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When there’s a coronavirus vaccine, how will we make sure everybody gets it? That’s the job of state immunization registries.

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A collection of 62 obscure state and local agencies may end up being crucial players in the fight against coronavirus once vaccines become available.

They’re known as immunization registries and they keeptrack of children’s – and increasingly adults’ – immunizations.

Vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease COVID-19 are expected to require two doses, given a month or so apart, and come in several types. That’s a recipe for disaster without a central repository to know who got what vaccine and when.

Imagine this scenario: You get your first coronavirus shot at a local health department clinic. A month later, when it’s time for your follow-up, you go to your doctor or a local pharmacy.

“They’ll need to know which one you got, when you got it and double-check when you’re due for your second dose,” said Dr. Kelly Moore, associate director of immunization education with the Immunization Action Coalition.

Fear factor:Viruses like the one that causes COVID-19 have long been Dr. Anthony Fauci’s ‘worst nightmare’

That’s where existing state immunization registries should come in, public health experts say. Multiple doses and different vaccines aren’t just a logistical nightmare, there are health implications as well.

“There could be unknown reactions and no one’s going to have time to do studies to see if you can mix and match,” said Rebecca Coyle, executive director of the American Immunization Registry Association in Washington, D.C.

Researchers work in a lab at the Yisheng Biopharma company in Shenyang, in Chinas northeast Liaoning province on June 10, 2020. - The company is one of a number in China trying to develop a vaccine for the COVID-19 coronavirus. (Photo by NOEL CELIS / AFP) (Photo by NOEL CELIS/AFP via Getty Images) ORIG FILE ID: AFP_1T723P

Gearing up to vaccinate more than 300 million Americans – twice – in a short period of time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working closely with the registries and state health departments to streamline the somewhat clunky existing system.

Prior to the pandemic, the CDC was engaged in a long-term effort to build a centralized system to let health care providers and state registries quickly and easily share information about immunizations. Dubbed the IZ Gateway, it’s now receiving a lot of attention in public health circles.

Whether such a system will be available in time for the onslaught of coronavirus vaccines isn’t known. The CDC did not respond to multiple emails.

The IZ Gateway is anticipated to play a role with a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine, Coyle said, but “there are still some policy and technology issues that need to be resolved before it can truly be leveraged on a national scale.”

Immunization registries started for children, now for adults, too

The registries are part of a robust federal system that orders, manages and distributes vaccines nationwide through the Vaccines for Children program, which pays for vaccines for about half of America’s children.

To track the effort, which began in 1994, each state created a registry to ensure every child gets the immunizations they are eligible for. It has since been expanded to include many adults as well.

There’s a lot to track. Last year the Minnesota Immunization Information Connection logged 5.87 million immunizations, more than half in adults. Only 24% of the state’s medical providers aren’t enrolled in the system, said Doug Schultz, an information officer with the Minnesota Department of Health.

A coronavirus vaccine could require you to get two shots.Here’s why.

In Michigan, every person born since 1993 is in the system, unless they opted out. Today that’s 2.4 million children and 7.9 million adults, said Bob Swanson, director of the division of immunization for the state’s Department of Health and Human Services.

All states except New Hampshire have their own immunization registries. Some counties and cities also have their own, such as New York City and San Diego. Including U.S. territories such as America Samoa, there are 62 such registries.

Pharmacist Michael Witte holds a tray with a syringe containing a shot that will be used in the first-stage safety study clinical trial of the potential vaccine.

Adding coronavirus vaccines shouldn’t be a heavy lift for most, said Coyle.

There are well over 200,000 health care provider sites already connected to the registries, so reporting vaccinations won’t be out of the routine for them. But it will be new for many facilities such as nursing homes and other locations that haven’t reported immunizations to a registry before, she said.

Snowbirds, beware: What happens when you need vaccine in separate states?

The biggest challenge will be exchanging data across state lines. The registries were set up at the state rather than the federal level due to privacy concerns. To share information with another registry, a data-sharing agreement must be signed.

With 62 registries, that’s 3,782 different agreements to sign and keep up to date. Many don’t.

There’s no agreement, for example, between the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland, despite their close proximity. That means someone might get their first coronavirusshot at their workplace in the district, their second in Virginia where they live, or at their doctor’s office in Maryland and the records would be unavailable.

Mapping coronavirus:Tracking the U.S. outbreak

Usually, the best data sharing is between states near each other. Washington state and Oregon have long had data sharing, given that many people work in Portland, Oregon, but live across the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington.

