COVID-19 Update | October 21, 2022

COVID-19 News

COVID-19 Update | October 21, 2022

October 21, 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 October 21, 2022. Notable advancements include:

  • Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine has been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration for use as a booster dose to the original COVID-19 vaccination series.
  • An over-the-counter COVID-19 molecular test authorized for use with saliva specimens has been issued emergency use authorization by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • Experts and new data show that the new Omicron booster vaccines generate a strong immune response against omicron’s BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants.

Recent News

  • FDA authorizes first over-the-counter saliva testThe San Francisco Chronicle – October 20, 2022The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for the first over-the-counter COVID-19 molecular test authorized for use with saliva specimens. The Metrix COVID-19 Test, developed by Aptitude Medical Inc., is a single-use in vitro diagnostic test for the detection of the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • CDC group endorses adding COVID-19 shots to recommended vaccine schedule for children aged six months and olderNBC News – October 20, 2022An advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted Thursday in favor of adding the COVID-19 vaccine to the recommended immunization schedule for children and adults. Children 6 months and older, as well as adults, should get the COVID-19 vaccine, plus boosters, when they are eligible for it, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices said in an unanimous vote.
  • COVID-19 Vaccines Should Be Among Regular Immunizations, CDC Advisers SayThe Wall Street Journal – October 20, 2022Vaccine experts advising the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention supported adding COVID-19 vaccines to the agency’s lists of recommended regular immunizations. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, voted unanimously in support of including COVID-19 shots on the lists of measles, tetanus and other inoculations that adults and children 6 months and older should get in the U.S.
  • 90-day analysis shows Moderna’s omicron ba.1-targeting bivalent vaccine, mrna-1273.214, demonstrates superior antibody response as fourth booster compared to spikevax prototype boosterModernatx – October 19, 2022Moderna released new clinical data on its bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster, demonstrating that 90 days after administration to previously vaccinated and boosted participants the shots “elicited a superior neutralizing antibody response” against omicron BA.1. The boosters also proved durable against omicron subvariants BA.2.75 and BA.4/5 after 28 days.
  • FDA authorizes booster shot for Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccineStat News – October 19, 2022The Food and Drug Administration announced that it has authorized a booster shot for Novavax’s COVID-19 vaccine. Unlike the latest boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, which target both the original strain of SARS-CoV-2 and the Omicron BA.4/5 variants, the Novavax booster only targets the original strain. The booster shot is authorized for people 18 and older who, for medical or accessibility reasons, cannot take one of the bivalent messenger RNA COVID-19 boosters, or who otherwise would not take a booster.
  • Addiction drug shows promise lifting long COVID-19 brain fog, fatigueReuters – October 18, 2022Researchers chasing long COVID-19 cures are eager to learn whether the drug naltrexone, a generic drug typically used to treat alcohol and opioid addiction, can offer similar benefits to millions suffering from pain, fatigue and brain fog months after a COVID-19 infection. The drug has been used with some success to treat a similar complex, post-infectious syndrome marked by cognitive deficits and overwhelming fatigue called myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • California to end the COVID-19 state of emergencyDesert Sun – October 18, 2022California’s COVID-19 state of emergency will end Feb. 28, 2023, nearly three years from its initiation, officials from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office announced. The announcement came as new variants spur concerns that there will be another deadly winter surge across the country and as test positivity rates plateau in California following a nearly three-month decline. The state of emergency gave Newsom broad, often controversial, powers to issue masking and vaccination mandates and temporary stay-at-home orders in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.
  • White House COVID-19 czar calls on seniors to get omicron booster now — It ‘literally could save your life’CNBC – October 17, 2022A top White House health official issued a stark warning to older people about the health risk they face this fall and winter from COVID-19. Dr. Ashish Jha, head of the White House COVID-19 task force, said everyone older than 50 and senior citizens in particular need to get an omicron booster as soon as possible. “If you’re over 50, certainly if you’re over 65, you’ve got to go get these vaccines because it actually, literally could save your life. It’s a difference between life and death,” Jha said during an interview with Yahoo Finance. The elderly have faced the high risk of falling seriously ill with COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • Omicron-specific COVID-19 boosters appear to work well, new data says—regardless of the side effects you experienceCNBC – October 15, 2022If you already got your omicron-specific COVID-19 booster, you might have experienced some side effects. Maybe even ones that were more intense than your previous shot. But there’s no need to worry: Experts and new data say the new shots appear to work — regardless of whether you experience moderate, mild or no side effects at all. The new boosters gained approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the CDC before they finished clinical trials. But newly released data from Pfizer and BioNTech’s ongoing clinical trial gives a first glimpse of how well its new shots work on humans, showing that the new boosters generated a strong immune response against omicron’s BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants.

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 [email protected].