FDA advisors recommend vaccinating children under 5 against COVID
Advisors to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are unanimously recommending that the COVID-19 vaccine be made available to children ages 6 months through 4 years of age. Moderna’s vaccine is currently recommended in two doses spaced four weeks apart, though there was discussion of eventually needing a third dose. Now it’ll be up to the FDA to determine whether to expand authorization of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines to the younger populations. Dr. Ofer Levy, a voting member, said he was pleased to reach the milestone, nearly 18 months after the first approval of a COVID-19 vaccine for older populations. The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 isn’t as high in children as it is in older individuals, however more than 200 children have died from their infections, according to the FDA.mlive.com
University of Michigan infectious disease experts to host virtual discussion on COVID-19 vaccines
ANN ARBOR – Now that the vaccination effort against COVID-19 is ramping up, what will the weeks and months ahead look like? This is what infectious disease experts from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Michigan Medicine will be discussing on a virtual panel on COVID-19 vaccines on April 8 from 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. The event will be moderated by Dr. Emily Martin, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Panelists include:Dr. Arnold Monto, Professor of Epidemiology, University of Michigan School of Public HealthDr. Sandro Cinti, Clinical Professor of Infectious Diseases, Michigan Medicine and Ann Arbor VA Health SystemDr. Laraine Washer, Clinical Associate Professor of Infectious Diseases, Michigan MedicineRelated reading:
University of Michigan study suggests COVID-19 won't completely disappear
ANN ARBOR – New research from the University of Michigan shows that reinfections of seasonal coronaviruses are common, suggesting that the virus behind COVID-19 could be endemic. “The frequency of reinfections with the different seasonal coronaviruses suggests that SARS-COV-2 is not going to completely disappear.”AdThe researchers used data on 3,418 individuals from the Household Influenza Vaccine Evaluation from the years 2010-2018. Upon evaluating the data, the team found 1,004 seasonal coronavirus infections. Additionally, 27 percent of the reinfections occurred within one year of the initial infection, which researchers say is a relatively short period of time given the virus’ seasonal nature. “In our study, participants had high levels of anti-spike protein binding antibody to seasonal coronaviruses, but these antibodies did not correlate with protection from infection,” Petrie said in a release.
What happened to flu season amid COVID pandemic?
After fears about a twindemic -- with the coronavirus pandemic taking place during flu season -- the flu has virtually disappeared altogether this year. In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic began during flu season, which created an added challenge for doctors and hospitals. But this year, he says that the University Hospital hasn’t seen any cases of the flu this entire winter season. Related: Nearly 2.4 million Michigan residents have received flu vaccine this season (Nov. 2020)AdThe Michigan Health Department labs have reported only five positive flu tests this entire flu season. More: Amid COVID-19 pandemic, flu has disappeared in the US
U-M epidemiologist who led COVID-19 committee reflects on success of vaccines
Local 4 asked Monto to reflect on the vaccines’ success and asked what’s next. READ: 1 year into COVID: What we wish we’d knownAdThe original goal of the COVID-19 vaccines was to be at least 50 to 60 percent effective. He said the biggest challenge facing the FDA’s Vaccine Advisory Committee has not been evaluating the actual vaccines, but rather, not being able to gather in-person to do it. Monto said there will be more vaccines coming before the advisory committee for their consideration. He said they may also be called to examine the data on how the vaccines perform in children, once those trials are finished.
The key factors that determine how year 2 of COVID will go
READ: Michigan residents 50+ with chronic conditions now eligible to receive COVID vaccineHowever, there are several key factors that could determine the path the next year could take. More U.S. residents are getting vaccinated at the rate of about 2 million doses daily. If this continues, 70% of the U.S. population could be fully vaccinated by the end of July and 85% by mid-September. “You want to do it gradually and see what the effects are.”READ: 1 year into COVID: What we wish we’d knownOther factors include how long the vaccine’s protection will last and if there are variants that current vaccines won’t be effective against. Vaccine trials are underway in older children, but a vaccine likely won’t be authorized until the fall at the earliest for those 12+.
1 year into COVID: What we wish we’d known
The first confirmed coronavirus cases in Michigan were announced March 10, 2020. READ: First 2 cases of coronavirus confirmed in Michigan: What we know, don’t knowIn the last 365 days, Michigan has seen nearly 600,000 confirmed cases and 16,000 COVID-related deaths. READ: 1 year into COVID, what would you go back and tell yourself? Experts estimate that about half of all COVID cases are spread by people who are asymptomatic or presymptomatic. Most expects expected COVID to subside as the we entered warmer weather, but instead there were summer surges in many parts of the country.
Amid COVID-19 pandemic, flu has disappeared in the US
February is usually the peak of flu season, with doctors' offices and hospitals packed with suffering patients. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)NEW YORK – February is usually the peak of flu season, with doctors' offices and hospitals packed with suffering patients. One pediatric flu death has been reported so far this season, compared with 92 reported at the same point in last year’s flu season. Nevertheless, many labs are using a CDC-developed “multiplex test” that checks specimens for both the coronavirus and flu, Brammer said. That also is challenging the planning of next season's flu vaccine.
Flashpoint 2/7/21: SOS puts forth her prescription for strengthening Michigan’s elections
DETROIT – A million vaccines have been distributed in Michigan, which sounds like a lot, until you realize it isn’t nearly enough. On Sunday’s episode we turned to one of the leading authorities on vaccines. Dr. Arnold Monto, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health spoke about where we stand on vaccine distribution. And Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson puts forth her prescription for strengthening Michigan’s elections. The state leader spoke about the issue more on Sunday.
