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Canadian Blood Services mulling shorter wait time for gay donors

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Canadian Blood Services (CBS) is considering another change to its donation policy that would allow gay men who have abstained from sex for three months to give blood, down from the current one-year waiting period. 

The organization — which manages the national supply of blood products — says it has been reviewing research that suggests the abstinence period can be reduced and still keep the blood supply safe.

CBS is “currently discussing the results of the analysis with stakeholders and partners,” including patient and LGBT groups, and its provincial counterpart Héma-Québec, said spokesperson Ross FitzGerald in an email. 

Health Canada would have to approve the change. CBS did not provide a date or timeline for the potential change.

Gay and bisexual men have faced restrictions since the tainted blood scandal of the 1980s, when thousands of Canadians were infected with HIV or hepatitis C from donated blood. 

A lifetime ban was lifted in 2013, when Canada moved to a policy that allowed donations from men who said they had abstained from sex with other men for five years. In 2016, that deferral period was dropped to one year. 

Human rights advocate Christopher Karas has filed a complaint about the deferral period at the Canadian Human Rights Commission. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

“Any reduction in the deferral is a good thing,” said Dr. Dustin Costescu, a family planning specialist, and assistant professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, who is gay.

“I would imagine they’ve landed on three months because it’s the standard accepted window,” for accurate testing, he said. 

The window exists because an early HIV infection might not appear during a blood test. Tests also can’t identify if someone has been in contact with an HIV-positive person. 

Someone becomes HIV positive when their body begins resisting the virus, Costescu said.  

CBS considers men who have sex with men a high-risk group, as they account for the largest proportion of new HIV infections reported in Canada.

In 2016, this group represented 44.1 per cent of reported HIV cases in Canada.

Attainable targets

Many have pushed for CBS and Health Canada to drop the deferral period altogether, calling it discriminatory.

“It’s still having the same effect as the policy that came before it and it still makes us feel ‘less than,'” said Christopher Karas, a human rights advocate who has filed a complaint about it at the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

“It needs to apply across the board to everyone. If that’s not the case, then the policy shouldn’t exist.”

Kat Lanteigne, head of the safety watchdog group Blood Watch, says the best way to protect Canada’s blood supply is to screen for behaviours that might put individuals at risk of HIV infection, rather than labelling entire groups as high risk donors. (Kat Lanteigne)

Dropping to a three-month deferral could lead to more blood donations from LGBT people, specifically men who have relationships with men and women, said Costescu. But he thinks the policy needs to continue evolving, toward behaviour-based screening. 

“By making deferral targets more attainable people can make a more informed choice about whether they want to participate in the blood donation process,” he said. 

“Asking people to defer specific behaviours rather than deferring their entire orientation would be more realistic.”

‘Unfair’ label

Canada’s one-year deferral is in line with the policies of the U.S., Australia and Japan, while other countries, including Italy and Spain, use a behaviour-based approach.

That approach screens out gay men who have unprotected sex with multiple partners, as opposed to those who are in monogamous relationships. 

That would be more effective than a blanket waiting period, said Kat Lanteigne, executive director of Blood Watch, a not-for-profit that advocates for a safe, voluntary blood supply.

“The safest way to manage a donor base, in our view, is to ensure that you are screening every single individual donor and that it’s behaviour based,”she said.

“We have a whole generation, you know, coming up behind us where there’s a lot of gender fluidity,” she said, adding it’s “unfair to label” gay men as the only part of the population who are at risk.

In the meantime, Blood Watch supports reducing the deferral period to three months, she said.

CBS said it might change its screening process. 

“[We’re] focused on moving away from a time-based deferral … to an alternative screening approach, which may evolve the current deferral policy,” FitzGerald said. 

Haran Vijayanathan, executive director for the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention, called on CBS, which routinely faces donor shortages, to quicken the process. 

“We’re going into the holiday season, into the winter months and we know accidents go up,” he said. “They’re desperately short on blood… You’re going to test that blood before you transfuse it anyways, so why even three months?”

Despite the LGBT community and CBS being at “somewhat oppositional ends right now,” Costescu encourages those who can eventually donate under a three-month policy to do so — to “show the world we want to donate.”

