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The state of nasal COVID-19 vaccines: 4 notes – Becker's Hospital Review

Some experts are calling for the development of a nasal COVID-19 vaccine as federal officials continue to weigh what the nation’s booster strategy could look like, The Washington Post reported April 10.

Experts have previously said nasal spray vaccines may make better boosters than injected shots because they offer protection in the mucosal linings of the airway, where the coronavirus first lands.

1. While the primary goal of COVID-19 vaccination is to prevent severe disease, nasal vaccines would aim to prevent infection altogether.

«If we want to change the goal posts, so to speak, and get into really limiting infection and preventing infection, the final bullet point is, we need to change the route of immunization,» said Robert Seder, MD, chief of cellular immunology at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, proposing a scenario in which a variant emerged that was as transmissible as omicron and caused more severe illness like delta. «Wouldn’t you want a vaccine [against] not just severe disease, but [to] prevent transmission?» he told the Post.

2. A nasal spray that prevents infection altogether is a lofty goal, with a complicated regulatory path in the way. That means one wouldn’t be ready by fall, when cases are expected to increase again as people gather indoors and colder weather moves in. Lack of funding also stands in the way of next-generation vaccine concepts.

«We could Operation Warp Speed the next-generation mucosal vaccines, but we don’t have the funding to do it,» said Karin Bok, PhD, director of pandemic preparedness and emergency response at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. «We’re doing everything we can to get ready … just to get ready in case we have resources available,» she told the news outlet.

3. Theoretically, a nasal spray vaccine would be administered as a puff of droplets in each nostril. Vaccine developers testing such vaccines have used a modified, harmless version of a live virus that includes the spike protein found on the outside of the coronavirus.
4. In February, The New York Times reported there were at least a dozen nasal COVID-19 vaccines in development globally.

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Japan just found 7,000 islands it didn’t know it had

Japan has recounted its islands – and discovered it has 7,000 more than it previously thought.

Digital mapping by the Geospatial Information Authority of Japan (GSI) recently found there to be 14,125 islands in Japanese territory, more than double the figure of 6,852 that has been in official use since a 1987 report by Japan’s Coast Guard.

However, the GSI this week stressed that the new figure reflected advances in surveying technology and the detail of the maps used for the count – it did not change the overall area of land in Japan’s possession.

It said that while there is no international agreement on how to count islands, it had used the same size criterion as the previous survey 35 years ago.

That entailed counting all naturally occurring land areas with a circumference of at least 100 meters (330 feet).

The new number does not include any artificially reclaimed land.

The islands surrounding Japan have been at the heart of several territorial disputes.

Japan lays claim to the Russian-held southern Kuril islands, which Tokyo calls the Northern Territories, a dispute that dates to the end of World War II, when Soviet troops seized them from Japan.

Japan also says it has a historical claim to the uninhabited Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, which it currently administers, but China has repeatedly challenged that claim.

Meanwhile, Japan and South Korea remain locked in a more than 70-year dispute over the sovereignty of a group of islets known as Dokdo by Seoul and Takeshima by Tokyo in the Sea of Japan, which Korea calls the East Sea.

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Yosemite National Park to partially reopen after 3-week closure

Yosemite National Park will begin to reopen Saturday with limited access and hours, the US National Park Service has announced. The park remains closed today.

The popular park, nestled in the Sierra Nevada mountains, was closed because of a series of damaging storms that have swept across the region in recent weeks.

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Charles and Camilla

Britain’s King Charles III and his wife, Queen Camilla, have been married since 2005. They reportedly met at a polo match in 1970 and became friends when Charles was a prince.

When Charles joined the Royal Navy in 1971, Camilla married cavalry officer Andrew Parker Bowles.

Charles married Diana Spencer in 1981 but then admitted in 1994 that he had been having an extramarital affair with Camilla. Diana confirmed his infidelity and her own the following year.

Camilla got a divorce in 1995, and Charles and Diana divorced in 1996. Camilla all but vanished from public life at the time as public and media support swung behind Diana.

In 1999, Clarence House embarked on a program to reintroduce Camilla to the public with a carefully orchestrated first appearance with Charles outside the Ritz Hotel in London.

Six years later, their decades-long love story culminated in a wedding that had the consent of Charles’ mother, Queen Elizabeth II. Camilla was confirmed as Charles’ official consort and future queen.

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