Covid-19 – November Update
APTA Practice Advisory on the CMS vaccination rule, mapping PASC symptoms and prevalence, pills to treat COVID-19, and more.
A recent CMS rule requiring COVID-19 vaccination will affect an estimated 17 million health care workers. The latest APTA Practice Advisory provides background, insight on how the rule will be applied, possible exemptions, and plans for enforcement.The Vaccine Rule: 6 Things To Know Right Now
Here are six basics of the new requirements in the CMS rule requiring vaccination of millions of American workers.Research Review: More Than Half of COVID-19 Survivors Experience Symptoms Six Months Later
Authors of a systematic review also tracked the prevalence of various symptoms associated with PASC and say that without a better understanding of the condition, PASC could “overwhelm health care capacity.”
Case Decreases Slowing Down; Nearly 70% of Adults Now Fully Vaccinated
Total coronavirus cases have reached 46,180,190 as of Nov. 5, according to the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker. The seven-day average of new cases is 71,450 — a 1.4% decrease over the previous seven-day average. As of Nov. 5, 80.3% of adults older have received at least one dose of vaccine and 69.9% are fully vaccinated. For those 12 and older, 78.4% have received at least one dose of vaccine and 68.1% are fully vaccinated. A total of 747,970 people have now died from the virus.
OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard on COVID-19 Vaccination
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration has created a webpage explaining its new rule, with links to webinars, FAQs, fact sheets, and more.
CMS Press Release on Vaccination Rule
A recent U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services press release outlines the basics of the new rule and includes links to the full text of the emergency regulation.
In the Media
COVID-19 Rise in Europe Tied to Areas With Lower Vaccination Rates
From NBC News: “According to data from the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, cases have risen in almost every European country over the last two weeks. In 13 of 45 countries, new cases have more than doubled. More than half of European countries with the biggest outbreaks rank in the bottom half when it comes to vaccination rates on the continent.”
Pfizer, Merck Announce Pills To Treat COVID-19
From CNN: “A pill to treat Covid — Pfizer and Merck both generated excitement with news they have pills that could help keep people out of the hospital if they catch coronavirus. Pfizer says its pill, which it proposes to sell under the brand name Paxlovid if it gets authorized, reduced the risk of death or hospitalization by 89% in people who got it within three days of symptoms starting. Merck says its capsule molnupiravir reduced the risk by about 50%.”
OSHA Vaccine Mandate Put on Hold by Appeals Court
From CBS News: “A federal appeals court on Saturday temporarily halted the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine requirement for businesses with 100 or more workers. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals granted an emergency stay of the requirement by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration that those workers be vaccinated by January 4 or face mask requirements and weekly tests.”
COVID Pills, Vaccines for Children May Open the Path Out of the Pandemic
From New York Magazine: “Two developments over the last week may shift our collective perspective enough to bring the COVID-19 endgame finally into view: the beginning of vaccination for children between the ages of 5 and 11, and the announcement by Pfizer that a trial for a therapeutic drug called PF-07321332 was so successful it was halted midway, with data already revealing an 89 percent reduction in severe illness among those taking the pill.”
Researchers Identify Gene Related to Increased Risk of COVID-19 Death
From Bloomberg: “Scientists identified a specific gene that doubles the risk of respiratory failure from Covid-19 and may go some way to explaining why some ethnic groups are more susceptible to severe disease than others.”
Parts of the U.S. Still Being Overwhelmed by COVID-19
From NPR: “The Mountain West — where vaccination coverage tends to be lower — is the worst off, especially Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. Parts of the Southwest and Midwest are also trying to control an uptick. Even some of the heavily vaccinated Northeast has been dealing with increases during the fall.”
New in Research
Vaccination Protection Declined Over Time With Rise of Delta Variant
From Science: “Although vaccination remains protective against SARS-CoV-2 infection, protection waned as the Delta variant emerged in the U.S., and this decline did not differ by age. The Janssen vaccine showed the greatest decline in VE-I. Breakthrough infections were not benign as vaccinated persons who were subsequently infected had a higher risk of death compared to vaccinated persons who remained infection-free.”
U.N. Group Issues Guidance on Gender-Responsive Approach to COVID-19
From the recently published U.N. Women report: “Experience shows that a systematic and intentional gender lens leads to a better local, national and global response and management of infectious disease. Women’s leadership and contributions are critical to curbing infection rates and enabling resilience and recovery. In addition, UN Women’s analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic has identified five critical areas that leave women and girls most vulnerable, and that must be addressed within all comprehensive response plans.
COVID-19 Vaccines Once Again Shown To Reduce Risk of Hospitalization and Death
From JAMA Network Open: “Vaccination with an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine was significantly less likely among patients with COVID-19 hospitalization and disease progression to death or mechanical ventilation. These findings are consistent with risk reduction among vaccine breakthrough infections compared with absence of vaccination.”
Researchers Find COVID-19 in Iowa Deer
From bioRxiv: “SARS-CoV-2 was detected in one-third of sampled White-tailed deer in Iowa between September 2020 and January of 2021 that likely resulted from multiple human-to-deer spillover events and deer-to-deer transmission.”