Reported Cases Continue to Rise in U.S.; Deaths Surpass 666K
Total coronavirus cases have reached 41,593,179 as of Sept. 17, according to the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker — a 6% increase over the previous seven days. A total of 666,440 people have died from the virus to date.
With Delta Variant Dominant, Risk of Hospitalization, Death Still Dramatically Reduced Among the Vaccinated
A report from CDC finds that vaccination against COVID-19 reduces the risk of hospitalization and death by more than 10 times each, and lowers the risk of infection by five times, compared with unvaccinated individuals.
Moderna Vaccine Leads in Effectiveness — But All Three Major Options Provide "Substantial Protection"
A study from CDC found that among U.S. adults without immunocompromising conditions, the Moderna vaccine provided 93% effectiveness, compared with 88% effectiveness for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, and 71% for the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine. All three provide "substantial protection against COVID-19 hospitalization," the report states.
From National Institutes of Health
NIH Seeks To Build Large Study Population for Research on Long-Term Effects of COVID-19
The National Institutes of Health has awarded $470 million to fund efforts aimed at amassing data from more than 100 researchers at 30 institutions on the lingering effects of COVID-19. Known as the Researching COVID to Enhance Recovery Initiative, or RECOVER, the initiative's studies will include analyses of tissue pathology as well as health records and data from mobile technologies.
In the Media
One in Every 500 U.S. Residents Died From COVID-19
From CNN: "The United States has reached another grim milestone in its fight against the devastating Covid-19 pandemic: 1 in 500 Americans have died from coronavirus since the nation's first reported infection. As of Tuesday night, 663,913 people in the US have died of Covid-19, according to Johns Hopkins University data. According to the US Census Bureau, the US population as of April 2020 was 331.4 million."
Pfizer Concludes Vaccine Safe and Effective for Children Ages 5-11; Full Approval Likely Months Away
From NPR: "Even if the FDA grants that authorization, Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, recently told NPR that parents and caregivers will likely have to wait until the end of 2021 before a COVID-19 vaccine is fully approved for young children ages 5 to 11."
FDA Panel Recommends Booster for Older Adults, Balks at Widespread Use
From The Hill: "A federal advisory panel on Friday unanimously voted to recommend the Food and Drug Administration authorize a third booster dose of Pfizer and BioNTech's coronavirus vaccine for people over the age of 65 as well as for other groups of people who are at high risk for COVID-19. But that vote only occurred after the panel overwhelmingly voted against recommending the widespread use of boosters for everyone over the age of 16. The move represents a rebuke of the Biden administration and deals an unexpected blow to the president's plan to administer booster doses to all Americans over 16 beginning Sept. 20."
New In Research
Researchers Identify "Second" Antibody Associated with Long COVID
Researchers from the University of Arkansas believe they have uncovered a possible link between post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 ("long COVID") and the presence of a so-called "autoantibody," generated after initial antibodies are produced. The second antibody, produced weeks later by some with COVID-19, attacks an enzyme that regulates the body's response to the infection and could be a driving factor behind the lingering health problems. The research was published in PLOS One.
Study Finds Lingering COVID Symptoms in a Third of Those Who Tested Positive
A recent CDC report shared results of a survey of Long Beach, California, residents who had tested positive for COVID-19, finding that approximately 33% had health problems two months after initial diagnosis.
Childhood COVID-19 Cases Have Increased "Exponentially"
As reported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 5.5 million children have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began, with 226,000 cases added from Sept. 9 through Sept. 16, 2021. More than 925,000 cases have been reported between Aug. 25 and Sept. 16.
Increased Proportion of Hospital Admissions Eith Mild and Asymptomatic COVID-19 Affecting Metrics
In a preprint report published by Research Square, authors of a study of patients admitted to Veterans Administration facilities found that an increasing proportion of those diagnosed with COVID-19 had mild or asymptomatic cases, making hospital admissions a less reliable metric for the disease. They suggest adding blood oxygen levels of 94% or less to the admission criteria to better track the rates of severe cases. The study has not yet received peer review.