U.S. secures 66 million doses of Moderna omicron booster

U.S. officials agreed to purchase 66 million Moderna omicron boosters, intending to make extra shots available this fall and winter. A new CDC report suggested that children maybe be at an increased risk for blood clots, heart problems, kidney failure, and Type 1 diabetes after getting COVID. The Chronicle’s Pandemic Problems advice column tackled a question from a reader who asked how long COVID stays in the air after an infected person leaves a room.

Fauci: Get vaccinated and boosted, or you’re “going to get into trouble”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, is urging people to stay up to date on their vaccines against COVID-19 as colder months approach. “There are enough people who don’t fall into (high-risk) categories that if they don’t get vaccinated if they don’t get boosted, they’re going to get into trouble,” Fauci told KNX’s “In Depth” show this week. About 77% of the U.S. population is not up to date on its COVID-19 vaccines, according to an analysis of CDC data last week from researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Fauci said that could lead not only to more infections but the emergence of newer immune-evasive variants. “You don’t want COVID to dominate the lives of people throughout this country or the world, but you don’t want to, by wishing it’s behind us and it’s in the rearview mirror, not do things that would be prudent,” he said. “We’re not talking about locking down, we’re just talking about common sense, getting the appropriate interventions when they’re available to you — and right now we have boosters that are very effective in diminishing any aspect of the infection.”

U.S. secures 66 million doses of Moderna’s omicron booster

The U.S. government has agreed to purchase 66 million doses of Moderna’s bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster candidate for potential use in the fall and winter. The announcement follows a recommendation by the FDA that vaccine manufacturers update their existing COVID-19 vaccines to create a bivalent booster that can target BA.4 and BA.5 omicron subvariants, which are now dominant in the United States. The administration previously secured 105 million bivalent COVID-19 vaccine booster doses from Pfizer for potential use later this year. “We look forward to receiving these new variant-specific vaccines and working with state and local healthcare partners to make the vaccines available for free in communities around the country this fall,” said Dawn O’Connell, assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in a statement.

COVID increases risk of heart problems, diabetes in children — CDC study

Children and adolescents might be at increased risk for certain post-COVID symptoms and conditions, including blood clots, heart problems, kidney failure, and Type 1 diabetes, according to a report published Thursday by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In an analysis of electronic health records of about 800,000 U.S. children under the age of 18 who had COVID-19 from March 1, 2020 to January 31, 2022, the researchers found increased incidence rates of several symptoms and conditions of rare pediatric conditions compared to a control group of 2.5 million children not infected with the coronavirus over the same period. “COVID-19 prevention strategies, including vaccination for all eligible children and adolescents, are critical to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection and subsequent illness, including post-COVID symptoms and conditions,” the researchers said.

Biden still testing positive, with an “occasional cough”

President Biden is still testing positive for the coronavirus, White House physician Kevin O’Connor said in an update Thursday. “He is still experiencing a very occasional cough, but the cough is improving,” according to the memo. The president will remain in strict isolation and continue working remotely from the executive residence. Biden tested positive for COVID-19 for the first time in late July and was cleared from isolation on July 27 before experiencing a rebound infection on July 30.

Worried about entering a room after somebody with COVID has left? Here’s the lowdown

How long does COVID stay in the air after someone with COVID (who is not wearing a mask) leaves the room? Assuming the windows are closed and there’s no filtration system, how long do you have to be concerned that you can get COVID from being in the room without a mask? In a Chronicle Pandemic Problems column, we help clear the air, so to speak, on a question that troubled one reader and has no doubt occurred to many others.

CDC expected to further pull back COVID rules, including for schools

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to ease quarantine and other coronavirus mitigation recommendations in the coming days, including for schools, according to sources familiar with the plan who spoke to CNN. Among other things, the agency is expected to drop its physical distancing recommendation and de-emphasize regular screening testing for COVID-19 in schools as a way to monitor the spread of the virus. People who are sick with COVID-19 should still isolate, which the new guidance is expected to emphasize. And the CDC will also emphasize schools employ better ventilation systems. State, local and district rules may override the CDC’s advice, which is not legally binding.