CDC data shown to overstate US vaccination rates; school-based cognitive behavioral therapy for overwhelmed children; Moderna to develop Omicron-specific COVID-19 booster dose.
As reported by Bloomberg, the CDC has overcounted how many Americans are at least partly vaccinated against COVID-19, indicating millions of US residents remain unvaccinated and at risk for infection. Reducing the bellwether metric—the share of people 65 years and older with at least one shot—from 99.9% to 95% last weekend without changing its raw shot totals, the move from the CDC acknowledged that it counted too many shots as first doses when they were instead second doses or booster shots. Notably, the number of fully vaccinated and completely unvaccinated people are understated based on this miscount.
A Michigan school launched an educational program leveraging cognitive behavioral therapy to assist children in learning how thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are linked, as well as provide more intensive lessons for kids struggling with anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts. The Associated Press reported that the return to in-person classes was noted by a behavior specialist to show kids experiencing feelings of anxiety, thoughts of self-harm, and feeling overwhelmed, which has coincided with observed surges in US emergency department visits of kids with mental health crises. The psychology-focused program, called TRAILS, is also being planned for use by almost 700 other schools nationwide.
Moderna announced today that its COVID-19 booster shot has been shown in preliminary data to provide effective protection against Omicron, but the company still plans to develop a booster shot specifically designed to neutralize the novel COVID-19 variant. According to NBC News, the 50 microgram (mcg) FDA-approved booster shot from Moderna was found to increase neutralizing antibody levels against omicron 37-fold compared to pre-boost levels, which was further increased to an 83-fold protection among those given a 100 mcg booster dose. Moderna said it would ultimately be the government’s decision on whether to implement the 100 mcg dose. The increased dose has been shown to be generally safe and well-tolerated, but with slightly more frequent adverse reactions.