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Hot Topics of the Day are picked by experts to capture the latest information and publications on public health genomics and precision health for various diseases and health topics. Sources include published scientific literature, reviews, blogs and popular press articles.

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3463 hot topic(s) found with the query "Covid-19"

Joint COVID-19 and influenza-like illness forecasts in the United States using internet search information.
Simin Ma et al. Communications medicine 2023 3 (1) 39 (Posted: Mar-29-2023 8AM)

We combine related internet search and bi-disease time series information for the U.S. national level and state level forecasts. Our proposed ARGOX-Joint-Ensemble adopts a new ensemble framework that integrates ILI and COVID-19 disease forecasting models to pool the information between the two diseases and provide joint multi-resolution and multi-target predictions. Through a winner-takes-all ensemble fashion, our framework is able to adaptively select the most predictive COVID-19 or ILI signals. In the retrospective evaluation, our model steadily outperforms alternative benchmark methods, and remains competitive with other publicly available models in both point estimates and probabilistic predictions (including intervals).

Determinants of COVID-19 vaccine fatigue.
Tanja A Stamm et al. Nature medicine 2023 3 (Posted: Mar-28-2023 6AM)

Our results suggest that vaccination campaigns should be tailored to subgroups based on their vaccination status. Among the unvaccinated, campaign messages conveying community spirit had a positive effect (0.343, confidence interval (CI) 0.019–0.666), whereas offering positive incentives, such as a cash reward (0.722, CI 0.429–1.014) or voucher (0.670, CI 0.373–0.967), was pivotal to the decision-making of those vaccinated once or twice. Among the triple vaccinated, vaccination readiness increased when adapted vaccines were offered (0.279, CI 0.182–0.377), but costs (-0.795, CI -0.935 to -0.654) and medical dissensus (-0.161, CI -0.293 to -0.030) reduced their likelihood to get vaccinated.

Rare Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases and COVID-19: Evolving Insights and Implications for Clinical and Public Health Practice
E Drzymalla et al, CDC Blog Post, March 27, 2023 Brand (Posted: Mar-27-2023 9AM)

We explore how new research on rare genetic diseases is contributing to our understanding of COVID-19 occurrence and outcomes and discuss potential clinical and public health implications. Understanding the mechanisms involved in these inherited disorders may shed light on biological mechanisms and natural history of COVID-19. Although only a small proportion of patients are ill due to rare, single gene disorders, studying them may improve understanding of underlying biological pathways, eventually leading to new therapies that are relevant across the disease spectrum.

Predicting vaccine effectiveness against severe COVID-19 over time and against variants: a meta-analysis.
Deborah Cromer et al. Nature communications 2023 3 (1) 1633 (Posted: Mar-27-2023 7AM)

We find that predicted neutralising antibody titres are strongly correlated with observed vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic (Spearman [Formula: see text] = 0.95, p < 0.001) and severe (Spearman [Formula: see text] = 0.72, p < 0.001 for both) COVID-19 and that the loss of neutralising antibodies over time and to new variants are strongly predictive of observed vaccine protection against severe COVID-19.

People who catch Omicron are less likely to get Long Covid Vaccination, virus biology may be driving down risk
J Couzin-Frankel, Science, March 2023 (Posted: Mar-25-2023 8AM)

After Omicron began spreading in late 2021, COVID-19 deaths became a rarity even among frail and immunocompromised patients, he says. And infections now carry a lower threat of lingering complications. “These patients with Omicron, they’re much less likely to get Long Covid,” says Willan, whose patients are overwhelmingly vaccinated. Earlier this month, he reported in the British Journal of Haematology that his patients’ risk of Long Covid symptoms 3 months after infection had dropped from 46% with the original coronavirus strain and another called Alpha, to 35% with the Delta variant, to 14% with Omicron.

Maternal third dose of BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine and risk of infant COVID-19 hospitalization
M Lipshhuetz et al, Nature Medicine, March 23, 2023 (Posted: Mar-24-2023 6AM)

Compared to the second dose, the third dose was associated with reduced infant hospitalization with estimated effectiveness of 53% (95% CI: 36–65%). Greater protection was associated with a shorter interval between vaccination and delivery. A third maternal dose during pregnancy reduced the risk of infant hospitalization for COVID-19 during the first 4?months of life, supporting clinical and public health guidance for maternal booster vaccination to prevent infant COVID-19 hospitalization.

Neutralization of BQ.1, BQ.1.1, and XBB with RBD-Dimer Vaccines.
Dedong Li et al. The New England journal of medicine 2023 3 (12) 1142-1145 (Posted: Mar-23-2023 6AM)

The currently circulating omicron subvariants, especially BQ.1, BQ.1.1, and XBB, showed immune escape to the humoral immunity elicited by prototype strain sequence-based vaccines, such as inactivated vaccine and ZF2001. Our study showed that next-generation and updated Covid-19 vaccines are needed for better protection and pandemic control.

Heterogeneous Treatment Effects of Therapeutic-Dose Heparin in Patients Hospitalized for COVID-19.
Ewan C Goligher et al. JAMA 2023 3 (Posted: Mar-22-2023 7AM)

In an exploratory analysis of a multiplatform randomized trial of therapeutic-dose heparin for early-pandemic patients with moderate or severe COVID-19, 3 approaches for testing HTE—conventional subgroup analysis, risk-based analysis, and effect-based analysis—were congruent in findings that therapeutic-dose heparin was more likely to be beneficial in patients who were less severely ill at presentation or who had lower body mass index, and more likely to be harmful in sicker patients and those with higher body mass index. Benefits and harms of therapeutic-dose heparin varied by hospitalized COVID-19 patient characteristics, illustrating the importance of considering HTE in the design and analysis of randomized clinical trials.

COVID-19 Forecasting and Mathematical Modeling
CDC, March 2023 Brand (Posted: Mar-20-2023 2PM)

CDC is working closely with state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments, and other public health partners, to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Forecasts of disease burden help inform public health decision making by projecting the likely impact of COVID-19 in the next few weeks. These forecasts are generated using mathematical models by CDC partners in the COVID-19 Forecast Hub. Forecasts are used to inform public health decisions about pandemic planning, resource allocation, implementation of social distancing measures, and other interventions.

School-Based Interventions to Increase Student COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage in Public School Populations with Low Coverage - Seattle, Washington, December 2021-June 2022.
Tarayn Fairlie et al. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report 2023 3 (11) 283-287 (Posted: Mar-20-2023 2PM)

Vaccination decreases risk for COVID-19 illness, severe disease, and death. U.S. pediatric COVID-19 vaccination coverage remains low. Seattle Public Schools implemented a COVID-19 vaccination program through multiple community engagements. During December 2021–June 2022, completion of the primary COVID-19 vaccination series among Seattle Public Schools students aged 5–18 years increased from 56.5% to 80.3%.

