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Fall Boosters ACIP Meeting: Cliff notes
Fall Boosters ACIP Meeting: Cliff notes
Today ACIP— the external advisory committee to the CDC— met to discuss the bivalent fall boosters in the United States. This committee’s main purpose is to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of vaccines as well as policy recommendations for dissemination (who should get one and when).
·yourlocalepidemiologist.substack.com·
Fall Boosters ACIP Meeting: Cliff notes
U.S. life expectancy drops sharply, the second consecutive decline
U.S. life expectancy drops sharply, the second consecutive decline
Americans born in 2021 can expect to live for just 76.1 years — the lowest life expectancy has been since 1996, according to a new analysis. It's the biggest two-year decline in almost 100 years.
·statnews.com·
U.S. life expectancy drops sharply, the second consecutive decline
Texas reports death tied to monkeypox, a first in the U.S.
Texas reports death tied to monkeypox, a first in the U.S.
Texas health officials on Tuesday reported the death of a person with monkeypox — what appears to be the first fatal case in the United States during the unprecedented global outbreak of the virus.
·statnews.com·
Texas reports death tied to monkeypox, a first in the U.S.
Fall boosters: An update
Fall boosters: An update
Fall COVID-19 boosters will be available soon. This is a notable shift in the pandemic response, as we’ve been using the same vaccine formula throughout the pandemic—one created in early 2020 to fight against the original Wuhan variant. The FDA and CDC (and their external scientific advisory committees)
·yourlocalepidemiologist.substack.com·
Fall boosters: An update
Anthony Fauci to step down as nation's top infectious disease official
Anthony Fauci to step down as nation's top infectious disease official
Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious diseases official for decades and a leading researcher on crises from HIV to Covid-19, announced Monday that he would be stepping down from his positions in December.
·statnews.com·
Anthony Fauci to step down as nation's top infectious disease official
Impact of Lifting School Masking Requirements on Incidence of COVID-19 among Staff and Students in Greater-Boston Area School Districts: A Difference-in-Differences Analysis
Impact of Lifting School Masking Requirements on Incidence of COVID-19 among Staff and Students in Greater-Boston Area School Districts: A Difference-in-Differences Analysis
Background In February 2022, following the rescinding of a Massachusetts statewide school masking mandate, only two cities (Boston and neighboring Chelsea) out of 79 school districts in the greater-Boston area, maintained masking requirements in K-12 schools. This provided an opportunity to examine the impact of removing masking on COVID-19 case rates among students and staff in the public-school setting. Methods We used difference-in-differences for staggered policy adoption to compare incidence of COVID-19 cases among students and staff in greater-Boston area school districts that lifted masking requirements to those that had not yet lifted masking requirements during the 2021-2022 school year. Results Before the statewide school masking policy was lifted, there was no statistically significant difference in case rate trajectories between school districts. However, weekly and cumulative case rates were significantly higher in students and staff in school districts that removed masking requirements, compared to districts that had not yet lifted requirements. We estimate that lifting of school masking requirements was associated with an additional 44.9 (95% CI: 32.6, 57.1) COVID-19 cases per 1,000 students and staff over the 15 weeks since the lifting of the statewide school masking requirement, representing nearly 30% of all cases observed in schools during that time. School districts that sustained masking requirements for longer periods tended to have older school buildings in poorer condition, more crowded classrooms, higher proportion of low income and English learning students and students with disabilities, and a higher proportion of Black and Latinx students and staff. Conclusions Masking is a relatively low-cost but effective intervention that can protect students and staff from substantial illness and loss of in-person days in school. Despite compelling evidence that masking significantly reduces the spread of SARS-CoV-2, political will and public adherence to masking has waned. Our study confirms that universal masking requirements can benefit all students and staff, and therefore represents an important strategy to mitigate the impacts of structural racism, ensure health equity, and to avoid potential deepening of educational inequities. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest. ### Funding Statement This study did not receive any external funding. ### Author Declarations I confirm all relevant ethical guidelines have been followed, and any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained. Yes I confirm that all necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived, and that any patient/participant/sample identifiers included were not known to anyone (e.g., hospital staff, patients or participants themselves) outside the research group so cannot be used to identify individuals. Yes I understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as ClinicalTrials.gov. I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance). Yes I have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable. Yes All data utilized in this study are publicly available through the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (https://www.doe.mass.edu/covid19/positive-cases/default.html#weekly-report); Massachusetts Department of Public Health (https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-response-reporting); and the Massachusetts School Building Authority (https://www.massschoolbuildings.org/programs/school_survey)
·medrxiv.org·
Impact of Lifting School Masking Requirements on Incidence of COVID-19 among Staff and Students in Greater-Boston Area School Districts: A Difference-in-Differences Analysis
Wastewater monitoring identifies polioviruses in New York City
Wastewater monitoring identifies polioviruses in New York City
New York State health authorities announced Friday that polioviruses have been found in wastewater from New York City, further amplifying the geographic range at risk of seeing polio cases in the state.
