COVID-19 Update | September 9, 2022
September 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 September 9, 2022. Notable advancements include:
- Pfizer and Moderna’s updated COVID-19 boosters targeting the Omicron variant have been recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and are now available in California.
- According to a recent study people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and also had a previous infection have a 41 percent lower risk of passing on COVID-19 if they become infected again.
- Pfizer donates 100,000 of its COVID-19 antiviral treatment Paxlovid, to improve access in low and middle income countries.
- Has the COVID-19 vaccine finally reached annual flu shot status? Health officials are hopeful.USA Today – September 7, 2022 With omicron-specific boosters hitting pharmacy shelves, health officials say the country’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign has officially entered a new phase. Barring any “new variant curveballs,” White House COVID-19 coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said the latest vaccine rollout may be the first of what will become an annual shot for Americans – like the flu shot.
- Pfizer donates Paxlovid to group targeting COVID-19 in poorer countriesReuters – September 7, 2022 Pfizer has donated 100,000 courses of its COVID-19 antiviral treatment Paxlovid to a new group aiming to improve access to the drug in low and middle-income countries. The Covid Treatment Quick Start Consortium, set up by organizations including Duke University and the Clinton Health Access Initiative with support from the pharmaceutical company, said it is working with ministries of health in 10 countries to set up national test-and-treat programmes.
- Omicron booster shots in California: Am I eligible? Where can I get it? How quickly?Los Angeles Times – September 6, 2022 New COVID-19 booster shots are rolling out in California after federal officials greenlighted a new vaccination formula targeting the latest dominant Omicron subvariants as well as the original coronavirus strain. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people aged 12 and older get the new booster shots. To be eligible, residents need to have completed their primary vaccination series and be at least two months out from their last dose of any COVID-19 vaccine. They’re already available in some locations.
- Vaccinations and past infections reduce risk of spreading COVID-19New Scientist – September 6, 2022 People who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 and also had a previous infection have a 41 per cent lower risk of passing on COVID-19 if they become infected again, compared with someone who is unvaccinated and has had no past infections. The finding comes from a study carried out in US prisons that looked at how often people passed on the virus to someone sharing their cell. It was done during the omicron wave.
- How Pfizer and BioNTech Modified COVID-19 Vaccines for Fall BoostersThe Wall Street Journal – September 5, 2022 Before new versions of the Omicron strain took hold in the U.S., Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE had begun tinkering with their widely used Covid-19 vaccine. In May, researchers tracking how coronavirus strains behave saw the potential for Omicron subvariants to predominate. Just in case, the companies started building blueprints of doses reformulated to target BA.4, BA.5 and other substrains, and laid the groundwork for testing them.
- New Bivalent COVID-19 Boosters: When Should You Get These BA.4, BA.5 Updated VaccinesForbes – September 5, 2022 In order to stay in sync with the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations, it’s time to say bye to the original COVID-19 mRNA booster vaccines. Or perhaps bivalent, bivalent, bivalent. Going forward, bivalent versions of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 mRNA boosters are what’s going to be available, replacing the original univalent ones. That’s because on August 31, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officially announced that they had further amended the emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for both the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 mRNA vaccines to now include the bivalent formulations of them.
- COVID-19 forecast: Major fall surge unlikely, but variants are a wild cardThe Washington Post – September 3, 2022 Cold weather favors the COVID-19. But as summer gives way to fall, infectious-disease experts are guardedly optimistic that the spread of COVID-19 this autumn and winter won’t be as brutal as in the previous two years of the pandemic. COVID-19 scenarios from multiple research teams, shared in recent weeks with federal officials, foresee stable or declining hospitalizations in early fall. The scenarios show the possibility of a late-fall surge. A new variant remains the biggest wild card. But several factors — including the approval this week of reformulated boosters and the buildup of immunity against the latest strain of the virus — could suppress some of the cold-season spread, experts say.
- CDC backs updated COVID-19 shots from Pfizer, ModernBiopharma Dive – September 2, 2022 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the updated COVID-19 booster vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, one day after the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization. Following the FDA’s clearance, the CDC recommends Pfizer and BioNTech’s new shot for adults and children aged 12 and older, and Moderna’s booster for those 18 and older. Recommendations for children are expected in future weeks, should the FDA also authorize the reformulated vaccines for younger age groups.
- What you need to know about fall booster shots of COVID-19 vaccineThe Washington Post – August 31, 2022 New COVID-19 boosters are just around the corner following authorization by federal regulators and a recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The updated shots are designed to provide a stronger shield against the BA. 4 and BA. 5 omicron subvariants still causing tens of thousands of infections and hundreds of deaths every day in the United States. The boosters will be part of a campaign by the federal government, to be kicked off within days, to persuade Americans to bolster their immune defenses before a potential surge in COVID-19 cases as cooler weather arrives in the fall.
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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].