- Omicron update from WHO
- Classification of Omicron (B.1.1.529): SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern from WHO
- Threat Assessment Brief: Implications of the emergence and spread of the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1. 529 variant of concern (Omicron) for the EU/EEA from ECDC
COVID-19 vaccines for children
Pfizer has published trial results for 5-11 year olds – two 10ug doses given 21 days apart was “found to be safe, immunogenic, and efficacious”. A review of pre- and post-marketing evidence on the benefit–risk profile of COVID-19 vaccines in children, pregnancy and other vulnerable groups, summarises current recommendations of scientific societies and regulatory agencies.
The Taskforce Paediatric and Adolescent Care Panel has reviewed the adult recommendations on the use of casirivimab plus imdevimab (Ronapreve/REGEN-COV) in patients with mild COVID-19 and the use of pulse oximeters in the context of children and adolescent care. The Taskforce now makes the following consensus recommendations:
- Casirivimab plus imdevimab (Ronapreve/REGENCOV) for children and adolescents
- Pulse oximeters for children and adolescents
- Conditional: Casirivimab plus imdevimab (Ronapreve/REGEN-COV) for pregnant or breastfeeding women
- Association of Human Milk Antibody Induction, Persistence, and Neutralizing Capacity With SARS-CoV-2 Infection vs mRNA Vaccination JAMA Paediatrics
COVID-19 in Australia
ICU capacity is currently lower than in 2020, and is constrained by the availability of trained staff - fewer than half of ICU beds could be opened. Stephen J Duckett and Brett Sutton discuss the need for a planned recovery from the pandemic, including managing health system capacity.
- Australia’s COVID-19 vaccine audiences from Monash University, Massey University
- Independent review: COVID-19 outbreaks in Australian residential aged care facilities from Dept of Health
The National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce has published a new assessment flowchart, Pathways to Care for Adults with COVID-19. This update is part of an ongoing review of all 11 clinical flowcharts, with the Management of adults with mild COVID-19 and Management of adults with moderate to severe COVID-19 flowcharts next to be revised.
ICU management for COVID-19
International experts have reached consensus on 31 statements on infection control of SARS-CoV-2 in ICUs, covering design & engineering, health-care worker safety, visiting policy, patients & procedures, disinfection, and sterilisation. In Italy’s second wave lower ICU capacity strain and timelier admission may have played a role in reduced COVID-19 mortality.
Latest on vaccines
Pfizer vaccine efficacy in preventing COVID-19 declined approximately 6% every 2 months, peaking at 96.2% during the first two months and declining to 83.7% at six months. There is a correlation between time-from-vaccine and protection against infection – there was a 1.51-fold increased risk of breakthrough infection for early vaccinees compared with 4 months later.
Vaccines and long COVID: Vaccines reduce the risk of developing COVID-19 — but studies disagree on their protective effect against long-lasting symptoms that can follow the disease. Understanding the prevalence of long COVID among vaccinated people has urgent implications in places where public-health restrictions are being eased. It could also offer clues about what causes lingering illness long after the acute infection has cleared.
See the latest COVID-19 Updates from the European Medicines Agency
Remember to check EKS COVID-19 Updates, and Epworth's IPAC intranet page.