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Coronavirus update: CDC sees slightly higher heart risk from Moderna vaccine

Reinfection rates are rising in the U.S.

COVID-19 nurse with paper heart
Photo (c) Antonio Martin Sanchez - Getty Images
COVID-19 ‌tally‌ ‌as‌ ‌‌compiled‌‌ ‌by‌ ‌Johns‌ ‌Hopkins‌ ‌University.‌ ‌(Previous‌ ‌numbers‌ ‌in‌ ‌parentheses.)‌

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌confirmed‌ ‌cases:‌ 85,746,364 (85,515,980)

Total‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌deaths:‌ 1,011,901 (1,011,277)

Total‌ ‌global‌ ‌cases:‌ 536,336,569 (535,319,747)

Total ‌global‌ ‌deaths:‌ 6,311,852 (6,309,616)‌

CDC finds higher risk associated with Moderna vaccine

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine may pose a higher risk of heart inflammation than the vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech. Both are mRNA vaccines.

The report was released just ahead of a meeting by an advisory committee to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that will analyze data on the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and determine whether it should be administered to young children.

The CDC study showed that the number of cases of heart inflammation caused by myocarditis and pericarditis was 97.3 cases per million doses for young adult males following the second dose of Moderna's shot. That compares to 81.7 cases per million Pfizer vaccine doses.

Reinfection rates are rising, health experts say

Huge numbers of Americans have been infected with COVID-19 since the late 2021 arrival of the Omicron variant and its various subvariants, with many people having been infected multiple times.

Doctors point to two of the newer subvariants – BA.4 and BA.5 – as the leading culprits behind reinfections. Even among fully vaccinated and boosted people, the two strains find ways to evade protective antibodies and make people sick.

There is some good news, however. The COVID-19 infections caused by the emerging subvariants appear to be much less serious than infections from previous strains. Despite the rising number of cases, there are fewer COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization and even fewer requiring intensive care.

Poll shows wide gap in attitudes about the pandemic

Even though cases of COVID-19 are spreading again, thanks to highly transmissible subvariants of the virus, a growing number of Americans have returned to their daily lives. But a significant number are still wearing masks, and a new poll shows they feel left out.

The Axios-Ipsos poll found that 35% of respondents agreed with this statement: "I feel like most people around me have moved on from the pandemic, but I haven’t." Democrats were twice as likely as Republicans to express that feeling.

"We’ve become a lot more entrenched in our positions," said Ipsos vice president Mallory Newall. "The camp of people that believe it’s already over have moved on. Those that continue to feel concerned or at risk are starting to experience this sense that they’re getting left behind."

Around the nation

  • Texas: Soaring heat across the state is being blamed for an uptick in COVID-19 cases, but health experts believe the official case count is misleadingly low. Dr. James McDeavitt, of the Baylor College of Medicine, says the combination of home testing and people just ignoring mild symptoms is leading to the undercount.

  • Virginia: New cases of COVID-19 have moved sharply higher in central Virginia in the last week. Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, New Kent, and the City of Richmond are being classified as having a high COVID-19 community level by the CDC.

  • New Jersey: Federal health officials have noted a slight improvement in New Jersey’s COVID-19 numbers and have removed two counties from the “high risk” category. Eleven counties remain on that list, with residents being urged to wear masks in indoor public spaces.

  • Arizona: Like many other states, COVID-19 case numbers are rising in Arizona. However, symptoms are described as being less severe than in previous cases. Still, Dr. Andrew Carroll, a family physician in Phoenix, worries that people are too relaxed about virus mitigation protocols.

  • Minnesota: An analysis of wastewater by the Metropolitan Council, which covers two-thirds of the Twin Cities metro and serves about 2 million people, shows that the most prevalent strain of coronavirus from samples tested in recent days was BA.2. Broken down by subvariants, officials said BA.2.12.1 made up 68% of all samples.

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