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1.
MMWR - Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report ; 71(5152):1625-1630, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2204208

ABSTRACT

Monovalent COVID-19 mRNA vaccines, designed against the ancestral strain of SARS-CoV-2, successfully reduced COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality in the United States and globally (1,2). However, vaccine effectiveness (VE) against COVID-19-associated hospitalization has declined over time, likely related to a combination of factors, including waning immunity and, with the emergence of the Omicron variant and its sublineages, immune evasion (3). To address these factors, on September 1, 2022, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended a bivalent COVID-19 mRNA booster (bivalent booster) dose, developed against the spike protein from ancestral SARS-CoV-2 and Omicron BA.4/BA.5 sublineages, for persons who had completed at least a primary COVID-19 vaccination series (with or without monovalent booster doses) >=2 months earlier (4). Data on the effectiveness of a bivalent booster dose against COVID-19 hospitalization in the United States are lacking, including among older adults, who are at highest risk for severe COVID-19-associated illness. During September 8-November 30, 2022, the Investigating Respiratory Viruses in the Acutely Ill (IVY) Network assessed effectiveness of a bivalent booster dose received after >=2 doses of monovalent mRNA vaccine against COVID-19-associated hospitalization among immunocompetent adults aged >=65 years. When compared with unvaccinated persons, VE of a bivalent booster dose received >=7 days before illness onset (median = 29 days) against COVID-19-associated hospitalization was 84%. Compared with persons who received >=2 monovalent-only mRNA vaccine doses, relative VE of a bivalent booster dose was 73%. These early findings show that a bivalent booster dose provided strong protection against COVID-19-associated hospitalization in older adults and additional protection among persons with previous monovalent-only mRNA vaccination. All eligible persons, especially adults aged >=65 years, should receive a bivalent booster dose to maximize protection against COVID-19 hospitalization this winter season. Additional strategies to prevent respiratory illness, such as masking in indoor public spaces, should also be considered, especially in areas where COVID-19 community levels are high (4,5).

2.
MMWR - Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report ; 71(5152):1616-1624, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2204207

ABSTRACT

During June-October 2022, the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron BA.5 sublineage accounted for most of the sequenced viral genomes in the United States, with further Omicron sublineage diversification through November 2022.* Bivalent mRNA vaccines contain an ancestral SARS-CoV-2 strain component plus an updated component of the Omicron BA.4/BA.5 sublineages. On September 1, 2022, a single bivalent booster dose was recommended for adults who had completed a primary vaccination series (with or without subsequent booster doses), with the last dose administered >=2 months earlier (1). During September 13-November 18, the VISION Network evaluated vaccine effectiveness (VE) of a bivalent mRNA booster dose (after 2, 3, or 4 monovalent doses) compared with 1) no previous vaccination and 2) previous receipt of 2, 3, or 4 monovalent-only mRNA vaccine doses, among immunocompetent adults aged >=18 years with an emergency department/urgent care (ED/UC) encounter or hospitalization for a COVID-19-like illness. VE of a bivalent booster dose (after 2, 3, or 4 monovalent doses) against COVID-19-associated ED/UC encounters was 56% compared with no vaccination, 31% compared with monovalent vaccination only with last dose 2-4 months earlier, and 50% compared with monovalent vaccination only with last dose >=11 months earlier. VE of a bivalent booster dose (after 2, 3, or 4 monovalent doses) against COVID-19-associated hospitalizations was 57% compared with no vaccination, 38% compared with monovalent vaccination only with last dose 5-7 months earlier, and 45% compared with monovalent vaccination only with last dose >=11 months earlier. Bivalent vaccines administered after 2, 3, or 4 monovalent doses were effective in preventing medically attended COVID-19 compared with no vaccination and provided additional protection compared with past monovalent vaccination only, with relative protection increasing with time since receipt of the last monovalent dose. All eligible persons should stay up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccinations, including receiving a bivalent booster dose. Persons should also consider taking additional precautions to avoid respiratory illness this winter season, such as masking in public indoor spaces, especially in areas where COVID-19 community levels are high.

