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U.S. health authorities paused the distribution of Johnson & Johnson's Covid-19 mRNA vaccines to investigate reports of blood clots.

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the CDC announced the move on Tuesday after reports of the clotting disorders.

Six women between the ages of 18 and 48 complained of blood clots in the brain within two weeks of receiving the Johnson & Johnson single jab vaccine.

Only one woman reportedly died from the clotting disorder in March.

The FDA tweeted on Tuesday: "We are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution."

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The six women were diagnosed with a rare blood clotting disorder called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST).

The six women suffered blood clots in the brain, combined with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia) that caused hemorrhaging (bleeding disorder).

Should You Be Worried?

If you received the Johnson & Johnson single jab vaccine, it's important to know the signs & symptoms of blood clots or bleeding disorders:

  • Shortness of breath (clots in lungs)
  • Chest pain (clots in lungs)
  • Severe headache (clots or bleeding in brain)
  • Abdominal pain (bleeding disorder)
  • Leg pain (clots in legs)
  • Blood in urine (bleeding disorder)
  • Black, tarry stools (bleeding disorder)
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    People who received the J&J vaccines and experience the above signs and symptoms should notify your doctor or healthcare provider immediately or go to the emergency room.

    The CDC advised against doctors treating the condition with heparin because heparin is a blood thinner and could make the condition worse.

    "If someone ends up with a very severe headache or any type of shortness of breath, pain in their leg, or severe pain in their abdomen, they would want to seek medical attention,” Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said during a press briefing on Tuesday.

    For people who got the vaccine more than a month ago, the risk "is very low at this time," Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the CDC, said Tuesday.
     

    FYI: An earlier version of this article reported that six women died from blood clots. Only one woman has died.

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    Bloomberg/Getty Images

    CDC officials warned of "impending doom" as thousands of maskless Spring Breakers continue to descend on Miami and more states have reopened.

    Dr. Rochelle Walensky, head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, choked back tears as she warned of "impending doom" in an effort to prevent a fourth Covid-19 surge.

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    Despite over 150 million Americans receiving vaccine injections, Dr. Walensky said the United States surpassed 30 million cases of COVID-19 on Sunday.

    "I'm speaking today not necessarily as your CDC director, but as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter to ask you to just please hold on a little while longer... Right now, I'm scared," she said in a video statement.

    She added that the U.S. saw a 10 percent increase in new cases compared with the previous week. Additionally, hospitalizations have increased and deaths are starting to rise.

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    CDC officials discouraged "nonessential travel" and encouraged mask-wearing and social distancing to stop the spread of the virus and its dangerous variants.

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    But their warnings fell on deaf ears in Florida, where Spring break continues uninterrupted. Governors in other states have relaxed Covid-19 restrictions and reopened their states.

    Watch Dr. Walensky's video below.
     

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    Protestors in Idaho, including elected officials and minor children, burned face masks at a rally outside the state capitol building in Boise on Saturday, March 6.

    Idaho's Stay Healthy Order recommends wearing "a face covering over their nose and mouth in indoor public settings or in an outdoor public space where they are unable to maintain six-feet physical distancing."

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    Photos and videos show residents tossing used face masks into roaring flames inside a barrel. Demonstrators gathered to burn masks in at least 20 cities across the state to protest COVID-19 restrictions.

    Elected officials joined the demonstrators who cheered as protesters tossed their masks into the fire.

    Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin and Republican lawmaker Heather Scott supported the demonstrators.

    "Even if you don't have a mask — because in my district a lot of people don't wear masks — it's still symbolic," Scott said in a YouTube video. "It gets the word out to the governor that it's time for this emergency order to end."

    In unrelated news, the CDC said people who are "fully vaccinated" can gather in "small groups" as long as they socially distance and practice good hand washing technique.

    Some businesses say they will demand to see proof of vaccinations before a fully vaccinated person enters their establishment.

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    A new report by the CDC suggests wearing 2 face masks can help reduce coronavirus exposure.

    Dr. Anthony Fauci and the CDC are now recommending wearing 2 masks to block 95% of virus particles.

    The CDC guidance followed the release of an agency study that shows double masking boosts protection from aerosolized particles.

