COVID-19 Update | September 6, 2022

COVID-19 News

COVID-19 Update | September 6, 2022

September 6, 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 September 6, 2022. Notable advancements include:

  • Pfizer and Moderna’s Omicron specific COVID-19 boosters have been authorized for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
  • Pfizer’s antiviral COVID-19 treatment, Paxlovid reduces risk of COVID-19 death by 79% in older adults, according to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Recent News

  • Everything you need to know about the updated COVID-19 boostersCNN – September 1, 2022The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized updated vaccines that target the original strain of the coronavirus as well as the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5. The hope is that these shots will improve protection against the currently circulating viruses that cause COVID-19. Who should get these new shots? When will they be available? And why should you consider one?
  • FDA clears updated COVID-19 boosters from Pfizer, ModernBiopharma Dive – August 31, 2022The Food and Drug Administration has authorized updated COVID-19 booster vaccines for emergency use, hoping the reformulated shots from partners Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna can curb an expected wave of new infections this winter. The FDA cleared a new version of Pfizer’s vaccine for adults and children over 12 years old and Moderna’s modified shot for adults who are 18 or older. Both are two-pronged, or “bivalent,” vaccines that target the original form of the coronavirus as well as sub strains of the Omicron variant that are currently prevalent in the U.S.
  • When can I get my Omicron booster in California? Here’s what we knowThe Los Angeles Times – August 31, 2022After Labor Day, California health officials expect to quickly get to work on the next expansive phase of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign: distributing and administering newly authorized, Omicron-specific booster shots. While there are still a few hurdles to clear before officials start doling out the doses, the expectation is that eligible residents will be able to roll up their sleeves come mid-September. The L.A. County Department of Public Health has already pre-ordered its full initial allocation of about 170,000 doses of the Omicron booster.
  • Novavax COVID-19 Vaccinations Now Available for Service MembersU.S. Department of Defense – August 29, 2022The Food and Drug Administration updated their July 13 Emergency Use Authorization for the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine to include individuals 12 years of age and older.  “We now have a range of COVID-19 vaccines available at our military medical treatment facilities, and they all provide strong protection against hospitalization, severe illness and death,” Dr. Michael Malanoski, deputy director of the Defense Health Agency, said.  The Novavax vaccine uses technology that has been used in other vaccines required by the military.
  • Omicron COVID-19 booster shots are coming: Will they be a game-changer?The Los Angeles Times – August 29, 2022The next generation of COVID-19 booster shots — tailored specifically to combat the super-infectious family of Omicron subvariants — could roll out early next month. The long-in-the-works offering would mark an ambitious new phase in the nation’s vaccination campaign and, officials say, give residents another option to protect themselves ahead of a possible coronavirus resurgence in the fall and winter. The latest dominant Omicron subvariant, BA.5, differs in a number of ways from the original strain the vaccines were designed against. While the original vaccines still do relatively well in keeping people out of the intensive care unit and dying, their effectiveness in preventing infection has declined over time because of the evolution of the Omicron strain.
  • Paxlovid Reduces Risk of COVID-19 Death by 79% in Older Adults: StudyWebMD – August 26, 2022The antiviral drug Paxlovid appears to reduce the risk of dying from COVID-19 by 79% and decrease hospitalizations by 73% in at-risk patients who are ages 65 and older, according to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine. The pill, which is a combination of the drugs nirmatrelvir and ritonavir, received FDA emergency use authorization in December 2021 to treat mild to moderate disease in ages 12 and older who face high risks for having severe COVID-19, hospitalization, and death.
  • What doctors wish patients knew about the Novavax COVID-19 vaccineAmerican Medical Association – August 26, 2022There’s a fourth COVID-19 vaccine option in town: Novavax. The availability of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine offers another option for people who may have been hesitant about getting vaccinated. But with its approval so late in the pandemic, some may wonder what distinguishes the Novavax option from other COVID-19 vaccines. Knowing those differences may be a deciding factor for hesitant individuals. The AMA’s What Doctors Wish Patients Knew™ series provides physicians with a platform to share what they want patients to understand about today’s health care headlines, especially throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In this installment, Sandra Fryhofer, MD, an Atlanta general internist and chair of the AMA Board of Trustees, discusses the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine.

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].