Comparative effectiveness of BNT162b2 versus mRNA-1273 covid-19 vaccine boosting in England: matched cohort study in OpenSAFELY-TPP.
William J Hulme et al. BMJ (Clinical research ed.) 2023 3 e072808 (Posted: Mar-18-2023 3PM)

This matched observational study of adults estimated a modest benefit of booster vaccination with mRNA-1273 compared with BNT162b2 in preventing positive SARS-CoV-2 tests and hospital admission with covid-19 20 weeks after vaccination, during a period of delta followed by omicron variant dominance.

Estimation of COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Effectiveness and COVID-19 Illness and Severity by Vaccination Status During Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 Sublineage Periods
RL Gelles et al, JAMA Network Open, March 15, 2023 (Posted: Mar-15-2023 4PM)

What is the estimated vaccine effectiveness (VE) associated with first-generation COVID-19 mRNA vaccines against medically attended COVID-19 during Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 sublineage predominance? This case-control study included 82?229 emergency department or urgent care encounters and 21?007 hospitalizations for COVID-19–like illness. Among hospitalized patients, estimated 3-dose VE was 68% for those with the third dose 7 to 119 days prior, but was lower by 120 days or longer after vaccination (VE, 36%). These findings suggest that first-generation COVID-19 mRNA vaccines were associated with protection against COVID-19 during the Omicron BA.4/BA.5 sublineage-predominant periods but protection declined over time.

Host genomics for better infectious disease treatment
H Carr, PHG Foundation, March 6, 2023 (Posted: Mar-10-2023 3PM)

Individuals can respond very differently to the same infectious disease, even when they have similar characteristics, comorbidities, and environmental exposures. Host genomics is the field that looks for genetic differences that help to explain the variations in response at certain points of an infection. While the COVID-19 pandemic significantly raised the profile of host genomics as a tool to better understand severe COVID-19, before the pandemic, scientists had been exploring host genomics to understand differences in host response to various infectious diseases.

An Explainable Host Genetic Severity Predictor Model for COVID-19 Patients
A Onoja et al, MEDRXIV, March 9, 2023 (Posted: Mar-10-2023 3PM)

A host genetic severity predictor (HGSP) model was developed by combining several state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms (decision tree-based models: Random Forest and XGBoost classifiers). These models were trained using a genetic Whole Exome Sequencing (WES) dataset and clinical covariates (age and gender) formulated from a 5-fold stratified cross-validation computational strategy to randomly split the dataset to overcome model instability. Our study validated the HGSP model based on the 18 features (i.e., 16 identified candidate genetic variants and 2 covariates.

Comparison of Symptoms Associated With SARS-CoV-2 Variants Among Children in Canada.
Madeleine W Sumner et al. JAMA network open 2023 3 (3) e232328 (Posted: Mar-09-2023 8PM)

Do the symptom profiles among children with SARS-CoV-2 infection evaluated in tertiary care emergency departments differ by variant type? In this multicenter Canadian cohort study of 1440 children with SARS-CoV-2 infection, those with Alpha variant infection reported the fewest core COVID-19 symptoms, while those with Omicron variant infection reported more fever, lower respiratory tract, and systemic symptoms than those infected by other variants. Hospitalization and intensive care admission rates were comparable across variants.

Forecasting the trajectory of the COVID-19 pandemic into 2023 under plausible variant and intervention scenarios: a global modelling study
R Reiner et al, MEDRXIV, March 9, 2023 (Posted: Mar-09-2023 1PM)

This paper samples across a range of potential variant-level characteristics to provide global forecasts of infections, hospitalisations, and deaths in the face of ongoing Omicron-related transmission and waning levels of past immunity and evaluates a range of interventions that may diminish the impact of future waves. We created a susceptible-exposed-infectious dynamic model that accounts for vaccine uptake and effectiveness, antiviral administration, the emergence of new variants, and waning protection from both infection- and vaccine-derived immunity.

Effectiveness of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine booster doses against Omicron severe outcomes.
Ramandip Grewal et al. Nature communications 2023 3 (1) 1273 (Posted: Mar-08-2023 6PM)

We included 11,160 cases and 62,880 tests for test-negative controls. Depending on the age group, compared to unvaccinated adults, VE was 91–98% 7–59 days after a third dose, waned to 76–87% after =240 days, was restored to 92–97% 7–59 days after a fourth dose, and waned to 86–89% after =120 days. VE was lower and declined faster during BA.4/BA.5 versus BA.1/BA.2 predominance, particularly after =120 days. Here we show that booster doses of monovalent mRNA COVID-19 vaccines restored strong protection against severe outcomes for at least 3 months after vaccination.

Phenome-wide association study to explore the long-term symptoms after infection with novel coronavirus in the UK Biobank
K Zhang et al, MEDRXIV, March 5, 2023 (Posted: Mar-06-2023 6PM)

We leveraged individual-level data from UK Biobank to implement a phenome-wide association study to explore the relationships between COVID-19 and 1061 diseases. Then, the inverse-variance weighted (IVW) method was adopted with summary-level data from global consortiums as sensitivity analyses combined with other MR methods with different model assumptions to identify robust associations. Findings The PheWAS found severe respiratory, hospitalized, and susceptibility COVID-19 had detrimental effects on 36, 37, and 51 kinds of diseases, separately.

Spatially-resolved wastewater-based surveillance enables COVID-19 case localization across a university campus, and confirms lower SARS-CoV-2 RNA burden relative to the surrounding community
J Lee et al, MEDRXIV, March 6, 2023 (Posted: Mar-06-2023 6PM)

Wastewater-based surveillance (WBS) has been established as a powerful tool that can guide health policy at multiple levels of government. However, this technology has not been well assessed at more granular scales, including large work sites such as University campuses.

A circulating proteome-informed prognostic model of COVID-19 disease activity that relies on routinely available clinical laboratories
W Ma et al, MEDRXIV, March 6, 2023 (Posted: Mar-06-2023 6PM)

A minority of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 will develop severe COVID-19 disease. To help physicians predict who is more likely to require admission to ICU, we conducted an unsupervised stratification of the circulating proteome that identified six endophenotypes (EPs) among 731 SARS-CoV-2 PCR-positive hospitalized participants in the Biobanque Québécoise de la COVID-19, with varying degrees of disease severity and times to intensive care unit (ICU) admission.

COVID-19 in non-hospitalised adults caused by either SARS-CoV-2 sub-variants Omicron BA.1,2,5 and Delta associates with similar illness duration, symptom severity and viral kinetics, irrespective of vaccination history
H Townsley et al, MEDRXIV, March 6, 2023 (Posted: Mar-06-2023 6PM)

Safety and immunogenicity of the protein-based PHH-1V compared to BNT162b2 as a heterologous SARS-CoV-2 booster vaccine in adults vaccinated against COVID-19: a multicentre, randomised, double-blind, non-inferiority phase IIb trial
J Corominas et al, MEDRXIV, March 2, 2023 (Posted: Mar-04-2023 8AM)

An AI-enabled research support tool for the classification system of COVID-19
A Tiwari et al, Front Public Health, March 3, 2023 (Posted: Mar-03-2023 4PM)

The objective of the present study is to build a research support tool that will help the researchers swiftly identify the relevant literature on a specific field or topic regarding COVID-19 through a hierarchical classification system. The three main tasks done during this study are data preparation, data annotation and text data classification through bi-directional long short-term memory (bi-LSTM).