States lift restrictions gradually amid fears of new variant
Several states are loosening their coronavirus restrictions on restaurants and other businesses because of improved infection and hospitalization numbers but are moving cautiously. Gretchen Whitmer said bars and restaurants can welcome indoor customers next week for the first time in 2 1/2 months. Chicago and surrounding suburbs allowed indoor dining over the weekend for the first time since October. "But we won’t be hemorrhaging money like we have the last three months.”Washington, D.C., also recently ended its monthlong ban on indoor dining, but one in New York City remains in effect. Indoor dining is still banned in the hardest-hit counties.
Michigan readies for impact of new COVID strain
These infectious disease guardians — scientists at the Michigan Bureau of Laboratories who do whole genome sequencing of COVID- 19 test samples — clanged the warning bells on Saturday. The Washtenaw County woman and her close contacts are now all in quarantine, state health officials say. Some states surge, Michigan keeps watchSo far, the UK strain of the virus has been identified in at least 16 other states. And cases of the B.1.1.7 variant have been detected across many other European countries, leading to curfews in France and extended school closures in Germany. He said state public health leaders will have to watch to see whether the B.1.1.7 variant gains a foothold here.monroenews.com
FDA advisory panel endorses second COVID-19 vaccine
The federal offices previously approved Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine within three days of receiving the recommendation from the FDA’s advisory committee. Of the trial participants who reported getting COVID-19, there were 11 in the vaccine group and 185 in the placebo group. As for severe cases of COVID-19, there were 30 in the placebo group -- including one death -- and none in the vaccine group. One report was in the placebo group, while the other, who was in the vaccine group, has a history of allergy to shellfish and reported the reaction 63 days after the second dose. Thursday’s advisory committee meeting was streamed live on Youtube, and a 167-page FDA briefing document is available through the FDA website, here.mlive.com
FDA Vaccine Advisory chair answers questions about COVID vaccine
University of Michigan’s Dr. Arnold Monto, a world-renowned expert in infectious disease prevention and vaccine effectiveness, held a Q&A on the Pfizer vaccine and emergency use authorization. Monto, chair of the FDA Vaccine Advisory Committee, hosted an online chat Wednesday to reassure people that the speed in Operation Warp Speed is due to advances in science and large monetary contributions, not shortcuts in safety. Those large studies have given the FDA a lot of data on the vaccines. “This is one of the major success stories of the response to the pandemic,” Monto said. “There may need to be further studies in children.”Will Monto get a vaccine if he’s authorized?
Key questions to ask about COVID vaccine
“For total transparency, it’s going to be on YouTube,” said Dr. Arnold Monto, acting chair of the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. That’s important to know, said the University of Michigan’s chief health officer Dr. Preeti Malani. Review: CDC’s frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccinationAre the experts you trust getting the vaccine? The bottom line: I hope everyone will listen, learn and ask the questions you need to ask to make an educated decision about the vaccine. Related: Will Michiganders be willing to get COVID-19 vaccine?
Details on when COVID-19 vaccine could be made public for use
New TodayBefore any COVID-19 vaccines can be rolled out to the public they have to be granted an emergency use authorization by the US Food and Drug Administration. Doctor Arnold Monto, a world class epidemiologist from the University of Michigan School of Public Health will lead the vaccine advisory committee. In terms of where the vaccine will go first in Michigan, those details are still being finalized. The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 320,506 as of Tuesday, including 8,688 deaths, state officials report. READ: 97 takeaways from epidemiologist’s deep-dive into Michigan COVID-19 spread, deaths, future outlookNew COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise in Michigan.
University of Michigan epidemiologist leads FDA COVID vaccine advisory committee
ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Pfizer and BioNTech submitted their COVID-19 vaccine to the FDA to be considered for an emergency-use authorization Friday. In 2018, he showed Local 4 his “Flu Lab” at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. Monto will lead the committee that will advise the FDA on whether or not to grant an emergency-use authorization for any coronavirus vaccines. RELATED: Local 4 assignment editor shares experience with COVID-19 vaccine trialThe FDA is not required to follow the recommendation of its advisory committee, but it typically does. “It’s an intellectual pressure, not a political pressure,” Monto said.
Why Michigans 100,000+ COVID-19 cases isnt as scary as it sounds
DETROIT The state of Michigans COVID-19 confirmed case numbers hit a major milestone Friday, breaking 100,000 confirmed cases across the state. As of Aug. 28, 2020, Michigan has 100,699 confirmed cases. The state also lists probably cases at 10,385, bringing Michigans total to just over 111,000 cases. The confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the state is 6,446 with 266 probable deaths, being about 6% of all cases. 100,000 cases is an important benchmark because it does show how real and broad the pandemic is, but beyond being a sad statistic, it doesnt mean as much to me as cases per million population, McGeorge said.
A 'second wave' of coronavirus cases? Not yet, experts say
What's all this talk about a second wave of U.S. coronavirus cases? In The Wall Street Journal last week, Vice President Mike Pence wrote in a piece headlined There Isnt a Coronavirus Second Wave'" that the nation is winning the fight against the virus. But there is at least one point of agreement: Second wave is probably the wrong term to describe what's happening. When you have 20,000-plus infections per day, how can you talk about a second wave?" But in those cases, the second wave is a distinct new surge in cases from a strain of flu that is different than the strain that caused earlier illnesses.
This Swiss cheese analogy can help protect you from the coronavirus (COVID-19)
DETROIT Can a stack of Swiss cheese help protect you from the coronavirus (COVID-19)? Public health officials said the Swiss cheese approach to reducing the risk of being infected can help keep people safe. Thats where Swiss cheese comes in. Each intervention that we currently have for COVID-19 prevention is kind of like a slice of Swiss cheese, Malosh said. The more layers of Swiss cheese you have, the less likely a hole shows all the way through.