DoD to resume giving anthrax shots

first_imgMay 4, 2005 (CIDRAP News ) – With a federal judge’s permission, the US Department of Defense (DoD) has announced it will resume giving anthrax shots to military personnel, but on a strictly voluntary basis.The DoD’s mandatory anthrax immunization program had been suspended since October 2004, when US District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ruled that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) did not follow proper procedures in approving the vaccine for inhalational anthrax.In January the FDA issued an “emergency use authorization” (EUA) permitting DoD to resume the vaccinations, but only on a voluntary basis. On Apr 6, Sullivan granted a DoD request to resume giving the shots under the terms of the emergency authorization.Yesterday the Pentagon announced it was ready to resume giving anthrax shots. Officials said the vaccinations would mostly be limited to military units assigned to the Central Command area, which includes the Middle East, and to troops serving in Korea and in homeland bioterrorism defense.”The implementing program requires commanders to follow EUA conditions very carefully, providing members of the armed services both education on the program and an option to refuse the vaccination without penalty,” the DoD announcement said.Dr. William Winkenwerder, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, called the immunization program a “vital protection measure for military personnel, who are at increased risk of exposure to an anthrax attack.”A DoD policy memo about the program says the EUA is scheduled to expire on July 27, less than 3 months away. “At that time, other initiatives may result in resumption of the normal AVIP [Anthrax Vaccine Immunization Program], including mandatory vaccinations for selected personnel,” the memo says. “Alternatively, the EUA may be extended or other direction may be provided.”Perry Bishop, a Pentagon spokesman, said DoD will continue to press for mandatory vaccination, according to an Associated Press report published yesterday.The DoD memo says all personnel eligible for anthrax vaccination must be told they may refuse the shots and will not be punished. Troops must be told they will not be discharged for refusing and they can still be deployed. However, personnel must also be told, “Your military and civilian leaders strongly recommend anthrax vaccination,” the memo states.Personnel will be given a brochure that explains the known and potential benefits and risks of vaccination as well as the alternatives to vaccination.Before Sullivan’s ruling, anthrax shots were mandatory for personnel serving in areas where the risk of anthrax attack was considered high. More than 1.3 million troops had been vaccinated in the program, which began in 1998. But hundreds of troops refused the shots because of concern about side effects, and some were disciplined or discharged from the service.Sullivan’s ruling came in a lawsuit filed by six DoD personnel and civilian contractor employees who objected to the shots. In an initial ruling in December 2003, the judge ordered DoD to stop requiring the shots on the ground that the FDA had never specifically approved the vaccine for inhalational anthrax. The vaccine was originally licensed in 1970.The FDA responded immediately by declaring that the vaccine was safe and effective for all forms of anthrax. Sullivan then lifted his injunction in January 2004. But in his subsequent ruling in October 2004, Sullivan said the FDA had failed to follow its own rules in declaring the vaccine safe for all forms of the disease.Last December, military officials asked the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for emergency authority to resume the vaccination program. Under the Project Bioshield Act of 2004, the FDA, in a declared emergency, can authorize the use of a medical product that has not gained ordinary FDA approval. The FDA then issued the emergency authorization on Jan 27, but said the shots had to be voluntary.The anthrax vaccine used by DoD requires six shots over a period of 18 months, followed by annual boosters. Last November HHS awarded an $877 million contract for a new anthrax vaccine that officials hope will require fewer doses and have fewer side effects, but that vaccine is intended to go in a stockpile for civilian use.See also:May 3 DoD news releaseDoD policy memolast_img read more

China A-shares added to MSCI indices for first time

first_imgMSCI also outlined plans to include more A-shares in the future, including mid-cap stocks. This expansion would require further reforms to open up China’s equity market to foreign investors, such as the removal of trading limits and a “significant” reduction in share suspensions, Melas said.The addition of A-shares to global benchmarks was widely anticipated following the Stock Connect project, which opened up access to and improved communications between domestic Chinese exchanges. Investors responding to MSCI’s consultation said this had proven to be a more flexible path to access domestic equities than via Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (QFII) and Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor (RQFII) licensing regimes.Yannan Chenye, head of China equities research at Harvest Global Investments, said: “Inclusion in the MSCI index family is a strong signal of greater market openness, and it will undoubtedly help the A-Share market to attract broader attention and participation of international investors. This sharp increase in international market participants will substantially change fundamental features of the market.”Although the initial impact of the additions would be “slight”, Chenye said a “more balanced investor structure with a higher proportion of institutional investors (both domestic and overseas) will likely result in a change of investment style” in the domestic markets.In commentary issued this morning, specialist emerging markets manager East Capital urged investors to “speed up the development of their research capabilities and infrastructure operations” if they plan to properly access this market.“It will take a few years but at the end of the process, China A-shares might represent as much as 20% of the MSCI Emerging Markets index,” East Capital said.Gary Greenberg, head of emerging markets at Hermes Investment Management, was more cautious, as many of the firms due to enter MSCI indices next year had not fully grasped the requirements of being a listed company.“We continue to encounter managements of large A-share companies who have yet to appoint an investor relations officer and who see no reason for senior management to meet shareholders,” HE said. “The ability to communicate with foreign investors, even in companies with worldwide operations, tends to be less than world class. For businesses with top line revenues that can top $15bn, this should have been fixed by now.”Investors can already access Chinese domestic companies via listings on exchanges in Hong Kong, Singapore, the US, and the UK.In addition to the China A-shares decision, MSCI announced that it would consult on adding Saudi Arabia to its emerging markets universe next year.The index provider delayed decisions on the future classification of Argentina and Nigeria. Argentina, it said, would not be upgraded to emerging market status as investors had warned market reforms “needed to remain in place for a longer time period to be deemed irreversible”.For Nigeria, MSCI said it would postpone until November a ruling on whether the country should be cut from its frontier markets index to allow investors to assess a new trading window introduced by the country’s central bank. An estimated $17bn (€15.3bn) could flow into China’s domestic market as a result of MSCI’s decision to include A-shares in two of its leading index series for the first time.The index provider has approved 222 large-cap stocks listed on China’s Shanghai and Shenzhen stock exchanges for inclusion in its emerging markets and all-countries indices, effective from next year.It follows an “extensive consultation” with asset owners and asset managers, both passive and active, said Sebastien Lieblich, global head of index management research at MSCI.The new stocks will make up roughly 0.73% of the MSCI Emerging Markets index and will be added in two tranches in May and August 2018. Dimitris Melas, managing director and global head of equity research at MSCI, estimated that this could trigger inflows of roughly $17bn based on the volume of passive assets tracking this benchmark.last_img read more