Predicting the efficacy of variant-modified COVID-19 vaccine boosters.
David S Khoury et al. Nature medicine 2023 3 (Posted: Mar-03-2023 9AM)

Here we aggregate data on neutralization titers from 14 reports (three published papers, eight preprints, two press releases and notes of one advisory committee meeting) comparing booster vaccination with the current ancestral-based vaccines or variant-modified vaccines. Using these data, we compare the immunogenicity of different vaccination regimens and predict the relative protection of booster vaccines under different scenarios. We predict that boosting with ancestral vaccines can markedly enhance protection against both symptomatic and severe disease from SARS-CoV-2 variant viruses.

Financing covid-19 mRNA vaccines.
Victor Roy et al. BMJ (Clinical research ed.) 2023 3 p413 (Posted: Mar-02-2023 9AM)

US public investment in development of mRNA covid-19 vaccines: retrospective cohort study.
Hussain S Lalani et al. BMJ (Clinical research ed.) 2023 3 e073747 (Posted: Mar-02-2023 9AM)

The US government invested at least $31.9bn to develop, produce, and purchase mRNA covid-19 vaccines, including sizeable investments in the three decades before the pandemic through March 2022. These public investments translated into millions of lives saved and were crucial in developing the mRNA vaccine technology that also has the potential to tackle future pandemics and to treat diseases beyond covid-19.

Estimated Effectiveness of Postpartum Maternal Messenger RNA COVID-19 Vaccination Against Delta and Omicron SARS-CoV-2 Infection and Hospitalization in Infants Younger Than 6 Months
SCJ Jorgenson et al, JAMA Pediatrics, February 27, 2023 (Posted: Feb-27-2023 11AM)

Postpartum maternal COVID-19 vaccination was moderately effective against Delta infection in infants younger than 6 months but conferred little protection against Omicron. Indirect comparisons suggest postpartum maternal COVID-19 vaccination may be inferior to maternal vaccination during pregnancy, particularly against Omicron.

Cellular and molecular heterogeneities and signatures, and pathological trajectories of fatal COVID-19 lungs defined by spatial single-cell transcriptome analysis
A Das et al, MEDRXIV, February 26, 2021 (Posted: Feb-27-2023 9AM)

Effect of Predeparture Testing on Postarrival SARS-CoV-2-Positive Test Results Among International Travelers - CDC Traveler-Based Genomic Surveillance Program, Four U.S. Airports, March-September 2022.
Stephen M Bart et al. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report 2023 2 (8) 206-209 (Posted: Feb-24-2023 7AM)

During December 6, 2021–June 11, 2022, SARS-CoV-2 testing =1 day before departure or proof of recent COVID-19 recovery were required for passengers boarding U.S.-bound flights. Mathematical models have estimated predeparture testing effectiveness in preventing travel-associated transmission. CDC’s Traveler-based Genomic Surveillance Program collects postarrival nasal swabs for SARS-CoV-2 testing from volunteering international air travelers. Among 3,049 pooled (28,056 individual) samples collected during March 20–September 3, 2022, the predeparture testing requirement was associated with 52% lower postarrival SARS-CoV-2 positivity.

Multilevel determinants of Covid-19 vaccine hesitancy and undervaccination among marginalized populations in the United States: A scoping review
PA Newman et al, MEDRXIV, February 23, 2023 (Posted: Feb-24-2023 7AM)

This review indicates the importance of identifying and disaggregating structural factors underlying Covid-19 undervaccination among marginalized populations, both cross-cutting and population-specific—including multiple logistical and economic barriers in access, and systemic mistrust of healthcare systems and government public health—from individual and social/community factors, including trust in personal HCPs/clinics as reliable sources of vaccine information, altruistic motivations, and family influence, to effectively address individual decisional conflict underlying VH as well as broader determinants of undervaccination.

A unique cytotoxic CD4+ T cells signature defines critical COVID-19
S Baird et al, MEDRXIV, February 23, 2023 (Posted: Feb-24-2023 7AM)

Epidemiological impacts of the NHS COVID-19 app in England and Wales throughout its first year
M Kendall et al, Nat Comm, February 22, 2023 (Posted: Feb-22-2023 6AM)

The NHS COVID-19 app was launched in England and Wales in September 2020, with a Bluetooth-based contact tracing functionality designed to reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2. We show that user engagement and the app’s epidemiological impacts varied according to changing social and epidemic characteristics throughout the app’s first year. We describe the interaction and complementarity of manual and digital contact tracing approaches. We estimate that the app’s contact tracing function alone averted about 1 million cases (sensitivity analysis 450,000–1,400,000) during its first year, corresponding to 44,000 hospital cases (SA 20,000–60,000) and 9,600 deaths (SA 4600–13,000).

A third vaccine dose equalizes the levels of effectiveness and immunogenicity of heterologous or homologous COVID-19 vaccine regimens
N Guibert et al, MEDRXIV, February 21, 2023 (Posted: Feb-22-2023 6AM)

Intrinsic and effective severity of COVID-19 cases infected with the ancestral strain and Omicron BA.2 variant in Hong Kong
JY Wong et al, MEDRXIV< February 21, 2023 (Posted: Feb-22-2023 6AM)

Design and Implementation of the All of Us Research Program COVID-19 Participant Experience (COPE) Survey.
Claire E Schulkey et al. American journal of epidemiology 2023 2 (Posted: Feb-20-2023 6AM)

In response to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the All of Us Research Program longitudinal cohort study developed the COVID-19 Participant Experience (COPE) survey to better understand the pandemic experiences and health impacts of COVID-19 on diverse populations within the United States. Six survey versions were deployed between May 2020 and March 2021 covering mental health, loneliness, activity, substance use, and discrimination, as well as COVID-19 symptoms, testing, treatment, and vaccination. A total of 104,910 All of Us Research Program participants, of whom over 73% were from communities traditionally underrepresented in biomedical research, completed 275,201 surveys; 9,693 completed all six surveys

COVID-19 Vaccination Coverage and Demographic Characteristics of Infants and Children Aged 6 Months-4 Years - United States, June 20-December 31, 2022.
Bhavini Patel Murthy et al. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report 2023 2 (7) 183-189 (Posted: Feb-17-2023 6AM)

As of December 31, 2022, coverage with =1 COVID-19 vaccine dose among young children (those aged 6 months–4 years) was 10.1%, and 5.1% had completed the primary series. Coverage among young children varied by jurisdiction, urbanicity, race, and ethnicity. Five months after the COVID-19 vaccines became available to young children, their vaccination coverage is substantially lower than that in older children.

