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Moderna booster effective against omicron; new infections up 41%

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Omicron has raced forward of different variants and is now the dominant model of the coronavirus within the U.S., accounting for 73% of recent infections final week, federal well being officers mentioned Monday.

The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention numbers confirmed almost a six-fold improve in omicron’s share of infections in just one week.

General, omicron remains to be a small share of all U.S. COVID circumstances. Within the week that ended Dec. 11, omicron’s share of recent infections within the U.S. elevated to 2.9% from 0.4% the week earlier than, the CDC beforehand reported.

However CDC mentioned they’re revising a few of the earlier numbers, after analyzing extra specimens. The brand new numbers point out that about 13% of the infections the week of Dec. 11 had been omicron, and never 3%, CDC officers mentioned.

In a lot of the nation, omicron’s prevalence is even greater. It is liable for an estimated 90% of recent infections within the New York space, the Southeast, the commercial Midwest and the Pacific Northwest.

Because the finish of June, the delta variant has been the principle model inflicting U.S. infections. As just lately as the tip of November, greater than 99.5% of coronaviruses had been delta, in accordance with CDC knowledge.

Scientists in Africa first sounded the alarm about omicron lower than a month in the past and on Nov. 26 the World Well being Group designated it as a “variant of concern.” The mutant has since proven up in about 90 international locations.

A lot concerning the omicron variant stays unknown, together with whether or not it causes roughly extreme sickness. Early research recommend the vaccinated will want a booster shot for the perfect likelihood at stopping omicron an infection however even with out the additional dose, vaccination nonetheless ought to provide sturdy safety in opposition to extreme sickness and dying.

“All of us have a date with omicron,” mentioned Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar on the Johns Hopkins Middle for Well being Safety. “Should you’re going to work together with society, should you’re going to have any sort of life, omicron will probably be one thing you encounter, and the easiest way you’ll be able to encounter that is to be absolutely vaccinated.”

Additionally within the information:

►America has reported greater than 51 million COVID-19 circumstances, Johns Hopkins College knowledge confirmed late Monday. Additionally on Monday, Kansas grew to become the thirty second state to report at the least 500,000 circumstances. And the world has reported greater than 275 million circumstances.

►Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a state of emergency and reinstated an indoor masks order lifted a month in the past. The mandate goes into impact at 6 a.m. ET Tuesday and runs by way of January. Town is going through its highest every day an infection totals for the reason that pandemic started.

►Idaho well being officers on Monday deactivated disaster pointers for rationing care at medical services in northern Idaho. A decline in new infections was cited.

►The New Yr’s Eve celebration deliberate for downtown Los Angeles’ Grand Park is not going to have an in-person viewers due to the rising variety of coronavirus circumstances, organizers mentioned. The “NYELA Countdown to 2022” occasion will probably be streamed, because it was final 12 months.

►Boston Mayor Michelle Wu mentioned that beginning Jan. 15, patrons of indoor eating, bars, nightclubs and gymnasiums should present proof of at least one vaccine dose. Proof of full vaccination will probably be required for adults Feb. 15, and metropolis employees should get vaccinated, she mentioned at a Metropolis Corridor information convention as protesters shouted “Disgrace on Wu.”

►Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan mentioned he acquired a constructive coronavirus speedy take a look at Monday. “I’ve been vaccinated and boosted, and I’m feeling advantageous in the mean time,” Hogan tweeted. He additionally urged Marylanders to get vaccinated and/or boosted.

📈At present’s numbers: The U.S. has recorded greater than 51 million confirmed COVID-19 circumstances and greater than 807,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data. International totals: Greater than 275.2 million circumstances and 5.3 million deaths. Greater than 203.9 million Individuals – 61.4% of the inhabitants – are absolutely vaccinated, according to the CDC.

📘What we’re studying: A research by Oregon researchers finds that folks absolutely vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 who’ve breakthrough infections find yourself with what the authors call “super immunity.” They warning the vaccinated shouldn’t search COVID-19 an infection, however the “hybrid immunity” presents some solace for many who catch one regardless of having been vaccinated. 

