The Med & Mic™ 02.14.22
Medical and Health News of the Day
From Dr. Maria ON Speaking, LLC
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Boosters Lose Steam but Still Work
The CDC says people who have received a booster dose of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine lose substantial effectiveness after four months, but still keep people out of the hospital. Researchers reviewed nearly 250,000 emergency department and urgent care records from August to January. During the Omicron wave, the vaccine was effective in outpatient visits in 87% of those boosted within two months, and in 66% of those boosted within four months. The booster dose was effective against hospitalization in 91% at two months, and 78% at four months. “COVID-19 vaccine boosters remain safe and continue to be highly effective against severe disease over time,” says Kristen Nordlund of the CDC in an AP report.
Another Monoclonal Antibody Authorized
The FDA authorized another intravenous monoclonal antibody treatment, bebtelovimab, from Eli Lilly. It is effective against Omicron and is meant to prevent hospitalization in high-risk people with COVID. The two most common antibody therapies used earlier in the pandemic do not work as well against Omicron. Another monoclonal antibody treatment, sotrovimab, also works against Omicron, but it has been in short supply. The FDA’s Dr. Patricia Cavazzoni calls the emergency use authorization in an ABC News report “an important step in meeting the need.”
Hundreds Require Revaccination
As many as 650 people in New Haven, Connecticut need to be revaccinated against COVID because the vials were kept at colder than recommended temperatures. There is no evidence the blunder caused any harm, but the efficacy of the vaccine could be diminished. The doses in question were given at a New Haven Health Department clinic between December 23, 2021 and February 7, 2022. Health director Maritza Bond says in an article from the AP that those affected should “get revaccinated as soon as they can.”
Avian Flu Prompts Tightened Safety Measures
Wild birds are spreading a highly lethal form of avian flu across the country, prompting poultry producers to increase safety measures, such as banning in-person visits to farms and more diligent cleaning of vehicles. Indiana, which is on a migratory bird pathway, reports a highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu on a commercial turkey farm. The disease is already widespread in Europe and present in Africa, Asia, and Canada. “Everyone is just sitting on edge,” says Denise Heard of the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association in an article from Reuters. There is concern the report from Indiana signals infections in other states also. The virus can be transmitted to humans.
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