Today’s TIP News: COVID vaccinations do not increase risk of premature births or unusually small newborns; up-to-date is the new fully vaccinated; and humans have given the gift of COVID to wild deer and it seems to be spreading.
Hello, and welcome to TIP News for Jan. 5, 2022. TIP News is a podcast production of The Immunization Partnership. My name is John David Powell.
In today’s TIP News: COVID vaccinations do not increase risk of premature births or unusually smaller newborns; “up-to-date” is the new “fully vaccinated”; and humans have given the gift of COVID to wild deer, and it seems to be spreading.
We begin today with some good news / not-so-good news for pregnant moms and the COVID vaccines. A new study finds COVID vaccines during pregnancy do not increase the risk of premature births or births of unusually small babies.
Most moms received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, with the vast majority vaccinated during their second or third trimester.
That study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in collaboration with HealthPartners Institute, Kaiser Permanente researchers, and the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute.
An earlier study found vaccination during pregnancy did not lead to a higher risk of miscarriage than for unvaccinated women.
The CDC also tells us that vaccination rates vary widely by community with almost half of all pregnant Asian Americans vaccinated, while only 25 percent of pregnant Latina are vaccinated, and just 15 percent of pregnant Black women.
While you may need a program to keep track of your favorite athletes, seems we all need a dictionary to keep up-to-date, so to speak, with COVID terms. Remember when we used to say folks need to be fully vaccinated. Well, that’s so 2021.
White House chief medical advisor Anthony Fauci says the up-to-date phrase is now up-to-date, not fully vaccinated. Why, you may ask? Because two jobs of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine aren’t enough to protect against the Omicron variant. Fauci says you need a third shot of Pfizer or Moderna or a second J&J jab.
This week, the CDC called for the third Pfizer shot within five months of the first round of two shots. Bloomberg Law reports early studies indicate the Pfizer booster provides a 25-fold increase in neutralizing antibodies that fight the variant while Moderna’s booster produces a 37-fold increase in antibodies. Two doses of the J&J cut hospitalizations in South Africa by 85 percent.
We could see a recommendation today from a CDC advisory panel for a booster for teens.
Texas’ anti-mandator-in-chief, Gov. Greg Abbott, met this week with some of the state’s top folks in public health and epidemiology. Texas Department of State Health Services commissioner Dr. John Hellerstedt told Abbott that Texans must be very aggressive in voluntary preventive measures and staying put when sick. That’s according to a record of the meeting provided by the governor’s office.
Not to be a stranger to irony, Abbott noted the importance of telling the public that COVID vaccines are safe, easily accessible, and reduce the chances of hospitalization and severe disease. But, it seems you can’t mandate good-old common horse sense.
At-home COVID tests are easy to use, if you can find them, and could be paid for by insurance companies. President Joe Biden says this could happen as early as next week. No word from the White House how this will work.
Mr. Biden also says his folks are putting up a website this month with instructions on how you can get an at-home test shipped to your house for free.
Elsewhere, nearly 200 first responders in Dallas have been quarantined after testing positive for COVID amid a surge of Omicron cases. That’s according to The Dallas Morning News.
In Arkansas, Gov. Asa Hutchinson says the state set a record for the numbers of active and new COVID cases: 32,280 active and 6,562 new, for those of you keeping score at home.
Michigan’s first gentleman is sleeping alone these days. Dr. Marc Mallory, tested positive for COVID on Tuesday after experiencing symptoms. His wife, the governor, was negative with a rapid test. She’s waiting for a PCR, and is isolating from her husband.
By the way, Michigan’s first family was fully vaccinated, or we should now say up-to-date, according to a statement from the governor’s office.
Finally today, from our “Oh, deer” department comes word that humans have given COVID to wild deer in a few states, and it looks like the coronavirus is spreading among the deer population. That, from a study published in the journal Nature.
Scientists swabbed the nostrils of white-tailed deer in Ohio and found evidence that humans had spread the coronavirus to deer at least six times. About one-third of the deer sampled had active or recent infections.
NBC News reports similar research in Iowa of tissue from hunted deer and roadkill found widespread evidence of the virus. Another reason not to eat roadkill?
That’s our TIP News for today, Jan. 5, 2022.
TIP News is a podcast 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.