Preserve refreshing this web page for the most recent information. Need extra? Join USA TODAY’s free Coronavirus Watch newsletter to obtain updates on to your inbox and join our Facebook group.

Moderna booster is efficient in opposition to omicron

The primary knowledge obtainable for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine suggests a 3rd booster dose will probably be efficient in opposition to omicron, the variant that’s quickly taking up the world.

The encouraging revelation got here hours earlier than former President Donald Trump mentioned he has acquired a coronavirus booster shot. Trump was showing on Invoice O’Reilly’s “Historical past Tour” on the American Airways Middle in Dallas when the host requested if he was boosted. “Sure,” Trump replied to a smattering of boos.

Public well being officers have been urging Individuals to get booster photographs. Moderna mentioned early Monday that in a lab research, blood from 20 individuals who acquired the 50-microgram Moderna booster had 37 instances the variety of neutralizing antibodies as in comparison with blood from the identical quantity of people that solely acquired two photographs. Moderna had decreased the dose of its booster to half the dose of the unique two photographs to restrict unwanted side effects corresponding to fever, muscle aches and fatigue.

A gaggle that acquired a 3rd shot of the upper, 100-microgram dose noticed an 83-fold soar in neutralizing antibodies in opposition to omicron. Dr. Eric Topol, founder and director of the Scripps Analysis Translational Institute, mentioned such a giant improve isn’t crucial to offer safety.

A study released earlier this month by Pfizer and its partner BioNTech confirmed {that a} third dose of their COVID-19 vaccine boosted neutralizing antibodies in opposition to omicron greater than 25-fold, which must be protecting, Topol mentioned, although real-world research are wanted to show it.

“I feel it’s fairly encouraging,” he mentioned. “We’ll take any constructive we will get.”

Omicron now 82% of Houston Methodist’s new symptomatic circumstances

The Houston Methodist hospital system reviews that the omicron variant accounts for 82% of recent symptomatic circumstances it’s treating. Dr. S. Wesley Lengthy, medical director of diagnostic microbiology, mentioned the omicron variant is now in Houston “in full power.” The omicron variant grew to become the “explanation for the supermajority” of recent Houston Methodist circumstances in lower than three weeks, he mentioned. Compared, the delta variant took three months through the summer time earlier than it was the reason for greater than 80% of circumstances.

“Omicron in our knowledge has a doubling time of two.2 days,” Lengthy tweeted.

‘Somebody’s bought to do it’: Vaccines examined in youngsters below 5 years outdated

There aren’t any approved COVID-19 vaccines within the U.S. for youngsters youthful than 5 years outdated. However youngsters like Dr. Alicia Carrasco’s 1-year-old twins and 3-year-old son Matías are participating in Moderna’s trial and are serving to to alter that. The twins acquired their second jab just a few weeks in the past, and Matías is scheduled to get his subsequent shot in just a few weeks. Velocity Medical Analysis, a scientific trial web site group, enrolled about 650 youngsters at 4 areas throughout the nation. 1 / 4 of the youngsters acquired the placebo and the remainder had been vaccinated with Moderna’s vaccine. Nobody is aware of for sure which they got, however the inside drugs doctor is assured the sudden fever she noticed within the twins is an indication they had been jabbed with the energetic vaccine.

“Somebody’s bought to do it,” she mentioned. “My youngsters are an important factor on the earth to me however so is anybody else’s youngsters who’ve been part of trials.” Read more here.

Adrianna Rodriguez

New infections up 41% from a month in the past

The U.S. is transferring towards Christmas in dramatically completely different form than it was earlier than Thanksgiving. A month in the past, case counts had been rising, to about 90,000 per day on common. For a lot of December circumstances appeared to hover round 120,000 however have just lately leaped above 130,000 per day, Johns Hopkins knowledge exhibits. In comparison with a month in the past, the tempo of recent circumstances nationally is up 41%.

