Novel Coronavirus/COVID-19 COVID-19 News from Around the Web

Spotify to add advisories to podcasts discussing COVID-19

AP - January 31, 2022

Following protests of Spotify kicked off by Neil Young over the spread of COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, the music streaming service said that it will add content advisories before podcasts discussing the virus.

Millions of routine vaccinations have been missed amid the Covid-19 pandemic

CNN - January 31, 2022

Adults and adolescents have missed more than 37 million routine vaccinations during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to an analysis of insurance claims by Avalere, a health care consulting firm. The firm compared monthly claims from January 2020 through June 2021 against baselines from 2019. On average, the analysis found, monthly claims were down 32% for adults and 36% for adolescents compared with 2019.

Some Americans are hesitant about Covid vaccines. But they’re all-in on unproven treatments

STAT - January 28, 2022

That while largely baseless vaccine hesitancy has hindered the U.S. pandemic response, Americans are tripping over themselves to take therapeutics that are experimental, expensive, and ineffective — precisely the characteristics that anti-vaccine advocates falsely ascribe to Covid immunizations, which are proven, free, and effective.

KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor: January 2022

KFF - January 28, 2022

Two years into the pandemic, three-quarters of Americans are both tired and frustrated, a new KFF Vaccine Monitor poll reports today, with no partisan split in sight for these emotions. More than three-quarters of people also say they think Covid-19 infection is inevitable for most people, again with relative unanimity across party lines.

Millions of Americans can’t isolate from COVID in the home. Here’s what experts suggest.

CBS News - January 28, 2022

[The CDC] revised its recommendations for Americans living in the same home as others who have tested positive for COVID-19, updating the major changes the agency made late last month to its guidance on isolation and quarantine. The latest guidance lays out specific recommendations for Americans facing "ongoing exposure" to the virus at home because they live with an infected person they cannot separate from.

Covid-19 Curbs Eased Further in Europe as New Version of Omicron Spreads in Places

Wall Street Journal - January 28, 2022

Several European countries have lifted or relaxed Covid-19 restrictions, citing the milder symptoms being caused by the Omicron variant in vaccinated people—even as daily infections continued to surge in some countries and a new version of Omicron was identified as spreading in places.

COVID hits one of the last uninfected places on the planet

AP - January 28, 2022

When the coronavirus began spreading around the world, the remote Pacific archipelago of Kiribati closed its borders, ensuring the disease didn’t reach its shores for nearly two full years.

Covid-19 hospitalizations are dropping in the Northeast. In other parts of the country, they’re rising

CNN - January 24, 2022

Some states are starting to see infection numbers and hospitalizations drop. But it is not the case everywhere. As cases seem to begin plateauing, Covid-19 hospitalizations in the Northeast are down by about 11% after reaching a peak about a week ago and have also dropped slightly -- about 6% -- in the Midwest region, according to data from HHS. And new Covid-19 hospital admissions are beginning to decline nationwide, a sign total hospitalizations may soon begin going down too in every part of the country.

Three New Studies Confirm Power of Booster Shots Against Omicron

HealthDay - January 24, 2022

Booster shots are keeping the Omicron variant from landing millions of Americans in hospitals, emergency rooms and urgent care clinics across the country, three new government studies show. [In one study] a third dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines was 90% effective at preventing hospitalization, and at least 82% effective in preventing a trip to the emergency room or urgent care. … [A second study] found that booster shots also protected Americans, particularly those over 50, from COVID-related deaths. … [A third report] found that among Americans tested for COVID-19 in December 2021, three doses of an mRNA vaccine offered greater protection against cases of symptomatic COVID-19 infection than being fully vaccinated (with two doses) or unvaccinated did.

CDC plans to ‘pivot the language’ on vaccination, Walensky says

Fox News - January 24, 2022

Responding to a question about why the CDC is not changing the definition of the phrase to include a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, [CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters Friday] that it is working to "pivot the language to make sure that everybody is as up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines as they personally could be, should be, based on when they got their last vaccine."

Patient, Beware: Some States Still Pushing Ineffective Covid Antibody Treatments

Kaiser Health News - January 24, 2022

As the omicron variant completes its sweep across the U.S., states with scarce supplies of monoclonal antibody therapies continue to use two treatments that federal health officials warn no longer work against the highly contagious version of the virus that causes covid-19. The antibody treatment now most recommended is sotrovimab from GlaxoSmithKline and Vir Biotechnology, and it’s in short supply.

New conservative target: Race as factor in COVID treatment

AP - January 24, 2022

Some conservatives are taking aim at policies that allow doctors to consider race as a risk factor when allocating scarce COVID-19 treatments, saying the protocols discriminate against white people. The wave of infections brought on by the omicron variant and a shortage of treatments have focused attention on the policies. Medical experts say the opposition is misleading.

Booster longevity: Data reveals how long a third shot protects

NPR - January 21, 2022

Protection against infection is likely short-term, lasting less than six months, but protection against severe disease appears more robust, researchers with the U.K. Health Security Agency reported Friday. Specifically, the researchers found that right after the third shot of the Pfizer vaccine, protection against a symptomatic infection is pretty good. Two weeks after the shot, the booster cuts the risk by about 70%.

COVID-19 vaccination does not reduce chances of conception, study suggests

NIH - January 21, 2022

COVID-19 vaccination does not affect the chances of conceiving a child, according to a study of more than 2,000 couples that was funded by the NIH. Researchers found no differences in the chances of conception if either male or female partner had been vaccinated, compared to unvaccinated couples. However, couples had a slightly lower chance of conception if the male partner had been infected with SARS-CoV-2 within 60 days before a menstrual cycle, suggesting that COVID-19 could temporarily reduce male fertility.

A record 9 million Americans are out sick as COVID rates surge

CBS News - January 21, 2022

As the Omicron variant rips across the U.S., in early January almost 9 million Americans said they were not working because they had COVID-19 or were caring for someone with the virus — triple the number from a month ago. The surge in sick workers is impacting industries ranging from hospitals to airlines, adding to the nation's labor crunch.

Pandemic Pessimism Grows Amid Omicron Surge

Gallup - January 21, 2022

By October, with infections from the delta variant waning, a slim 51% majority once again thought the situation was improving. … [Now] along with the 20% of U.S. adults who currently say the pandemic is improving, 22% think it is staying the same and 58% believe it is worsening.