"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

COVID hospitalizations rise for eighth consecutive week

September 13, 2023 – Hospitalizations on account of COVID-19 rose for the eighth consecutive week within the period ending September 2, although the rise was in single digits for the primary time during that period. New hospital admissions rose 9% to 18,871 people, the CDC reported in its Last announcement of virus metrics.

The newly really useful COVID booster shots are expected to be available inside days after CDC and FDA issued a lot of mandatory authorizations and proposals this week. On Wednesday morning, the Walgreens website advised COVID vaccine seekers to “check back soon for more details” and explained that existing vaccination appointments could be postponed until the updated shots arrive. The CVS website's online scheduling tool offered COVID vaccination appointments starting Saturday, Sept. 16.

An estimated 97% of individuals within the U.S. ages 16 and older had protective immunity to COVID by the tip of 2022, either through infection or vaccination, in keeping with a Article Summary of the present status of the pandemic, published on Tuesday in Journal of the American Medical Association. Meanwhile, the age-adjusted death rate from COVID fell from 115.6 per 100,000 people in 2021 to 61.3 per 100,000 people in 2022, a decrease of 47%.

However, the authors of the article warn that counting on pre-existing immunity could put people in danger, as protection from a previous vaccination or infection wanes over time.

“In otherwise healthy adults (immunocompetent), the effectiveness of a bivalent vaccine against hospitalization for COVID-19 was, according to recent estimates, 62% compared with no vaccination in the 2 months after the bivalent dose, but decreased to 24% 4 to 6 months after the bivalent dose,” wrote Carlos del Rio, MD, associate dean of the Emory School of Medicine in Atlanta, and JAMA Associate Editor Preeti N. Malani, MD, MSJ.

They also found that in people aged 65 and over, vaccine-provided immunity wanes even faster.

It is unclear how much demand there might be for the reformulated booster, which targets a virus strain that was prevalent in January, called XBB.1.5. The recent formulation has been shown to spice up antibodies against the virus variants that currently cause most infections.

In your JAMA In that article, del Rio and Malani said the impact of COVID this season could depend greatly on what people do once they feel sick.

“Regardless of the test result, anyone with symptoms of a respiratory infection should stay home and avoid going to school or work,” they advised. “Although COVID-19 no longer poses a threat to public health, waves of infection will occur in the foreseeable future. How disruptive these will be depends on the behavior of the virus, but above all on the behavior of people.”