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Tens of thousands of veterans battling long COVID

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Tens of thousands of veterans battling long-term COVID, government reports

A government report estimates that about 24,000 to 42,000 veterans in the US suffer from persistent medical problems associated with a coronavirus infection and urges healthcare workers to better monitor patients for signs of COVID dragged on. The Department of Veterans Affairs issued a report on Tuesday describing the wide range of signs and symptoms associated with post-infection complications. He also said the number affected could be “much higher, as the VA has more than 6 million veterans in care.” More than 615,000 veterans connected to the VA health care system had confirmed COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to Military Times. More than 22,000 have died from complications related to the disease, with about 5,000 deaths in 2022 alone. “VA research has led to key findings about long-term COVID, including that patients who recovered from COVID-19 had significantly more odds of having heart and blood vessel disease one year after infection; patients who contracted COVID-19 had a 60% increased risk of mental health problems one year after recovery; and more,” department officials said in a statement about Tuesday’s report.

Pfizer plans to offer an updated booster for children ages 5 to 11 in October

Pfizer and BioNTech plan to submit an application for an omicron-adapted bivalent vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 to the FDA in early October, the companies said in a press release to investors on Wednesday. They are also working with the agency to prepare an application for a bivalent vaccine in children 6 months to 4 years of age. The companies praised the FDA’s authorization of targeted booster doses of the omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants for adults in the memo. “As we head into the fall and winter season, with the potential for further spread of SARS-CoV-2 in schools and work, it is important to stay up-to-date on vaccinations as the first line of defense against the disease. of COVID-19. ”, said Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, in a statement. “We are delighted with today’s news, another important milestone in our ongoing efforts to provide protection against this virus.”

Antibodies to COVID in Children Peak After 1 to 3 Months: Study

In a group of non-hospitalized children younger than 16, coronavirus neutralizing antibody levels peaked one to three months after they tested positive for COVID-19, according to a study published Tuesday in JAMA Pediatrics. Researchers in Singapore looked at antibody responses in 126 children from February 2020 to September 2021, before omicron became predominant, with a median age of 7.4 years. They found that levels peaked at around 84% in the first three months of infection, but remained steady for about 13 months. “The findings suggest that the risk of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection in younger children is lower than in adults, which has important implications for timing COVID-19 vaccination after infection,” the authors said. of the studio. “The findings also broaden the understanding of less severe clinical illness in younger children.”

In an accompanying editorialCatherine Mary Healy of Baylor College of Medicine said the sample size is probably too small to draw definitive conclusions and the results are unlikely to hold up with newer variants. “Emerging data suggest that the new omicron BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants are able to escape neutralizing antibodies produced by previous infection with the omicron BA.1 and BA.2 variants, which explains the current surges in infection in communities with high rates of prior infection, vaccination, or both,” he wrote.

CDC forecasts “uncertain” trajectory for COVID deaths

After predicting a “likely decline” in US COVID deaths last week for the first time in months, in its latest update, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention again predicts that virus-related deaths “will remain stable or have an uncertain trend” during the next month. An average of 387 Americans now die due to COVID-19 per day, but ensemble forecasts show that between 1,800 and 4,900 new deaths, or as many as 700 per day, could be reported in the week ending September 24. California is likely to see more than 300 additional deaths in that time.

FDA approves vaccine boosters targeting the omicron subvariant

The Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorizations for Pfizer and Modera’s coronavirus booster vaccines that target the omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants. While booster shots have yet to be approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, specific vaccine boosters could begin rolling out Labor Day weekend. Eligibility for targeted boosters will depend on a person’s age, when they received their initial vaccinations and when they received their most recent non-targeted COVID booster, according to the FDA.

When should you receive the new omicron specific booster injection?

The reformulated versions made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are called bivalent because they work against the original coronavirus and the currently dominant BA.5 and BA.4 subvariants. Its use is designed to increase protection against serious illness, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID-19 during a possible surge this fall or winter, as the effectiveness of earlier vaccines declines. Here it is what you need to know about the new vaccines.

UCSF’s Bob Wachter says getting the omicron booster is a “simple call”

UCSF chair of medicine, Dr. Bob Wachter, he tweeted Wednesday morning that getting the COVID booster shots targeting the omicron sub-variants as soon as possible seemed like “a pretty straightforward decision.” While Wachter said some may choose to wait for cases to rise before getting a boost, “‘tempering the market’ usually doesn’t work,” he said.

Where to get free COVID testing in the Bay Area after the federal lottery ends

This is the last week that people can request free at-home COVID-19 testing kits from the US government. But there are still plenty of free or low-cost testing options for Bay Area residents at pharmacies or community sites. Local testing options are listed on county health department websites and can usually be found through a quick online search. In most cases, counties will bill health insurance companies for anyone who has coverage. Read more about how and where to get rapid antigen or PCR tests after the federal test kit program stops on September 2.

When is the fall wave of COVID expected to peak?

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials said Wednesday that an expected fall wave of COVID-19 cases is expected to peak in December. Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said that while cases across the country were slowly declining, the forecast rise in the fall, driven by closer contact between people as colder weather forces them indoors, it was another reason it was important to stay up to date on COVID booster shots. The agency on Wednesday approved boosters made by Pfizer and Moderna that target subvariants of omicron.

Wiener withdraws bill to allow teens to get vaccinated without parental consent

State Senator Scott Wiener on Wednesday filed legislation that would have allowed youth ages 15 and older receiving vaccinations without the consent or knowledge of a parent after he said the measure likely did not have enough votes to pass. The bill is the third major piece of vaccine legislation to die in the state Capitol this year. “Months of harassment and misinformation, including death threats against myself and teen advocates, by a small but very active and organized anti-vaccine minority have taken their toll,” Wiener said in a statement.

US life expectancy drops a full year due to COVID-19

The COVID pandemic took a heavy toll on American lives, cutting life expectancy at birth in the US by a full year from 2020 to 2021. according to new provisional data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number declined for the second year in a row, falling to 76.1 years, the lowest level on record since 1996 and the largest two-year drop in more than a century. Broken down by gender, men are now expected to live 73.2 years, some six years less than women. COVID-19-related deaths were the biggest contributor to the change, followed by drug overdoses and heart disease. More than 460,000 Americans died from the virus in 2021, according to the agency. The overall drop was offset by declines in deaths attributed to the flu and pneumonia, which were likely down due to COVID mitigation measures such as mask wearing and physical distancing.

With COVID disappearing in the Bay Area, what does the fall hold for us?

The Bay Area’s summer COVID-19 surge is tapering off as the number of cases reaches levels last seen in April. With no worrying new coronavirus variants on the horizon, the region appears headed for a welcome respite from the pandemic. And as soon as next week, the federal government could begin shipping updated booster shots that target the latest omicron sublineages and could help extend vaccine protection well into the fall. What does all this good news mean as we head into fall and winter? Read more about what the experts predict.

Goldman Sachs will remove COVID protocols in the office

Goldman Sachs will lift all COVID-19 mitigation measures at most of its offices beginning September 6 in an effort to bring employees back to work in person, according to a memo obtained by CNBC. The memo says the bank will no longer require workers to get vaccinated to enter its offices or to take tests and wear face masks. The company is not requiring employees to return to the office, but rather to ensure that they meet “current return to office expectations.”

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