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What We’re Reading: Moderna Booster Protects Against Omicron Subvariants; Amazon Enters Virtual Health; Omnipod 5 Cable Issue Correction

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Moderna’s bivalent COVID-19 booster increases antibodies by 15 times against Omicron subvariants; an Amazon virtual health clinic does not include health insurance and will vary in price depending on providers; some Omnipod 5 Automated Insulin Delivery System devices have issues with the charging port and cable.

New Moderna Booster Increases Protection Against Omicron Subvariants

Moderna announced its updated COVID-19 booster increases antibodies against Omicron subvariants, The Washington Post reported. Among patients who received the new bivalent booster, Omicron-blocking antibody levels were 15 times higher compared with levels prior to received the booster. These findings are not yet peer reviewed, but are similar to results of a small study of Pfizer/BioNTech’s bivalent COVID-19 booster. Moderna added that a small preliminary analysis showed antibodies from the booster lost some potency against the growing BQ.1.1 subvariant—which makes up about a quarter of US COVID-19 cases—but could still block it.

Amazon Launches US Virtual Health Care Clinic

Amazon today launched Amazon Clinic, a virtual health care platform where users can connect with providers to help treat common ailments such as allergies and skin conditions, Reuters reported. The service will operate in 32 states, does not include health insurance, and will vary in price depending on providers. Amazon piloted virtual health care visits for its staff in Seattle in 2019 before expanding to other employers under the Amazon Care brand, which is set to close down by the end of 2022. Amazon is also still working to close its $3.49 billion deal to buy One Medical to expand its virtual health care presence and add brick-and-mortar doctors’ offices.

Voluntary Medical Device Correction for Omnipod 5 AID System

Insulet Corporation announced a nationwide voluntary Medical Device Correction for the Omnipod 5 Automated Insulin Delivery System due to an issue with the device’s charging port and cable. According to a news release, Insulet has received 24 reports of charging cables or ports melting, deforming, or discoloring due to heat generated by a poor connection between the cable and the port, which may also cause burns or fires. Insulet said this issue does not affect the Omnipod 5 Pod, Omnipod DASH Insulin Management System, Omnipod Insulin Management System, or compatible Android smartphone devices with the Omnipod 5 App installed.

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