    "The bottom line is this: Masks work and they work best when they have a good fit and are worn correctly," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a White House briefing on Wednesday.

    Dr. Fauci recently said "there's no data that indicates that [double masking] is going to make a difference."

    This isn't the first time Fauci has flip-flopped on coronavirus recommendations.

    In March 2020, Dr. Fauci said a mask was less effective than good hand washing.

    This week, the CDC issued guidelines to properly wear face masks for a snug fit.

    The following guidelines ensure a snug fit against the face because gaps in the mask can let in air and virus particles.

  • Wear a cloth mask over a medical mask
  • Pick a medical mask with a flexible metal strip along the top of the mask
  • Bend the metal strip over your nose to fit close to your face
  • Use a mask filter or brace over your mask to prevent air from leaking around the edges
  • Check for air gaps in mask by cupping your hands around the edges of mask
  • Make sure no air is flowing from the outer edges of mask or from the mask edge near your eyes
  •  

    Make sure you can breathe while wearing 2 masks.

    The CDC says wearing 2 masks is safe for those of you who don't have breathing problems or respiratory conditions such as asthma or COPD.

    If you feel lightheaded or dizzy from breathing in your own carbon dioxide while wearing 2 masks, consider that you might be having a panic attack, which can trigger sudden feelings of suffocation, according to health.com.

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    Squirrels who regularly feast on culinary delights tossed out by upscale restaurants in New York City are starving now that restaurants have shut down.

    Aggressive squirrels have been terrorizing and attacking New Yorkers for three weeks now. Residents say the squirrels are drawing blood.

    Residents of a Queens neighborhood are ducking and running to avoid flying squirrels who jump on them and sink their teeth into them.

    "We're wrestling in the snow and there's blood everywhere and my fingers getting chewed and it won't let go," Micheline Frederick tells WCBS-TV. "Eventually, it just stopped and there I was a big bloody mess."

    Fredrick produced a photo that showed the bloody aftermath of the squirrel assault. "This was an MMA cage match and I lost!" she said.

    Two other neighbors shared their own horrific tales of unprovoked squirrel attacks.

    "These squirrels are aggressively going after people," Vinati Singh said.

    The city's health department advised Queens residents to call a licensed trapper to deal with the pests. Small squirrels rarely test positive for rabies, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
     

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    The Centers for Disease Control says the new mutant strain of Covid-19 in the UK is not deadlier or more severe than the current strains of Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus going around.

    The UK reported a new, deadlier strain of SARS-CoV-2 that resulted in increased hospitalizations and deaths.

    The news prompted other countries to shut their borders to anyone arriving from the UK. Anxiety about the new strain spread across the pond to the U.S., where some states have been locked down since March.

    The CDC issued a statement on Tuesday, calling for calm and stating there is "no evidence" the mutant strain causes more severe respiratory illness or increased risk of death.

    The new UK strain, which is known as "B.1.1.7." has not been isolated in a lab in the U.S., though former FDA director Scott Gottlieb said the new strain has almost certainly spread around the globe.

    The CDC urged all states to give priority to minorities when distributing the mRNA vaccine. As a result, 25 states are now prioritizing Black, Hispanic, and Native American residents over white people for vaccine distribution.

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    The Centers for Disease Control has issued guidance to every state to prioritize ethnic minorities -- specifically Black males -- as a "vulnerable community" when it comes to vaccine distribution.

    As a result, half of the country's states are now prioritizing Black, Hispanic, and Native American residents over white people for vaccine distribution.

    25 states, including Georgia, Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia have all committed to allow Blacks and Hispanics to jump the line for vaccinations.

    Additionally, Louisiana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, and Indiana have declared "fairness" or "equity" as determining factors in prioritizing minority and "historically marginalized populations" over whites for vaccinations, even if not specifically designating minorities by name.

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    The CDC guidance is predicated on recommendations from Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates and his wife Melinda Gates, who have no medical degrees. Both have been involved in funding vaccine development and have been lobbying since June for ethnic minorities to be second in line behind healthcare workers for the mRNA vaccinations.

    Melinda Gates specifically urged prioritizing Black men for the mRNA vaccinations.

