COVID-19 tally as compiled by Johns Hopkins University. (Previous numbers are in parentheses.)
Total U.S. confirmed cases: 85,960,775 (85,763,130)
Total U.S. deaths: 1,012,776 (1,011,926)
Total global cases: 537,458,937 (536,747,070)
Total global deaths: 6,413,928 (6,312,635)
Two vaccines recommended for kids 5 and younger
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel has voted to recommend two mRNA COVID-19 vaccines for children age 5 and younger. The vaccines were developed by Moderna and jointly by Pfizer and BioNTech.
The panel voted 21-0 to recommend approval of the two vaccines. While the FDA is not required to follow the advice of its advisory committee, it usually does.
It’s expected the FDA will approve the committee’s recommendation, possibly before the end of the week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must also give its approval.
Major study uncovers new clues about long COVID
Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine are conducting a major study to track neurological symptoms in COVID-19 patients who continue to have symptoms long after they recover from their illness. It’s a condition known as “long COVID.”
The first round of the study, published this week, showed the prevalence of various short- and long-term symptoms and found that, while many patients showed improvement, the majority still had some neurological symptoms after six months. A subset of individuals also exhibited significant coordination and cognitive issues, not reported in previous findings.
At the time of their first visit with a physician, 89% of participants reported fatigue and 80% reported headaches. Other common neurological symptoms included memory impairment, insomnia, and decreased concentration. Eighty percent of participants said these symptoms impacted their quality of life.
Dr. Fauci tests positive
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the leading government health official on COVID-19, has announced that he has tested positive for the virus. Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), says he has isloated and has mild symptoms.
“He has not recently been in close contact with President Biden or other senior government officials,” NIAID said in a statement. “Dr. Fauci will follow the COVID-19 guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and medical advice from his physician and return to the NIH when he tests negative.”
Around the nation
Tennessee: Tennessee Titans right guard Nate Davis had what he considers a lackluster 2021 NFL season. But he tells Titans Online there might have been an extenuating circumstance. He caught COVID-19 during the season, not once but twice. “Getting [COVID-19] twice affects your conditioning, your strength, and even a little bit of your confidence,” Davis admitted.
California: It was a year ago this week that California officials reopened from COVID-19 lockdown. People returned to theme parks, restaurants, and concert halls. Since then Omicron subvariants have triggered a new surge in cases, but health officials say most are less severe.
New York: New York appears to have weathered the latest COVID-19 surge but Gov. Kathy Hochul says it’s no time to take anything for granted. "As we continue to monitor the numbers, it is important that we take every precaution necessary to stay healthy," Hochul said. "Take a test before traveling, stay home if you feel unwell, and keep up to date with vaccinations and booster doses. We must use every resource available to stay prepared for potential surges this year and keep our communities safe."
Vermont: Business organizations in the state are being credited with helping to pass Vermont’s S. 11 – legislation that includes over $15 million in funding for the new COVID-19 Related Paid Leave Grant Program. Gov. Phil Scott signed the legislation this week.
Texas: With children 5 and older now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, Tarrant County is stepping up its “pop-up” clinics to administer the jabs. Officials say parents need to bring proof of the child’s age and their own ID for the vaccination. Booster vaccinations are available at all of the vaccination locations.