Omicron BQ variants dominant, XBB circulating at low level

A person receives a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) test as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., December 22, 2021. Andrew Kelly | Reuters The omicron BQ coronavirus subvariants have risen to dominance in the U.S. as people gather and travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, putting people with compromised immune … Read more

Omicron boosters aren’t very effective against mild illness

A healthcare worker administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic in the Peabody Institute Library in Peabody, Massachusetts, U.S., on Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022. Vanessa Leroy | Bloomberg | Getty Images The new omicron Covid boosters probably aren’t very effective at preventing Covid infections and mild illness, but they will … Read more

Omicron BA.5 is declining as emerging variants gain ground: CDC data

The U.S. faces at least seven different versions of Covid-19 omicron as the nation heads into winter when health officials are expecting another wave of viral infections. Although the omicron BA.5 variant remains dominant in the country, it is starting to lose some ground to other versions of the virus, according to data from the … Read more

Monkeypox unlikely to be eliminated in the U.S., CDC says

The monkeypox virus is unlikely to be eliminated from the U.S. in the near future, according to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week. The CDC, in a technical brief, said the outbreak is slowing as the availability of vaccines has increased, people have become more aware of how … Read more

CDC cautiously optimistic outbreak might be slowing

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is cautiously optimistic that the U.S. is slowing the spread of monkeypox as new cases fall in several major cities. “We’re watching this with cautious optimism, and really hopeful that many of our harm-reduction messages and our vaccines are getting out there and working,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle … Read more

Passage of Inflation Reduction Act gives Medicare historic new powers

A pharmacist collects medications for prescriptions at a pharmacy. Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images Medicare is poised to renegotiate the prices of some of its most expensive drugs through a historic expansion of its power, which could reduce costs for many seniors as well as federal spending on its prescription drug plan. The … Read more

U.S. to release 786,000 additional monkeypox vaccine doses as outbreak spreads

The U.S. will make 786,000 additional monkeypox vaccine doses available to local health departments “as soon as possible” after the Food and Drug Administration approved the shots for distribution, the nation’s top health official said on Wednesday. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Beccerra said the federal government will announce more allocations of the two-dose … Read more

U.S. to deploy nearly 300,000 monkeypox vaccine doses to fight outbreak

Mock-up vials labeled “Monkeypox vaccine” are seen in this illustration taken, May 25, 2022.  Dado Ruvic | Reuters The U.S. will deploy nearly 300,000 monekypox vaccine doses in the coming weeks in an effort to stamp out the growing outbreak of the virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that people who … Read more

World Health Organization says monkeypox is not a global health emergency right now

The World Health Organization on Saturday said the rapid spread of monkeypox across dozens of nations does not represent a global health emergency at this time. WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus described monkeypox as an evolving health threat, however, and urged governments around the world to step up surveillance, contact tracing, testing and to … Read more

Novavax Covid vaccine clears key step on path to FDA authorization after committee endorses the shot

Novavax’s two-dose dose Covid-19 vaccine for adults ages 18 and older cleared a key step on the path toward Food and Drug Administration authorization on Tuesday. The FDA’s committee of independent vaccine experts voted 21 to 0 with one abstention to recommend authorization of the shot for use in the U.S. after an all-day public … Read more