America’s COVID Death Rate Drops to Record Low as Cases Reach Pandemic High
The raging Omicron variant has pushed COVID-19 cases to record highs in the U.S., but America’s case fatality rate has dipped to 1.39%, its lowest mark since the first wave of cases struck in March 2020.
The U.S. mortality rate hovered around 1.6% from the end of August until mid-December when it started to drop.
The case-fatality ratio measures the number of confirmed deaths against the number of confirmed infections. It’s an imperfect measurement, as it doesn’t factor in the true number of cases or deaths, especially in a fluid situation like the COVID-19 pandemic.
U.S. FDA Amends J&J Vaccine Fact Sheet to Include Rare Bleeding Risk
“Reports of adverse events following use of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine under emergency use authorization suggest an increased risk of immune thrombocytopenia during the 42 days following vaccination,” the regulator said in a letter to J&J’s arm, Janssen Biotech Inc.
The symptoms include easy bruising or tiny blood spots under the skin, or unusual or excessive bleeding, the FDA said.
Europe’s Drug Regulator Warns Excessive COVID Boosters Could Lead to ‘Problems With Immune Response,’ Joining WHO in Pushback
On Tuesday, EMA vaccine strategy chief Marco Cavaleri said there was still no data supporting the need for a fourth COVID vaccine dose. And even if multiple boosters do prove to be necessary, they would need to be spaced out in the style of annual flu jabs, rather than delivered every several months. He also warned that overly frequent booster doses could potentially lead to “problems with immune response.”
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said this week that it is still unclear whether fourth doses will be needed. Despite the lack of supporting data, Israel has moved to fourth Pfizer/BioNTech doses for over-60s, health workers, and immunocompromised people. Bourla’s counterpart at Moderna, Stéphane Bancel, said last week that additional boosters could become necessary by the coming fall.
Fauci: Omicron Will Infect ‘Just About Everybody’
“Omicron, with its extraordinary, unprecedented degree of efficiency of transmissibility, will, ultimately, find just about everybody,” Fauci told the Center for Strategic and International Studies during a “fireside chat.”
“Those who have been vaccinated and vaccinated and boosted would get exposed. Some, maybe a lot of them, will get infected but will very likely, with some exceptions, do reasonably well in the sense of not having hospitalization and death,” he added.BUY TODAY: Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.’s New Book — ‘The Real Anthony Fauci’
Omicron May Be Headed for a Rapid Drop in Britain, U.S.
“It’s going to come down as fast as it went up,” said Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Bill Gates Says Countries Will Report ‘Far Fewer’ Cases of COVID After Omicron Hits Peak
Bill Gates predicted Tuesday that after the Omicron wave of COVID outbreaks dies down, countries will see fewer positive cases for the rest of the year, ultimately creating an environment where COVID could be treated like seasonal flu, the billionaire philanthropist said during a live Q&A session on Twitter.
A country should record “far fewer” cases of COVID-19 throughout the rest of the year after Omicron “goes through” it, in which case COVID can be “treated more like seasonal flu,” he said.
COVID Loses 90% of Ability to Infect Within 20 Minutes in Air — Study
Coronavirus loses 90% of its ability to infect us within 20 minutes of becoming airborne — with most of the loss occurring within the first five minutes, the world’s first simulations of how the virus survives in exhaled air suggest.
“People have been focused on poorly ventilated spaces and thinking about airborne transmission over metres or across a room. I’m not saying that doesn’t happen, but I think still the greatest risk of exposure is when you’re close to someone,” said Prof Jonathan Reid, director of the University of Bristol’s Aerosol Research Centre and the study’s lead author.
GOP Senators Seek China Sanctions for Blocking Probes Into COVID Origins
Republican lawmakers in the Senate have introduced a bill to sanction Chinese officials who continue to obstruct independent investigations into the origins of the coronavirus. It would also end all federal funding for joint projects with the country’s national academy.
The Coronavirus Origin Validation, Investigation, and Determination (COVID) Act of 2022 submitted by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and co-sponsored by more than a dozen GOP colleagues was also put to Congress last year.
It gives Beijing 90 days after enactment to grant a team of international scientists unfettered access to laboratories in the first COVID-19 epicenter in central China, including the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV).Urgent: 3 Ways to Help Stop Biden’s Vaccine Mandates
Dr. Fauci: ‘Universal Coronavirus Vaccines’ Could Help the World Tackle COVID — and the Next Pandemic
There’s a new kind of vaccine on the horizon — and it could help target all coronaviruses, not just COVID-19.
On Tuesday, White House chief medical advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci testified to Congress about the country’s efforts to develop a pan-coronavirus vaccine, meant to combat both COVID and other similar viruses that could emerge in the coming years.
The short-term applications of a vaccine that effectively tackles all forms of COVID could be significant, Fauci said: “We won’t be chasing after the next variant.” Longer term, Fauci said, the development of a universal coronavirus vaccine could help prevent the world’s next pandemic.
FDA Extends Shelf Life for Millions of Expired Coronavirus Test Kits in Florida
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) extended the expiration date for almost a million COVID-19 rapid tests that first expired in a Florida warehouse in September.
The FDA was able to extend the expiration date for the tests for three months using the product’s emergency use authorization. The tests had already expired once in September and were extended until late December by the federal government at that time, according to the Miami Herald.
White House Will Double COVID Tests for Schools
The Biden administration on Wednesday announced a new set of measures to keep classes open, including doubling COVID-19 testing capacity in schools with 10 million more tests, as the Omicron variant spreads rapidly through the United States.
The number of COVID-19 tests available to schools will be increased by 10 million per month, the White House said in a statement, saying this will help schools more than double the volume of testing compared to November 2021.
Half of the new free rapid tests will be distributed each month to help kindergarten to 12th grade (K-12) schools remain open, the statement said, while lab capacity will be available to support five million monthly PCR tests for schools.