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COVID-19 vaccine side effects: What to know

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The news about the coronavirus vaccine has been positive lately. Many health care workers around the country received their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine after it acquired emergency use authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Dec. 11. A second vaccine, from biotech firm Moderna, is on the cusp of clearing the same regulatory hurdle, and if all goes as expected, as many as 20 million Americans could be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the end of the year.

While it may take a while for production to ramp up to the point where a vaccine is readily available to the general public, health experts say there is one thing that’s critical for people to understand before they roll up their sleeves for the shots: The vaccines may cause side effects. According to the FDA, the most common side effects among participants in both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna phase 3 clinical trials were:

  • Injection site pain
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Chills
  • Joint pain
  • Fever   

However, these reactions are “temporary,” and they “self-resolve” within a few days, says Wilbur Chen, M.D., a professor of medicine and chief of adult clinical studies at the Center for Vaccine Development and Global Health at the University of Maryland. Even so, it’s “ultracritical” that health experts are transparent with the public about what to expect.

“Where a mistake could be made is in people being surprised or not being prepared for side effects,” adds William Moss, M.D., executive director of the International Vaccine Access Center at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Transparency builds trust

One reason: public trust. Polls show that as many as 42 percent of Americans say they are unwilling to get a coronavirus vaccine when one becomes available, for reasons spanning the unprecedented speed of the vaccines’ development to a general mistrust of vaccines. People are also concerned about potential side effects from the shots, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey, making it “critically important” for health experts to be upfront about all the possibilities, Moss argues.

Another reason people need to know about any potential side effects: Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines require two doses, given a few weeks apart. And unanticipated side effects from the first shot could deter people from going back for the second, which is needed to “get the most protection the vaccine has to offer,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) points out.

“We don’t know what happens after a single dose,” Moss says. “Certainly we can’t expect [that one dose will confer] the high degree of protection” that both doses demonstrated in phase 3 clinical trials. (Pfizer’s vaccine, for example, was found to be about 52 percent effective after the first dose; effectiveness jumped to 95 percent after the second.)

“So it’s really important that people get two doses and not be thrown off or discouraged,” Moss adds.

Finally, knowing that a sore arm or a fever is a possible side effect helps ease public alarm, says Hana El Sahly, M.D., associate professor of molecular virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine. If someone experiences an unpleasant, but expected, response, “they can take some symptomatic treatment and have reassurance and minimize their anxiety around the vaccine,” she explains.

Side effects are not unique to COVID-19 vaccine

Side effects from vaccines are not uncommon. The seasonal flu shot, for example, can cause fever and fatigue, among other reactions. And the vaccine to prevent shingles can induce shivering, muscle pain and an upset stomach, to name a few.

In some ways, these mild to moderate reactions are “a good thing,” Moss says, because “it’s a sign that the immune system is responding to the vaccine.” Nevertheless, they shouldn’t be downplayed. For some people, a sore arm “is a big deal,” Chen points out. Reactions from the coronavirus vaccine may even cause recipients to miss a day or two of work.

The key, experts say, is to weigh the temporary discomfort against the long-term benefits: a potentially high level of protection from a disease that has uprooted everyday life for many of us and has killed more than 1.6 million people globally.

“We are willing to tolerate discomfort in other aspects of our life — many people exercise and have muscle aches afterward, and don’t say, ‘I’m never going to exercise again,’ ” Moss points out. “There are just many aspects of our lives where we need to be willing to make the trade-off for some degree of discomfort for a longer-term gain.”

It’s also important to keep in mind that the majority of reactions occur shortly after vaccination, so “there is a degree of reassurance” that the side effects reported in the clinical trials are likely the extent of any unpleasant short-term reactions, El Sahly says.

Older adults could experience fewer side effects

An interesting finding from the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna clinical trials is that while the vaccines seem to be just as effective in older adult participants, people 65 and older experienced fewer side effects than younger volunteers.

Researchers are still studying why this is the case, but it could have something to do with the declining immune response that comes with age. Because the coronavirus vaccine can provoke “a little bit of an inflammatory response,” Chen says, it may be that older adults react less to the medicine if they have “a blunted immune response already.”

Reports of a few adverse events

Federal analyses of both vaccine trials show that few adverse events — which the CDC defines as any health problem that happens after a shot — separate from the less serious side effects were reported. Swollen lymph nodes (lymphadenopathy) occurred in a small portion of the participant population. And four people who received Pfizer’s vaccine and three who received Moderna’s developed Bell’s palsy, which, in most cases, causes temporary weakness or paralysis in the face.

