December 9, 2023

A strong fall COVID booster campaign could save nearly 90,000 people living in the US from dying from the virus and more than 936,000 hospitalizations, according to a new study by the Commonwealth Fund.

As immunity wanes and new types that may escape protection from early vaccines are expected to increase in hospitalizations and deaths this fall and winter, The authors wrote This makes it important that people receive a bivalent booster recently authorized by the Food and Drug Administration to help prevent transmission, they wrote.

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Researchers analyzed three scenarios to evaluate the impact of vaccination on reducing mortality, hospitalization, and medical costs for both the Medicare and Medicaid programs.

If daily vaccination rates remain unchanged from current levels, the first outcome was measured; They have gradually declined since the first wave of the Omicron version. Federal financial aid has also not been replenished amid a belief among many Americans that the pandemic is over and congressional Republicans oppose legislative efforts to continue fighting the pandemic.

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As of October 3, about 68% of the US population has received the primary shots, but less than half of them have received a booster dose, and only 36% of those 50 and older have received a second booster.

The second and third Commonwealth Fund scenarios saw the results if rates were increased by the end of 2022.

In one scenario, the researchers envisioned that booster uptake would track flu-shot coverage in 2020 to 2021. The second scenario assumes that 80% of eligible persons aged 5 years and above will get a booster by the end of 2022.

Source: Commonwealth Fund

The data found that more than 75,000 deaths, with more than 745,000 hospitalizations, could be prevented if coverage reaches the same level as the 2021 to 2022 flu vaccination. The best-case scenario would be saving $56 billion in direct medical costs over the next six months.

Stratifying by insurance type, we found that direct Medicare costs for Medicare alone would be reduced by $11 billion under Scenario 1 and by $13 billion under Scenario 2, the authors wrote. “Medicaid would receive an additional $3.5 to $4.5 billion in savings. Even if the federal government paid for all vaccination costs, accelerated campaigns would generate more than $10 billion in net savings from federal programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

The study comes as US known cases of COVID are declining and now stand at their lowest level since late April, although the actual tally is likely higher than how many people are getting tested at home, data not collected He is going.

The daily average of new cases stood at 44,484 on Tuesday, according to A New York Times Tracker, down 22% from two weeks ago. Cases are rising 10% in most northeastern states, while cases are rising in the western states of Montana, Washington and Oregon.

The daily average of hospitalizations fell 12% to 27,334, while the daily average of deaths fell by 8% to 393.

The new bivalent vaccine could be the first step in developing annual COVID shots, which could follow the same process used to update flu vaccines each year. Here’s what the process looks like, and why implementing it on COVID can be challenging. Illustration: Ryan Trefes

Coronavirus Update: MarketWatch’s daily roundup is curating and reporting on all the latest happenings every week since the coronavirus pandemic began

Other COVID-19 news you should know about:

• Prolonged COVID, a condition that can include symptoms such as respiratory distress, cough, “brain fog,” fatigue and malaise that lasts 12 weeks or more after the initial infection, is becoming a long-term challenge because Both Employers and Employees Navigate the Forever-Mutating Virus, According to Liz Siegert, Writing for, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one in five COVID survivors under the age of 65 experienced at least one event that could be related to a previous COVID-19 infection. Among those 65 and older, the rate was one in four. Their data also shows that nearly three times more people aged 50 to 59 currently have a longer COVID than those aged 80 or older.

• A retired judge on Tuesday launched a public inquiry into how Britain has handled the coronavirus pandemic, saying bereaved families and those who are victims will be at the center of the proceedings, The Associated Press reported. Former Appeals Judge Heather Hallett said the investigation would examine the UK’s preparedness for a pandemic, how the government responded, and whether “the level of damage was unavoidable or whether things could have been better.”

With each mutation, the COVID-19 virus is becoming more transmitted. WSJ’s Daniela Hernandez breaks down the science of how COVID variants are getting better at infecting and spreading. Illustration: Rami Abukalam

• Health experts are tracking new versions of the BA.5 omicron subvariant amid concerns that those virus variants may evade drugs developed to fight COVID, Salon reported. Of particular concern are two names BQ.1 and BQ.1.1, as well as BA.2.75.2, which is spreading to Singapore, India, and parts of Europe. Then there’s XBB, which some research suggests is the most antibody-suppressing strain ever tested. The World Health Organization said in its Weekly Updates on Virus BA.5 descendants dominated in the latest week, accounting for 80.8% of the sequences shared through the global database. It also noted an “increased diversity” within Omicron and its lineage.

• Eager Biopharmaceuticals Inc. EIGR,
said on Wednesday it would not pursue emergency authorization of its experimental treatment for mild and moderate COVID-19 infections. It asked the Food and Drug Administration to consider an EUA application based on data from an accompanying trial, a phase 3 study assessing 11 potential treatments for COVID-19 that is being conducted in Brazil and Canada. are. Eger said the FDA instead recommended the company consider running its own pivotal trial for peginterferon lambda that would support full approval of the drug.

what do the numbers say here,

The global number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 topped 619.2 million on Wednesday, while the death toll topped 6.55 million, According to data collected by Johns Hopkins University,

The US leads the world with 96.5 million cases and 1,060,446 deaths.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Tracker shows that 225.3 million people living in the US, equivalent to 67.9% of the total population, are fully vaccinated, meaning they have had their primary shots. Only 109.9 million have received a booster, which is equivalent to 48.8% of the vaccinated population, and 23.9 million who are eligible for a second booster have had one, equivalent to 36.6% of those who received the first booster.

About 7.6 million people have taken a shot of the new bivalent booster that targets the new Omicron subtypes that have become dominant around the world.


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