suppliers, according to some experts.

The embargo does not prevent other countries from doing business with Cuba, but if a product contains 10% US-created content, then it must obtain a license from the United States to be exported to Cuba.

“When you factor in global supply chains, it drastically limits the amount of products that can be exported to Cuba, even from third countries,” said Ric Herrero, executive director of the Cuba Pro-Engagement Study Group. .

Other countries may be afraid to invest and trade with a heavily sanctioned country that is also on the list of US sponsor states for terrorism.

Because the embargo does not allow Cuba to obtain financing from American companies, Cuba must pay for imports in hard currency.

Banks in other countries often shy away from doing business with Cuba, not only because of the complexity of US sanctions, but also because Cuba “doesn’t have a very good payment record,” Freyre said. Cuba failed on billions of dollars in loans.

“The Cuban economy is so small and the conditions are so harsh that it’s just not a very attractive market,” said Freyre, who noted that Cuba’s Marxist and centralized economy is the main reason for its poverty.

After Kennedy imposed the embargo, relations between Cuba and the Soviet Union reinforced, ultimately leading to the Cuban Missile Crisis. For decades the The Soviet Union heavily subsidized Cuba and accounted for 80 percent of Cuba’s international trade. But when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, it plunged Cuba into a deep economic crisis from which it never really recovered.

It was during this period that the United States adopted the Cuban Democracy Law, which tightened the embargo and restricted presidential power, saying it could only be lifted if the president signaled to Congress that Cuba had met a series of conditions, including free and fair elections.

The CDA has authorized the export of drugs and medical supplies for humanitarian reasons. It also prohibited ships entering Cuba for trade from loading or unloading in the United States within 180 days of leaving Cuba, unless authorized by OFAC – which makes it more expensive to send shipments.

The next phase of the embargo came in 1996 with the Cuban Freedom and Democratic Solidarity Law (LIBERTAD), also known as the Helms-Burton Act. It was promulgated a few weeks after Cuban MiG fighters shot down two planes belonging to the group of Cuban exiles Brothers to the rescue, killing four people.

It gave Congress the impetus to act, ”Herrero said. It was an election year and President Bill Clinton wanted to lock himself in Florida.

The Helms-Burton Act has made lifting the embargo more difficult by making existing laws and regulations permanent unless they are lifted by Congress or if an expanded set of conditions are met by Cuba, including “a transitional government ”.

It also allowed the original owners of Cuban properties confiscated by Castro to sue in U.S. courts foreign companies that used them for business purposes, although this part of the law was not enacted until 2019 by the President Donald Trump.

A subsequent US law enacted in 2000, the Trade Sanctions Reform and Export Strengthening Law, authorized the direct sale of agricultural products and other foods in Cuba.

Jason Poblete, a Washington, DC lawyer who supports sanctions against Cuba, said that while “the measure facilitates the export of food and medicine,” it “adds more steps that are not otherwise necessary in the process. export to a non-sanctioned country “.

During the Obama years, restrictions were relaxed on trade, financial transactions, and travel between the United States and Cuba, but Trump rolled back much of them.

After six decades, even some who support the sanctions against Cuba say it is undeniable that the embargo mainly concerns domestic politics.

“Sanctions are a tool, not a policy,” said Poblete. “All parties should agree on this, but people keep talking to each other without focusing on workable solutions.”

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