Lakers’ Jared Dudley: NBA may allow players to leave single site if play resumes

first_imgStill, at this point, Dudley said many players he knows are interested in continuing their livelihoods, even under less-than-ideal circumstances. Even though the Lakers could be tested by their older bodies, he believes the chemistry they build prior to the stoppage could give them an edge.“I like where we’re at though,” Dudley said. “I like our size. I like our chemistry. And I think chemistry is a huge factor because some of these teams that made trade deadline moves to try to win a championship, they haven’t seen each other as much. We talk on a consistent basis. We know what everyone is doing and we’ve definitely prepared for this moment.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThat might seem surprising for a league that was upended March 11, when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert returned the first positive test for COVID-19, essentially forcing Silver to declare a hiatus. As the suspension has dragged into its third month, the league has ramped up discussions about resuming play and recouping losses near a billion dollars for owners and players.Reports have cited Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando as a favored site to stage a return to play without fans. Dudley has heard, in that scenario, the league may open restaurants and golf courses exclusively for players to use as diversions for a stay that could potentially last two months for teams who reach the finals. But he is wary of players possibly acting irresponsibly with the freedom they are given.“If you’ve seen the (Michael) Jordan documentary, every team got a (Dennis) Rodman, he just doesn’t have green and blue hair,” he said. “There’s always someone who’s outside the box, who does that, takes the risk and says, ‘Hey listen, man, I’m healthy and I feel good.’”Dudley anticipates the NBA will have COVID-19 testing for players before every game once the season resumes. Silver told players in a conference call earlier this month that he doesn’t want to resume if one positive test forces another hiatus. But the potential of a superstar such as LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard being sidelined for a mandatory quarantine period could still be devastating for the league’s credibility.Dudley said he believed the Lakers and most players are determined to isolate during any resumed games in pursuit of a championship. For the team’s superstars like James and Anthony Davis, Dudley anticipated the Lakers would be “wrapping them in a bubble and not letting them go anywhere.center_img “Bubble” might be the wrong word for the NBA’s plan.While the league’s discussions of using a single site location to resume games safely have heated up recently, players have been told that they’ll likely be granted the freedom to come and go despite concerns that COVID-19 could infiltrate their ranks and hinder a return to competition.Laker forward Jared Dudley characterized conversations with the player’s union as leaving some opening for players to have the ability to leave the site, even though there would be crushing competitive pressure to isolate in place. In a conference call with L.A. media Wednesday afternoon, Dudley said NBPA executive director Michele Roberts and NBA commissioner Adam Silver indicated that some movement would be permitted.“It’s going to be a bubble in the sense of here’s gonna be your hotel where you stay at, here’s gonna be the gym where you play at, but you will be allowed to leave,” Dudley said. “Now just because you leave, if we’re gonna give you that leeway, if you come back with (COVID-19), you can’t play.” Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed “I just think it’s something we have to sacrifice,” he said. “There’s a lot of money at stake. There’s a lot of stuff for fans. I think we owe it to fans to be able to play.”The NBA has taken tentative steps recently by allowing teams to return to facilities for individual sessions. Dudley was one of the Lakers who has worked out at the El Segundo headquarters in recent days, with court sessions spaced 12 feet from a single assistant coach. Going into the facility, Dudley has gotten temperature checks and had to use PPE for walking through the building – he likened it to visiting a hospital.While the court workouts are somewhat stilted by health guidelines, Dudley said the greatest benefit has come from using the weight room and the training table. Trainers are required to use gloves and masks when touching players, but the treatment offers an amenity most players can’t replicate at home.“I think it’s moreso now that I’ve been back in the training room in the facility, I’ve urged players, ‘Hey, we want to see guys come back and getting in there’ just for more of the training aspect of getting on the table,” he said. “Like I said, preventing injuries, tissue work, and that. Not necessarily for the court.”Dudley said he anticipates the season will resume directly with playoffs, with perhaps a two- or three-week training camp period. Silver is widely expected to make an official decision next month. The league still wants to play seven-game series throughout the playoffs to maximize their broadcasting potential and legitimize the eventual champion.The Lakers are one of the league’s oldest teams, and multiple players including James have expressed concern about getting back into playing shape in time for a shortened schedule. Dudley said he looked forward to expanding into group workouts to help get a rhythm back.“At a certain age, it’s kind of like once those wheels get going, you want them to keep going,” he said. “I can slow down, you don’t want it to stop.”Related Articleslast_img read more