COVID-19 Update | June 24, 2022
June 24, 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 June 24, 2022. Notable advancements include:
- Nearly 20 million lives were saved by COVID-19 vaccines during their first year according to a new study in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.
- The U.S. has begun vaccinating millions of children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years, the last group of Americans to be afforded protection with the COVID-19 vaccine.
- Moderna is developing a new COVID-19 vaccine that will offer protection against the Omicron variant of the virus to be ready for public distribution by August.
- COVID-19 vaccines saved 20M lives in 1st year, scientists say
Associated Press – June 23, 2022
Nearly 20 million lives were saved by COVID-19 vaccines during their first year, but even more deaths could have been prevented if international targets for the shots had been reached, researchers reported. On Dec. 8, 2020, a retired shop clerk in England received the first shot in what would become a global vaccination campaign. Over the next 12 months, more than 4.3 billion people around the world lined up for the vaccines.
- Moderna CEO says new COVID-19 variant shot will be ready by August
CBS News – June 23, 2022
Moderna expects a new COVID-19 vaccine the drugmaker is developing that it says offers protection against the Omicron variant of the virus to be ready for public distribution by August. The company has been manufacturing shots of the vaccine, called mRNA-1273.214, ahead of it getting regulatory approval in order to be ready for the fall and winter, when health experts say COVID-19 could flare. Clinical trial data shows that Moderna’s bivalent booster vaccine candidate is highly effective against the BA.4 and BA.5 Omicron subvariants of the virus.
- Biden administration announces new at-home COVID-19 tests for blind and low-vision Americans
CNN – June 23, 2022
The Biden administration rolled out free at-home COVID-19 tests that are designed to be more accessible for people who are blind or visually impaired. White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said the administration will provide more accessible, rapid self-tests to Americans across the country for free through Covidtests.gov, which ships tests through the US Postal Service.
- Experts endorse Moderna COVID-19 shots for kids ages 6 to 17
Associated Press – June 23, 2022
An expert panel backed a second COVID-19 vaccine option for kids ages 6 to 17. Advisers to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted unanimously to recommend Moderna shots as an option for school-age kids and adolescents. This group has been able to get shots made by Pfizer since last year. The panel’s recommendations usually are adopted by the CDC, and become the government’s guidance for U.S. doctors and their patients.
- How are the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for young children different?
CNN Health – June 22, 2022
Since the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended two options for this age group — one from Pfizer/BioNTech and another from Moderna — parents and caregivers may be wondering which one is right for their child. They both use an mRNA platform and both are considered safe and well tolerated. Pediatricians CNN spoke with around the country suggest either is a good option. Both seem to create protective antibodies in little kids like they do in young adults. There are only subtle differences, and one may be a better fit for some kids than the other.
- S. begins vaccinating young children against coronavirus
The Washington Post – June 21, 2022
Eighteen months after a New York nurse received the first U.S. COVID-19 vaccination,immunizations became available for millions of children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years, the last group of Americans to be afforded that protection. Pediatricians, drugstores, hospitals, and community vaccination centers began to administer first doses of two vaccines to children: the Pfizer-BioNTech product to children ages 6 months through 4 years; and the Moderna vaccine to children 6 months through 5 years old.
- ECU researchers find potential COVID-19 treatment with new nanotechnology
CBS17 – June 21, 2022
A pair of researchers at East Carolina University Brody School of Medicine have discovered that new nanotechnology may have therapeutic benefits in the treatment of COVID-19. The ECU patented technology is called “SNAT,” or Smart Nano-Enabled Antiviral Therapy.
- This new California coronavirus wave isn’t sticking to the script: Big spread, less illness
Los Angeles Times – June 21, 2022
In the last two years, COVID-19 has followed a predictable, if painful, pattern: When coronavirus transmission has rebounded, California has been flooded with new cases and hospitals have strained under a deluge of seriously ill patients, a distressing number of whom die. But in a world awash in vaccines and treatments, and with healthcare providers armed with knowledge gleaned over the course of the pandemic, the latest wave isn’t sticking to that script.
- New Saliva-Based COVID-19 Test Provides Rapid Results
Medscape – June 21, 2022
A rapid, saliva-based test for COVID-19 could enable testing, diagnosis, and prescribing to take place in a single office visit by immediately confirming whether a patient has the infection and needs to be treated, researchers say. The test has sparked commercial interest and earned additional funding from the Canadian government. The test uses a DNA aptamer — a short, synthetic oligonucleotide that binds to a specific molecular target — that shows high affinity for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and its variants.
- CDC Recommends COVID-19 Vaccines for Young Children
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – June 18, 2022
CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky, M.D., M.P.H., endorsed the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ (ACIP) recommendation that all children 6 months through 5 years of age should receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This expands eligibility for vaccination to nearly 20 million additional children and means that all Americans ages 6 months and older are now eligible for vaccination. Parents and caregivers can now get their children 6 months through 5 years of age vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines to better protect them from COVID-19. All children, including children who have already had COVID-19, should get vaccinated.
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