FDA scientists have said that the documented cases of Bell’s palsy are “consistent with the expected background rate in the general population” and that “currently available information is insufficient to determine a causal relationship [between Bell’s palsy and] the vaccine.” However, the situation is worth monitoring, health experts say.

What’s more, since the start of Pfizer’s vaccine rollout, two people in Great Britain and one person in Alaska have experienced severe allergic reactions after being vaccinated. The FDA is warning health care providers not to administer the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to individuals with a known history of a severe allergic reaction to any component of the product.

It’s important to keep in mind that these reactions, though serious, are relatively rare, seeing how tens of thousands of people have been inoculated with one of the two vaccines. “It’s a warning for a very small number of people,” says Barry Bloom, professor of public health in the department of immunology and infectious diseases at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

If you’re concerned that your allergies could trigger a severe reaction to a coronavirus vaccine, talk to your doctor. And consider getting your vaccine in a medical setting, in case you do react.

“Most people can get the vaccine at pharmacies or a variety of different places. For people who’ve had allergic reactions, it’s a reason why they should talk to their doctor first — they [may] want to go to a place that’s more equipped for serious allergic reaction,” Karyl Rattay, director of the Delaware Division of Public Health, said in a recent news conference.

Safety monitoring doesn’t stop when vaccines become available

Just because the vaccines have expanded from trial participants to the public doesn’t mean monitoring for them will stop. Individuals who receive the vaccines will continue to be watched for long-term side effects and adverse events or disease. This follow-up will also give researchers more information on how long immunity to COVID-19 lasts after vaccination.

Something else that won’t stop when the vaccines are rolled out: the recommendation that people continue the prevention efforts that can help slow the spread of the disease, including mask wearing, social distancing and frequent handwashing. That’s because it typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity to a disease after vaccination, according to the CDC, meaning it’s possible you can get sick with COVID-19 even after you’ve been vaccinated. Plus, experts still aren’t sure whether the vaccines, which are highly effective at preventing COVID-19, block transmission of the virus.

Finally, it takes time to build up what Chen calls “community immunity,” or herd immunity, where enough of the population is protected from the virus that transmission slows significantly. Experts are not sure what the magic number is to obtain herd immunity for COVID-19, but they estimate it’s somewhere around 70 percent of the population, which could take months to achieve through vaccination.

Source: AARP

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Beyoncé ‘hopes to bring Renaissance tour to Ghana’ for rare Africa show

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Beyonce fans in Africa may not miss out on the Renaissance world tour entirely, as it’s claimed she’s in talks to bring the anticipated show to Ghana. (more…)

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Desert Hearts Festival Announces Skream, TIGA, Claude VonStroke, Lee Foss, Miss Monique, DJ Seinfeld, Justin Martin, VNSSA + More for 2023

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Today Desert Hearts Festival, one of North America’s most celebrated boutique electronic music events, has released the star studded lineup for its return to Lake Perris, California on May 5-8.

Desert Hearts Festival returns to the idyllic shores of Lake Perris with a host of improvements rooted in feedback from their devout community. Leading these changes will be the event’s pivot back to their celebrated One Stage, One Vibe format, a tradition fostered since the inception of the event which brings the community together on a single dance floor. DH 2023 will feature a tighter and more cohesive layout, theme camps right off the dance floor, more shade throughout the grounds and stage-side car camping on grass. The beach will remain a focal point, with the addition of interactive activities and water sports.

Beyond its new and improved venue, it remains the musical offering that makes Desert Hearts one of the best curated parties on the planet. Between each edition of the internationally acclaimed festival, the Desert Hearts crew hits the road, playing some of clubland’s most celebrated parties and bringing their own unique flair to the global circuit. Each nomadic lap around the sun sees Mikey Lion, Lee Reynolds, Marbs, and Porky become further entrenched in the sounds of tomorrow while brushing shoulders with the scene’s foremost flag bearers. This journey remains one of always deepening their crates and plotting the perfect festival lineup for their dedicated community. This cycle will become fully realized this year with Desert Hearts biggest and most wide-reaching lineup to date.

Over many years of fandom turned professionals, the DH crew has always hoped of hosting their ultimate idols at their flagship festival. Now those dreams have been realized with the 2023 lineup being topped by UK multi-genre pioneer Skream, 17 Steps icons Dusky, Turbo labelhead TIGA, and Dirtybird boss Claude VonStroke.

