COVID-19 Update | August 8, 2022

COVID-19 News

COVID-19 Update | August 8, 2022

August 8, 2022

The California Biotechnology Foundation is committed to keeping you up to date about COVID-19 testing, treatment and prevention advancements. The following resources track what progress has been made as of August 8, 2022. Notable advancements include:

  • Novavax has started a trial of its COVID-19 vaccine in children ages six months to 11 years of age. 
  • A new vaccine protecting against the Omicron variant is expecting FDA approval in September.

Recent News

    • Novavax starts COVID-19 vaccine trial for children aged six months to 11 yearsLABiotech – August 4, 2022Novavax has started its phase 2b/3 global clinical trial. The trial will evaluate the safety, effectiveness, and efficacy of two doses of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine in younger children aged six months through 11 years, followed by a booster at six months after the primary vaccination series. The trial is an age de-escalation trial and age groups will be tested sequentially. Participants have begun dosing in the six to 11-year-old age group.
    • Should you get another COVID-19 vaccine booster now or wait for the new shots?VOX – August 4, 2022New COVID-19 variants stepped out of the shadows, and health officials recommended that everyone get a booster dose. You got yours and thought you were done. Then omicron spawned its own subvariants that started infecting people even if they already had C  OVID-19 and their boosters. So, do you need another COVID-19 shot? For many people, right now, the unsatisfactory answer is “it depends.” But federal officials also said that they weren’t yet changing the eligibility guidelines for a fourth dose. Currently, they’re recommended only for people over the age of 50 and people who are immunocompromised. Everyone else will likely have to wait until the fall to get the go-ahead from regulators.
    • The COVID-19 Vaccine and Pregnancy: Get the FactsHealthline – August 3, 2022Pregnant people are one of several groups at a higher risk of becoming very ill from COVID-19. COVID-19 can also lead to serious pregnancy complications as well. The good news is that the COVID-19 vaccine can protect against severe illness and complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  recommends that anyone who is pregnant, breastfeeding, or plans to become pregnant get a COVID-19 vaccine and booster. Getting vaccinated during pregnancy may feel intimidating, but we’re here to help. Keep reading as we go over eight facts about the COVID-19 vaccine that are backed by research
    • Studies: 3 or 4 COVID vaccine doses protective against OmicronCIDRAP – August 3, 2022Three new studies show that recipients of three or four mRNA COVID-19 vaccine doses received substantially better protection against infection with the Omicron variant than those who received only two. In the first study, published yesterday in JAMA Network Open, researchers in Israel studied the effectiveness of a fourth dose of Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA COVID-19 vaccine against infection in 29,611 healthcare workers (HCWs) at 11 general hospitals who had received three vaccine doses in August or September 2021. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center researchers compared the effectiveness of two versus three doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine against infection in more than 20,000 New York City HCWs during the Omicron surge from Dec 15, 2021, to Jan 15, 2022. Their findings were published yesterday in Clinical Microbiology and Infection.
    • Dr. Fauci: If you aren’t up-to-date on Covid vaccines and boosters, you’re ‘going to get into trouble’CNBC – August 3, 2022If you aren’t up-to-date on your Covid vaccines or booster shots, Dr. Anthony Fauci has a stark warning for you: Get those doses now, or prepare for a harsh Covid fall and winter. That applies to a clear majority of Americans. Nearly 228 million, or roughly 70%, of Americans were unvaccinated, hadn’t completed their primary vaccine series or hadn’t gotten their first booster dose as of July 21, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The uptake is particularly low for booster shots. All Americans age 5 and older are eligible for a booster five months after finishing their primary vaccine series, but only 48.4% of those eligible people have actually gotten boosted, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
    • UCI-developed COVID-19 test detects, identifies specific variants with 100% accuracyUCI News – August 3, 2022University of California, Irvine researchers have developed a COVID-19 test that detects and identifies specific SARS-CoV-2 variants with 100% accuracy. In a study, the RNA-encoded viral nucleic acid analytic reporter correctly determined the alpha, gamma, delta, epsilon and omicron genetic mutations in nasopharyngeal clinical samples. This ability could enable healthcare providers to make personalized treatment decisions for improved patient care.Recently published online in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, a paper on the research describes the design and validation of the Revealr SARS-CoV-2 genotyping system. The team analyzed 34 clinical samples collected in early, mid- and late 2021 at the UCI Medical Center from patients experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. The RNA was isolated from the nasopharyngeal swabs, and the correct SARS-CoV-2 variant was identified in every case.
    • Paxlovid rebound happens, though why and to whom are still a mysteryStat News – August 2, 2022The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sounded the alert about rebound COVID-19. It described patients with COVID-19 who, after being treated with the antiviral Paxlovid, initially became symptom-free and in many cases had negative tests for COVID-19, but then got sick again. Since the CDC alert, there have been a number of rebound studies, including a recent investigation of 92 million people nationwide showing rebound rates of less than 6% for COVID-19 infection — and less than 1% for hospitalizations after Paxlovid treatment — most occurring in unvaccinated people and in those with underlying medical conditions.
    • Twist Bioscience Reports Expanded Emergency Use Authorization For COVID-19 Sequencing AssayMarket Business Insider – August 2, 2022Twist Bioscience Corporation and Biotia have received expanded Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA for the SARS-CoV-2 Next-Generation Sequencing Assay for the qualitative detection, identification and differentiation of SARS-CoV-2 lineages and identification of specific genomic mutations. With the expanded authorization, the reporting of the identified and differentiated SARS-CoV-2 genetic mutations and viral lineages to clinicians is now authorized, the company said. The authorization also allows for the reporting of individual mutations in patient samples, information that is important to track as the virus evolves and new variants emerge.
    • A nasal vaccine could be key in curbing the spread of COVID-19The Hill – August 2, 2022Federal health officials and vaccine manufacturers gathered for a White House summit on the future of COVID-19 vaccines, agreeing there’s a need for innovative vaccines that are more effective in preventing infections and protecting against potential variants. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci during the summit advocated for “two pillars” of the next generation of vaccines, which includes the development of a pan-coronavirus vaccine to help curb the proliferation of variants and a nasal vaccine that can be inhaled instead of injected. Currently, most studies of intranasal COVID-19 vaccines are in the preliminary stages. But early research has shown promising results in terms of efficacy. 
    • New COVID-19 vaccine expected to release in September; should people wait to get it?KOAT 7 – August 2, 2022The Biden administration is expecting the FDA to approve a new vaccine in September. The new vaccine will protect against the omicron variant. According to ABC news, the government now has the option to buy 600 million new vaccines that are targeted toward the omicron variant, with plans to deliver 171 million this fall. Dr. Ramo said it is proven the current vaccine still prevents serious illness hospitalization, and death, even when it comes to the omicron variant which is making up about 90% of U.S. cases.
    • Novavax, The New COVID-19 Vaccine, Will Be Available This Week In LALAIST – August 1, 2022A more traditional kind of COVID-19 vaccine will be available at Los Angeles County vaccine sites. Health officials hope Novavax will appeal to the 1.5 million adult Angelenos who still haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19. The Novavax vaccine injects copies of the spike protein that are grown in a lab and resemble a virus to the immune system, prompting an immune response. It’s the same technology used to make shingles and hepatitis B shots. Both approaches have proved successful against COVID-19.

Rely on California Biotechnology Foundation to monitor breaking news and provide updates on the latest advancements in COVID-19 diagnostics, vaccines and treatments.

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If you have any questions about informational briefings contact California Biotechnology Foundation Executive Director Patty Cooper at (916)764-2434 or patty.cooper@cabiotech.org.