General, the CDC says about three-quarters of counties have excessive ranges of transmission. However the place you reside is vital. The tempo of circumstances is up 393% in Hawaii, greater than tripled in Connecticut and New Jersey, and greater than doubled in Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. However circumstances seem to have fallen in at the least a 3rd of the states – down 72% in Montana, 61% in Wyoming, 58% in Alaska, 46% in Colorado.

Mike Stucka

New Zealand man dies from myocarditis linked to Pfizer vaccine

A 26-year-old man has died from myocarditis linked to the Pfizer vaccine, well being officers in New Zealand mentioned Monday.

Myocarditis, a type of coronary heart irritation, has been detected in a small number of vaccinated individuals. It’s treatable, is not particular to COVID-19 vaccines, and was a typical aspect impact of the smallpox vaccine up to now, in accordance with the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention. 

The person died inside two weeks of receiving his first dose, and a coroner decided that preliminary info has recognized myocarditis because the possible explanation for dying, New Zealand’s COVID-19 Vaccine Unbiased Security Monitoring Board mentioned in an announcement.

“With the present obtainable info, the board has thought-about that the myocarditis was most likely on account of vaccination on this particular person,” the monitoring board’s assertion mentioned.

The assertion mentioned the advantages of vaccination with the Pfizer vaccine proceed to “vastly outweigh” the danger of such uncommon unwanted side effects, including that the COVID-19 an infection can itself be a explanation for myocarditis in addition to different critical diseases.

Extra on myocarditis:

44 folks on cruise ship take a look at constructive

No less than 48 folks on board Royal Caribbean’s Symphony of the Seas ship that ended a seven-day cruise in Miami on Saturday were positive for COVID-19 during the sailing, the cruise line mentioned. These 48 folks who examined constructive represented lower than 1% of the 6,074 passengers and crew members on board Symphony of the Seas, which left Miami on Dec. 11 and made stops in St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and Good Day at CocoCay (Royal Caribbean’s personal island), spokesperson Lyan Sierra-Caro advised USA TODAY.

Connor O’Dell, 29, mentioned a 66-year-old relative reported her signs to Royal Caribbean through the cruise. He mentioned neither a physician nor nurse gave her an in-depth bodily examination or requested her about preexisting situations.

“All of us knew the dangers of happening the ship,” O’Dell advised USA TODAY. “The issue is that we had been promised a set of protocols (or) sufficient medical staffing they usually had been by no means adhered to.”

Morgan Hines

Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker take a look at constructive for COVID-19

Senators Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and Cory Booker, D-New Jersey, and Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colorado, have examined constructive for COVID-19 in breakthrough circumstances with delicate signs, they introduced on Twitter.

“I frequently take a look at for COVID & whereas I examined unfavourable earlier this week, immediately I examined constructive with a breakthrough case. Fortunately, I’m solely experiencing delicate signs & am grateful for the safety offered in opposition to critical sickness that comes from being vaccinated & boosted,” Warren wrote

Booker tweeted: “I discovered immediately that I examined constructive for COVID-19 after first feeling signs on Saturday. My signs are comparatively delicate. I’m past grateful to have acquired two doses of vaccine and, extra just lately, a booster – I’m sure that with out them I’d be doing a lot worse.”

The senators from Massachusetts and New Jersey have each been vocal proponents of the COVID-19 vaccine in Washington. Warren lost her older brother to the virus in Could 2020. The Democrats are simply two of a number of senators who’ve examined constructive for COVID regardless of being absolutely vaccinated, together with Lindsay Graham, R-SC and John Hickenlooper, D-Colo.

The newest congrespositive assessments come amid an increase of COVID-19 circumstances throughout the nation and the omicron variant, which Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s main infectious illnesses knowledgeable, mentioned has an “extraordinary capability of spreading.”

– Celina Tebor, USA TODAY

Contributing: The Related Press; Karen Weintraub, USA TODAY



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