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Coronavirus update: Antibody drug will be sold commercially

Parents are balking at the idea of vaccinating their young children

COVID-19 and coronavirus drug concept
Photo (c) sittithat tangwitthayaphum - Getty Images
COVID-19 ‌tally‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌(Previous‌ ‌numbers‌ ‌in‌ ‌parentheses.)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 91,795,201 (90,593,384)

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 1,032,102 (1,031,035)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 580,757,984 (579,597,066)

Total ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 6,410,326 (6,406,057)‌

Drugmaker plans commercial sales of antibody drug

Ely Lilly makes a COVID-19 antibody drug that has been highly successful in keeping patients out of the hospital. The company, which had been selling the drug to the U.S. government, now says the treatment will be commercially available.

Previously, Eli Lilly sold the entire lot of its monoclonal antibody drug through contracts with the federal government, which then distributed the drug at no charge. The federal supply of the drug is now nearly gone.

According to the drug company, the government has run out of appropriated funds to purchase the drug, and Congress has not allocated money to renew the supply. 

Parents balk at vaccinating their youngest children

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the use of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for children as young as six months old. But surveys show that parents are in no rush to get their young children vaccinated.

The Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) reports that 43% of parents say they are not willing to vaccinate their children against COVID-19. In the last year, more parents have taken that position. In July 2021, only 30% of parents said they “definitely” did not want their kids to get the shot. 

The KFF survey found that there are several reasons for hesitation. Fifty-three percent of parents said they believe children face a greater risk from the vaccine than they do from COVID-19. Some parents also cited the newness of the vaccine as a reason to wait.

CDC may relax some of its guidelines

With schools reopening around the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reportedly preparing to relax its COVID-19 guidelines. The guidance for control of the virus in schools and within communities could come within days, sources say.

CNN reports that it has obtained a preview of the CDC’s plans and that the agency will recommend easing quarantine rules for people exposed to the virus. The guidelines also reportedly deemphasize social distancing.

Sources told the network that the CDC is also expected to deemphasize regular testing in schools and, instead, will base testing recommendations on whether a local community has a high transmission rate.

Around the nation

  • Arizona: With the NFL preseason set to get underway this week, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has tested positive for COVID-19. Coach Kliff Kingsbury said Murray could miss up to five days of practice. Murray’s symptoms were described as “minor.”

  • New Jersey: Researchers at St. Joseph's Health in Paterson have found that some people who were infected with COVID-19 early in the pandemic in 2020 were still suffering from at least one symptom 12 months later. Symptoms include shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, or other ailments a year after infection.

  • Mississippi: COVID-19 policies are varying by school district as children prepare to return to school for the fall term. Many education leaders are largely planning to continue using their COVID-19 policies from last school year, but some have dropped protections altogether. For the last year, decisions regarding masking, quarantining, sanitation, and vaccinations have been made by districts at the local level.

  • West Virginia: Dr. Clay Marsh, the state’s COVID-19 coordinator, told a press briefing this week that the state is following guidance from the White House on additional booster shots. Marsh said he has been told that instead of using the current vaccine, the goal is now to offer a new, “more Omicron-selective” vaccine sometime around October. 

  • Michigan: The state’s three most-populous counties have moved back into the high-risk category, as designated by the CDC. Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb counties have seen their case numbers rise as the BA.5 variant spreads across the state.

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