“At some point, we as a community… will have to decide what we’re comfortable with in terms of what a deferral period looks like,” he said.

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Bill Gates: Third Shot May Be Needed to Combat Coronavirus Variants

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With more than 40 million Americans having received at least the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, a third dose may be needed to prevent the spread of new variants of the disease, Bill Gates told CBS News Tuesday.

Gates’ comments come amid growing concern that the current vaccines are not effective against the more contagious Brazilian and South African variants.

Pfizer and Moderna have stated that their vaccines are 95% and 99% effective, respectively, against the initial strain of COVID. However, some scientists have questioned those statements. Additionally, the World Health Organization and vaccine companies have conceded that the vaccines do not prevent people from being infected with COVID or from transmitting it, but are only effective at reducing symptoms.

Gates told CBS Evening News:

“The discussion now is do we just need to get a super high coverage of the current vaccine, or do we need a third dose that’s just the same, or do we need a modified vaccine?”

U.S. vaccine companies are looking at making modifications, which Gates refers to as “tuning.”

People who have had two shots may need to get a third shot and people who have not yet been vaccinated would need the modified vaccine, explained Gates. When asked whether the coronavirus vaccine would be similar to the flu vaccine, which requires yearly boosters, Gates couldn’t rule that out. Until the virus is eradicated from all humans, Gates said, additional shots may be needed in the future.

AstraZeneca in particular has a challenge with the variant,” Gates explained. “And the other two, Johnson & Johnson and Novavax, are slightly less effective, but still effective enough that we absolutely should get them out as fast as we can while we study this idea of tuning the vaccine.”

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is funding the studies being conducted in Brazil and South Africa, CBS News said. The foundation has also invested in the AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and the Novavax vaccines, which are being tested against new variants. Once the AstraZeneca vaccine is approved, the Global Alliance for Vaccine Initiative or GAVI, founded by Gates, will distribute it globally.

“Gates continues to move the goalposts,” said Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., chairman and chief legal counsel of Children’s Health Defense. “Meanwhile the strategies he and others have promoted are obliterating the global economy, demolishing the middle class, making the rich richer and censoring vaccine safety advocates, like me.”

Kennedy said that the exclusive focus on vaccines has prevented the kind of progress required to actually address and recover from the pandemic:

“From the pandemic’s outset, clear-headed people familiar with the challenges inherent in the vaccine model have understood that the path out of crisis would require multiple steps. Those steps would need to include the development and/or identification of therapeutic drugs, the sharing of information among doctors to hone improved treatment models that reduce infection mortality rates below those for flu, and the kind of broad-spectrum long-term herd immunity that protects against mutant strains and that only derives from natural infection.”

Instead, Gates and vaccine makers are proposing a lifetime of boosters, supporting insufficient testing to determine safety and failing to address the inadequate monitoring of vaccine injuries, Kennedy said.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.

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Young nurse suffers from hemorrhage and brain swelling after second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

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(Natural News) A 28-year-old healthcare worker from the Swedish American Hospital, in Beloit, Wisconsin was recently admitted to the ICU just five days after receiving a second dose of Pfizer’s experimental mRNA vaccine. The previously healthy young woman was pronounced brain dead after cerebral angiography confirmed a severe hemorrhage stroke in her brain stem.

Her family members confirmed that she was “breaking out in rashes” after the vaccine. She also suffered from sudden migraine headaches, and got “sick” after taking the second dose of the vaccine. At the very end, she lost the ability to speak and went unconscious. The migraines, nausea, and loss of speech were all symptoms of a brain bleed and brain swelling, something her family did not understand at the time, and something nobody would expect after vaccination.

While on life support, neurologists used angiography to image the damage inside the brain. They found a subarachnoid hemorrhage, whereas a bulging blood vessel burst in the brain, bleeding out in the space between the brain and the tissue covering the brain. The ensuing swelling cut off oxygen to the brain and caused brain death. On February 10, 2021, Sarah reportedly had “no brain activity.” Some of the woman’s organs are now being procured, so they can be donated to other people around the world.

