Latest Updates on COVID-19

August 26, 2022

Another COVID-19 surge could be just around the corner as we head into autumn with students back in their classrooms, more time spent indoors and amped up travel. With more vaccines and use of therapeutics, tools are available to fight the latest variants. Here’s the latest:

Next Booster Shots

The next generation of COVID-19 booster shots may be available sometime after Labor Day to Americans 12 years of age and older.

Both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech have requested emergency use authorization (EUA) of boosters aimed at BA.5 and other subvariants of Omicron that are the current culprits for most COVID-19 cases in the U.S. These new shots are supposed to provide a stronger boost to the immune system than the existing vaccines.

Vaccine Approved for Adolescents

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized emergency use for Novavax COVID-19 vaccine for adolescents ages 12-17. Last month, the FDA granted EUA for Novavax’s two-dose COVID-19 vaccine for adults 18 and older.

Novavax provides more vaccine options for adults and children and is based on more conventional protein technology used traditionally in vaccines. Moderna and Pfizer produced the first FDA-approved vaccines to use messenger RNA technology.

Paxlovid Under Prescribed

Despite a new study that indicates Paxlovid may be most effective in patients over 65, data suggests it has been under-utilized as a treatment option. Very few individuals infected with COVID-19 have used the potentially life-saving FDA-approved antiviral therapies, according to a recent report. Paxlovid and Molnupiravir have been shown to reduce risk of death by as much as 89%, but the new national poll found only about 11% of individuals with COVID-19 infections reported having taken an antiviral therapy.

One of the challenges of using Paxlovid is that the therapy needs to be started within five days of the first symptoms to be effective. The study shows adults over 65 and those with a higher income had a relatively higher rate taking the antivirals.

For more information, check out ISMS’s COVID-19 resources page. If you have questions, please contact us by email.
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