Month: February 2021
Philadelphia health officials say they’re no longer providing vaccines to a 9-month-old start-up that has begun inoculating thousands of city residents, citing the group’s quiet switch to a for-profit entity.
“We have recently been made aware of a change in Philly Fighting COVID’s corporate status that took place without our knowledge, from nonprofit to for-profit,” said Health Department spokesperson Jim Garrow.
The move comes days after WHYY News and Billy Penn reported that Philly Fighting COVID had established a for-profit arm, and that when the group pivoted from providing community testing to performing vaccinations, it left several partner organizations in the lurch.
Here is the full story.
Illicit sales of fake negative Covid-19 test results are becoming more widespread as criminals look to profit from travel restrictions imposed during the pandemic, according to Europol.
The EU’s law enforcement agency on Monday reported an increase in cases of fraudulent Covid-19 test certificates being sold to travelers. It comes as an increasing number of countries in the European Union and beyond oblige travelers to present a negative coronavirus test in order to be allowed entry, when travelling from a high-risk area.
In its latest Early Warning Notification, which Europol issues to alert EU member states of new or increasingly prevalent forms of criminal activity, the agency said the latest case of this crime had been detected in Luton Airport in the U.K., where a man was arrested trying to sell false coronavirus test results. Elsewhere in the U.K., fraudsters were caught selling bogus Covid-19 test documents for £100 ($137).
There had also been earlier reports of similar activity in other European countries.
A forgery ring at Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris, for example, was “dismantled” after being found selling forged negative test results to passengers, Europol said. The amount charged for the fake test documents ranged between 150-300 euros ($181-$363).
Another fraudster was apprehended in Spain for selling false negative test certificates on the internet for 40 euros, and in the Netherlands, scammers were discovered selling fake negative test results for 50-60 euros through messaging apps.
Here is the full article, via Samarth.
Water fluoridation is a common but debated public policy. In this paper, we use Swedish registry data to study the causal effects of fluoride in drinking water. We exploit exogenous variation in natural fluoride stemming from variation in geological characteristics at water sources to identify its effects. First, we reconfirm the long-established positive effect of fluoride on dental health. Second, we estimate a zero effect on cognitive ability in contrast to several recent debated epidemiological studies. Third, fluoride is furthermore found to increase labor income. This effect is foremost driven by individuals from a lower socioeconomic background.
That is from a forthcoming JPE paper by Linuz Aggeborn and Mattias Öhman.
Here is an interview with Dr. Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and the lead developer of a COVID vaccine being produced in India. He thinks the AstraZeneca vaccine should be approved immediately, as I have long argued.
President Biden himself announced Tuesday that we’re going to have maybe enough additional doses of the mRNA vaccines to fully vaccinate 300 million Americans by the end of summer or fall.
I’m saying, “Well, no, that’s that’s not gonna work.” Telling us “by the fall” is like telling us “when the glaciers are gonna come back down from Quebec.” I mean, that’s not adequate.
We’re going to have to figure out a way to vaccinate the American people by late spring. That’s a tall order. To beat back the virus we need to give two doses to three-quarters of the population, to 246 million Americans. That’s half a billion immunizations. To get there, we’d need a rate of immunizations two or three times higher than what’s proposed.
….We need vaccinations now.
..things have been slowed down with the AstraZeneca-Oxford adenovirus vaccine. My understanding is that the FDA insisted that they conduct a full-scale Phase Three trial in the U.S., and we won’t have results for that until April. Meanwhile, the European Medicines Agency, the EMA, is going to make a ruling on the AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine on Friday based on studies done in Europe and also probably on data from Brazil and South Africa. [The EMA authorized, AT].
Those are large, reliable studies?
Yeah….Because of these new variants, there’s great urgency here in the U.S. So I’m saying that sometimes we have to do things that take us out of our comfort zone in order to save lives. That means, rather than focusing only on the new study that we’re doing in the U.S., we also look at the dossier presented to the EMA.
As a regulatory agency the EMA is up there with our U.S. FDA. They’re the two best regulatory agencies in the world. So if they sign off, I think we should say, “Look, let’s do it. Let’s use that vaccine.”
We’ve already bought 300 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine. We’ve paid for it — over a billion dollars — so let’s use it.
…And there’s also the recombinant protein vaccine our lab has developed at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. In India they’re scaling that up to a billion doses. Nobody from the White House has approached us to say, “Hey, Peter, what can we do to bring that vaccine in.”
There seem to be blinders: All they can see is getting the mRNA vaccines. I don’t quite know what’s driving that. We have to figure out a way to bring the other ones on board.
And soon! We’re in the eye of the hurricane.
Hat tip: Jim Ward.
Sci-Founder Fellowship is a program to help early career scientists start companies of their own. We believe that companies can often be the best way to pursue translational research, and not enough scientists consider this as serious option.
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If you think you could be a good fit, please apply here.
Have more questions? Take a look at our FAQ.
Here is the link.
This paper reports the results of the first systematic attempt at quantitatively measuring the seminar culture within economics and testing whether it is gender neutral. We collected data on every interaction between presenters and their audience in hundreds of research seminars and job market talks across most leading economics departments, as well as during summer conferences. We find that women presenters are treated differently than their male counterparts. Women are asked more questions during a seminar and the questions asked of women presenters are more likely to be patronizing or hostile. These effects are not due to women presenting in different fields, different seminar series, or different topics, as our analysis controls for the institution, seminar series, and JEL codes associated with each presentation. Moreover, it appears that there are important differences by field and that these differences are not uniformly mitigated by more rigid seminar formats. Our findings add to an emerging literature documenting ways in which women economists are treated differently than men, and suggest yet another potential explanation for their under-representation at senior levels within the economics profession.