COVID-19 Bivalent Booster Vaccination Coverage and Intent to Receive Booster Vaccination Among Adolescents and Adults - United States, November-December 2022.
Peng-Jun Lu et al. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report 2023 2 (7) 190-198 (Posted: Feb-17-2023 6AM)

Based on interviews conducted during November–December 2022, only 27.1% of adults and 18.5% of adolescents who had completed a COVID-19 primary series received a bivalent booster, and coverage was lower among Black and Hispanic persons. An additional 39.4% of adults were open to booster vaccination, and an additional 52.0% of adolescents had parents who were open to booster vaccination for their children. Those in rural areas had much lower primary series completion rate and up-to-date vaccination coverage.

The role of wastewater-based epidemiology for SARS-CoV-2 in developing countries: cumulative evidence from South Africa supports sentinel site surveillance to guide public health decision-making
SJI Jaja et al, MEDRXIV, February 15, 2023 (Posted: Feb-17-2023 6AM)

Seven laboratories using different test methodology, quantified influent wastewater collected from 87 wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) located in all nine South African provinces for SARS-CoV-2 from 01 June 2021 to 31 May 2022 inclusive, during the 3rd and 4th waves of COVID-19. Variation in the strength of correlation across testing laboratories, and redundancy of findings across co-located testing plants, suggests that test methodology should be standardised and that surveillance networks may utilize a sentinel site model without compromising the value of WBE findings for public health decision-making.

Polygenic Risk Scores for Asthma and Allergic Disease Associate with COVID-19 Severity in 9/11 Responders
M Wasczuk et al, MEDRXIV, February 16, 2023 (Posted: Feb-17-2023 6AM)

Relatively little is known about the associations between PRS and COVID-19 severity or post-acute COVID-19 in community-dwelling individuals. Methods. Participants in this study were 983 World Trade Center responders infected for the first time with SARS-CoV-2. The results indicate that recently developed polygenic biomarkers for asthma, allergic disease, and COVID-19 hospitalization capture some of the individual differences in severity and clinical course of COVID-19 illness in a community population.

Ischemic stroke after COVID-19 bivalent vaccine administration in patients aged 65 years and older: analysis of nation-wide patient electronic health records in the United States
M Gorenflo et al, MEDRXIV, February 14, 2023 (Posted: Feb-16-2023 6AM)

Association of COVID-19 Vaccination With Risk for Incident Diabetes After COVID-19 Infection.
Alan C Kwan et al. JAMA network open 2023 2 (2) e2255965 (Posted: Feb-16-2023 6AM)

In this cohort study, COVID-19 infection was associated with increased risk of diabetes, consistent findings of a meta-analysis.1 Our results suggest that this risk persisted as the Omicron variant became predominant, and the association remained even after accounting for temporal confounders. Diabetes risk after COVID-19 infection was higher in unvaccinated than vaccinated patients, suggesting a benefit of vaccination.

Evaluation of BNT162b2 Covid-19 Vaccine in Children Younger than 5 Years of Age.
Flor M Muñoz et al. The New England journal of medicine 2023 2 (7) 621-634 (Posted: Feb-16-2023 6AM)

We conducted a phase 1 dose-finding study and are conducting an ongoing phase 2–3 safety, immunogenicity, and efficacy trial of the BNT162b2 vaccine in healthy children 6 months to 11 years of age. Our data show that a three-dose primary series of 3-µg BNT162b2 was safe, immunogenic, and efficacious in children 6 months to 4 years of age.

Questions Remain About What SARS-CoV-2 Variants Should Go Into the Annual COVID-19 Vaccines Proposed by the FDA.
Rita Rubin et al. JAMA 2023 2 (Posted: Feb-16-2023 6AM)

Three years into the COVID-19 pandemic and more than 2 years since vaccines became available, however, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) wants to get down to 1 vaccine dose per year for most people, following an annual review of the circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants du jour to determine the shot’s optimal makeup. Under the FDA’s proposed plan, everyone’s annual vaccine, administered in the fall, would be composed of the same variant or variants, no matter whether it’s their 1st or 5th or 15th dose.

Forecasting hospital-level COVID-19 admissions using real-time mobility data
B Klein et al, Comm Medicine, February 14, 2023 (Posted: Feb-15-2023 7AM)

Incorporating large-scale, aggregate mobility data as exogenous variables in prediction models allows us to make hospital-specific COVID-19 admission forecasts 21 days ahead. We show this through highly accurate predictions of hospital admissions for five hospitals in Massachusetts during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Long-term effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines against infections, hospitalisations, and mortality in adults: findings from a rapid living systematic evidence synthesis and meta-analysis up to December, 2022.
Nana Wu et al. The Lancet. Respiratory medicine 2023 2 (Posted: Feb-14-2023 7AM)

Our analyses indicate that vaccine effectiveness generally decreases over time against SARS-CoV-2 infections, hospitalisations, and mortality. The baseline vaccine effectiveness levels for the omicron variant were notably lower than for other variants. Therefore, other preventive measures (eg, face-mask wearing and physical distancing) might be necessary to manage the pandemic in the long term.

Divergence of wastewater SARS-CoV-2 and reported laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 incident case data coincident with wide-spread availability of at-home COVID-19 antigen tests
A Boehm et al, MEDRXIV< February 13, 2023 (Posted: Feb-14-2023 7AM)

Relative effectiveness of BNT162b2, mRNA-1273, and Ad26.COV2.S vaccines and homologous boosting in preventing COVID-19 in adults in the US
H Nguyen et al, MEDRXIV, February 12, 2023 (Posted: Feb-13-2023 7AM)

A dataset linking primary care electronic medical records with medical claims data was used for this retrospective cohort study of US patients =18 years vaccinated with a primary series between February and October 2021 (Part 1) and a homologous mRNA booster between October 2021 and January 2022 (Part 2). We found that mRNA-1273 was more effective than BNT162b2 or Ad26.COV2.S following primary series during a Delta-dominant period, and than BNT162b2 as a booster during an Omicron-dominant period.

Maternal mRNA covid-19 vaccination during pregnancy and delta or omicron infection or hospital admission in infants: test negative design study.
Sarah C J Jorgensen et al. BMJ (Clinical research ed.) 2023 2 e074035 (Posted: Feb-12-2023 7AM)

Maternal covid-19 vaccination with a second dose during pregnancy was highly effective against delta and moderately effective against omicron infection and hospital admission in infants during the first six months of life. A third vaccine dose bolstered protection against omicron. Effectiveness for two doses was highest with maternal vaccination in the third trimester, and effectiveness decreased in infants beyond eight weeks of age.

