Axios: Fauci: Boosters Could See COVID Reach Endemic Level In U.S. Next Year: NIAID director Anthony Fauci believes the COVID-19 pandemic could become endemic in the U.S. next year, but increased vaccination rates and booster shots would be key to achieving this. The nation's top infectious disease expert made the comments in an interview with Reuters Tuesday on the sidelines of the STAT Summit. But he noted to CNBC that coronavirus cases need to fall "well below 10,000" a day for the U.S. "to get back to a degree of normality." (11/17)
CNBC: FDA Clears Moderna And J&J Covid Vaccine Boosters, Allows 'Mix And Match' Shots: The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday night authorized booster shots of both Johnson & Johnson’s and Moderna’s Covid vaccines, another critical step in distributing extra doses to tens of millions of people. At the same time, U.S. regulators authorized “mixing and matching” vaccines, allowing Americans to get a booster shot from a different drug maker than the one that made their initial doses. (Lovelace Jr., 10/20)
The New York Times: How To Decide Which Covid Booster Shot To Get: Deciding which booster shot to get can feel a lot like a choose-your-own-adventure book — you’ve got three options, but don’t have a clue which one leads to the best outcome. The Food and Drug Administration recently authorized a mix-and-match booster shot strategy that now allows eligible adults to pick a booster from one of three Covid-19 vaccines — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson — even if it’s different from the one they initially received. (Parker-Pope, 10/27)
Axios: CDC Says Some Immunocompromised People Can Get Fourth COVID Shot: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in updated guidelines Tuesday that some immunocompromised people who have received either Pfizer or Moderna's COVID-19 vaccines will be able to get a fourth shot. People over 18 who are "moderately to severely immunocompromised" and have received three doses of an mRNA vaccine may get a fourth shot (of either the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines) at least six months after getting their third Pfizer or Moderna dose, per the CDC. (Saric, 10/26)
AP: U.S. Opens COVID Boosters To All Adults, Urges Them For 50+: The U.S. on Friday opened COVID-19 booster shots to all adults and took the extra step of urging people 50 and older to seek one, aiming to ward off a winter surge as coronavirus cases rise even before millions of Americans travel for the holidays. Until now, Americans faced a confusing list of who was eligible for a booster that varied by age, their health and which kind of vaccine they got first. The Food and Drug Administration authorized changes to Pfizer and Moderna boosters that makes it easier. (11/19)
INFORMATION ABOUT CHILD/YOUTH VACCINES
Vaccine Approval for Ages 5-11
AP: What To Know About Vaccines For Kids Aged 5-11: Children ages 5 to 11 will receive a third of the dose given to teens and adults. That’s 10 micrograms per shot for youngsters, compared to 30 micrograms per shot for everyone 12 and older. Like everybody else, the younger kids will get two shots, three weeks apart. ... In a study, Pfizer’s pediatric vaccine proved nearly 91% effective at preventing symptomatic infection. Vaccinated youngsters developed levels of virus-fighting antibodies as strong as teens and young adults who’d received the full-strength dose.
COVID-19 ANTIVIRAL PILL
Pfizer has applied to the Food and Drug Administration to authorize its antiviral pill to treat unvaccinated people with Covid-19 who are at high risk of becoming severely ill. The drug, which will be sold under the brand name Paxlovid, could become available within weeks if authorization is granted. It is meant to be dispensed by pharmacies and taken at home over a 5 day regimen. Paxlovid is the second antiviral pill to show effectiveness against Covid, in a new class of treatments for the disease that are expected to reach far more patients than other drugs that are typically given by infusion. The medication is the second easy-to-take treatment aimed at keeping newly infected people out of the hospital, The other is by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics.
This is important because the main options right now are
- Remdesivir, which is mostly used to treat hospitalized patients, and
- monoclonal antibody treatments, but are costly and typically given in doctor’s offices or hospitals.
Success of Covid Antiviral Pills Hinges on Access to Speedy and Accurate Tests: The promising antiviral drugs to treat covid can halt hospitalizations and deaths, but only if they’re given to patients within three to five days of their first symptoms, a narrow window many people won’t meet. Here’s why. (JoNel Aleccia, 11/22)