US regulators advised manufacturers last week to update the Covid-19 vaccine in time for the fall booster program with new formulas that would better protect against the more infectious Omicron subvariants, which are dominating coronavirus transmissions in the United States.
“We have advised manufacturers seeking to update their COVID-19 vaccines that they should develop modified vaccines that add an omicron BA.4/5 spike protein component to the current vaccine composition… so that the modified vaccines can potentially be used starting in early to mid-fall 2022,” Dr. Peter Marks, director of the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said last Thursday. The FDA has not advised manufacturers to change the primary vaccine for those who still have not gotten the Covid-19 vaccination.
On the same day, the Biden administration announced that it had agreed to purchase 105 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine for delivery later this year. “This may include adult Omicron-adapted Covid-19 vaccines, subject to authorization,” Pfizer said in a statement.
In the meantime, vaccine makers Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax have already been testing updated versions of their vaccines, including some bivalent vaccines that target Omicron variants.
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Q: Can the Covid-19 vaccine be taken alongside other childhood immunizations?
“A different injection site is used — for example, the Covid-19 shot in one leg and another vaccine in another leg,” she says, but she stresses the importance of children being “up to date with other immunizations to prevent other infectious diseases.”
If they aren’t, she suggests checking with your pediatrician to see if they are due for other vaccines, too. As a mother of two children under five, Wen got her kids vaccinated as soon as they were able to be, and said the experience was akin to any vaccination appointment.
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North Korea claims Covid outbreak is from ‘unusual items’ near South Korean border
International NGOs and most foreign embassies have long vacated the country and tightly sealed borders mean access is impossible.
The impoverished nation publicly acknowledged the virus had breached its borders for the first time in May. At the time, its leader, Kim Jong Un, described the outbreak as the “greatest turmoil” ever to befall the country. Two months and millions of suspected cases later, he claimed a “shining success” in stopping the disease in its tracks.
Fauci says his Covid rebounded after Paxlovid
Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, recently revealed he is experiencing a rebound of his Covid-19 infection after taking the antiviral medication Paxlovid. So far, Paxlovid rebound cases have been limited to small studies and experiences shared on social media.
After five days on the drug, he tested negative. He had three consecutive days of negative tests. On the fourth day he tested positive again — only, this time, his symptoms were worse, experiencing what people call a “Paxlovid rebound,” Fauci said.
Pfizer — the company that makes Paxlovid — has said its studies show rebounds are rare and happen with both people who took the drug and those who took a placebo pill. Because of this variation, the company doesn’t believe the rebound is tied to the drug.
A 14-year-old tiger died after contracting Covid in an Ohio zoo
A tiger at an Ohio zoo died of health complications caused by Covid-19, officials said last week.
Earlier this year, an 11-year-old snow leopard at Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington, Illinois died after contracting the virus. The leopard, Rilu, also developed pneumonia before death, zoo officials said.
Vitamin D is not a cure-all
Last week, the journal BMJ Case Reports published a paper about a British man who was hospitalized after overdosing on vitamin D.
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