Vaccination status and long COVID symptoms in patients discharged from hospital.
Teresa Cristina D C Nascimento et al. Scientific reports 2023 2 (1) 2481 (Posted: Feb-12-2023 7AM)

Ninety days after hospital discharge, patients with no or incomplete vaccination presented a higher frequency of symptoms (=?1) than patients with complete vaccination (40 vs. 27%; p?=?0.013). After adjusting for confounders, no or incomplete vaccination (odds ratio [OR] 1.819; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.175–2.815), female sex (OR 2.435; 95% CI 1.575–3.764) and ICU admission during hospitalisation (OR 1.697; 95% CI 1.062–2.712) were independently associated with?=?1 symptom 90 days after hospital discharge. In conclusion, even in patients with severe COVID-19, vaccination mitigates the probability of long COVID symptoms.

COVID-19 Incidence and Mortality Among Unvaccinated and Vaccinated Persons Aged ≥12 Years by Receipt of Bivalent Booster Doses and Time Since Vaccination - 24 U.S. Jurisdictions, October 3, 2021-December 24, 2022.
Amelia G Johnson et al. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report 2023 2 (6) 145-152 (Posted: Feb-10-2023 6AM)

COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness decreased with waning of vaccine-derived immunity and emerging Omicron sublineages. An updated (bivalent) booster dose enhances protection against infection and medically attended illness, but protection against death has not been evaluated. Bivalent booster recipients in 24 U.S. jurisdictions had slightly higher protection against infection and significantly higher protection against death than was observed for monovalent booster recipients or unvaccinated persons, especially among older adults.

The impacts of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine dose separation and targeting on the COVID-19 epidemic in England
MJ Keeling et al, Nature Comm, February 10, 2023 (Posted: Feb-10-2023 6AM)

We use a mathematical model of SARS-CoV-2 infection in England. We show that targeting the most vulnerable had the biggest immediate impact (compared to targeting younger individuals who may be more responsible for transmission). The 12-week delay was also highly beneficial, estimated to have averted between 32-72 thousand hospital admissions and 4-9 thousand deaths over the first ten months of the campaign (December 2020–September 2021) depending on the assumed interaction between dose interval and efficacy.

Factors Associated with Stroke after COVID-19 Vaccination: A Statewide Analysis
F Nahab et al, MEDRXIV, February 9, 2023 (Posted: Feb-10-2023 6AM)

The 21-day post vaccination incidence of ischemic stroke was 8.14, 11.14, and 10.48 per 100,000 for BNT162b2, mRNA-1273 and Ad26.COV2.S recipients, respectively. Concurrent COVID-19 infection had the strongest association with early ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke after first dose COVID-19 vaccination. The Ad26.COV2.S vaccine was associated with a higher risk of early post-vaccination ischemic stroke than BNT162b2.

Machine-learning-aided multiplexed nanobiosensor for COVID-19 population immunity profiling
A Beisenova et al, MEDRXIV, February 8, 2023 (Posted: Feb-09-2023 6AM)

Use of wastewater metrics to track COVID-19 in the U.S.: a national time-series analysis over the first three quarters of 2022
M Varkila et al, MEDRXIV, February 8, 2023 (Posted: Feb-09-2023 6AM)

Among 268 counties across 22 states, wastewater percentile detected high reported case and hospitalizations rates in the first quarter of 2022 (AUC 0.95 and 0.86 respectively) whereas the percent change did not (AUC 0.54 and 0.49 respectively). A wastewater percentile of 51% maximized sensitivity (0.93) and specificity (0.82) for detecting high case rates.

Characterisation of SARS-CoV-2 variants in Beijing during 2022: an epidemiological and phylogenetic analysis
Y Pan et al, The Lancet, February 8, 2023 (Posted: Feb-08-2023 0PM)

With soaring growth in the number of COVID-19 cases in China recently, there are concerns that there might be an emergence of novel SARS-CoV-2 variants. Routine surveillance of viral genomes has been carried out in Beijing over the last 3 years. From Nov 14 to Dec 20, we sequenced 413 new samples, including 350 local cases and 63 imported cases. All of these genomes belong to the existing 123 Pango lineages, showing there are no persistently dominant variants or novel lineages.

The NIH-led research response to COVID-19.
Francis Collins et al. Science (New York, N.Y.) 2023 2 (6631) 441-444 (Posted: Feb-08-2023 9AM)

Although the worst days of the pandemic may be behind us, the timeline of the biomedical research community’s response to COVID-19 is still being written. The novel coronavirus and its variants will likely continue to present considerable public health challenges around the globe for years or even decades, requiring continued vigilance and sustained support for development of updated vaccines, tests, and therapies.

Associations of COVID-19 Symptoms with Omicron Subvariants BA.2 and BA.5, Host Status, and Clinical Outcomes: A Registry-Based Observational Study in Sapporo, Japan
S Nakabuko et al, MEDRXIV, February 7, 2023 (Posted: Feb-08-2023 6AM)

Host immunological status, omicron subvariant, and age were associated with a spectrum of COVID-19 symptoms and outcomes. BA.5 produced a greater symptom burden than BA.2. Vaccination and prior infection mitigated systemic symptoms and improved outcomes, but increased upper respiratory tract symptom burden. Systemic, but not upper respiratory, symptoms in the elderly heralded severe disease.

A scoping review of the impacts of COVID-19 physical distancing measures on vulnerable population groups.
Lili Li et al. Nature communications 2023 2 (1) 599 (Posted: Feb-07-2023 8AM)

We synthesized results from 265 studies worldwide documenting the negative impacts of physical distancing on older people, children/students, low-income populations, migrant workers, people in prison, people with disabilities, sex workers, victims of domestic violence, refugees, ethnic minorities, and people from sexual and gender minorities. We show that prolonged loneliness, mental distress, unemployment, income loss, food insecurity, widened inequality and disruption of access to social support and health services were unintended consequences of physical distancing that impacted these vulnerable groups.

Unlocking life-threatening COVID-19 through two types of inborn errors of type I IFNs.
Jean-Laurent Casanova et al. The Journal of clinical investigation 2023 1 (3) (Posted: Feb-05-2023 11AM)

Since 2003, rare inborn errors of human type I IFN immunity have been discovered, each underlying a few severe viral illnesses. Autoantibodies neutralizing type I IFNs due to rare inborn errors of autoimmune regulator (AIRE)–driven T cell tolerance were discovered in 2006, but not initially linked to any viral disease. These two lines of clinical investigation converged in 2020, with the discovery that inherited and/or autoimmune deficiencies of type I IFN immunity accounted for approximately 15%–20% of cases of critical COVID-19 pneumonia in unvaccinated individuals.

How quickly does COVID immunity fade? What scientists know.
Cassandra Willyard et al. Nature 2023 2 (Posted: Feb-04-2023 7AM)

Three years into the pandemic, the immune systems of the vast majority of humans have learnt to recognize SARS-CoV-2 through vaccination, infection or, in many cases, both. But just how quickly do these types of immunity fade? New evidence suggests that ‘hybrid’ immunity, the result of both vaccination and a bout of COVID-19, can provide partial protection against reinfection for at least eight months. It also offers greater than 95% protection against severe disease or hospitalization for between six months and a year after an infection or vaccination, according to estimates from a meta-analysis. Immunity acquired by booster vaccination alone seems to fade somewhat faster.

