Chuckles of the Day

The Wall Street man was standing at the curb when a friend from his old home town, whom he had not seen in years, approached. They embraced but the friend seemed mighty serious.

“I’m awful sorry to tell you this,” said the visitor, “but your old and dear Aunt Cecily is in jail”

“Glad you told me,” said the broker. “it is good to hear she’s provided for.”

* * * * * * *

Sister had a problem.

“Father,” she said. “Who should I marry? Handsome Percy or Steady Sam?”



“I’ve been borrowing money from him for the last six months and he still comes to see you twice a week.”

* * * * * * *

The rich, old, dying man called his lawyer to him for the purpose of disposing of his worldly goods.

“How many children have you?” the layer asked.

“That, sir,” said the old-timer, “will be decided by the court when my will is contested.”

Twofer Vaccine in the Making Works Against ‘Twindemic’ of Flu, COVID-19

Kenneth Bender wrote . . . . . . . . .

A one-and-done vaccine that prevents both influenza and COVID-19 might help alleviate vaccine hesitancy for both conditions.

The first clinical trial to assess concomitant administration of any vaccine with either an adenoviral vector or mRNA COVID-19 vaccine found the combination with influenza vaccine is safe, produces immunogenicity associated with separate vaccination, and supports the combination as an efficient intervention against the possible “twindemic.”

Validation of a more efficient means to vaccinate against these viral infections is particularly welcome as flu season has commenced in the US and northern hemisphere countries, and a recent survey from the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID) shows that 44% of the US population are unsure or do not plan to get vaccinated against influenza.

Rajeka Lazarus, DPhil, Department of Microbiology, University Hospitals Bristol and Weston, NHS Foundation Trust, Bristol, UK, and colleagues of the ComFluCOV Trial Group anticipate that concomitant administration would reduce burden on health care systems, and report, “concomitant vaccination raises no safety concerns and preserves the immune response to both vaccines.”

The investigators recruited 679 participants who had received the first dose of either the adenoviral vector SARS-CoV-2 vaccine ChAd0x1 (AstraZeneca) or the mRNA vaccine BNT162b2 (Pfizer/BioNTech) and randomized 1:1 to receive either placebo or an age-appropriate dosed influenza vaccine (adjuvanted trivalent or cellular or recombinant quadrivalent) with their second COVID-19 vaccine dose. Follow-up monitoring was available for 665 participants.

The study monitored for adverse effects and assessed laboratory indicators of immunogenicity from April 1 through June 26, 2021, outside influenza season. The study was interrupted April 8 when notice was received of thomboembolic events associated with ChAd0x1, and resumed April 9 with exclusion of participants with risk factors for thrombotic events.

The primary outcome was one or more solicited reports of systemic reaction within 7 days after vaccination such as fever, chills, or joint pains. Secondary outcomes involving safety and adverse response included solicited local reactions such as pain or tenderness and unsolicited adverse events, including medically-attended adverse events.

The secondary outcome of immune response was determined from measures including SARS-CoV-2 S-protein immunoglobulin G (anti-S IgG) concentration in serum collected on day of vaccination (D0) and day 21; and hemagglutinin antibody inhibition (HAI) against the 4 strains of influenza contained in the 2020/21 formulations, on D0, day 21 and day 42. Other immunological measures that will be in a subsequent report include neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 on D0 and day 21 and mucosal immune responses to COVID-19 vaccines in saliva.

Lazarus and colleagues reported that, overall, 555/665 (83.5%) of participants had at least one solicited local adverse reaction after vaccination on DO; in 85.2% of those receiving concomitant vaccinations and 81.7% with placebo in lieu of influenza. The numbers with local reactions 7 days after injection were similar in both groups, although higher among those receiving the active combination at day 21. Rates of medically assisted adverse events were similar between groups following both D0 and day 21.

The Anti-S IgG geometric mean units (GMU) at day 21 were similar between those who received either SARS-CoV-2 vaccine alone or with concomitant influenza vaccine. Seroconversion rates (SCR) ranged from 89-100% and 79-93% 21 days after either BNT162b2 or CHAd0x1, respectively, whether administered alone or in combination with influenza vaccine. There were no significant differences in the HAI GMR for any influenza strain 21 days after influenza concomitant vaccination with SARS-CoV-2 vaccine compared to previously studied cohorts receiving influenza vaccination alone.