    "We are seeing black men die at a disproportionate rate," Gates said in an interview with Time magazine. "We know the way out of COVID-19 will be a vaccine, and it needs to go out equitably."

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    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued new guidance after thousands of people reported adverse side effects after getting the new mRNA Covid-19 vaccine.

    As of Dec. 18, 3,150 people reported what the agency terms "Health Impact Events" after getting vaccinated. The CDC defines "Health Impact Events" as "unable to perform normal daily activities, unable to work," or "required care from a doctor or health care professional."

    The adverse effects were reported through V-safe, a smartphone app, according to theepochtimes.com.

    Dr. Thomas Clark, a CDC epidemiologist, reported the data to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Saturday (click link to see the reported data).

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    CDC

    The CDC recommends not taking the vaccine if a person has "ever had a severe allergic reaction to any ingredient in a Covid-19 vaccine."

    The active ingredient in the Covid-19 vaccine is 30 mcg of modified messenger ribonucleic acid (modRNA) which contains encoding of spike protein (glycoprotein of SARS-CoV-2).

    The encoding tells human cells to produce a spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 that acts as an antigen (kind of like a virus) to stimulate an immune response and create antibodies.

    The amount of mRNA contained in the first injection is less than a grain of table salt. A second injection is required within 21 days of the first shot.

    Other ingredients include lipids, salts, sugar (6 mg sucrose) and polyethylene glycol as a purifier.

    The CDC recommends that people with a history of severe allergic reactions not related to vaccines or injectable medications can still get the mRNA vaccine.

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    EJ Hersom/DOD

    Americans who step up to take the Coronavirus mRNA vaccinations will receive Covid-19 vaccination cards.

    The Department of Defense (DoD) released images of the vaccination cards and vaccination kits on Wednesday, reports KRON4 news

    The cards, issued by the CDC, will be included in vaccination kits sent out by President Donald Trump's Operation Warp Speed.

    Operation Warp Speed is coordinating with military planners and experts at the CDC to deliver vaccines to 300 million Americans.

    "Everyone will be issued a written card that they can put in their wallet that will tell them what they had and when their next dose is due," said Dr. Kelly Moore, associate director of the Immunization Action Coalition.

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    "For most COVID-19 vaccine products, two doses of vaccine, separated by 21 or 28 days, will be needed," according to the CDC's COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook. "Because different COVID-19 vaccine products will not be interchangeable, a vaccine recipient’s second dose must be from the same manufacturer as their first dose."

    Additionally, "vaccination clinics will report to their state immunization registries which vaccine was given so that third parties can verify one's vaccination status regardless of what their card says (or if they've lost it)."

    "Patients" will be asked to "volunteer" their phone numbers so jurisdictions can contact them via "robocalls" or text messages to remind them of their second dose due date.

    According to Dr. Anthony Fauci, the Covid-19 vaccine will not prevent infection, it will only lessen symptoms. People who are vaccinated can still spread the virus.

    "The primary endpoint is to prevent clinical disease, to prevent symptomatic disease, not necessarily to prevent infection. The primary thing you want to do is, if people get infected, prevent them from getting sick. And if you prevent them from getting sick you will ultimately prevent them from getting seriously ill, so that's what we want to do."

    Common symptoms of Covid-19 are similar to the seasonal flu: a fever, cough, fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath, and muscle aches.

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    CBS Miami

    Airports nationwide saw a spike in travel ahead of Thanksgiving, despite warnings from the Centers for Disease Control not to travel this holiday season.

    Security screenings at U.S. airports surpassed 2 million over the weekend, as travelers chose to ignore the CDC's warnings to avoid traveling over the holiday.

    On Saturday, just under 1 million people flew -- the highest number of travelers since March, but less than half of last year's number, MSN reports.

    At Logan Airport, vending machines dispensed disposable masks, latex gloves and infrared thermometers.

    "We did a COVID test. We turned out negative. We're bringing hand sanitizers with the wipes. We are disinfecting everything," said Estefania Krause, according to MSN News.

    Other travelers say the airlines are taking precautions, so they are living their lives.

    "All the airlines seem to be doing the good precautions, so we're trying to play it safe. Just live our lives, as well," said traveler Jon Love.