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Omicron Can Disrupt Major Drug Plans for COVID-19

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Regeneron and Eli Lilly antibody drugs are used in patients with COVID-19, but pharmaceutical companies warn that they are less effective against new mutants.

Doctors warn of yet another challenge as a tense US hospital prepares for a new surge in COVID-19 cases caused by a rapidly expanding variant of Omicron. ..

Regeneron and Eli Lilly antibody medications have been used to treat early COVID-19 for over a year because they can avoid serious illness and keep patients away from hospitalization.

However, both pharmaceutical companies have recently suggested that laboratory tests are much weaker in their treatment against Omicron, which contains dozens of mutations that make it difficult for antibodies to attack the virus. I warned that. The two companies say they can rapidly develop new Omicron-targeted antibodies, but they have no plans to launch them for at least a few months.

The third antibody from the British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline seems to be in the best position to fight Omicron. However, Glaxo’s drug is not widely available in the United States and accounts for only a small percentage of the millions of doses purchased and distributed by the federal government. US health authorities are currently allocating supplies of shortage medicines to states.

“I think there will be a shortage,” said Dr. Jonathan Lee, director of the Harvard / Brigham Virology Institute. Due to the reduced effectiveness of the Regeneron and Lily drugs, “one FDA-approved monoclonal antibody” was used with Omicron.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, delta variants still account for more than 95% of estimated cases in the United States. However, agency leaders say Omicron will spread faster than any other variety in the past and will become the dominant strain nationwide within a few weeks.

Antibodies delivered by injection or infusion are laboratory-made versions of human proteins that help the immune system fight viruses and other infections.

According to the two companies, the Glaxo drug developed by Vir Biotechnology was specifically prescribed to bind to some of the viruses that are unlikely to mutate. Early laboratory-simulated studies of Omicron by pharmaceutical companies and outside researchers show promising results.

The US Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement posted online that the drug’s supply was “very limited and additional doses of the product would not be available until the week of January 3rd.”

After suspending distribution last month to save supply, HHS is now shipping a 55,000 dose of drug called sotrovimab to the state’s health department, which will arrive on Tuesday. An additional 300,000 are expected in January.

Authorities said they were distributing the drug to the state based on the level of infection and hospitalization.

HHS states that the state will store drugs for patients most likely to be infected with Omicron, based on laboratory tests that can identify community-wide mutations or elevated levels of Omicron, identified as 20% or higher. Recommended.

High-risk patients include the elderly and those with serious health problems such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and immune system disorders.

Prior to the suspension of shipments, Glaxo’s drug accounted for approximately 10% of the 1.8 million antibody doses distributed to state health authorities from mid-September to late November, according to federal statistics. rice field.

London-based Glaxo says it plans to produce 2 million doses by May under contracts with the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, and several other countries. .. The company is working on adding manufacturing capacity next year.

The loss of two major antibody therapies further focuses on the long-awaited pair of antivirals that US regulators are expected to soon approve.

Pfizer and Merck medicines will be the first treatment Americans can take at home to prevent serious illness. Pfizer’s drugs are particularly powerful, reducing hospitalization and death in high-risk patients by almost 90%.

“If deployed effectively, this has real potential,” said Andrew Pekosi, a virologist at Johns Hopkins University. “It’s an immediate place where these antivirals can minimize the effects of Omicron.”

Nevertheless, the initial supply of both drugs is expected to be limited.

The shrinking treatment toolbox reminds us that the virus still has the upper hand in the United States, even though more than 200 million Americans have been fully vaccinated.

Scientists around the world understand Omicron, including whether it causes more or less serious illness and how easily it avoids protection from previous infections, vaccinations, and antibody drugs. Are competing to do.

Dr. James Cattlell of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center said: “There is no doubt that a lack of antibodies will increase the number of patients who need to be hospitalized.”

AP Medical writer Laura Ungar contributed to this story.

The Associated Press’s Department of Health Sciences is supported by the Science Education Department of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Ohio Subdivision Committee Meets to Discuss Redrawn Maps

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The state’s bipartisan Ohio Subdivision Commission has long and repeatedly resigned prior to the midnight deadline.

