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F.D.A. Authorizes Updated Covid Booster Shots for Children 5 to 11

12 Oct 2022

Federal regulators on Wednesday broadened access to updated coronavirus booster shots to include children as young as 5, hoping to bolster protection against the now-dominant version of the virus.


09 Aug 2022

What Is Long COVID? Many people recover fully within a few days or weeks after being infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. But others have symptoms that linger for weeks, months, or even years after their initial diagnosis. Some people seem to recover from COVID-19 but then see their symptoms return, or they develop new symptoms within a few months. Even people who had no symptoms when they were infected can develop symptoms later. Either mild or severe COVID-19 can lead to long-lasting symptoms. Long COVID, long-haul COVID, post-COVID-19 condition, chronic COVID, and post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 (PASC) are all names for the health problems that some people experience within a few months of a COVID-19 diagnosis. Symptoms of long COVID may be the same or different than symptoms of COVID-19. Long COVID can also trigger other health conditions, such as diabetes or kidney disease.

Studying Long COVID Might Help Others With Post-Viral Fatigue Ailments

08 Aug 2022

For people with myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), “fatigue” doesn’t just mean being a little tired. It means a brain like molasses, a body exhausted and weak, and legs like jelly. If you are just tired, a typical remedy is to get some exercise or move around a bit to get blood flowing. But for people with ME/CFS, exercise does just the opposite. Physical or mental exertion can debilitate them, requiring recovery time that lasts for days, months, or years. Resting does not help. This symptom, known as post-exertional malaise, is one of the defining features of the disease, and it is poorly understood.

COVID-19 Boosters This Fall to Include Omicron Antigen, but Questions Remain About Its Value

11 Jul 2022

Probably many people who watched or participated in the June 28 virtual US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee meeting about updating COVID-19 vaccines could agree on 1 point, made by the agency’s Peter Marks, MD, Ph.D: “It is science at its hardest.” More New Online Views 8,944 Citations 0 25 Medical News & Perspectives July 8, 2022 COVID-19 Boosters This Fall to Include Omicron Antigen, but Questions Remain About Its Value Rita Rubin, MA Article Information JAMA. Published online July 8, 2022. doi:10.1001/jama.2022.11252 related articles icon Related Articles Probably many people who watched or participated in the June 28 virtual US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory committee meeting about updating COVID-19 vaccines could agree on 1 point, made by the agency’s Peter Marks, MD, PhD: “It is science at its hardest.” The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is shown as green dots budding from a vero mammalian kidney epithelial cell 36 hours after infection. The SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant is shown as green dots budding from a vero mammalian kidney epithelial cell 36 hours after infection. Steve Gschmeissner/ The FDA convened its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) to discuss whether to add an Omicron component to boosters for the fall. In order to have enough doses by early October, “we will need to very rapidly move to let companies know what that selection will be,” Marks reminded the panelists. (How many doses will be enough isn’t clear—as of June 30, only 51.1% of fully vaccinated US adults aged 18 years or older had received 1 booster shot, while only 27% of fully vaccinated adults aged 50 years or older, for whom a second booster is recommended, had received 2, according to government data.)

COVID-19 Vaccines for Kids Under 5: What Parents Need To Know

19 Jun 2022

After multiple delays, very young children are finally eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. In mid-June, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization (EUA) to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months to 5 years, as well as to Moderna's vaccine for kids ages 6 months to 6 years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) soon after recommended the vaccines, which should become available early next week.


Myocarditis Adverse Event Less Common After COVID-19 Vaccine Booster

12 Apr 2022

The risk of adolescents developing myocarditis is lower after a booster dose of the BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) COVID-19 vaccine than after the second dose, according to a CDC analysis of data from the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Myocarditis is a rare but serious adverse event associated with COVID-19 mRNA vaccination. To assess whether this adverse event was also associated with booster doses administered to adolescents, the authors analyzed reports submitted to the VAERS system and v-safe between December 9, 2021, and February 20, 2022.

Even Mild COVID-19 May Change the Brain

23 Mar 2022

Alarge study comparing brain scans from the same individuals before and after SARS-CoV-2 infection suggests that brain changes could be a lingering outcome of even mild COVID-19. Writing in Nature, researchers at Oxford University’s Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging reported that several months after study participants had SARS-CoV-2 infections, they had more gray matter loss and tissue abnormalities, mainly in the areas of the brain associated with smell, and more brain size shrinkage than participants who hadn’t been infected with the virus.

Risks and burdens of incident diabetes in long COVID: a cohort study

21 Mar 2022

Background There is growing evidence suggesting that beyond the acute phase of SARS-CoV-2 infection, people with COVID-19 could experience a wide range of post-acute sequelae, including diabetes. However, the risks and burdens of diabetes in the post-acute phase of the disease have not yet been comprehensively characterised. To address this knowledge gap, we aimed to examine the post-acute risk and burden of incident diabetes in people who survived the first 30 days of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Interpretation In the post-acute phase, we report increased risks and 12-month burdens of incident diabetes and antihyperglycaemic use in people with COVID-19 compared with a contemporary control group of people who were enrolled during the same period and had not contracted SARS-CoV-2, and a historical control group from a pre-pandemic era. Post-acute COVID-19 care should involve identification and management of diabetes.

SARS-CoV-2 is associated with changes in brain structure in UK Biobank

21 Feb 2022

There is strong evidence for brain-related abnormalities in COVID-191–13. It remains unknown however whether the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection can be detected in milder cases, and whether this can reveal possible mechanisms contributing to brain pathology. Here, we investigated brain changes in 785 UK Biobank participants (aged 51–81) imaged twice, including 401 cases who tested positive for infection with SARS-CoV-2 between their two scans, with 141 days on average separating their diagnosis and second scan, and 384 controls. The availability of pre-infection imaging data reduces the likelihood of pre-existing risk factors being misinterpreted as disease effects. We identified significant longitudinal effects when comparing the two groups, including: (i) greater reduction in grey matter thickness and tissue-contrast in the orbitofrontal cortex and parahippocampal gyrus, (ii) greater changes in markers of tissue damage in regions functionally-connected to the primary olfactory cortex, and (iii) greater reduction in global brain size. The infected participants also showed on average larger cognitive decline between the two timepoints. Importantly, these imaging and cognitive longitudinal effects were still seen after excluding the 15 cases who had been hospitalised. These mainly limbic brain imaging results may be the in vivo hallmarks of a degenerative spread of the disease via olfactory pathways, of neuroinflammatory events, or of the loss of sensory input due to anosmia. Whether this deleterious impact can be partially reversed, or whether these effects will persist in the long term, remains to be investigated with additional follow-up.

Association of COVID-19 Vaccination With Symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infection by Time Since Vaccination and Delta Variant Predominance

14 Feb 2022

Key Points Question How does the association between prior COVID-19 vaccination and symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection change with time since vaccination and the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant? Findings In this test-negative, case-control study that included 1 634 271 tests from symptomatic adults, the odds ratio for prior mRNA vaccination and SARS-CoV-2 test positivity was lower before than during Delta variant predominance. The attenuation in effect size related to time since vaccination was greater than the attenuation related to the Delta variant. Meaning The findings are consistent with a steady decline in estimated mRNA vaccine effectiveness over time, separate from variant-specific differences in protection.

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