Unfortunately, not everyone moves between two contiguous states. Think snowbirds.

Each winter, tens of thousands of retirees leave northern states and head to second homes in the sunny South. Depending on when vaccines become available, they might get their first shots at home and their second ones in Florida or South Carolina.

If vaccines become available in the fall when they’re on the move, tracking “is going to be critical,” said Coyle.

Immunization registries have history of dealing with crisis, including hurricanes

The registry system has stepped up in times of crisis before.

After Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana in 2005, thousands of families moved to Alabama, Mississippi, Texas and other states. To enroll their children in new schools they had to provide immunization records.

“You can’t ask a parent for their child’s vaccine record when they’ve just been flooded out,” said Claire Hannan, executive director of the Association of Immunization Managers.

What’s next? Dr. Anthony Fauci says he’s optimistic about coronavirus vaccine protection but concerned how long it will last

Louisiana issued an emergency order so any state that wanted to access the system could get it, streamlining the process.

“It worked really well,” Hannan said.

In 2009, when the H1N1 influenza pandemic hit, flu vaccine was distributed by the federal government through state health departments and tracked by the registries. It was still clunky, with some states requiring providers to fax in orders, but it worked remarkably well.

Over the last 11 years, the infrastructure has gotten much more robust. “It’s just a matter of making the connections and coordination,” said Hannan.

State health officials ‘identifying gaps’ ahead of availability of coronavirus vaccine

The scramble is on to get ready for the day coronavirus vaccines become available. Directors of the immunization programs and state health agencies have set up work groups and are having calls every two weeks with the CDC and immunization registry managers, said Hannan.

“States are looking at their immunization information systems, identifying gaps and looking at what they might need to do to improve them and ensure they’re ready,” she said.

COVID-19 does add some new wrinkles. For example, the registries and CDC realized some kind of immunization confirmation will be necessary. 

“Consumers need to be able to print something out to show their employers, it’s going to be an important piece,” Hannan said.

More money is one thing few registries seem to be getting as they prepare for the onslaught.

“Currently, we don’t have any new budget to cover this work,” said Michigan’s Swanson.

Source: http://rssfeeds.usatoday.com/~/627084568/0/usatoday-newstopstories~When-theres-a-coronavirus-vaccine-how-will-we-make-sure-everybody-gets-it-Thats-the-job-of-state-immunization-registries/

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Security and Sustainability Forum-With Hazel Henderson and Claudine Schneider. 10/22/2020

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Steering Societies Beyond GDP to the SDGs

With Hazel Henderson and Claudine Schneider

October 22, 2020

1:15 pm to 2:15 pm EDT

The next webinar in the SSF series, with ecological economist and futurist Hazel Henderson, will address how the UN SDGs can and should replace GDP as the basis for valuing society leading to an economy based on planet protection and human wellbeing. Claudine Schneider is Hazel’s guest.

GDP accounts for all the public expenditures as “debt” while ignoring the value of the assets they created. If GDP were to be corrected by including the missing asset account, these debt-to-GDP ratios would be cut by up to 50% — with a few keystrokes! Learn why money isn’t what you think it is and why that matters to life on Earth in the next two webinars with Hazel and guests.

Register

Claudine Schneider is a former Republican U.S. representative from Rhode Island. She was the first, and to date only, woman elected to Congress from Rhode Island. She is founder of Republicans for Integrity, which describes itself as a network of “Republican former Members of Congress who feel compelled to remind Republican voters about the fundamentals of our party and to provide the facts about incumbents’ voting records.”

October 22nd webinar with Claudine Schneider and Hazel

Sincerely,

Ed.

Edward Saltzberg, PhD

Executive Director

Security and Sustainability Forum

www.ssfonline.org

[email protected]

Sincerely,

Ed.

Edward Saltzberg, PhD

Executive Director

Security and Sustainability Forum

www.ssfonline.org

Source: https://www.ethicalmarkets.com/63564-2/

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The Briefing: RVShare raises over $100M, Google disputes charges, and more

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Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

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RVShare raises over $100M for RV rentals

RVShare, an online marketplace for RV rentals, reportedly raised over $100 million in a financing led by private equity firms KKR and Tritium Partners.

Akron, Ohio-based RVShare has seen sharp growth in demand amid the pandemic, as more would-be travelers seek socially distanced options for hitting the road. Founded in 2013, the company matches RV owners with prospective renters, filtering by location, price and vehicle types.

Previously, RVShare had raised $50 million in known funding, per Crunchbase data, from Tritium Partners. The company is one of several players in the RV rental space, and competes alongside Outdoorsy, a peer-to-peer RV marketplace that has raised $75 million in venture funding.

