Teens who receive routine vaccines more likely to get COVID shot

News brief

A national telephone survey of 12,535 US parents finds that teens were more likely to receive COVID-19 vaccine doses if they had received at least one human papillomavirus (HPV), meningitis, and/or tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine dose.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers analyzed results from the National Immunization Survey COVID Modules for children and teens, which polls parents of children aged 6 months to 17 years on their child's vaccine uptake and intent to vaccinate. The survey was conducted from Jul 22, 2021, to Feb 26, 2022.

The study was published yesterday in JAMA Pediatrics.

Addressing overall vaccine hesitance

Of parents of adolescents vaccinated against HPV, 63.8% said their teen had already been vaccinated against COVID-19. Another 6.7% said that their child definitely would be vaccinated, while 14.2% said they probably would or weren't sure, and 15.3% said they probably or definitely wouldn't. Similar results were observed with meningitis and Tdap vaccine recipients.

Relative to parents of HPV vaccine recipients, a higher proportion of parents of adolescents who hadn't received the vaccine said they didn't plan to vaccinate their child against COVID-19 (27.7% vs 15.3%) or said they probably would or weren't sure (19.6% vs 14.2%), and a comparable proportion said they definitely would (6.8% vs 6.7%).

A greater share of parents of teens unvaccinated against meningitis (25.9%) or Tdap (27.5%) said their child probably or definitely would not be vaccinated against COVID-19 than parents of meningitis vaccine recipients (18.0% and 18.6%, respectively).

Uptake of routine and COVID-19 vaccines rose with declining levels of hesitance about childhood vaccinations. Teens whose parents reported no reluctance about childhood vaccinations were more likely to be vaccinated against all studied diseases than those of "very hesitant" parents (difference, 41.7 percentage points for COVID-19, 37.9 for HPV, 20.9 for meningitis, and 17.3 for Tdap).

The researchers noted that, as of Apr 14, 2022, COVID-19 vaccine coverage among US children aged 12 to 17 years was 68%, lower than for routine vaccines. "Addressing hesitancy about routine childhood vaccinations may reduce hesitancy about COVID-19 vaccines," they wrote.

Report: COVID-19 vaccines saved US $1.15 trillion, 3 million lives

News brief

A Commonwealth Fund study estimates that, through November 2022, COVID-19 vaccines prevented more than 18.5 million US hospitalizations and 3.2 million deaths and saved the country $1.15 trillion.

The modeling study estimated hospitalizations and deaths averted through the end of November 2022, at a time when 80% of the US population had received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Approved COVID-19 vaccines have been available in the United States since December of 2020. Since Dec 12, 2020, 82 million infections, 4.8 million hospitalizations, and 798,000 deaths have been reported in the United States.

"Without vaccination the U.S. would have experienced 1.5 times more infections, 3.8 times more hospitalizations, and 4.1 times more deaths," the authors wrote. "These losses would have been accompanied by more than $1 trillion in additional medical costs that were averted because of fewer infections, hospitalizations, and deaths."

Without vaccination the U.S. would have experienced 1.5 times more infections, 3.8 times more hospitalizations, and 4.1 times more deaths.

The model used in the study took into account the transition patterns seen with five variants, each with cumulative prevalence of at least 3% in the United States, including Iota, Alpha, Gamma, Delta, and Omicron, in addition to the original Wuhan-I SARS-CoV-2 strain. The model also used aged demographics to account for disease severity.

Taiwan to review New Drug Application for cefiderocol

News brief

Japanese drugmaker Shionogi announced today that the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration (TFDA) will review its New Drug Application (NDA) for the novel antibiotic cefiderocol.

Cefiderocol is a cephalosorin antibiotic with a novel method of penetrating the tough outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria, including strains that are resistant to several other antibiotics, and is considered an important treatment option against multidrug-resistant infections. The NDA submitted to the TFDA is for treatment of infections due to aerobic gram-negative bacteria in adult patients who have limited treatment options.

The drug is already approved and marketed in the United States and Europe, but the company says it is now focusing on getting it approved in Taiwan, Japan, China, and other countries.

In June, Shionogi announced a partnership with the Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership and the Clinton Health Access Initiative to expand access to cefiderocol in low- and middle-income countries where antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is rising and treatment options for resistant infections are limited.

"Shionogi is committed to overcoming the global AMR problem and to rapidly providing infectious disease drugs required to protect the health of patients around the world through various collaborations," the company said in a press release.

Cholera vaccine arrives in Haiti as outbreak tops 13,000 cases

News brief

Public health officials today announced that Haiti has received its first shipment of oral cholera vaccine in response to an outbreak that has grown to more than 13,000 suspected cases, plus 283 deaths. The World Health Organization (WHO) notes that the disease is spreading amid a multifaceted humanitarian crisis with escalating gang violence and political upheaval.

With the support of the WHO's Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Haiti today received around 1.17 million doses of oral cholera vaccine, PAHO said in a news release. The vaccine, Evichol, was provided by the International Coordinating Group on Vaccine Provision (IGC), which manages the global cholera vaccine stockpile.

"Haiti has experience in managing cholera, but the fragile security situation has slowed down response efforts, so the arrival of these vaccines is most welcome," PAHO Director Carissa F. Etienne, MBBS, said. "PAHO has been working with Haiti since the resurgence of cholera and will continue to support the national authorities to quickly distribute vaccines, monitor cases and provide life-saving care."

Haiti has experience in managing cholera.

The WHO recommends vaccination in combination with other measures, particularly water, sanitation, and hygiene steps.

Deaths approach 300

Haiti first reported the outbreak on Oct 2, after more than 3 years with no reported cases, the WHO said in an update today. Officials have now tallied 13,672 suspected cases across the country and 283 deaths, for a case-fatality rate of 2.1%. Among those patients (59% male), 11,751 (86%) have required hospitalization.

Officials have confirmed 1,193 cholera cases. Two departments account for 92% of the reported confirmed cases: Ouest (79%) and Centre (13%).

"There is also an ongoing complex humanitarian crisis that is rapidly deteriorating due to gang violence, socio-political conflicts, insecurity, fuel shortages, and economic instability," the WHO said. "This has resulted in limited access to healthcare and essential services."

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