4.
Rhinology ; 2022 Jul 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1924463

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Olfactory dysfunction is a cardinal symptom of COVID-19 infection, however, studies assessing long-term olfactory dysfunction are limited and no randomised-controlled trials (RCTs) of early olfactory training have been conducted. METHODOLOGY: We conducted a prospective, multi-centre study consisting of baseline psychophysical measurements of smell and taste function. Eligible participants were further recruited into a 12-week RCT of olfactory training versus control (safety information). Patient-reported outcomes were measured using an electronic survey and BSIT at baseline and 12 weeks. An additional 1-year follow-up was open to all participants. RESULTS: 218 individuals with a sudden loss of sense of smell of at least 4-weeks were recruited. Psychophysical smell loss was observed in only 32.1%; 63 participants were recruited into the RCT. The absolute difference in BSIT improvement after 12 weeks was 0.45 higher in the intervention arm. 76 participants completed 1-year follow-up; 10/19 (52.6%) of participants with an abnormal baseline BSIT test scored below the normal threshold at 1-year, and 24/29 (82.8%) had persistent parosmia. CONCLUSIONS: Early olfactory training may be helpful, although our findings are inconclusive. Notably, a number of individuals who completed the 1-year assessment had persistent smell loss and parosmia at 1-year. As such, both should be considered important entities of long-Covid and further studies to improve management are highly warranted.

5.
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report ; 71(7):255-263, 2022.
Article in English | GIM | ID: covidwho-1812722

ABSTRACT

What is already known about this topic? Protection against COVID-19 after 2 doses of mRNA vaccine wanes, but little is known about durability of protection after 3 doses. What is added by this report? Vaccine effectiveness (VE) against COVID-19-associated emergency department/urgent care (ED/UC) visits and hospitalizations was higher after the third dose than after the second dose but waned with time since vaccination. During the Omicron-predominant period, VE against COVID-19-associated ED/UC visits and hospitalizations was 87% and 91%, respectively, during the 2 months after a third dose and decreased to 66% and 78% by the fourth month after a third dose. Protection against hospitalizations exceeded that against ED/UC visits. What are the implications for public health practice? All eligible persons should remain up to date with recommended COVID-19 vaccinations to best protect against COVID-19-associated hospitalizations and ED/UC visits.

6.
Open Forum Infectious Diseases ; 8(SUPPL 1):S135, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1746750

ABSTRACT

Background. We conducted a large real-world study of the long-term vaccine effectiveness (VE) of the live attenuated zoster vaccine (Zostavax;ZVL). Using an innovative approach with automated observational data we measured VE for incident herpes zoster (HZ) and severe HZ outcomes including post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN), herpes zoster ophthalmicus (HZO), and hospitalized HZ. This approach could be useful in long-term effectiveness studies of other vaccines. Methods. We assessed VE against HZ, PHN, HZO and hospitalized HZ for up to 10+ years after vaccination at Kaiser Permanente Northern California. We identified incident cases using diagnoses, laboratory tests and prescriptions, and validated a sample by chart review. For each outcome, we used a Cox regression model with a calendar timeline to estimate VE in relation to year since vaccination. The model for HZ included 11 time-varying vaccination status indicators to denote -- at each timepoint during follow-up -- either the number of years since ZVL vaccination (30 days to < 1 year, 1 to < 2 years, . . ., and 10+ years) or that the individual is unvaccinated (reference group). Analyses were adjusted for demographics and time-varying measures of immune compromise status, healthcare use and comorbidities. Results. From 2007-2018, 1.5 million people contributed to analyses;507,000 (34%) were vaccinated. During 9 million person-years of follow-up, we observed 75,135 HZ cases, including 4,982 (7%) with PHN, 4,418 (6%) with HZO, and 555 (< 1%) who were hospitalized. VE for HZ was 67% (95% Confidence Interval [CI]: 65-69%) in the first year after vaccination, waned to 50% (CI: 47-52%) in the second year after vaccination, and then waned more gradually to 15% (CI: 5-24%) by 10+ years after vaccination. Initial VE was higher against PHN (83%;CI: 78-87%) and hospitalized HZ (89%;CI: 67-97%) with less waning observed over time (42% by Year 8 for PHN and 53% in Years 5 to < 8 for hospitalized HZ). VE against HZO was 71% in Year 1 and waned to 29% in Years 5 to < 8. Conclusion. Our large population, long follow-up and innovative methods let us estimate VE against HZ, PHN, HZO and hospitalized HZ for 10+ years after vaccination. Our approach could help assess waning and need for boosters for vaccines against other agents including COVID-19.

