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Study Shows Benefits of COVID-19 Vaccines and Boosters

18 Oct 2022

As colder temperatures settle in and people spend more time gathered indoors, cases of COVID-19 and other respiratory illnesses almost certainly will rise. That’s why, along with scheduling your annual flu shot, it’s now recommended that those age 5 and up should get an updated COVID-19 booster shot [1,2]. Not only will these new boosters guard against the original strain of the coronavirus that started the pandemic, they will heighten your immunity to the Omicron variant and several of the subvariants that continue to circulate in the U.S. with devastating effects.

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.)


Delayed Localized Hypersensitivity Reactions to the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

12 May 2021

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine may cause a delayed localized hypersensitivity reaction with a median latency to onset of 7 days after vaccine administration. This pruritic and variably tender reaction has a median duration of 5 days, but may persist for up to 21 days, and may occur again and sooner after the second vaccine dose; no serious adverse events were observed in association with this cutaneous reaction to the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

The epidemiological impact of the NHS COVID-19 App

12 May 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen digital contact tracing emerge around the world to help prevent spread of the disease. A mobile phone app records proximity events between app users, and when a user tests positive for COVID-19, their recent contacts can be notified instantly. Theoretical evidence has supported this new public health intervention1-6, but its epidemiological impact has remained uncertain7. Here we investigated the impact of the NHS COVID-19 app for England and Wales, from its launch on 24 September 2020 through to the end of December 2020. It was used regularly by approximately 16.5 million users (28% of the total population), and sent approximately 1.7 million exposure notifications: 4.4 per index case consenting to contact tracing. We estimated that the fraction of app-notified individuals subsequently showing symptoms and testing positive (the secondary attack rate, SAR) was 6.0%, comparable to the SAR for manually traced close contacts. We estimated the number of cases averted by the app using two complementary approaches. Modelling based on the notifications and SAR gave 284,000 (108,000-450,000), and statistical comparison of matched neighbouring local authorities gave 594,000 (317,000-914,000). Roughly one case was averted for each case consenting to notification of their contacts. We estimated that for every percentage point increase in app users, the number of cases can be reduced by 0.8% (modelling) or 2.3% (statistical analysis). These findings provide evidence for continued development and deployment of such apps in populations that are awaiting full protection from vaccines.

Preliminary Findings of mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine Safety in Pregnant Persons

22 Apr 2021

BACKGROUND Many pregnant persons in the United States are receiving messenger RNA (mRNA) coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccines, but data are limited on their safety in pregnancy. CONCLUSIONS Preliminary findings did not show obvious safety signals among pregnant persons who received mRNA Covid-19 vaccines. However, more longitudinal follow-up, including follow-up of large numbers of women vaccinated earlier in pregnancy, is necessary to inform maternal, pregnancy, and infant outcomes.

Association of Race/Ethnicity With Likeliness of COVID-19 Vaccine Uptake Among Health Workers and the General Population in the San Francisco Bay Area

30 Mar 2021

Surveys have demonstrated racial differences in the public’s willingness to receive a COVID-19 vaccine1,2 but have not directly compared vaccine intentions among health workers and the general public.3 We investigated COVID-19 vaccine intentions among racially and ethnically diverse samples of health workers and the general population.

SARS-CoV-2 infection of the oral cavity and saliva

25 Mar 2021

Despite signs of infection—including taste loss, dry mouth and mucosal lesions such as ulcerations, enanthema and macules—the involvement of the oral cavity in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is poorly understood. To address this, we generated and analyzed two single-cell RNA sequencing datasets of the human minor salivary glands and gingiva (9 samples, 13,824 cells), identifying 50 cell clusters. Using integrated cell normalization and annotation, we classified 34 unique cell subpopulations between glands and gingiva. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral entry factors such as ACE2 and TMPRSS members were broadly enriched in epithelial cells of the glands and oral mucosae. Using orthogonal RNA and protein expression assessments, we confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection in the glands and mucosae. Saliva from SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals harbored epithelial cells exhibiting ACE2 and TMPRSS expression and sustained SARS-CoV-2 infection. Acellular and cellular salivary fractions from asymptomatic individuals were found to transmit SARS-CoV-2 ex vivo. Matched nasopharyngeal and saliva samples displayed distinct viral shedding dynamics, and salivary viral burden correlated with COVID-19 symptoms, including taste loss. Upon recovery, this asymptomatic cohort exhibited sustained salivary IgG antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Collectively, these data show that the oral cavity is an important site for SARS-CoV-2 infection and implicate saliva as a potential route of SARS-CoV-2 transmission.

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