Recent News

Nation’s Leading Vaccine Authorities Urge Thorough Review of Safety and Efficacy of COVID-19 Vaccines

Aug 04 2020

WASHINGTON--COVID-19 vaccines should be made widely available only after the Food and Drug Administration has been able to evaluate safety and efficacy data from completed Phase 3 clinical trials, according to the nation’s leading vaccine authorities. Four hundred seventeen experts in virology, epidemiology, vaccinology, clinical care, and public health are calling on FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn to ensure a thorough, transparent process that will give experts and the general public alike reassurance that the candidate vaccines are safe and effective.

Source: CSPINET

Novavax’s Covid-19 vaccine shows promising immune response, early data show

Aug 04 2020

A potential Covid-19 vaccine from the biotech company Novavax showed a promising immune response in a small, early trial, but not without a high rate of mostly mild side effects. The results, published Tuesday, are the latest encouraging sign in the global effort to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, which has killed nearly 700,000 people around the world. But the Novavax data, much like results recently published by Moderna and AstraZeneca, are too preliminary to draw any conclusions about how well the vaccine might protect against Covid-19, experts said.

Source: Stat News

Who's first in line for a COVID-19 vaccine? The debate begins

Aug 04 2020

Who gets to be first in line for a COVID-19 vaccine? U.S. health authorities hope by late next month to have some draft guidance on how to ration initial doses, but it’s a vexing decision. “Not everybody’s going to like the answer,” Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, recently told one of the advisory groups the government asked to help decide. “There will be many people who feel that they should have been at the top of the list.”

Source: NBC News

2020 Flu Shot Strategy: Get Yours Early In The Season

Aug 04 2020

Get set for 2020's mega-campaign against the flu amid the COVID-19 pandemic: immunization drives in the parking lots of churches and supermarkets, curbside inoculations outside doctors' offices, socially distanced vaccine appointments held indoors, with breaks in between for disinfecting. These are just some of the ways heath providers say they will give tens of millions of flu shots this fall — arguably the most important U.S. effort to prevent influenza's spread among Americans in a century.

Source: NPR

Getting a coronavirus vaccine in record time is hard. Distributing it to tens of millions may be equally daunting.

Aug 03 2020

With the Trump administration aiming to deliver 300 million doses of vaccine against the coronavirus as early as January, state officials and health experts say they remain in the dark about key details and, therefore, are inadequately prepared for what is expected to be the largest single vaccination campaign ever undertaken. Getting shots into the arms of millions of Americans is a massive undertaking, they say, requiring extraordinary coordination, planning and communication. But with only six months to the government’s target date for approving a vaccine, the administration has shared limited and often confusing information about its plans for distribution, making it difficult for overwhelmed state and local officials, including those who run immunization programs, to prepare.

Source: Washington Post

Former HHS Officials Explore Vaccine Hesitancy in Black Community

Aug 03 2020

Past and present U.S. Surgeons General, speaking at the National Medical Association's virtual annual convention, said vaccine hesitancy in the Black community could worsen the disparate impact of COVID-19. Current Surgeon General Jerome Adams, MD, MPH, who moderated the online discussion Saturday, said he believes that a COVID-19 vaccine will be ready by the end of this year or early next. "But a safe and effective vaccine means nothing if people don't actually get vaccinated," Adams said.

Source: Med Page Today

U.S. lacks plan for getting vaccine to communities of color devastated by virus

Aug 03 2020

The United States is mounting the largest vaccination effort in its history — without a plan on how to reach racial and ethnic groups that have not only been devastated by the virus but are often skeptical about government outreach in their communities. For decades, communities of color have been underrepresented in clinical trials, faced greater barriers to getting vaccinated and harbored deeper distrust of a health care system that’s often overlooked or even harmed them. But now, the large-scale effort to defeat the virus depends not just on developing a safe and effective vaccine, but ensuring it reaches all corners of America.

Source: Politico

How To Increase Flu Vaccination During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Aug 03 2020

What disease are you most concerned about catching this fall? Probably not the flu. More likely, COVID-19 is foremost on your mind. But flu season is right around the corner. While not as deadly or transmissible as COVID-19, influenza still sends at least 100,000 people to the hospital each year. Imagine outbreaks of COVID-19 and influenza simultaneously competing for health care resources this fall. This likely scenario raises the stakes of the annual struggle to increase flu shot uptake.

Source: Health Affairs

COVID-19 and the flu: Avoiding the double whammy

Aug 01 2020

The news is filled with reports of overwhelmed health care providers, ventilators at capacity, and hospitals in crisis mode due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. As we look ahead just a couple months, we could be facing a far more grim scene when COVID-19 and influenza are both circulating in our communities. Data released last month showed patients co-infected with influenza B and COVID-19 have a higher risk of poor health outcomes. At present, we do not have a COVID-19 vaccine, and yet we have one of the most effective tools to prevent another deadly respiratory disease: influenza (flu). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the annual disease burden of influenza in the U.S. has ranged from 12,000 to 61,000 deaths, 140,000 to 810,000 hospitalizations, and 9,300,000 to 45,000,000 illnesses. Since 2004, close to 2,000 children in the U.S. have lost their lives to flu and flu-related complications. Sadly, due to reporting limitations, that number is likely an under-representation of the true pediatric burden.

Source: The Hill