8.
European Heart Journal ; 42(SUPPL 1):3040, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1553957

ABSTRACT

Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is associated with microvascular dysfunction. Non-invasive thermal imaging can hypothetically detect changes in perfusion, inflammation and vascular injury. We sought to develop a new point-of-care, non-contact thermal imaging tool to detect COVID-19 by microvascular dysfunction, based on image processing algorithms and machine learning analysis. Materials and methods: We captured thermal images of the back of 101 individuals, with (n=62) and without (n=39) COVID-19, using a portable thermal camera that connects directly to smartphones. We developed new image processing algorithms that automatically extract multiple texture and shape features of the thermal images (Figure 1A). We then evaluated the ability of our thermal features to detect COVID-19 and systemic changes of heat distribution associated with microvascular disease. We also assessed correlations between thermal imaging to conventional biomarkers and chest X-ray (CXR). Results: Our novel image processing algorithms achieved up to 92% sensitivity in detecting COVID-19 with an area under the curve of 0.85 (95% CI: 0.78, 0.93;p<0.01). Systemic alterations in blood flow associated with vascular disease were observed across the entire back. Thermal imaging scores were inversely correlated with clinical variables associated with COVID-19 disease progression, including blood oxygen saturation, C-reactive protein, and D-dimer. The thermal imaging findings were not correlated with the results of CXR. Conclusions: We show, for the first time, that a hand-held thermal imaging device can be used to detect COVID-19. Non-invasive thermal imaging could be used to screen for COVID-19 in out-of-hospital settings, especially in low-income regions with limited imaging resources. Moreover, thermal imaging might detect micro-angiopathies and endothelial dysfunction in patients with COVID-19 and could possibly improve risk stratification of infected individuals (Figure 1B).

10.
Psychological Inquiry ; 32(3):191-196, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1472243

ABSTRACT

For a variety of reasons outlined in the target article and commentaries in this issue, it is difficult to pursue equality in a multi-ethnic democracy. This article responds to issues raised in the commentaries on the target article, then outlines steps that citizens, scientists, and policymakers can all take on the journey from here to equality.

12.
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report ; 70(29):985-990, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1344834

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 vaccination is critical to ending the COVID-19 pandemic. Members of minority racial and ethnic groups have experienced disproportionate COVID-19–associated morbidity and mortality (1);however, COVID-19 vaccination coverage is lower in these groups (2). CDC used data from CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD)* to assess disparities in vaccination coverage among persons aged ≥16 years by race and ethnicity during December 14, 2020–May 15, 2021. Measures of coverage included receipt of ≥1 COVID-19 vaccine dose (i.e., receipt of the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines or 1 dose of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine [Johnson And Johnson]) and full vaccination (receipt of 2 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines or 1 dose of Janssen COVID-19 vaccine). Among 9.6 million persons aged ≥16 years enrolled in VSD during December 14, 2020–May 15, 2021, ≥1-dose coverage was 48.3%, and 38.3% were fully vaccinated. As of May 15, 2021, coverage with ≥1 dose was lower among non-Hispanic Black (Black) and Hispanic persons (40.7% and 41.1%, respectively) than it was among non-Hispanic White (White) persons (54.6%). Coverage was highest among non-Hispanic Asian (Asian) persons (57.4%). Coverage with ≥1 dose was higher among persons with certain medical conditions that place them at higher risk for severe COVID-19 (high-risk conditions) (63.8%) than it was among persons without such conditions (41.5%) and was higher among persons who had not had COVID-19 (48.8%) than it was among those who had (42.4%). Persons aged 18–24 years had the lowest ≥1-dose coverage (28.7%) among all age groups. Continued monitoring of vaccination coverage and efforts to improve equity in coverage are critical, especially among populations disproportionately affected by COVID-19. VSD is a collaboration between CDC’s Immunization Safety Office and eight integrated health care organizations in six U.S. states.† VSD captures information on COVID-19 vaccine doses administered, regardless of where they are received, based on an automated search within the organizations’ facilities (outpatient and inpatient records) and external systems (e.g., health insurance claims and state or local immunization What is already known about this topic? Non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic persons experience higher COVID-19–associated morbidity and mortality, yet COVID-19 vaccination coverage is lower in these groups. What is added by this report? As of May 15, 2021, 48.3% of persons identified in CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink aged ≥16 years had received ≥1 COVID-19 vaccine dose and 38.3% were fully vaccinated. Coverage with ≥1 dose was lower among non-Hispanic Black (40.7%) and Hispanic persons (41.1%) than among non-Hispanic White persons (54.6%);coverage was highest (57.4%) among non-Hispanic Asian persons. What are the implications for public health practice? Continued monitoring of vaccination coverage and efforts to improve equity in vaccination coverage are critical, especially among populations disproportionately affected by COVID-19. © 2021 Department of Health and Human Services. All rights reserved.