Global generalisability of AI-driven COVID-19 vaccination policies: a cross-sectional observational study
R Awasthi et al, MEDRXIV, February 2, 2023 (Posted: Feb-03-2023 7AM)

We found 16 important predictors of vaccine uptake using the Bayesian network and Markov Blanket approach. We found that the trust of the central government (Log-Odds 0.55[0.25, 0.84] (p= 0.0002)), Vaccination restriction for national and international travel (Log-Odds 0.4[0.14, 0.65] (p= 0.0034)) as the key determinants of Vaccine uptake.

Inequities in COVID-19 vaccine and booster coverage across Massachusetts ZIP codes after the emergence of Omicron: A population-based cross-sectional study.
Jacob Bor et al. PLoS medicine 2023 1 (1) e1004167 (Posted: Feb-02-2023 7AM)

We analyzed data on 418 ZIP codes. We observed wide geographic variation in primary series vaccination and booster rates, with marked inequities by ZIP code-level education, median household income, essential worker share, and racial/ethnic composition. In age-stratified analyses, primary series vaccine coverage was very high among the elderly. However, we found large inequities in vaccination rates among younger adults and children, and very large inequities in booster rates for all age groups.

The next generation of coronavirus vaccines: a graphical guide
E Callaway, Nature, February 1, 2023 (Posted: Feb-01-2023 6AM)

Vaccine developers around the world are working on dozens of ‘next-generation’ COVID-19 vaccines: not just updates of the first versions, but ones that use new technologies and platforms. These vaccines are a diverse group, but the overarching aim is to deliver long-lasting protection that is resilient to viral change. Some could protect against broader classes of coronavirus, including ones that have yet to emerge. Others might provide more potent immunity, might do so at lower doses, or might be better at preventing infection or transmission of the virus.

Proteome-wide Mendelian randomization implicates nephronectin as an actionable mediator of the effect of obesity on COVID-19 severity
S Yojoshi et al, MEDRXIV, January 31, 2023 (Posted: Feb-01-2023 6AM)

The effect of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 vaccination on SARS-CoV-2 Omicron infection and relation with serological response – a prospective cohort study
B de Gier et al, MEDRXIV, January 31, 2023 (Posted: Feb-01-2023 6AM)

Our results showed that hybrid immunity is more protective against infection with SARS-CoV-2 Omicron than vaccine-induced immunity, up to at least 30 weeks after the last immunizing event. Among those with hybrid immunity, the sequence and number of immunizing events was not found to be of importance, and its protective effect was partly explained by circulating S-antibodies.

A modeling-based approach to optimize COVID-19 vaccine dosing schedules for improved protection
P Dogra et al, MEDRXIV, January 31, 2023 (Posted: Feb-01-2023 6AM)

Influence of social deprivation index on in-hospital outcomes of COVID-19.
Parag Goyal et al. Scientific reports 2023 1 (1) 1746 (Posted: Feb-01-2023 6AM)

Could Africa be the future for genomics research?
Z Lombard et al, Nature, January 31, 2023 (Posted: Jan-31-2023 8AM)

Although various enterprises have supported cutting-edge human genomics in Africa, the Human Heredity and Health in Africa (H3Africa) initiative2, which supported this work, has probably contributed the most in terms of infrastructure and training. The US$176-million programme began in 2010, funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the UK biomedical charity Wellcome (in partnership with the African Society of Human Genetics). Projects have ranged from population-based genomic studies of common disorders, such as heart disease, to investigations of infectious diseases, such as COVID-19.

Machine learning models for predicting severe COVID-19 outcomes in hospitals
P Wendland et al, MEDRXIV, January 30, 2023 (Posted: Jan-31-2023 8AM)

The aim of this observational retrospective study is to improve early risk stratification of hospitalized Covid-19 patients by predicting in-hospital mortality, transfer to intensive care unit (ICU) and mechanical ventilation from electronic health record data of the first 24 hours after admission. Methods and Results Our machine learning model predicts in-hospital mortality (AUC=0.918), transfer to ICU (AUC=0.821) and the need for mechanical ventilation (AUC=0.654) from a few laboratory data of the first 24 hours after admission.

A large-scale machine learning study of sociodemographic factors contributing to COVID-19 severity
M Tumbas et al, MEDRXIV, January 29, 2023 (Posted: Jan-30-2023 7AM)

We assemble 115 predictors for more than 3000 US counties and employ a well-defined COVID-19 severity measure derived from epidemiological dynamics modeling. We then use a number of advanced feature selection techniques from machine learning to determine which of these predictors significantly impact the disease severity. We obtain a surprisingly simple result, where only two variables are clearly and robustly selected - population density and proportion of African Americans.

Genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 in COVID-19 vaccinated healthcare workers in Lebanon.
Habib AlKalamouni et al. BMC medical genomics 2023 1 (1) 14 (Posted: Jan-30-2023 6AM)

Agent-based modeling and phylogenetic analysis suggests that COVID-19 will remain a low-severity albeit highly transmissible disease
JCT Roy et al, MEDRXIV, January 28, 2023 (Posted: Jan-29-2023 7AM)

Should COVID vaccines be yearly? Proposal divides US scientists
M Kozlov, Nature, January 27, 2023 (Posted: Jan-27-2023 9AM)

Scientists are split about a US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposal to update COVID-19 vaccines once a year, similar to the agency’s approach for annually updating influenza vaccines. At a meeting of the FDA’s vaccine advisory panel on 26 January, some researchers argued that the proposal to offer an updated vaccine every US autumn would help simplify the country’s complex COVID immunization schedule and might boost uptake as a result. But other scientists were less convinced about the timeline — or whether healthy adults should be urged to receive an annual COVID-19 jab at all.

The impact of COVID-19 lockdown on a cohort of adults with recurrent major depressive disorder from Catalonia: a decentralized longitudinal study using remote measurement technology
R Lavalle et al, MEDRXIV, January 27, 2023 (Posted: Jan-27-2023 7AM)

Do bivalent boosters work against XBB.1.5? Vaccine questions, answered. New CDC data shows updated boosters are cutting risk of getting sick from covid-19 by about half
N Nerapil et al, Washington Post, January 25, 2023 (Posted: Jan-27-2023 7AM)

A Randomized Trial Comparing Omicron-Containing Boosters with the Original Covid-19 Vaccine mRNA-1273
IT Lee et al, MEDRXIV, January 24, 2023 (Posted: Jan-26-2023 7AM)

The bivalent omicron BA.1 containing booster elicited superior neutralizing antibody responses against omicron BA.1 with acceptable safety results consistent with the BA.1 monovalent vaccine. Incidence rates for Covid-19 were numerically lower in participants who received mRNA-1273.214 compared to the original booster vaccine mRNA-1273, driven by the BA.2 and BA.4 sublineages.

