Based on the Centers for Disease Control’s COVID Data tracker, the FEHBlog offers his 2021 chart of new weekly COVID cases using Wednesday as the last day of week:
Here is a link to the CDC’s chart of weekly new COVID hospitalizations which also is trending down:
The FEHBlog also offers his 2021 chart of new weekly COVID deaths, a lagging indicator, that at worst has plateaued for now.
Finally the FEHBlog offers his chart of new weekly COVID vaccinations distributed and administered over 51st week of 2020 through the 41st week of 2021 which end last Wednesday October 13.
As of today, 66.5% of vaccination eligible Americans (age 12 and older) and 84.3% of Americans over age 65 are fully vaccinated. Moreover, 13.4% of the over age 65 cadre have received a booster.
Here is a link to the CDC’s weekly interpretation of current COVID statistics. Also today the HHS Secretary renewed the COVID national public health emergency for another 90 days into January 2022, and the CDC issued its first FluView for the current flu season – “Seasonal influenza activity in the United States remains low.”
Also from the Delta variant front, AHIP informs us
Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) voted to unanimously (19-0) endorse emergency use authorization for an additional, booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine for adults 18 and older at least 2 months after the primary single-dose vaccine.
The Committee discussed the sustained durability and vaccine effectiveness (VE) of the single-dose J&J vaccine against severe disease and hospitalization. Data from J&J demonstrated that an additional dose of the J&J vaccine given at 2-6 months following the primary dose was safe, well-tolerated, and could increase protection against symptomatic COVID-19.
The Advisory Committee additionally reviewed data from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on the use of heterologous booster doses following a primary series of the currently authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccines, e.g. administering an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine to recipients of the J&J adenoviral-based COVID-19 vaccine. Heterologous boosters proved to be more effective at boosting antibody titers in study participants than homologous boosters, though the response differed depending on formulation of the primary series and booster. It should be noted, though, that the NIH study was not designed to compare across boosters, as the study did not control for patient characteristics across booster options, among other factors.
The American Medical Association (AMA) has not yet announced updates to the Current Procedural Terminology® (CPT) COVID-19 vaccine and vaccine administration code set to account for authorization of the Johnson & Johnson additional dose. AHIP will keep members apprised of coding developments as they are announced via the AMA’s CPT COVID-19 landing page.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) will meet to discuss recommending the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine boosters on October 20-21.
For an insightful perspective on the FDA Advisory Committee’s work, check out David Leonhardt’s column in today’s New York Times. He accurately predicted that Committee would punt on the booster mix and match question.
The Wall Street Journal reports
The Food and Drug Administration is delaying a decision on authorizing ModernaInc.’s MRNA -2.31% Covid-19 vaccine for adolescents to assess whether the shot may lead to heightened risk of a rare inflammatory heart condition, according to people familiar with the matter.
After four Nordic countries strengthened their stances against giving Moderna vaccines to younger adults last week, the FDA has been taking another look at the risk of the condition, known as myocarditis, among younger men who took Moderna’s vaccine, especially compared with those who received the vaccine from Pfizer Inc. PFE -0.43% and BioNTech SE, BNTX -1.06% the people said.
So far, the regulators haven’t determined whether there is an elevated risk, the people said. The delay could be several weeks, but the timing is unclear, one of the people said.