Billing continues with a mix of some of the scene’s most buzzed about names. Lo-fi originator DJ Seinfeld makes his DH debut alongside dancefloor favorite Justin Martin, progressive house sensation Miss Monique, Hot creations founder Lee Foss, elrow resident Tini Gessler, 90’s rave revival production duo Prospa, and Club Bad’s percussive house frontrunner Melé. Additional highlights include Polish house duo Catz ’n Dogz, emerging tech house producer Eddy M, and next generation house risers VNSSA and Mary Droppinz.

DH 2023 sees its curation dip further into more esoteric and left of center stylings led by 803 Crystal Grooves imprint founder CINTHIE and the ever-playful Aussie export Partiboi69.

Desert Hearts has also enlisted several revered torchbearers from the storied house and techno hotspots of Chicago and Detroit for this year’s edition. Chicago will be well represented by stalwarts like Gene Farris along with a not to be missed Derrick Carter and Mark Farina back to back set. Detroit will also take center stage seeing two of the city’s house music champions DJ Minx and DJ Holographic each commanding the decks.

A combination of the scene’s up and comers in addition to familiar Desert Hearts faces will shine bright, including the likes of celebrated DJ and producer duo Soul Clap, the raw and electric productions of SHADED, standout producer and audiophile Lubelski, the dark and dreamy melodies of Enamour, and rising talents like Eskuche and Rybo. Rounding out the bill is cinematic techno producer Rinzen, a back to back set from Cascandy and Beth Lydi, and Wyatt Marshall, Evan Casey, Morpéi b2b Ofier live, Tara Brooks, and Atish among others.

Of course, performances from the Desert Hearts crew remain the building blocks of the event’s finely curated schedule. From the chugging four on the floor tones of Desert Hearts Records label head Mikey Lion and out-there sonic journeys of Lee Reynolds, to the deep and melodic techno soundscapes of Desert Hearts Black’s Marbs and the scrappy musical encyclopedia of Porky, these are the sets that keep the community coming back.

The famed 2022 edition of Tonight’s Tavern was a massive hit for DH’s Lake Perris debut. The interactive lakeside tavern will see additional programming elements for the 2023 event complete with comedy, musical performances, and oddities.

Those looking for an elevated camping experience can reserve their spot at Lakeside Ready-Set Camping. DH’s newly imagined camping experience is primed with a beachfront location just steps away from the main festival amenities. The Ready-Set Camping area features two options of Ready-Set tents to choose for your convenience, a standard pre-set camping tent, or a more premium Canvas Bell Tent with both options designed for two people. Whether it’s packing light, not owning camping gear, or flying in from afar, everyone is able to experience the magic of Desert Hearts at their convenience with Ready-Set Camping. More details can be found on DH’s official website.

While the Desert Hearts experience continues to evolve and grow, the core ethos of inclusivity, creative freedom, and acceptance remains front and center. It remains this renegade spirit that makes it one of the wildest and most authentic community-driven festival experiences out there.

All Tickets, Camping Options, and Early Arrival Passes go on sale Thursday 2/2 at 10am PST directly to our Desert Hearts Family SMS list. Fans can text 619-586-6779 (or click my.community.com/deserthearts) to register, and will receive a direct link to purchase at 10am on Thursday. Any remaining tickets and camping passes will go on sale to the general public Thursday at 10am PST at festival.deserthearts.us.

Desert Hearts Festival 2023 Lineup (A-Z):
Atish
Cascandy b2b Beth Lydi
Catz ’n Dogz
CINTHIE
Claude VonStroke
Color Love live
D!NK
Dave Zilla
Derrick Carter b2b Mark Farina
DJ Holographic
DJ Minx
DJ Seinfeld
Dusky
Eddy M
Enamour
Eskuche
Evan Casey
Gene Farris
Justin Campbell
Justin Martin
Lee Foss
Lee Reynolds
Lubelski
Marbs
Mary Droppinz
Melé
Mikey Lion
Miss Monique
Morpéi b2b Ofier live
Partiboi69
Porky
Prospa
Rinzen
Rybo
SHADED
Skream
Soul Clap
Tara Brooks
TIGA
Tini Gessler
Torie
VNSSA
Wyatt Marshall
Desert Hearts Crew Opening B2B + Desert Hearts Crew Closing B2B
Plus Very Special Guest

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Beyoncé announces ‘Renaissance’ World Tour

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Six months after dropping her “Renaissance” album last summer, Beyoncé has announced a world tour with stops in Europe and North America. (more…)

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EXCLUSIVE: John Legend Reveals the Sentimental Meaning Behind Daughter Esti’s Name

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John Legend’s newborn baby’s name turned out to be a happy coincidence. (more…)

