On Tuesday, April 18, FDA rescinded authorization for the original monovalent COVID vaccines, instead authorizing the current bivalent vaccines (original and Omicron BA.4/BA.5 strains) to be used for all doses for those 6 months of age and older, including for an additional dose or doses for certain populations.
FDA’s new recommendation that those who are unvaccinated need only a single dose of the bivalent vaccine provides a new definition of the primary series, and also makes the monovalent Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines no longer authorized for use in the United States. The recommendation includes additional specifications for older and immunocompromised individuals, as well as those with varying levels of vaccination.
CDC has not yet updated its definition of “up to date” on the vaccines, with a two-dose primary series still cited on its website. We would expect CDC to update its information in the next few days, aligning its definition with the FDA recommendations. TAG will continue to stay updated on the vaccine recommendations to keep our readers informed.
COVID Risk Matrix:
Infectious Disease News:
- The FDA has authorized changes to simplify the use of the bivalent COVID vaccines. This action includes authorizing the current bivalent vaccines (original and Omicron BA.4/BA.5 strains) to be used for all doses administered to individuals 6 months of age and older, including for an additional dose or doses for certain populations. The monovalent Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines are no longer authorized for use in the United States.
- A northwest Michigan paper mill was shuttered earlier this month by a deadly fungal outbreak, which led to nearly 100 confirmed and probable illnesses and one death, but the source may never be known. Although the blastomycosis fungus afflicting the Escanaba plant is endemic to the area, pinpointing the source could be impossible, according to the local Union president.
- China has reported the first human death from a strain of avian flu likely due to exposure at a live poultry market. There is no sign of human-to-human transmission.
- Measles cases linked to traveling have been detected in Belarus, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Australia and Hawaii. Outbreaks of measles linked to low vaccination rates are occurring in South Africa, the DR Congo and Zimbabwe.
- A norovirus outbreak is linked to oysters connected to certain harvest locations off the Texas coast. The contaminated oysters have been sold to retailers in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and several other coastal states.
- Saskatchewan health authorities are warning medical practitioners to watch for tuberculosis in children as a handful of First Nations reserves experience an unusual uptick in cases, a worrisome phenomenon that is playing out in other parts of Canada and around the world as COVID-19 recedes.
- Whooping cough cases are spreading in Alberta and New Zealand.