Columbus, Ohio — Democrats Victory in the High Court This month, it seemed that they dug into their heels against another round of the Ohio Gerrymandering legislative map on Saturday.

The state’s bipartisan Ohio Subdivision Commission has long and repeatedly resigned prior to the midnight deadline set by members to come up with a compromise that would satisfy members of both parties.

In submitting the map on January 12, the Ohio Supreme Court granted a 10-day committee to approve the redrawn maps of the state’s 99 Ohio House districts and 33 Ohio Senate districts. The judge also retained the right to consider the new map.

Lawyer for a successful party Constitutional issues Earlier maps have determined to unfairly support the Republicans who portrayed them, stating that the deadline allowed under court rules is actually Monday.

In any case, the pressure of time is intense. The deadline for submitting primary candidates on May 3 is February 2, and State Secretary of State Frank LaRose has warned that the executive branch has already begun to be delayed.

Newly elected Democratic leader Allison Russo has accused the Republicans of refusing to support maps that more closely reflect Ohio’s voter preferences over the past decade.

“To achieve this goal, members of the Republican Commission must recognize the obligation to map to create at least 45 Democratic seats and 15 Democratic Senate seats,” she said in a statement on Friday. “Ohio people expect us to provide a fair and constitutional map by the court’s deadline. It’s our job to provide it.”

However, the Republicans are still very upset in the process, casting 5 out of 7 votes on the Commission.

On Friday, they came up with a proposal to break it down into 57 Republican and 42 Democratic seats, 20 Republican seats and 13 Democratic Senate seats.

Parties in the proceedings against the map — including voting rights and Democratic groups — Submit your own plan On Friday. The Ohio ACLU described the drawings as “technically perfect” when meeting the 2015 Partisan Equity and Balance Requirements Checklist approved by voters.

On Saturday, the Citizen-led Ohio Citizens Subdivision Commission submitted the proposed amendments to the Ohio House and the Ohio Senate. Map approved along the party line on September 16th. Due to the lack of democracy support, the plan is only valid for four years, rather than the ten years generally intended when the state redraws lines to reflect the total of the new 10-year census. Wouldn’t have been.

Democratic rallies in the House and Senate also submitted map proposals on Saturday, but Republicans were working to bring the first map closer to what the Democrats wanted.

Discussions continued between the Commission’s four legislative rallies and three state-wide officials, Governor Mike Dewein, Larose, and Keith Faber.

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Ohio State University Student Workers Organize Protests

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Dozens of Ohio State University students gather in frigid temperatures to protest behind the Ohio Union, and student workers pay the college a minimum wage of one hour to improve overall working conditions. I demanded that it be raised to $ 15 per.

As a student assistant at Ohio Union, Anthony Parker’s work varies from shift to shift. Senior Parker majoring in public policy often works in the canteen kitchen, preparing orders for grubhub drivers to receive.

Parker pays $ 10.50 an hour, and the workforce in Ohio is less than a delivery driver picking up his own food.

“The biggest problem among students is wages,” Parker said in a protest on Friday. “The problem is that wages remain low.”

Ohio State University pays student workers a variety of basic hourly wages. As the state raised the minimum wage from $ 8.80 to $ 9.30 per hour on January 1, the university raised the wages of returning student workers by the same amount this year. Employees with a tip earn $ 4.65 per hour. Most on-campus jobs are paid between $ 9.30 and $ 13 per hour, according to Parker.

Resident assistants earn $ 150 every two weeks and about $ 4.45 per hour, but those students don’t have to pay for housing and get discounts on meals.

University spokesman Ben Johnson said Ohio State University employs more than 15,000 student employees on six campuses.

“The university offers competitive salaries and benefits to retain and support key student employees and appreciates their contribution to campus life and land-granting missions,” he said. Said.

According to Parker, many student workers on campus are paid $ 10 an hour, which is not much compared to what they can earn off campus.

“Many places are understaffed and it’s easy to find nearby jobs that cost more off campus, like Target and Chipotle,” he said.

According to a 2018 Georgetown University survey, nearly 70% of all college students in the United States are working. However, the impasse in negotiations over raising the federal minimum wage, coupled with rising costs in higher education, means that most college students are not as well worth their spending as they once were.