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SXM Festival Adds Black Coffee, Loco Dice, Layla Benitez, Moody Jones, Natalia Roth, Maga, Amine K, OXIA, Rossi., Ms Mada + More to 2023 Lineup

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SXM Festival returns from March 8-12, 2023 for a musical and cultural experience like no other. It is the only festival in the world that takes over an entire island – the Caribbean gem of Saint Martin | Sint Maarten – and is the ultimate destination experience. Prepare for a week of world-class electronic music immersed in stylish, sumptuous, and often surreal locations dotted around this idyllic island. Beach, villa, and boat parties, hilltop sunrise sessions and peak-time boho parties are all featured alongside French style champagne sipping afternoons by the pool, incredible food, boat activities, and culturally diverse explorations. Define your own unique adventure and rest assured that every day will be different – one never to forget.

Since its debut in 2016, SXM Festival has proven to be so much more than just another festival. This life-enriching experience quickly became one of the most talked about musical gatherings in the world. It’s a mix of Caribbean, French and Dutch culture, with an audience of worldly adventurers from over 35 countries and local enthusiasts gathering for some of the best underground electronic music talent on the planet. SXM Festival is a 5-day and 5-night electronic music escape and breeding ground for musical experimentation and discovery – eclipsed only by the beauty of the festival’s host location.

SXM Festival’s Phase 2 lineup adds a new batch of talented names to the fold, starting with Grammy Award-winning South African artist Black Coffee and Desolat label co-founder Loco Dice, plus Puerto Rico’s own Natalia Roth, the stylish sounds of Moody Jones, and Anthony Middleton of Audiofly. Highlights on the Phase 2 lineup continue with Moroccan electronic music ambassador Amine K, members of the Scenarios collective and label Emanuel Satie and Maga, and respected French export Oxia, along with a diverse mix of veteran and rising names including Jean Pierre, Layla Benitez, Paolo Rocco, Ms Mada, Paso Doble, Underher, Airrica, Wahm, and more.

These phase two additions join an already packed lineup featuring previously announced names including Grammy-nominated, triple platinum production duo CamelPhat, Music On leader Marco Carola, pioneering electronic producer Dubfire, and the musical experience of Astra Club – a b2b set from DJ Tennis and Carlita. Additional highlights include beloved Italian artist Francesca Lombardo, the reinvented house sensation Gordo, Brazilian stand out DJ and producer Mochakk, the return of Swiss favourite Sonja Moonear following her memorable 2022 performance, and a live set from visionary melodic house and techno veteran Rodriguez Jr.

The lineup’s global depth extends further with emergent West African DJ and producer AMÉMÉ, Palestinian DJ Maher Daniel, French exports Apollonia and YokoO, Berlin-based DJ and producer Gene On Earth, and German producer and co-founder of the Common Sense People event series Konstantin Sibold. A diversity of styles round out the lineup from the likes of acclaimed selector Doc Martin, Moscow Records and Moss Co. imprint head Archie Hamilton, the mystical melodic sounds of Deer Jade, and psychedelic house producer Mita Gami among others.

The party venues are simply incredible, starting with the legendary Happy Bay. The secluded private beach nestled in the jungle serves as the main evening venue and is home to the iconic Arc Main Stage and the immersive Ocean Stage. Other highlights include Boho Beach Club, the perfect place to chill out and escape during the day, and the infamous Villa Party, accessible only with a VIP ticket. Experience a revival of the luxury only bygone movie idols of the 60s jetset have lived, combined with modern-day luxury and design. This party is definitely one of the highlights of the festival. This exclusive estate, Sandyline, is a showcase for the chic, a day time rendez-vous for your inner rock star.

VIP Ticket holders receive access to exclusive areas with lush amenities at Happy Bay, priority table service, a chill-out area, a dedicated VIP bar and special cocktails, pop-up bars, VIP washroom, surprises and more.

VIP Ticket holders are also guaranteed first access to tickets for the ultra-exclusive limited capacity Satellite events; The Panorama Party and Boat Party. The Panorama Party gives attendees the chance to party at the peak of Sint Maarten’s highest mountain with breathtaking 360-degree views of the best Caribbean sunset. That Venue has been used for the Cercle live stream and has to be seen to be believed. Other Satellite Parties include the Boat Party, setting sail on the largest lagoon in the Caribbean with the most colorful sunset. Also this year, a new Catamaran Cruise will take 100 people to the most beautiful spots with food, drinks, swimming and a surprise DJ. VIP Tickets also allow advanced table bookings for each venue.

