COVID-19 Update | December 9, 2022

COVID-19 News

COVID-19 Update | December 9, 2022

December 9, 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 December 9, 2022. Notable advancements include:

  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has expanded eligibility for the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 boosters for children over the age 6 months.
  • New research from clinical trials have indicated that most COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against severe COVID, hospitalization, mortality and could be effect against Long COVID-19.

Recent News

  • FDA authorizes updated COVID-19 boosters for youngest childrenStat News – December 8, 2022The Food and Drug Administration announced it had amended the emergency use authorizations for the updated Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 boosters, to allow their use in children aged 6 months and older. Previously, the bivalent boosters, which protect against two different strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, only available to children 5 years of age and older. With the amended EUA, children 6 months to 5 years of age who received the Moderna vaccine for their primary series can get a bivalent booster, so long as at least two months have elapsed since they completed the two-shot primary series.
  • COVID-19 vaccines may reduce long-COVID symptomsNews Medical Life Sciences – December 8,2022Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, the causative pathogen of COVID-19, is a respiratory virus that primarily attacks pulmonary epithelial cells. Many SARS-CoV-2-infected patients persistently experience long-term symptoms for weeks to months after clinical recovery. This condition is termed as post-COVID-19 conditions or long-COVID-19. The most common long-term consequences are cardiovascular, respiratory, and neuropsychiatric symptoms. In this systematic review and meta-analysis, scientists have explored the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against long-COVID-19 symptoms. Clinical trials and real-world studies conducted during the pandemic have indicated that most COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective against wild-type SARS-CoV-2 infection, severe COVID-19, hospitalization, and mortality.
  • These Graphs Show Just How Dramatically Different This Flu Season is Right NowNBC Chicago – December 7, 2022Flu hospitalizations have already risen to their highest level in a decade as health experts warn of an early spike, but how does this season really compare to previous years? New graphs from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show a dramatic look at just how unusual this flu season is so far. This year, nearly the entire country is listed at a “high” or “very high” level, with a few exceptions, data shows.
  • Glucose-Lowering Drugs May Reduce Risk of COVID-19–Related Adverse Events in Patients With DiabetesAmerican Journal of Managed Care – December 6, 2022Use of glucose-lowering drugs was shown to reduce risk of COVID-19–related adverse outcomes among patients with diabetes who were diagnosed and hospitalized with COVID-19, according to study findings published today in JAMA Network Open. Diabetes is a known risk factor for SARS-CoV-2 infection and related adverse outcomes. Standard of care glucose-lowering therapies for diabetes have been shown, albeit in conflicting findings, to have possible benefits regarding morbidity and mortality among patients with diabetes who become infected with COVID-19.
  • Pfizer partners with Clear Creek Bio to develop oral COVID-19 drugReuters – December 6, 2022Pfizer Inc and Clear Creek Bio Inc announced a collaboration to identify a potential drug candidate and develop a new class of oral treatment against COVID-19, as Pfizer seeks to expand its anti-infective pipeline. Charlotte Allerton, Pfizer’s chief scientific officer, said COVID-19 has “the potential to remain a global health concern for years to come”.
  • Myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccine low among teens and young adults, large study findsNBC News – December 5, 2022The incidence of myocarditis and pericarditis after COVID-19 vaccination is low and most patients make a full recovery, a large international study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital found. Most of the cases occurred in male teens and young adults and usually after the second dose of a primary series of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine, according to the study published Monday in JAMA Pediatrics. Although a majority of the people recovered quickly, 93% of the cases required hospitalization and 23% of the cases were serious enough to require admission to the intensive care unit. No deaths were observed.
  • Pfizer/BioNTech seek FDA authorization of updated COVID-19 vaccine for children under 5CNN – December 5, 2022Pfizer and BioNTech have submitted an application to the US Food and Drug Administration for their updated COVID-19 vaccine to be used as the third shot in the three-dose primary vaccine series for children ages 6 months through 4 years. The vaccine makers announced that if authorized for emergency use, children in that age group will still receive the original version of the Covid-19 vaccine as their first two doses and then the updated Covid-19 vaccine – formulated to target the coronavirus Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 – as the third dose. While the primary Covid-19 vaccine series for older children and adults involves receiving two doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, a three-dose primary series has been the approach for children younger than 5.
  • Lung damage found in 11% of severe COVID-19 survivorsFierce Healthcare – December 5, 2022About 11% of people who’ve been hospitalized for COVID-19 develop interstitial lung disease (ILD), according to a study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, which concludes that “health services should monitor at-risk individuals to elucidate long-term functional implications.” The American Lung Association (ALA) described ILD as “an umbrella term used for a large group of diseases that cause scarring (fibrosis) of the lungs. The scarring causes stiffness in the lungs which makes it difficult to breathe and get oxygen to the bloodstream. Lung damage from ILDs is often irreversible and gets worse over time.”
  • Maternal Antibodies Higher After COVID-19 Vaccination vs Infection In PregnancyInfectious Disease Advisor – December 5, 2022Among women, those who were vaccinated against vs infected with COVID-19 during pregnancy had increased and longer lasting maternal Immunoglobulin G antibodies. COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy is associated with increased concentrations of maternal immunoglobulin (Ig) G, cord blood IgG, and higher transfer ratio; however, maternal IgG concentrations decrease over time after both COVID-19 vaccination and infection.
  • Vaxxinity will push for approval of COVID-19 booster after trial shows noninferiority to market leader PfizerFierce Biotech – December 2, 2022Vaxxinity’s next-gen COVID-19 booster candidate has hit its safety targets in a head-to-head trial against Pfizer-BioNTech’s, AstraZeneca’s and Sinopharm’s vaccines. The biotech now plans to push ahead for approval in several countries, despite performing similarly but ultimately failing to beat Pfizer’s shot when it came to efficacy. The Dallas-based biotech’s phase 3 study is evaluating UB-612, a single heterologous COVID-19 booster candidate in comparison to three major globally authorized competitors: Pfizer and BioNtech’s mRNA-based Comirnaty; AstraZeneca’s adenovirus-vectored shot; and Sinopharm’s inactivated virus.

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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 [email protected].