What We're Reading: Pfizer Vaccine Timeline; Experts Warn of Third Wave; Millennial Mental Health Declines

October 19, 2020
AJMC Staff

Pfizer will not apply for emergency use authorization of its coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine until at least mid-November; infectious disease experts warn of a potential third wave of COVID-19; rates of major depression increased among millennials.

Pfizer Says It Won’t Seek EUA for COVID-19 Vaccine Before Mid-November

This past Friday, Albert Bourla, PhD, CEO of Pfizer, said that the company would not apply for emergency use authorization (EUA) of its vaccine candidate against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), before the third week of November, which would rule out the possibility of a vaccine ready before Election Day on November 3. The New York Times reports that Bourla says that although preliminary numbers could be collected by the end of October on the vaccine’s efficacy, it would still take at least until mid-November to collect safety and manufacturing data.

Experts Warn of US’ Potentially Substantial Third Wave of COVID-19

According to CNBC, infectious disease experts have warned that the dangerously high number of COVID-19 cases currently in the United States could signal a potentially significant third wave as cases may push even higher ahead of the flu season. As of this past Friday, US COVID-19 cases have grown by 5% in 38 states, with the nation now averaging approximately 55,000 new cases every day, marking a 16% increase compared with a week ago.

BCBSA Analysis Finds Millennials Mental Health on Decline

According to an analysis by the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), a 12% increase was found in rates of major depression among a cohort of millennials from 2017 to 2018, with increased rates of alcohol use disorder (7%), tobacco use disorder (5%), and substance use disorder (5%) also noted within the time span. Reported by FierceHealthcare, the report additionally detailed the worsening impact of the pandemic on these trends. Based on survey data conducted by the BCBSA in September of this year, 92% of millennials said the pandemic is having a negative effect on their mental health, 34% reported increased alcohol consumption, and 20% reported an increase in smoking.