Those seeking the best possible experience should book their Villa directly with SXM Festival for added benefits such as Private Airport transfer, Admission directly in the Villa, Ultra VIP parking at Happy Bay, Dedicated VIP Host & Concierge Services, Priority Table Service, Photo Shoot, Pre-Festival styling sessions, hosted backstage visit and more.

For the 6th edition, the event will continue to build upon its deep connection with the cultural and ecological fabric of the beautiful host locale of Saint Martin | Sint Maarten. SXM Festival is also dedicated to leaving a smaller footprint and helping replenish natural environments. With initiatives that include going paperless, planting palm trees, saving energy with LED and solar lights, and eliminating plastic waste throughout the festival while collaborating year after year with local talents, it is the mission of SXM Festival to become increasingly sustainable throughout their growth. The festival also has a no-trace policy: every venue is transformed to be more beautiful at the end of each event.

Whether you are a returning vet or a first-timer, SXM Festival and the beautiful island of Saint Martin | Sint Maarten holds rich cultural surprises behind each twist and turn. It is truly a sum of its parts and a voyage of a lifetime.

Tickets for SXM Festival are available now on the festival’s official website.

SXM Festival 2023 Lineup (A-Z):

Airrica

Amine K

AMÉMÉ

Apollonia

Archie Hamilton

Asaf Samuel

Astra Club (Dj Tennis b2b Carlita)

Anthony Middleton

Black Coffee

Calussa

Camelphat

Chaim

Deer Jade

Demi Riquisimo

Doc Martin

Dubfire

Emanuel Satie

Francesca Lombardo

Gene On Earth

Gordo

Jean Pierre

Jenia Tarsol

Kadosh

Konstantin Sibold

Layla Benitez

Loco Dice

Maga

Maher Daniel

Marco Carola

Mita Gami

Mochakk

Moody Jones

Ms Mada

Natalia Roth

Nico De Andrea

Nicolas Masseyeff

Oxia

Paolo Rocco

Parallelle

Paso Doble

Raresh

Rodriguez Jr (Live)

Rossi.

Sean Doron

SIS

Sonja Moonear

Tony Y Not

Underher

Wahm (Live)

YokoO

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HARD Summer Music Festival Announces Return to Los Angeles After 10 Years

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Today, HARD Events has announced the grand return of HARD Summer Music Festival to the City of Angels for the first time in ten years. Taking place in Downtown Los Angeles from August 5th-6th, the milestone fifteenth edition of HARD Summer will utilize a brand new venue combination with various stages spread out across the campuses of the historic Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Exposition Park, and BMO Stadium.

Since its debut edition in 2008, HARD Summer has become a staple of the Southern California festival scene with its return to LA showcasing the evolution of the festival in an entirely new setting. As a part of the iconic LA Coliseum’s centennial anniversary celebration, the 2023 edition will provide attendees with a brand new take on the multi-genre HARD Summer experience.

“We are thrilled to host HARD Summer’s return to Los Angeles as part of our centennial anniversary celebration,” said Joe Furin, General Manager of the LA Coliseum. “As home to the most iconic events in the world, this festival is an exciting addition to our 100-year history.”

HSMF’s new home will offer a fully immersive footprint for fans of many genres and styles to explore. Admirers of dance music’s biggest mainstage acts can hold it down at the HARD Stage at the Green Lot on the south side of BMO Stadium, while followers of more esoteric strains of house and techno can see their favorite global icons on the Pink Stage at Christmas Tree Lane Park. Multi-genre curation will triumph on the HARDER Stage on the South Lawn, where mind-blowing headlining performances from the industry’s foremost titans have become commonplace. Bass music devotées can ride the rail at the festival’s Green Stage inside the LA Memorial Coliseum, while a spotlight will continue to be shined on live acts and new subgenres du jour at the Purple Stage inside BMO stadium.

HARD Summer continues to invest in creating a comfortable experience for attendees, with this never-before-used venue complex providing the perfect canvas to expand this mission. Fans can hop on the LA Metro for an easy journey to and from the event, or taste some of the city’s most celebrated food vendors at the foot of the Coliseum Torch.

HARD Summer will also be hosting a series of official afterparties at premiere venues around Los Angeles, offering a true city-side takeover. More afterparty details will be announced closer to the festival.

Two-day festival passes will be available for purchase on February 3rd at 10am PT through the official website for HARD Summer. To celebrate the festival’s return to the 213 area code, fans can also secure passes with a $2.13 deposit on February 3rd for one day only.

More information will be announced regarding the lineup for the 2023 edition of HARD Summer, along with additional festival details in the forthcoming months. Stay tuned for more info.

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