January 27th 2023
The week's most-clicked COVID-19 stories included vaccine updates, new variants, and a pivotal FDA advisory committee vote.
Novavax will update its protein-based COVID-19 vaccine, but maintains the current vaccine is effective against current and future variants.
The federal agency does not want clinicians utilizing this neutralizing antibody as newer, circulating COVID-19 strains and efficacy against them is limited.
January 26th 2023
The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) voted to move toward a unified strain composition for COVID-19 primary and booster vaccines.
In the CDC’s latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, investigators reported the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech updated vaccines helped prevent acute infection from the latest Omicron mutations.
Study Identifies Links Between Gut Dysbiosis and COVID-19
The data may help explain why COVID-19 patients experience dangerous secondary infections.
Large New Zealand Study Confirms Safety Profile of Pfizer-BioNTech Vaccine
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine was associated with rare instances of myo/pericarditis and acute kidney injury, according to a nationwide study in New Zealand that confirmed the safety profile of the vaccine.
IDSA Updates Guidelines on Neutralizing Antibodies for COVID-19
The new guidance looks at preexposure and postexposure prophylaxis as well as treatment for COVID-19.
Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine Neutralizes Omicron Mutations
A new study demonstrated continuous neutralization after 3 doses.
COVID-19 Patients Retain Elevated Risk of Death for 1.5 Years After Acute Infection
COVID-19 patients had a significantly higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death in both the short- and long-term.
Omicron Variant of COVID-19 Linked to Worse Maternal Outcome in Pregnant Women
“Vaccination coverage among pregnant women remains a priority,” the study authors noted.
Ahead of FDA VRBPAC, a Glimpse of COVID-19 Vaccine Changes
In this week’s meeting, FDA is expected to ask their advisory committee to consider changes to simplify the vaccination schedule and look at delivering it annually, much like an influenza vaccine.
Does Vaccination Before or After Infection Prevent Long COVID?
What factors contribute to post-COVID-19 conditions (“long COVID”)? Can vaccination before or after a COVID-19 infection decrease the risk of long COVID?
Americans Report Their Top Reasons for Not Receiving a Bivalent Booster
Reported reasons adults had not received a bivalent COVID-19 booster dose differed across age groups.
Comparing Pediatric COVID-19 Disease Severity Across Variants
Children were hospitalized the most during the Omicron variant, but disease outcomes were the least severe during this variant period.
Continued Declines in Childhood Vaccinations During the Pandemic
Although vaccine rates overall remain high, a new report shows a reduction 2 years in a row, leaving thousands of children not vaccinated against vaccine-preventable viruses.
IL-6 Inhibitors, Antiplatelets Improve Survival of Critically Ill COVID-19 Patients
Interleukin-6 receptor antagonists and antiplatelets are highly likely to improve long-term survival of critically ill adults with COVID-19, a recent study suggests.
PREP Act Set to Sunset in 2024 Affecting Half of US States
This act designed to allow pharmacists and technicians the ability to administer certain vaccines without a prescriber order will lapse next year. A new report looks at vaccination trends in the US and how pharmacists are playing a vital role in administering vaccines.
High Mucosal Antibodies in Airways Reduce COVID-19 Reinfection by 55%
High levels of mucosal IgA antibodies in the airways were found to protect against COVID-19 reinfection for at least 8 months.
Bivalent COVID-19 Booster Vaccination for Children Still Recommended After Safety Review
A CDC report looked at 2 vaccine safety surveillance systems for the bivalent boosters in this population and there were no reports of myocarditis or death. Many of the reports were due to vaccine errors and not adverse events.
CDC, FDA Announce Safety Signal Related to the Pfizer-BioNTech Bivalent COVID-19 Vaccine
The two agencies said one of the vaccine surveillance systems prompted an investigation into whether there was a safety concern for ischemic stroke in seniors for this booster.
Convalescent Plasma Reduced Mortality in Immunocompromised COVID-19 Patients
As COVID-19 continues to mutate, immunocompromised persons need new, effective treatments. Convalescent plasma could be the answer.
Fluvoxamine vs Placebo Did not Decrease Recovery Time in Mild to Moderate COVID-19
A randomized trial found the antidepressant to be ineffectual in helping improve time to sustained recovery.
Males Found to be More Susceptible to Respiratory Bacterial Infections
A 2-year retrospective study looking at patients admitted to the ICU showed that the number of intubated males infected with Acinetobacter baumannii (AB) was double the number of intubated females.
Addressing the Decline in the Number of Infectious Disease Physicians
Recent numbers show a lack of new people entering the field combined with existing shortfalls in many US locations.These factors demonstrate a potentially dangerous reduction in this vital medical specialty.
NIH Awards Grants Toward Diagnosis of COVID-19-Related Inflammatory Syndrome in Children
Research will focus on new technologies for early diagnosis of severe illnesses resulting from SARS-CoV-2 infection.
On the Precipice of the World's First RSV Vaccine: What's Taking so Long?
RSV cases spiked to unprecedented levels this season. Why were these infections so frequent and severe? Why has vaccine development taken so long?
COVID-19 Vaccinations Increased 5.2% This Year. Where Are They Still Lagging?
Good news: across 23 countries, trust in COVID-19 vaccines increased 5.2% from 2021 to 2022. However, vaccine hesitancy remains in key populations.
Moderna Provides Update on mRNA Vaccine Pipeline
The company is moving forward with vaccines to address respiratory and latent viruses as well as oncology.
COVID-19 Prophylactic Evusheld Not Expected to Neutralize New Omicron XBB.1.5 Variant
Evusheld, the only FDA-approved COVID-19 pre-exposure prophylactic, is anticipated to be ineffective against the emerging XBB.1.5 variant.
VV116 Vs Paxlovid Shown to Be Noninferior in Adults at Risk of Severe COVID-19
The investigational antiviral showed the potential of another therapy that could benefit this patient population that is at risk for hospitalization and death.
For Men, Prior COVID-19 Infection May Boost Immune Response to Influenza Vaccination
“This was a total surprise,” said study lead author John Tsang, PhD.
What We Know About XBB.1.5, the New and Highly Contagious Omicron Subvariant
In just a month, the XBB.1.5 variant went from causing 1% to over 40% of new COVID-19 infections.
Cyproheptadine Arm of COVID-19 Treatment Study Terminated
Due to negative results, the I-SPY COVID Trial is no longer evaluating cyproheptadine to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients.
Molnupiravir Doesn’t Decrease COVID-19 Deaths or Hospitalizations, but May Speed Recovery
Despite failing to meet primary trial endpoints, molnupiravir reduced the length of COVID-19 infection by 4.2 days in vaccinated patients.
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