13.
Mmwr-Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report ; 70(15):572-572, 2021.
Article in English | Web of Science | ID: covidwho-1197938
14.
Pediatrics ; 147(3):52-53, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1177823

ABSTRACT

Background: Over 700,000 children experience abuse in the US annually. Reported and substantiated cases ofchild abuse increase in the months following disasters. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased known riskfactors for child abuse, including financial hardship, unemployment, increased anxiety, increased caregiverresponsibilities, and decreased access to behavioral health services and community resources. Children andfamilies already facing homelessness prior to the pandemic may be at especially heightened risk of childmaltreatment. The Homeless Health Initiative (HHI) was developed by pediatrics residents and is now amultifaceted advocacy network supporting local, urban homeless shelters that is funded and staffed by ourinstitution. PriCARE is a positive parenting program also funded and staffed by our institution. Both HHI andPriCARE had to suspend in-person services due to the COVID-19 pandemic at a time when families may mostneed additional support. Online parenting support programs have demonstrated significant reductions innegative parent-child interactions, problematic child behaviors, negative disciplinary methods, parent stressand depression, and child anxiety. Therefore, the multidisciplinary team members that serve families throughHHI and PriCARE sought to develop a virtual platform to provide their support. Methodology: The goal of thisinitiative is to establish a multidisciplinary virtual program for families experiencing homelessness thatprovides trauma-informed, positive parenting support, promotion of healthy parent-child relationships,relevant illness and injury prevention tips, and anticipatory guidance for families coping during a pandemic.We completed a needs assessment through ongoing communication with families and workers at the shelters.Various stakeholders, including experts in child abuse prevention, intimate partner violence, and positiveparenting, worked together to develop supportive materials for families related to the above topics. Weconducted virtual sessions including members of each participating stakeholder in an open-ended formatguided by participants' concerns, both previously submitted and in real-time, to provide support and developfamily-centered programming. Our platform was compatible with phones distributed to shelter residents bythe city during the pandemic to facilitate open access. To supplement virtual content, we also distributedaccompanying resources for reinforcement. Further development of this initiative is ongoing with iterativeplan/do/study/act (PDSA) cycles. Anonymous feedback from shelter residents and session leader debriefs areintegral in guiding our modifications. Discussion: The delivery of our material via video conferencing andwritten handouts is practical, feasible, and respectful of physical distancing recommendations. We arecontinuing to improve this initiative in response to feedback. In addition, we plan to integrate thisinterdisciplinary model focusing on positive parenting into our in-person sessions when it is appropriate toresume them. Conclusions: By working with all relevant stakeholders, we developed a plan to provide servicesto families living in homeless shelters via a virtual platform that responds to and is flexible to their needs.

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