Wastewater and surface monitoring to detect COVID-19 in elementary school settings: The Safer at School Early Alert project
RKF Miller et al, MEDRXIV, January 25, 2023 (Posted: Jan-26-2023 7AM)

In 447 data collection days across the nine sites 89 individuals tested positive for COVID-19, and SARS-CoV-2 was detected in 374 surface samples and 133 wastewater samples. Ninety-three percent of identified cases were associated with an environmental sample (95% CI: 88% - 98%); 67% were associated with a positive wastewater sample (95% CI: 57% - 77%), and 40% were associated with a positive surface sample (95% CI: 29% - 52%). The techniques we utilized allowed for near-complete genomic sequencing of wastewater and surface samples.

COVision: Convolutional Neural Network for the Differentiation of COVID-19 from Common Pulmonary Conditions using CT Scans
K Parikh et al, MEDRXIV< January 23, 2023 (Posted: Jan-24-2023 7AM)

Wastewater-based surveillance can be used to model COVID-19-associated workforce absenteeism
N Acosta et al, MEDRXIV< January 23, 2023 (Posted: Jan-24-2023 7AM)

Evaluation of Potential Adverse Events Following COVID-19 mRNA Vaccination Among Adults Aged 65 Years and Older: A Self-Controlled Study in the U.S.
A Shaobi et al, MEDRIV, January 23, 2023 (Posted: Jan-23-2023 9AM)

In these two studies of the U.S. elderly we did not find an increased risk for AMI, ITP, DIC, and Myo/Peri; the results were not consistent for PE; and there was a small elevated risk of BP after exposure to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. These results support the favorable safety profile of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines administered in the elderly.

Immunogenicity, Safety and Effectiveness of COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) mRNA Vaccination in Immunocompromised Adolescents and Young Adults: A systematic Review and Meta-Analyses
P Katoto et al, MEDRXIV, January 20, 2023 (Posted: Jan-22-2023 8AM)

The overall estimated proportion of combined local and systemic reactions after the first BNT162b2 vaccination was 30%[95% CI: 17-42%] and slightly rose to 32% [95% CI: 19-44%] after the second dose. Rheumatic illnesses had the highest rate of AEFI (40%[95% CI: 16-65%]), while cystic fibrosis had the lowest (27%[95% CI: 17%-38%]). Hospitalizations for AEFIs were rare.

The fourth dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine following 12 different three-dose regimens: Safety and immunogenicity to Omicron BA.4/BA.5
S Kanokudom et al, MEDRXIV, January 19, 2023 (Posted: Jan-20-2023 6AM)

Real-world COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness against the Omicron BA.2 variant in a SARS-CoV-2 infection-naive population
JJ Lau et al, Nature Medicine, January 18, 2023 (Posted: Jan-18-2023 1PM)

We used a community-wide serosurvey with 5,310 subjects to estimate how vaccination histories modulated risk of infection in infection-naïve Hong Kong during a large wave of Omicron BA.2 epidemic in January-July 2022. We estimated that Omicron infected 45% (41–48%) of the local population. Three and four doses of BNT162b2 or CoronaVac were effective against Omicron infection (VE of 48% (95% credible interval 34–64%) and 69% (46–98%) for three and four doses of BNT162b2 respectively; VE of 30% (1–66%) and 56% (6–97%) for three and four doses of CoronaVac respectively) seven days after vaccination.

Development of an amplicon-based sequencing approach in response to the global emergence of human monkeypox virus
NFG Chen et al, MEDRXIV, January 13, 2023 (Posted: Jan-16-2023 7AM)

Highly multiplexed amplicon-based sequencing (PrimalSeq) was initially developed for sequencing of Zika virus, and later adapted as the main sequencing approach for SARS-CoV-2. Here, we used PrimalScheme to develop a primer scheme for human monkeypox virus that can be used with many sequencing and bioinformatics pipelines implemented in public health laboratories during the COVID-19 pandemic. We sequenced clinical samples that tested presumptive positive for human monkeypox virus with amplicon-based and metagenomic sequencing approaches.

CDC & FDA Identify Preliminary COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Signal for Persons Aged 65 Years and Older
CDC, January 13, 2023 Brand (Posted: Jan-16-2023 6AM)

CDC’s Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD) met the statistical criteria to prompt additional investigation into whether there was a safety concern for ischemic stroke in people ages 65 and older who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent. Rapid-response investigation of the signal in the VSD raised a question of whether people 65 and older who have received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent were more likely to have an ischemic stroke in the 21 days following vaccination compared with days 22-42 following vaccination.

Variations in COVID-19 impacts by social vulnerability in Philadelphia, June 2020-December 2022
KM Strelau et al, MEDRXIV< January 14, 2023 (Posted: Jan-16-2023 5AM)

90.4% of Philadelphians (n = 1,430,153) live in neighborhoods classified as socially vulnerable, based on scoring above the national median score on the social vulnerability index. COVID-19 incidence, hospitalization, and mortality rates were significantly elevated in the more vulnerable communities, with p < 0.05, p < 0.005, and p < 0.001, respectively. The relative risks of COVID-19-related incidence, hospitalization, and death, comparing the more vulnerable neighborhoods to the less vulnerable neighborhoods, were 1.11 (95%CI: 1.10-1.12), 2.07 (95%CI: 1.93-2.20), and 2.06 (95%CI: 1.78-2.38), respectively.

Cross-sectional Ct distributions from qPCR tests can provide an early warning signal for the spread of COVID-19 in communities
M Sharmin et al, MEDRXIV, January 14, 2023 (Posted: Jan-16-2023 5AM)

Recently a model utilizing cross-sectional population cycle threshold (Ct) values obtained from PCR tests (Ct-based model) was developed to overcome the limitations of using only binary PCR results. In this study, we aimed to improve on COVID-19 forecasting models using features derived from the Ct-based model, to detect epidemic waves earlier than case-based trajectories.

Coronavirus variant XBB.1.5 rises in the United States - is it a global threat?
Callaway Ewen et al. Nature 2023 1 (7943) 222-223 (Posted: Jan-11-2023 6AM)

New year, new variant. Just as scientists were getting to grips with the alphabet soup of SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating globally — your BQ.1.1, CH.1.1 and BF.7 — one lineage seems to be rising to the top, thanks to a peculiar new mutation. The XBB.1.5 subvariant now makes up around 28% of US COVID-19 cases, according to projections from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and its prevalence is on the rise globally. In the Northeastern United States, it seems to have rapidly out-competed the menagerie of other immunity-dodging variants that were expected to circulate alongside one another this winter.

The coronavirus is speaking. It’s saying it’s not done with us.
E Topol, Washington Post, January 8, 2023 (Posted: Jan-09-2023 6AM)

There’s no sugar-coating it: The world has let its guard down on covid-19. And the virus’s latest dominant form, XBB.1.5, makes clear that we’re doing so just as the virus finds new ways to hurt us. The new dominant strain shows that the virus is always evolving to spread more quickly and infect us more efficiently. That should serve as a wake-up call for the country to re-invest in new vaccines, treatments and pandemic monitoring.