Funding news

  • BrightFarms closes on $100M: Indoor farming company BrightFarms said it secured more than $100 million in debt and new equity capital to support expansion plans. The Series E round of funding was led by Cox Enterprises, which now owns a majority stake in the company, and includes a follow-on investment from growth equity firm Catalyst Investors.
  • Anyscale inks $40MAnyscale, the Berkeley-based company behind the Ray open source project for building applications, announced $40 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round. Existing investor NEA led the round and was joined by Andreessen Horowitz, Intel Capital and Foundation Capital. The new funding brings Anyscale’s total funding to more than $60 million.
  • Klar deposits $15M: Mexican fintech Klar closed on $15 million in Series A funding, led by Prosus Ventures, with participation from new investor International Finance Corporation and existing investors Quona Capital, Mouro Capital and Acrew. The round brings total funding raised to approximately $72 million since the company was founded in 2019. The funds are intended to grow Klar’s engineering capabilities in both its Berlin and Mexico hubs.
  • O(1) Labs rakes in $10.9M: O(1) Labs, the team behind the cryptocurrency Mina, announced $10.9 million in a strategic investment round. Co-leading the round are Bixin Ventures and Three Arrows Capital with participation from SNZ, HashKey Capital, Signum Capital, NGC Ventures, Fenbushi Capital and IOSG Ventures.
  • Blustream bags $3M: After-sale customer engagement company Blustream said it raised $3 million in seed funding for product usage data and digital transformation efforts for physical goods companies via the Blustream Product Experience Platform. York IE led the round of funding for the Worcester, Massachusetts-based company with additional support from existing investors.Pillar secures another $1.5M: Pillar, a startup that helps families protect and care for their loved ones, raised $1.5 million in a seed extension to close at $7 million, The round was led by Kleiner Perkins.

Other news

  • Google rejects DOJ antitrust arguments: In the wake of a widely anticipated U.S. Justice Department antitrust suit against Google, the search giant disputed the charges in a statement, maintaining that: “People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives.”
  • Facebook said to test Nextdoor rival: Facebook is reportedly testing a service similar to popular neighborhood-focused social Nextdoor. Called Neighborhoods, the feature reportedly suggests local neighborhood groups to join on Facebook.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/briefing-10-21-20/

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Crunchbase

Syte Sees $30M Series C For Product Discovery

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Online shopping has become the norm for most people in 2020, even coaxing traditional retail brands to up their presence to stay competitive. However, now that shoppers can’t see and touch products like they used to, e-commerce discovery has become a crucial element for customer acquisition and retention.

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Enter Syte, an Israel-based company that touts creating the world’s first product discovery platform that utilizes the senses, such as visual, text and voice, and then leverages visual artificial intelligence and next-generation personalization to create individualized and memorable customer experiences, Syte co-founder and CEO Ofer Fryman told Crunchbase News.

To execute on this, the company raised $30 million in Series C funding and an additional $10 million in debt. Viola Ventures led the round and was joined by LG Technology Ventures, La Maison, MizMaa Ventures and Kreos Capital, as well as existing investors Magma, Naver Corporation, Commerce Ventures, Storm Ventures, Axess Ventures, Remagine Media Ventures and KDS Media Fund.

This brings the company’s total fundraising to $71 million since its inception in 2015. That includes a $21.5 million Series B, also led by Viola, in 2019, according to Crunchbase data.

Fryman intends for the new funding to be put to work on product enhancements and geographic expansion. Syte already has an established customer base in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and will now focus expansion in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific.

Meanwhile, Syte has grown 22 percent quarter over quarter, as well as experienced a 38 percent expansion of its customer base since the beginning of 2020.

“Since we crossed $1 million annual recurring revenue, we have been tripling revenue while also becoming more efficient,” Fryman said. “We can accelerate growth as well as build an amazing technology and solution for a business that needs it right now. We plan to grow further, and even though our SaaS metrics are excellent right now, our goal is to improve them.”

Anshul Agarwal, managing director at LG Technology Ventures, said Syte was an attractive investment due in part to its unique technology.

“They have a deep-learning system and have created a new category, product discovery that will enable online shopping in a way we never had the ability to do before,” Agarwal said. “The product market fit was also unique. We believe in the strong execution by the team and the rapid growth in SaaS. We looked at many different companies, and the SaaS metrics that Syte showed are the strongest we’ve seen in a while.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/syte-sees-30m-series-c-for-product-discovery/

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