() The Defender’s COVID NewsWatch provides a roundup of the latest headlines related to the SARS CoV-2 virus, including its origins and COVID vaccines.
by Staff Writer, November 12th, 2021
The figures reflect the fact that the vast majority in this age group has had at least two COVID vaccines.
30 Fully Vaccinated Massachusetts Residents Died of COVID in First Week of November
Health officials in Massachusetts recorded 30 breakthrough COVID-19 deaths between Oct. 30 and Nov. 6, raising the state’s cumulative coronavirus deaths among the fully vaccinated to 468. The number of deaths represents 0.01% of the state’s inoculated population.
COVID-19 cases among the vaccinated also rose by 4,608 during the same period. As of Nov. 6, the state recorded a total of 58,807 breakthrough COVID infections, representing 1.2% of the state’s fully vaccinated population.
Wealthier Parents More Likely to Get COVID Vaccines for Young Kids: Poll
In a finding that suggests a family’s income influences parents’ views on COVID vaccines for their younger kids, a new survey shows the more money parents make, the likelier they are to get their kids a shot.
The poll of more than 2,000 parents found that 47% of those with annual incomes of $100,000 or more were willing to get their children ages 5-11 vaccinated, compared with just 37% of those with incomes between $75,000 and $99,000, and only 34% of those with incomes under $50,000, CNN reported.
Regulator Reviewing Reports of ‘Rare’ and Serious Condition Linked to Moderna Vaccine
According to a bulletin posted by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), it is reviewing six cases of capillary leak syndrome, considered a “very rare disorder,” after they were reported in the EMA’s EudraVigilance database.
“At this stage, it is not yet clear whether there is a causal association between vaccination and the reports of capillary leak syndrome,” the EMA wrote on Thursday, adding that “these reports point to a safety signal…information on new, or changes in, adverse events that may potentially be associated with a medicine or vaccine and that warrant further investigation.”
CDC Hasn’t Updated COVID Vax Breakthrough Data — Agency Doesn’t Report Real-Time Breakthrough Data, but States Provide Some Answers
In mid-October, the CDC started publishing cases and deaths by vaccination status on its COVID Data Tracker for the first time. But the information was only current as of Sept. 4 — and the page hasn’t been updated since.
In addition, the CDC’s page on breakthrough hospitalizations by vaccination status is only current through the end of August.
It’s definitely a problem that here in the U.S., we have not had real-time, reliable data on breakthrough infections,” said Leana Wen, MD, a professor of health policy and management at George Washington University. “Why should we be waiting until we see Americans end up in the hospital with breakthrough infections before we take action and recommend boosters more broadly?”
Moderna Says COVID Vaccine Has Fewer Breakthrough Cases Than Pfizer’s, but Higher Myocarditis Rates in Young Men
Moderna defended the use of its COVID-19 vaccine Thursday, saying the protection it offers against severe disease, hospitalization and death outweighs the risk of myocarditis, a rare heart condition seen in a small number of young men who received the shot.
Reported cases of the rare heart inflammation in men under age 30 are relatively higher after Moderna’s vaccine compared with those who received the shots made by Pfizer and BioNTech, Moderna Chief Medical Officer Dr. Paul Burton told reporters on a call Thursday.
More Than 2 Million Ellume COVID Home Tests Recalled Due to False-Positives
Ellume first announced a voluntary recall of some of its rapid antigen tests in October due to an increased chance of false-positives. More than 2 million tests are now included in the recall, the US Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.
Top Biden Health Officials Push to Make Coronavirus Booster Shots Available to All Adults
Anxious about a surge of coronavirus infections enveloping Europe as cases tick up in the United States, senior health officials in the Biden administration are pressing urgently to offer vaccine booster shots to all adults. But support for the renewed push is not unanimous.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky has expressed caution about making extra shots so broadly available now, according to several officials familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. As a result, tension is rising among officials over how quickly to proceed and who should get the shots.
With U.S. Aid Money, Schools Put Bigger Focus On Mental Health
In Kansas City, Kansas, educators are opening an after-school mental health clinic staffed with school counselors and social workers. Schools in Paterson, New Jersey, have set up social emotional learning teams to identify students dealing with crises. Chicago is staffing up “care teams” with the mission of helping struggling students on its 500-plus campuses.
With a windfall of federal coronavirus relief money at hand, schools across the U.S. are using portions to quickly expand their capacity to address students’ struggles with mental health.
EU Authorizes 2 Medicines for People at Risk of Severe COVID
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has recommended the authorization of two new medicines against the coronavirus for people at risk of severe disease.
In a statement on Thursday, the EU drug regulator said it had concluded that the monoclonal antibody treatments — a combination of casirivimab and imdevimab, and the drug regdanvimab — have both been proven to significantly reduce the risk of hospitalization and death in patients vulnerable to serious COVID-19.
The EMA said both regdanvimab and the casirivimab and imdevimab combination should be offered to people over age 12 who don’t yet require oxygen support, but are at risk of worsening COVID-19. It said the combination drug can also be used preventatively. Both drugs must be administered intravenously.
Minnesota Vikings’ Dakota Dozier Hospitalized for COVID Issues
According to a source, the player is offensive guard Dakota Dozier, who was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday.
He is in stable condition now, per Zimmer, but remains hospitalized. When asked whether the player’s reaction was to the vaccine (booster) or COVID-19, Zimmer said: “No, it was COVID. I’m not a doctor, but it was COVID pneumonia or something — he had a hard time breathing.”
GSK-Vir COVID Antibody Works as Shot in the Arm as Well as Infusion
Britain’s GSK (GSK.L) and partner Vir (VIR.O) said on Friday their antibody-based COVID-19 drug was shown in a trial to work as well when given as a shot in the arm as when administered via the standard infusion, potentially offering more convenience.
GSK said it would now speak to global regulators, including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, about potential approval for the new method of administration, known as intramuscular injection, which can be carried out by family doctors and spare patients a trip to hospital.
Sotrovimab is authorized for emergency use in the United States to prevent mild or moderate cases of COVID-19 from worsening. The European Medicines Agency has given its go-ahead for use by member states though EU-wide approval is still outstanding.
‘I Went Home and Cried:’ U.S. Employers Offer Few Protections for Pregnant Workers
Jennifer, a family nurse practitioner in Texas, told her employer a few months into the COVID-19 pandemic that she was pregnant and requested changes to her work to limit her exposure to COVID-19.
Instead of providing her with accommodations to her work that would reflect her pregnancy, her managers held a meeting at which Jennifer claims she was told she was no good to them pregnant, and that she should take unpaid family medical leave as she was going to be replaced by a non-pregnant worker. She had worked at the employer for five years.
At seven months pregnant during the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving to find another job wasn’t immediately an option.
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