Vaxx to the Future

Season 2 Episode 14 TIP News in Review for week of Feb. 28, 2022

March 04, 2022 The Immunization Partnership Season 2 Episode 14
Vaxx to the Future
Season 2 Episode 14 TIP News in Review for week of Feb. 28, 2022
Show Notes Transcript

In today’s TIP News in Review: TIP responds to change in mask guidelines; dueling data regarding COVID jabs for kids; and did a Canadian man get COVID from a deer?


Hello, and welcome to TIP News in Review for the week of February 28, 2022. TIP News in Review is a production of The Immunization Partnership. My name is John David Powell. 

In today’s TIP News in Review: TIP responds to change in mask guidelines; dueling data regarding COVID jabs for kids; and did a Canadian man get COVID from a deer? 

Well, let’s start with 

Monday: 

The Biden administration just said no, to masks requirements for fully vaxxed workers. That follows the decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recommend wearing masks indoors only for those folks living in communities with high risk for COVID transmission or hospitalization. That’s about 30 percent of the US population, and around 29.5 percent of the Texas population. So, yeah, about 30 percent. That would be 77 Texas counties for those of you keeping score at home.  

Here at The Immunization Partnership, we appreciate the CDC’s COVID-19 monitoring efforts, and our scientific panel continues to recommend Texans follow all of the latest CDC guidelines regarding masks, vaccinations, and social distancing. We especially urge all who can get vaccinated to get vaccinated. As with so many other vaccines and diseases, experience shows we can prevent serious illness and disease with approved vaccines. Terri Burke, The Immunization Partnership executive director says “Vaccines and masks are effective as a front-line defense against COVID-19. The Immunization Partnership agrees with our local and state public health experts that we should continue to wear masks around individuals who may be at higher risk of contracting the virus.” 

Also Monday, GlaxoSmithKline said it will stop enrollment and vaccination in three trials of its vaccine against RSV in pregnant women. RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, is a leading cause of pneumonia in toddlers and the elderly. This is just the latest in decades of setbacks in the development of an RSV vaccine  

Here’s some information from 

Tuesday: 

You may have heard about long COVID or post-COVID conditions. It’s a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems some folks may experience more than four weeks after coming down with COVID. Well, a study published Tuesday may offer some clues about the cause of long COVID and possible treatment. Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and the National Institutes of Health found many long COVID symptoms may be driven by long-term nerve damage. The researchers cautioned that these are preliminary results from a very small and biased data set, because the 17 patients in the study may have had neurological conditions before COVID. Ten of them had evidence of peripheral neuropathy, which is a general term for damage to the nerves that connect the brain to the outside world. Common symptoms include weakness, pain in feet and hands, and fatigue sensory changes.  

The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, is thinking about recommending a high-dose flu shot for folks 65 and older. This would be a recommendation over other options now available. ACIP recommends all adults get a flu jab, but without stating a preference for a high-dose vaccine over others. The CDC says everyone 6 months and older should get an annual flu vaccine, and especially those 65 and older. That’s because they are at higher risk of serious complications of the flu, such as pneumonia and multi-organ failure. Or as Sweet Brown would say . . . 

(insert ain’t nobody got time for that) 

Folks 65 and older account for up to about 80 percent of flu-related deaths and up to 70 percent of hospitalizations.  

Next up . . . 

Wednesday 

Hump Day became Who Do You Trust Day. On Monday, New York State health officials said the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID vaccine doesn’t prevent infection in kids 5-11 as well as it does with older kids or adults. Now, CDC data show the Pfizer vaccine gave kids 5 and older strong protection against hospitalization and death, even during the Omicron surge. And, the CDC says it is especially effective at blocking milder infections. The CDC says the issue may not be the age of the kids or the size of the dose, but the Omicron variant. Apparently, jabs are not as effective against Omicron as they are against earlier versions of the coronavirus.  

Well, if you watched the State of the Union address Tuesday night, you learned you can get some more of those nifty free at-home COVID tests sent right to your door, or mailbox. If you’re interested, you can order your new set of four tests starting next week.  

We hope the White House is not sending out three tests available around the country, tests the Food and Drug Administration says are not authorized and urges anyone with them not to use them because of the risk of false results. What are they? Since you asked, they are the Celltrion DiaTrust COVID-19 Ag Rapid Test in the bright green and white packaging; ACON Laboratories Flowflex SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test (Self-Testing) that comes in a dark blue box; and the SD Biosensor Inc. STANDARD Q COVID-19 Ag Home Test in the white and magenta box. Each company has issued recalls. 

