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April 7, 2022 Booster Bulletin

The Booster Bulletin: Your Weekly Dose of Immunization News

We’re committed to sharing news and information from local and national media about COVID-19, available vaccines, and immunization-related topics. Each week we’ll continue to review clips from across the U.S., from various news outlets and platforms, and bring you ten timely and relevant links. 

We find ourselves right in the middle of National Public Health Week with is edition of The Booster Bulletin; to learn more about this week, please visit the American Public Health Association’s site-celebrating 150 of Public Health

“Hope on the Horizon for Parents of Young Children Awaiting COVID-19 Vaccine” The Hill (April 5, 2022) – “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, pediatricians have stressed the need to follow the science. That same phrase is repeated often when it comes to COVID-19 vaccine safety and effectiveness for young children. And while this has caused angst for parents of young children at times, the need for data and to ensure safety has been paramount when it comes to vaccinating young children…COVID-19 remains in the top 10 causes of death for children in the U.S. since its onset. Hospitalizations increased sharply for young children during the omicron wave. The bottom line is that if childhood hospitalizations and deaths can be prevented by safe and effective vaccine, then we should make every effort to do so.”

“Could Computer Models Be the Key to Better COVID Vaccines?” Nature (April 5, 2022) – “…This approach to dose selection produced several safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines in record time—which has helped to save millions of lives around the world—but it did not necessarily take full advantage of the vaccines’ pandemic-altering potential, scientists say. Some blame companies’ inexact, educated guesses for a high rate of adverse events connected to many shots, the diminished efficacy of others and several high-profile trial failures, including initial attempts to develop a shot for young children.”

“Could 2022 Be the Endgame for Polio?” Medical Express (April 4, 2022) – “Polio eradication has advanced remarkably, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The limitations on travel and movement during the pandemic contained the spread of poliovirus in endemic countries—Afghanistan and Pakistan…But the impact of the pandemic on health and routine immunization systems might make it more difficult to keep the world polio-free, even after the last case. To avoid recurrence, polio vaccines will have to be administered long after polio is eradicated. The disruption of routine immunization systems due to COVID-19 saw a global drop of about seven percent for two sets of childhood vaccines' estimated coverage in 2020, with eight million more children missing vaccine doses as a result. Ninety percent of 105 countries reported disruptions to immunization services, according to a paper in The Lancet.”

“Black and Hispanic Seniors Are Left with a Less Powerful Flu Vaccine” Washington Post (April 4, 2022) – “At the University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque, meanwhile, Melissa Martinez runs a drive-through clinic providing 10,000 influenza vaccines each year for a community made up largely of Black and Hispanic residents. It’s open to all comers, and they all get the standard vaccine. These different approaches to preventing influenza, a serious threat to the young and old even with the coronavirus that causes covid-19 on the scene, reflect how federal health officials haven’t taken a clear position on whether the high-dose flu vaccine––on the market since 2010––is the best choice for older people. Another factor is cost. While Medicare reimburses both vaccines, the high-dose shot is three times more expensive, and carrying both vaccines for different populations requires additional staffing and logistics.”

“You Want Your Child Vaccinated, but Your Ex Says No” New York Times (April 4, 2022) – “In most cases, whether they have decided to vaccinate now, later or never, doctors say the parents they counsel have agreed with each other. But when they do not, the battle is part of a new pandemic front in divorce custody battles, one that is poised to expand with the imminent approval of vaccines for children under 5. Last month, Moderna announced plans to seek emergency authorization of their coronavirus vaccine for babies and toddlers after seeing promising results in a clinical study.”

“What Should You Know About Vaccine Effectiveness?” The People’s Pharmacy (April 4, 2022) – “At one time, vaccines were not very controversial. In the 1950s, parents were overjoyed to vaccinate their children against polio. I should know. My parents feared I would die because I caught polio when I was a child. I spent weeks immobilized in traction in a polio ward. That was in 1947 and 1948, before there was a polio vaccine. Children were dying all around me of a disease that could not be cured. That experience left lasting scars. That’s why I care a lot about vaccine effectiveness. What do you need to know about various vaccines and how well they work?”

“We Need to Be Developing Vaccines for the Next Pandemic — Right Now” Vox  April 4, 2022) – “…Covid-19 will not be the last disease with the potential to grow into a pandemic. To fight the next one, we need to have a game plan to speed up the search for and deployment of vaccines and treatments. Such a plan would launch research and development efforts targeting pathogens with pandemic potential, stand up an infrastructure to accelerate the testing of candidate vaccines and antivirals, and pump funding into both.”

“CDC Recommends Universal Hepatitis B Vaccinations for Adults” HCP Live (March 31, 2022) – “The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new guidelines for hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination, calling for universal HBV vaccination for all adults aged 19-59 years in the US…‘This is a major step forward that the Hepatitis B Foundation had strongly advocated for over many years,’ said Chari Cohen, DrPH, MPH, senior vice president of the Hepatitis B Foundation, in a statement. ‘These greatly expanded and simplified recommendations will improve access and make it easier to protect millions more Americans from hepatitis B. This will save countless lives and ultimately reduce health care costs.’”

“Those Who Got J&J’s COVID Vaccine Should Seriously Consider a Pfizer or Moderna Booster, Experts Say” USA Today (March 31, 2022) – “More than 16 million Americans rolled up their sleeves last year to get Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine because it promised to be a ‘one and done’ shot. But months after federal officials recommended they get a second shot to be adequately protected, newer information and booster authorizations suggest they should consider a third dose. ‘My recommendation would be for someone who received a J&J dose last year to go ahead and get two doses of (either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) vaccine, especially if the individual is in what we consider a high-risk group,’ said Brian Dixon, an epidemiologist at the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health.”

“Should You Get Another Covid Booster?” The New York Times (March 29, 2022)-The F.D.A. has authorized additional shots for older Americans and those with certain immune deficiencies. Here’s what scientists know about who needs the doses, and when.

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