Comparative effectiveness of third doses of mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines in US veterans
BA Dickerman et al, Nat Microbiology, January 22, 2023 (Posted: Jan-02-2023 0PM)

We emulated a target trial using electronic health records of US veterans who received a third dose of either BNT162b2 or mRNA-1273 vaccines between 20 October 2021 and 8 February 2022, during a period that included Delta- and Omicron-variant waves. The 16-week risks of COVID-19 outcomes were low after a third dose of mRNA-1273 or BNT162b2, although risks were lower with mRNA-1273 than with BNT162b2, particularly for documented infection.

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Safe and Effective for Children 6 Months to 5 Years.
Slomski Anita et al. JAMA 2022 12 (24) 2388 (Posted: Jan-02-2023 9AM)

A trial found that two 25-µg doses of the mRNA-1273 (Moderna) vaccine were safe for children aged 6 months to 5 years and elicited immune responses consistent with those seen in older children, adolescents, and adults who had received higher doses of the vaccine. The ongoing phase 2-3 KidCOVE trial was conducted in 2 parts. After the part 1 dose-escalation phase, the investigators chose a 25-µg dose of vaccine for evaluation among children in 2 age cohorts: 2 to 5 years and 6 to 23 months. The 4048 children aged 2 to 5 years and 2355 children aged 6 to 23 months were randomly assigned to receive two 25-µg injections of mRNA-1273 or placebo administered 28 days apart.

DIGItal Health Literacy after COVID-19 Outbreak among Frail and Non-Frail Cardiology Patients: The DIGI-COVID Study
M Vitolo et al, J Per Med, December 31, 2020 (Posted: Dec-31-2022 7AM)

A total of 300 patients were enrolled (36.3% females, median age 75 (66–84)) and stratified according to frailty status as robust (EFS = 5; 70.7%), pre-frail (EFS 6–7; 15.7%), and frail (EFS = 8; 13.7%). Frail and pre-frail patients used digital tools less frequently and accessed the Internet less frequently compared to robust patients. In the logistic regression analysis, frail patients were significantly associated with the non-use of the Internet (adjusted odds ratio 2.58, 95% CI 1.92–5.61) compared to robust and pre-frail patients. Digital health literacy decreased as the level of frailty increased in all the digital domains examined.

Omicron Subvariant XBB Jumps to 18% of US COVID Cases: CDC
Medscape, December 27, 2022 (Posted: Dec-29-2022 11AM)

The highly contagious Omicron subvariant XBB has surged to more than 50% of COVID-19 cases in the northeastern United States and risks spreading fast as millions of Americans begin holiday travel. In the week ended Dec. 24, XBB was estimated to account for 18.3% of the COVID-19 cases in the United States, up from 11.2% in the previous week,

Multi-objective optimization identifies a specific and interpretable COVID-19 host response signature.
Cappuccio Antonio et al. Cell systems 2022 12 (12) 989-1001.e8 (Posted: Dec-26-2022 0PM)

The identification of a COVID-19 host response signature in blood can increase the understanding of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and improve diagnostic tools. Applying a multi-objective optimization framework to both massive public and new multi-omics data, we identified a COVID-19 signature regulated at both transcriptional and epigenetic levels. We validated the signature’s robustness in multiple independent COVID-19 cohorts. Using public data from 8,630 subjects and 53 conditions, we demonstrated no cross-reactivity with other viral and bacterial infections, COVID-19 comorbidities, or confounders.

The impact of pre-existing cross-reactive immunity on SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccine responses.
Murray Sam M et al. Nature reviews. Immunology 2022 12 1-13 (Posted: Dec-25-2022 8AM)

we review evidence regarding the impact of pre-existing humoral and T cell immune responses to outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination. Furthermore, we discuss the importance of conserved coronavirus epitopes for the rational design of pan-coronavirus vaccines and consider cross-reactivity of immune responses to ancestral SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-2 variants, as well as their impact on COVID-19 vaccination.

Race, inequalities, and burden of COVID-19 in the USA
G Bisbas, The Lancet Infectious Diseases, December 21, 2022 (Posted: Dec-22-2022 9AM)

Evolution of long-term vaccine induced and hybrid immunity in healthcare workers after different COVID-19 vaccination regimens: a longitudinal observational cohort study
SC Moore et al, MEDRXIV, December 21, 2022 (Posted: Dec-22-2022 8AM)

Digital Omicron Detection using Unscripted Voice Samples from Social Media
J Anibal et al, MEDRXIV, December 22, 2022 (Posted: Dec-22-2022 8AM)

We mined YouTube to collect voice data from individuals with self- declared positive COVID-19 tests during time periods in which Omicron was the predominant variant, while also sampling non-Omicron COVID-19 variants, other upper respiratory infections (URI), and healthy subjects. The resulting dataset was used to train a DenseNet model to detect the Omicron variant from voice changes. Our model achieved 0.85/0.80 sensitivity/specificity in separating Omicron samples from healthy samples and 0.76/0.70 sensitivity/specificity in separating Omicron samples from symptomatic non-COVID samples.

Cross-Clade Memory Immunity in Adults Following SARS-CoV-1 Infection in 2003.
Ng Rita W Y et al. JAMA network open 2022 12 (12) e2247723 (Posted: Dec-21-2022 1PM)

Does SARS-CoV-1 infection confer long-lasting memory immunity against the closely related SARS-CoV-2? This cohort study of 12 participants with SARS-CoV-1 infection in 2003 showed robust antibody response at 7 days after receiving 1 dose of either inactivated or messenger RNA COVID-19 vaccine. After 2 doses, those with past SARS-CoV-1 infection developed significantly higher levels of neutralizing antibodies against wild-type SARS-CoV-2 and variants of concern compared with 40 sex- and age-matched SARS-CoV-1–naive controls.

Inborn errors of OAS–RNase L in SARS-CoV-2–related multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children
D Lee et al, Science, December 20, 2022 (Posted: Dec-20-2022 11AM)

Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a rare and severe condition that follows benign COVID-19. We report autosomal recessive deficiencies of OAS1, OAS2, or RNASEL in five unrelated children with MIS-C. The cytosolic dsRNA-sensing OAS1 and OAS2 generate 2'-5'-linked oligoadenylates (2-5A) that activate the ssRNA-degrading RNase L. Monocytic cell lines and primary myeloid cells with OAS1, OAS2, or RNASEL deficiencies produce excessive amounts of inflammatory cytokines upon dsRNA or SARS-CoV-2 stimulation.

Comparison of the mucosal and systemic antibody responses in Covid-19 recovered patients with one dose of mRNA vaccine and unexposed subjects with three doses of mRNA vaccines
S Liu et al, MEDRXIV, December 19, 2022 (Posted: Dec-20-2022 7AM)


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