“By performing the trial in relation to the second rather than the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, we have evaluated safety and immunogenicity in primed individuals,” Lazarus and colleagues point out. “Therefore, the findings are also likely to be more relevant to the question of concomitant administration of booster doses and seasonal influenza vaccines, which over time may become the ‘norm’ in many parts of the world.”

Source: Infection Control Today

Giant Chicken Cutlet Burger of Teddy’s Bigger Burger in Japan

The price of the burger and potato set is 1,496 yen (tax included).

Anti-Nausea Drug May Boost Survival for Some Cancer Patients

Patients who undergo surgery for certain types of cancer may have better short-term survival if they receive a particular anti-nausea drug, a preliminary study suggests.

Among more than 74,000 patients who had cancer surgery, researchers found that those who received the drug — called dexamethasone — were less likely to die in the next 90 days.

The vast majority of all patients survived that long. But those given dexamethasone during surgery were about one-third less likely to die, the study found.

Dexamethasone has gained attention during the pandemic because it was shown to help some patients seriously ill with COVID-19. But the medication, an anti-inflammatory corticosteroid, has a long history of use.

When given during surgery, it helps control postoperative nausea and vomiting.

The new findings suggest dexamethasone might improve short-term survival after some cancer surgeries, said senior researcher Dr. Maximilian Schaefer, of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston.

But to prove that, he said, there would need to be a clinical trial where patients with these cancers were randomly assigned to either receive dexamethasone during surgery or not.

“I think these findings lay the groundwork for clinical trials,” Schaefer said.

He reported the findings Saturday at the annual meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), in San Diego. Studies presented at meetings are generally considered preliminary until they are published in a peer-reviewed journal.

This study is not the first to look at whether giving dexamethasone during cancer surgery is associated with patients’ short-term survival. Several have investigated the question and have come to mixed conclusions depending on the type of cancer — suggesting no effect, a survival benefit, or a higher risk of death.

In theory, dexamethasone could have both positive and negative effects on survival. The drug, Schaefer said, has been shown to inhibit tumor growth in the lab, but it also suppresses the immune system.

In their study, Schaefer’s team found a survival benefit specifically among patients with cancers considered “non-immunogenic.” That means the cancer does not elicit a strong immune response, and the immune system does not play a major role in controlling its growth.

Those cancers include tumors of the breast, uterus, ovaries, esophagus, pancreas, thyroid, bones and joints.

Among patients who had surgery for those cancers, the study found, about 0.8% of those given dexamethasone died within 90 days. That compared with just over 3% of those who did not receive the anti-nausea drug.

Still, it’s not clear that dexamethasone is responsible for the benefit, said Dr. Juan Cata, a member of the ASA’s Committee on Research, and an associate professor of anesthesiology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

“This is a very well-done study,” said Cata, who was not involved in the research.

But, he said, the study was observational: It looked at records from 74,058 patients who had cancer surgery between 2005 and 2020. And in any observational study, Cata said, it’s difficult to account for all the differences between patients who receive a treatment and those who do not.

Schaefer and his team weighed the variables they could, such as patients’ age (dexamethasone is often given to younger patients), sex, indicators of their overall health and whether they’d had chemotherapy before surgery. And patients who received dexamethasone were still one-third less likely to die within 90 days of surgery.

There could, though, be other differences at work, too, according to Cata. He noted that dexamethasone patients were, on average, in surgery significantly longer — and the question is why.

There’s also the question of what caused patients’ deaths. Cata said that deaths within 90 days of surgery are often related to postoperative complications rather the cancer itself.

While the findings do not prove cause and effect, Schaefer said they do have implications for medical practice. They can give anesthesiologists “more confidence,” he said, in giving dexamethasone to patients undergoing surgery for non-immunogenic cancers.

Cata said the drug is an effective and low-cost way to help prevent post-surgery nausea and vomiting — and that alone is meaningful to patients.

Source: HealthDay

Broiled Beef Ribs


4 lb beef ribs
6 tbsp rice wine
5 tbsp sugar
lettuce leaves, green onion strips, round onion, pine nuts to serve


9 tbsp chopped green onion
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp chopped garlic
6 tbsp sesame salt
6 tbsp sesame oil


  1. Clean the ribs. Score the meaty parts of ribs taking care not to cut the bones. Flatten the rib meat, score deeply and place them in a bowl.
  2. Sprinkle the ribs with the sugar and rice wine and mix well.
  3. Mix the seasoning ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Add the seasoning to the ribs. Mix well and set aside for 1 hour.
  5. Place the ribs on a hot grill and broil until done, turning them several times.

Source: Healthful Korean Cooking

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