Characteristics and Outcomes of Hospitalized Patients in South Africa During the COVID-19 Omicron Wave Compared With Previous Waves
On November 24, 2021, a SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern, Omicron (B.1.1.529), was identified in South Africa as responsible for a fourth wave of COVID-19.1,2 The high number of spike mutations has raised concerns about its ability to evade vaccine and spread.3,4 We assessed hospitalized patients with a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result during the fourth wave compared with previous waves.
Why Parents Still Hesitate to Vaccinate Their Children Against COVID-19
As of early December, more than 2.3 million children aged 5 to 11 years had developed COVID-19 and 209 had died. Although a vaccine that’s 90.7% effective in preventing the illness was authorized for younger kids in late October, these figures apparently aren’t convincing enough to persuade many parents to vaccinate their children.
Understanding Breakthrough Infections Following mRNA SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination
The current surge in infections with the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant has made it clear to health care workers and the public alike that fully vaccinated people remain at risk for SARS-CoV-2 infections. It is also apparent that breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated people can sometimes be serious. As of October 21, 2021, for example, 35% of the 519 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Massachusetts had been fully vaccinated.1 Furthermore, multiple reports have documented that if fully vaccinated individuals do become infected, their viral loads may be as high as the levels seen in unvaccinated individuals.
Coverage and Estimated Effectiveness of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Among US Veterans
Question What was the COVID-19 vaccination coverage and estimated mRNA COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness (VE) among US veterans in the first 3 months following vaccine rollout? Findings In this case-control study including 6 647 733 veterans, 23% of veterans received at least 1 COVID-19 vaccination during the first 3 months of vaccine rollout. VE against infection was estimated to be 95% for full vaccination; estimated VE against COVID-19-related hospitalization was 91%, and there were no COVID-19–related deaths among fully vaccinated veterans. Meaning These findings suggest that early vaccination rollout for veterans was efficient, and estimated VE was high for this diverse US population.
Protection of BNT162b2 Vaccine Booster against Covid-19 in Israel
Background: On July 30, 2021, the administration of a third (booster) dose of the BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech) was approved in Israel for persons who were 60 years of age or older and who had received a second dose of vaccine at least 5 months earlier. Data are needed regarding the effect of the booster dose on the rate of confirmed coronavirus 2019 disease (Covid-19) and the rate of severe illness. Conclusions: In this study involving participants who were 60 years of age or older and had received two doses of the BNT162b2 vaccine at least 5 months earlier, we found that the rates of confirmed Covid-19 and severe illness were substantially lower among those who received a booster (third) dose of the BNT162b2 vaccine.