Sixty years ago, college students who worked part-time during the school year and full-time at the minimum wage during the summer pay tuition, fees, and most rooms and boards at a typical public four-year college. I was able to. , According to the Urban Institute. Today, the same amount of work at the minimum wage covers only 57% of college tuition and fees, and 27% of room and board and other costs.

Jacob Mesman, a sophomore in geography and African-American and African-American studies, works from 1 am to 5 am at the front desk of the Dracquet Tower. He helps the locked out students, answers residents’ questions, and asks visitors to wear masks properly.

Mesman earns $ 9.30 an hour, but he said he couldn’t make any more by working overnight or on holidays, and that’s not enough.

“I will be paid for hunger wages,” Mesman said. “I sacrifice sleep, grades, and social life to work.”

Mesman said student workers are the “lifeline of the university” and ensure that everything goes smoothly. One day he asked what would happen if no one went to work.

Some jobs on campus pay higher wages. For example, student bus drivers start at $ 14 an hour, and college medical center employees earn $ 15 an hour. But Parker said it was a matter of principle to pay more to all student workers.

Instead of paying more for student workers, Parker said Ohio State University has a contract with a third-party employer called Upshift, which connects adults with part-time jobs in the area. He said the base fee for those jobs was $ 18 an hour.

According to Johnson, the university worked with Upshift in 2020 to meet short-term and temporary needs.

“Wages are determined by the market and other factors,” Johnson said. “The individuals referred through the Upshift app are not university employees. Students interested in this type of temporary work should apply directly to Upshift.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed the number of jobs many Americans see, and it did not exclude college students.

Students at the University of Minnesota called on the school in November 2021 to raise the minimum wage for student workers. In March 2021, more than 120 student workers at Kenion University in Gambia picketed the campus, saying the university had exploited student labor and practiced injustice. Labor policy during a pandemic that adversely affects some student workers. Since February 2020, graduate students from Columbia University, the University of Michigan, and the University of California, Santa Cruz have held at least three strikes.

Ohio State University students aren’t trying to form a union at this time, Parker said, but protesters are in contact with union organizers at Kenion and other smaller schools.

Although they have protested under various circumstances, Parker said Kenion’s union strike was “incredibly exciting.”

Ohio student protesters marched across the campus to Scott Dining Hall. We spoke with more student workers and Morgan Harper, a lawyer running for the Ohio Democratic Party in the US Senate.

Parker said he hopes Ohio State University leaders will listen to the demands of student workers. He said it was time for change between inflation making everyday life more expensive and rising tuition fees.

“It’s easy to handle all of this,” he said.

Mark Stansbury on the left, a member of the American Local 4502 Communication Worker, is outside the Student Union of Ohio State University Student Workers, who wants the university to raise the minimum wage for student workers to $ 15 per hour. I will talk on Friday in protest at.

Mark Stansbury on the left is a member of the Communication Workers of America Local 4502 and is outside the Ohio Student Union by Ohio State University student workers who want the university to raise the minimum wage to $ 15 per hour. I’ll talk on Friday in protest.

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PCHFH Bingo Is Scheduled for February 10th

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Ottawa-Putnam County Human Habitat will host “Date Night: Tool & Purse Bingo” on Thursday, February 10th at VFW Post 9142, 212 W. Second St. All evening revenues support PCHFH’s new and important homes. Repair program.

“Habitat for Humanity is about building hope,” said Anne Coburn Griffith, Executive Director of PCHFH.

The master of the night ceremony is Big Kahuna from 106.3 The Fox. The organizers will also offer a $ 1 ticket, 50/50, and sweetbox prizes for a basket lottery that highlights local businesses, experience, and craftsmanship.

The door opens at 5 pm The game starts at 6 pm

Tickets are $ 35. Eight tables can be booked for $ 280. Tickets are 150 N. Oak St via www.putnamohhabitat.org. You can purchase by mailing a check to Putnam County Habitat for Humanity, sending a message on Facebook, or calling the office at 419-523-9621.

Secretary Anne Coburn Griffith and Executive Secretary Karen Meyer of the Patnam County Habitat of Mankind are surrounded by power tools and designer handbags to be featured at Tools & Perth Bingo on Thursday, February 10.

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