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.
“COVID-19 Vaccination in 12- To 18-Year-Olds: What Does the Science Say?” Boston Children’s Hospital (January 13, 2022) – “With a third 'booster' dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine now authorized for children age 12 and older, you may be wondering about the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination in teens. With months of experience—and recent research––to draw from, we now have more answers. Several recent studies led or co-led by Boston Children’s Hospital researchers find vaccination to be highly effective in preventing both COVID-19 hospitalizations and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C), a rare but potentially serious illness that can follow coronavirus infection. Another study looked at myocarditis, a rare complication of vaccination, and offers reassurance that symptoms are usually mild and short-lived.”
“HPV Vaccines Can Shift Rates of Many Cancers, but Not Just Cervical Cancer” The Medical Progress (January 13, 2022) – “The recent headline news about dramatic reductions in cervical cancer among young women as a result of vaccinating against human papillomavirus (HPV) does not tell the whole story of how vaccination could also have an impact on many other cancer types. It is ‘really important” to understand that “with all that good news about cervical cancer rates dropping dramatically…HPV is also implicated in a wide range of cancers,” Daniel Kelly, RN, PhD, co-Chair of the HPV Action Network of the European Cancer Organisation (ECO), told Medscape Medical News.”
“Virus may infect most, Fauci says, but risk of severe illness ‘very, very low’ for vaccinated” The Washington Post (January 12, 2022) – “Top U.S. infectious-disease expert Anthony S. Fauci on Wednesday reiterated the stark warning that the coronavirus will probably infect most Americans eventually, but added an important caveat: While “virtually everybody is going to wind up getting exposed and likely get infected,” he said, “if you’re vaccinated and if you’re boosted, the chances of you getting sick are very, very low.”
“COVID Vaccines Safely Protect Pregnant People: The Data Are In” Nature (January 12, 2022) – “When the vaccines were first administered to the public in late 2020, little was known about their effect on pregnant people, who hadn’t been represented in the original clinical trials that tested the shots. Although that is standard practice, it left pregnant people grappling with whether getting a jab was the best decision for themselves and their babies. But the data are now solid. They show that the risks of COVID-19 during pregnancy—including maternal death, stillbirth and premature delivery—far outweigh the risks of being vaccinated.”
“COVID-19: mRNA Booster Vaccine Offers Best Protection Against Omicron” Medical News Today (January 12, 2022) – “All viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, constantly change or mutate to form new variants. Mutations of the virus may result in the decline of the variant, while others cause the virus to thrive. Dr. William Schaffner, professor of infectious diseases at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville…explained…‘the vaccines…designed against the original (SARS-CoV-2) strains produce antibodies that…(partially match) the surface structure of the Omicron variant. As a consequence, the protection is not as complete.’”
“United says 3,000 employees have COVID, but its vaccine mandate has saved lives” NPR (January 11, 2022) – “Amid a flurry of flight cancellations, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby offered a window into the staffing challenges employers are facing due to the omicron surge. "We have about 3,000 employees who are currently positive for COVID. Just as an example, in one day alone at Newark, nearly one-third of our workforce called out sick," he wrote in a memo to employees on Tuesday.
“‘People Need to Be Reminded About Flu’” New York Times (January 10, 2022) – “Americans tend to sound cavalier about flu; falsely comparing Covid-19 to flu was a way of dismissing the new virus as no big deal. But deaths from influenza range from 12,000 nationally in an unusually mild year to 60,000 or more in a virulent one. An estimated 75 to 80 percent of flu-related deaths occur in people over 65, principally from pneumonia. Flu also sends hundreds of thousands of Americans to the hospital annually, and evidence is emerging of its association with other serious diseases. Yet vaccination among older Americans, those most apt to accumulate the chronic conditions that can make flu particularly dangerous, has remained stuck at roughly 65 percent in most recent years, leaving millions unprotected.”
“At-Risk Americans Become Eligible for Fourth COVID Shot This Week” WebMD (January 10, 2022) – ‘Some Americans with a weakened immune system who face high risks for severe COVID-19 become eligible this week to receive a fourth dose of a coronavirus vaccine. The CDC endorsed a third dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines for moderately and severely immunocompromised people on Aug. 13, which is considered part of their first immunization series rather than a booster shot.”
“One COVID Vaccine to Rule Them All? What You Need to Know About the Army Vaccine” Cnet (January 9, 2022) – “There's a new COVID-19 vaccine and surprise, it's not from Pfizer, Moderna or any pharmaceutical company. The US Army has announced early results for a vaccine developed by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research that includes defense against the now dominant omicron variant of COVID-19––a strain causing breakthrough infections in people who have received two vaccine shots or more.”
“Campaign Urges Parents to Get Child Vaccine Schedules Back on Track” Fox 4 KDFW (December 23, 2021) – “Forty percent of parents and caregivers say the pandemic kept them from getting their children routine vaccines against illnesses like measles or the flu. As a result, the March of Dimes is launching a national campaign to try to get kids back to doctors for protection against historic illnesses. Some of those illnesses are measles, mumps and influenza. Serese Marotta lost her five-year-old son Joseph to the flu. Jo-Jo got sick on the way home from school and was hospitalized nine days.”
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