(insert teletype) 

Sounds like we have another message on the old teletype. It’s a reminder that The Immunization Partnership is the only statewide non-profit organization in Texas dedicated solely to providing immunization education and advocacy. One way is through our Building Coalitions across Texas, or BCaT. This project fosters the incubation, growth, and development of coalitions to improve local and state immunization policies and services. TIP provides technical assistance and consultation services for 10 city or county immunization coalitions in El Paso, Houston, Lubbock, McAllen, Midland, San Antonio, and Tyler, and Andrews, Gregg, Smith, and Tarrant counties. If you would like to connect with any of the coalition chairs, you can contact Katy Gore at kgore@immunizeUSA.org. She’d love to hear from you. 

And that brings us to . . . 

Thursday 

You probably have heard that the number of kids getting their recommended vaccinations dropped during the COVID pandemic. Now we have data to support that. Eight health systems that feed into a federal database confirm that in 2020, substantially fewer school-age kids and teens got their combined measles, mumps, rubella, or MMR vaccine and those for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis, rotovirus, and Haemophilus influenzae. The CDC estimated in the middle of last year that US kids and teens got nearly 12 million fewer vaccine doses. An analysis by Georgetown University Center for Children and Families showed Black kids and those in low-earning families were most likely to have missed their shots. Kids aren’t the only ones. Michigan researchers found adults there missed out on tetanus, shingles, and pneumonia vaccines. And it’s not just in the US. Data show 30 million kids around the world missed their diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus shots in 2020 and more than 27 million missed their measles shots. It’s never too late to get your kids up-dated with their vaccinations, until it is too late. That reporting from Wired. 

Pfizer says its RSV vaccine candidate received FDA Breakthrough Therapy Designation for prevention of RSV-associated lower respiratory tract illness in infants from birth to six months of age by active immunization of pregnant women. Breakthrough Therapy Designation speeds up the development and review of drugs and vaccines intended to treat or prevent serious conditions where preliminary clinical evidence indicates the drug or vaccine may demonstrate substantial improvement over available therapy on a clinically significant endpoint. Pfizer will have more data later. 

And we end the week with . . . 

Friday. 

(insert oh dear clip) 

Oh, dear is right, but that’s deer, as in the critter. Canadian researchers say they found a new coronavirus variant in a white-tailed deer similar to a strand found in a human who had contact with a deer. That study in a bioRxiv database said 17 of the 300 white-tailed deer samples from Ontario tested positive for COVID, and the person infected with the strain lived in the same area in southwest Ontario. But the scientists say this just shows the possibility of deer to human transfer, and that the infected man may have been an isolated case.  

(add something completely different clip) 

We hope you'll join us for our 13th Annual Community Immunity Luncheon on April 6, 2022.  

This will be our first in-person annual luncheon in two years, and we’re excited about the opportunity to see all of our friends and supporters in person. But, if you can’t make it to Houston that day, you can still join us online. That’s right, we’re providing a live-stream of the luncheon available to anyone and everyone around Texas and the world. Well, as long as you have access to Web.  

Dr. Jason V. Terk with Cook Children’s Physician Network in Keller, Texas, will receive the Ralph D. Feigin, MD Award for Excellence, and H-E-B will receive the John R. Boettiger, Jr. Award for Community Partnership. We also will honor Venus Ginés with our first Community Immunization Champion Award. She is the CEO and Founder of Dia de la Mujer Latina. 

Dr. Brendan Borrell is our keynote speaker. He’s a Los Angeles-based journalist and author who grew up in Texas. He’s the author of The First Shots: The Epic Rivalries and Heroic Science Behind the Race to the Coronavirus Vaccines, a behind-the-scenes look into how we got today’s COVID vaccines.  

You can make your reservation and get more information at immunizeusa.org/getinvolved. That’s one word: getinvolved. 

That’s our TIP News in Review for today, March 4, 2022, for the week of Feb. 28. 

TIP News in Review is a production of The Immunization Partnership. We invite you to subscribe to our podcasts, Vaxx Voice, which deals with vaccines in general, and Vaxx to the Future, where we feature information specifically related to COVID-19 and its vaccines. You can follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube. You can also find more information on our webpage, immunizeusa.org. For all of us at The Immunization Partnership, I’m John David Powell. Thanks for listening.