Doctors warn FDA about COVID vaccines causing autoimmune attacks in the heart and brain

Experimental COVID-19 vaccines may cause inflammation along the cardiovascular system, leading to heart attack and/or stroke. This serious issue was brought forth to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by Dr. J. Patrick Whelan, M.D., Ph.D. and further confirmed by cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Hooman Noorchashm, M.D., Ph.D. The two doctors warned that a recently-infected patient who is subject to COVID-19 vaccination is likely to suffer from autoimmune attacks along the ACE-2 receptors present in the heart, and in the microvasculature of the brain, liver and kidney. If viral antigens are present in the tissues of recipients at the time of vaccination, the vaccine-augmented immune response will turn the immune system against those tissues, causing inflammation that can lead to blood clot formation.

This severe adverse event is likely cause of death for the elderly who are vaccinated despite recently being infected. There is no adequate screening process to ensure that this autoimmune attack doesn’t occur. The elderly are not the only people vulnerable to vaccine injury and death. Pfizer’s experimental COVID-19 vaccine could be the main cause behind the sudden death of Sarah Sickles, a 28-year-old nurse from Wisconsin. The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System has captured five permanent disabilities in Wisconsin, 58 ER visits, and eleven deaths in just one month. This is the first case in Wisconsin of someone under 44 years of age suffering from severe COVID-19 vaccine side effects and death. There are now more than 1,170 deaths recorded in the U.S. related to the experimental mRNA vaccines, a reality that the FDA and CDC continue to ignore.

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Powering hypersonic weapons: US armed forces eyeing dangerous 5G tech

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(Natural News) Much of the conversation surrounding the benefits of 5G is geared toward the consumer side of the technology. People will be able to download videos at lightning speed and will be more connected than ever, proponents claim, although there are serious questions regarding its safety. However, some of the most important 5G applications are not civil at all – the technology will be used extensively in the military domain.

Some of its military uses are outlined in the Defense Applications of 5G Network Technology report, which was published by the Defense Science Board. This federal committee gives scientific advice to the Pentagon. Their report states: “The emergence of 5G technology, now commercially available, offers the Department of Defense the opportunity to take advantage, at minimal cost, of the benefits of this system for its own operational requirements.”

The 5G commercial network that is being built by private companies right now can be used by the American military for a much lower cost than if the network had been set up exclusively for military purposes.

Military experts expect the 5G system to play a pivotal role in using hypersonic weapons. For example, it can be used for new missiles that bear nuclear warheads and travel at speeds superior to Mach 5. These hypersonic weapons, which travel at five times the speed of sound and move a mile per second, will be flying at high altitudes on unpredictable flight paths, making them as hard to guide as they will be to intercept.

Huge quantities of data need to be gathered and transmitted in a very short period in order to maneuver these warheads on variable trajectories and allow them to change direction in milliseconds to avoid interceptor missiles.

5G for defense

This type of technology is also needed to activate defenses should we be attacked by a weapon of this type; 5G automatic systems could theoretically handle decisions that humans won’t have enough time to make on their own. Military bases and even cities will have less than a minute to react to incoming hypersonic missiles, and 5G will make it easier to process real time data on trajectories for decision-making.

There are also important uses of this technology in combat. 5G’s ability to simultaneously link millions of transceivers will undoubtedly facilitate communication among military personnel and allow them to transmit photos, maps and other vital information about operations in progress at dizzying speeds to improve situational awareness.

The military can also take advantage of the high-frequency and short-wavelength millimeter wave spectrum used by 5G. Its short range means that it is well suited for smart military bases and command posts because the signal will not propagate too far, making it less likely that enemies will be able to detect it.

When it comes to special forces and secret services, the benefits of 5G are numerous. Its speed and connectivity will allow espionage systems to reach unprecedented levels of efficiency. It will also make drones more dangerous by allowing them to identify and target people using facial recognition and other methods.

Like all technology, 5G will also make us highly vulnerable. The network itself could become an attractive target for cyber-attacks and other acts of war being carried out with cutting-edge weaponry. In fact, the 5G network is already viewed as critical infrastructure and is being carefully protected before it is even fully built.

While the focus on 5G’s dangers to human health and the environment is absolutely warranted, it is also important not to lose sight of the military implications of 5G. After all, it is not just the United States that is developing this technology for military purposes; our enemies, like China and other countries, are also making great strides in this realm.

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