·statnews.com·
Wastewater monitoring identifies polioviruses in New York City
How effective are MPX vaccines?
How effective are MPX vaccines?
Vaccines will help control the monkeypox (MPX) outbreak. The bad news is that we desperately need more doses. And we don’t know how much the vaccines help and in what manner they help (prevention, duration of disease, severity of disease). This information is absolutely essential so people know how well they are protected and what behaviors they should (or should not) change. This information will also have major implications for controlling the outbreak worldwide.
·yourlocalepidemiologist.substack.com·
How effective are MPX vaccines?
A plan for the upcoming school year
A plan for the upcoming school year
School is starting. And, with it, the contentious debate on what schools should and should not do. While the pandemic ravages on, the landscape continues to morph, and because of that, every subsequent school year has looked very different (hopefully for the better).
·yourlocalepidemiologist.substack.com·
A plan for the upcoming school year
Why the Chair of the Lancet’s COVID-19 Commission Thinks The US Government Is Preventing a Real Investigation Into the Pandemic ❧ Current Affairs
Why the Chair of the Lancet’s COVID-19 Commission Thinks The US Government Is Preventing a Real Investigation Into the Pandemic ❧ Current Affairs
pProf. Jeffrey Sachs says he is “pretty convinced [COVID-19] came out of US lab biotechnology” and warns that there is dangerous virus research taking place without public oversight. /p
·currentaffairs.org·
Why the Chair of the Lancet’s COVID-19 Commission Thinks The US Government Is Preventing a Real Investigation Into the Pandemic ❧ Current Affairs
U.S. declares monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency
U.S. declares monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency
The Biden administration declared the ongoing monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency on Thursday, a move that comes amid growing case counts and widening concern over the virus.
·statnews.com·
U.S. declares monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency
Millions of Americans have long COVID. Many of them are no longer working
Millions of Americans have long COVID. Many of them are no longer working
An estimated 4 million workers in the U.S. are struggling to work due to debilitating symptoms from long COVID. The government is urging employers to provide accommodations to keep them on the job.
·npr.org·
Millions of Americans have long COVID. Many of them are no longer working
The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan was the early epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic
The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan was the early epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic
Understanding how severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged in 2019 is critical to preventing zoonotic outbreaks before they become the next pandemic. The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan, China, was identified as a ...
·science.org·
The Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in Wuhan was the early epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic
It's the virus, stupid.
It's the virus, stupid.
When the vaccines were first introduced in December 2020, the virus they were designed against was altogether different from what it is today. SARS-CoV-2 had little substantive functional evolution from late 2019 until we saw the Alpha variant in the first months of 2021. It was, in retrospect, an easy target with a fraction of the immune escape and transmissibility that we are dealing with now. Had the virus not subsequently evolved so profoundly, its containment would have been straightforward and we wouldn’t be talking about a pandemic right now in the present tense. Breakthrough and reinfections wouldn’t be commonplace. Population-level (“herd”) immunity would have been possible. The 95% efficacy of the mRNA vaccines against symptomatic infections, hospitalizations and deaths, exhibited waning in latter half of 2021, during the Delta wave, but was fully restored with a 3rd shot. Reinfections were less than 1%. We were prevailing over the virus.
·erictopol.substack.com·
It's the virus, stupid.
Novavax is here! Just not the silver bullet we need
Novavax is here! Just not the silver bullet we need
Yesterday, ACIP—CDC’s external scientific advisory board—unanimously voted to authorize the Novavax vaccine (called NVX-CoV2373) in the U.S. This was big news for the small, underdog Maryland company who had a long road to authorization. After rigorous clinical trials, FDA and CDC scientific meetings, and more than
·yourlocalepidemiologist.substack.com·
Novavax is here! Just not the silver bullet we need