At least 141 million cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) have been diagnosed worldwide as of Monday evening, April 19, 2021, including at least 3.01 million deaths. Healthcare officials in the United States have reported at least 31.7 million positive COVID-19 cases and at least 567,000 deaths. Source: Johns Hopkins University & Medicine
At least 905 million individual doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered worldwide as of Monday evening, including at least 209 million in the United States. Source: GitHub
CDC opens vaccine to all U.S. adults
As of April 19, officials with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) have announced that all adults, as well as children as young as 16 years of age, are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
The majority of U.S. states have already expanded their COVID-19 vaccine rollouts to people from this age group, according to a report by Reuters. Alaska was the first state to lower statewide eligibility to age 16 and was followed by states including Georgia, Texas, and California.
The CDC’s ongoing recommendations have been based on those from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), an independent panel of medical and public health experts.
A pause does remain, however, on the one-dose Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (J&J) vaccine, according to both the CDC and U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as of April 13. The ACIP will hold a second emergency meeting to discuss the vaccine pause on April 23.
The CDC and FDA advise healthcare providers that patients who have received the J&J vaccine and experience the following symptoms to receive emergency evaluation:
- Severe headache
- New neurologic symptoms
- Severe abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
- Leg swelling
- Tiny red spots on the skin (petechiae)
- New or easy bruising
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Use of ivermectin ineffective in mild COVID-19
A five-day course of ivermectin compared with placebo among adults experiencing mild COVID-19 symptoms did not significantly improve the time to resolution of symptoms, according to a trial.
The study, a double-blind, randomized trial conducted at a single site in Cali, Colombia, identified participants by simple random sampling from the state’s health department electronic database of patients with symptomatic, laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 during the study period. Nearly 500 adult patients with mild disease symptoms for seven days or fewer (at home or hospitalized) were enrolled.
The findings do not support the use of ivermectin for treatment of mild COVID-19, according to the study’s authors, although they also state that larger trials may be needed to understand the effects of ivermectin on other clinically relevant outcomes.
Could youth sports cause COVID case spike?
Health experts have warned that transmission of the virus through youth sports could be to blame for a recent rise in cases among children.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, more than 64,000 new child COVID-19 cases had been identified as the month of March came to an end, after two months of steady declines in children. The presence of more-infectious variants is also expected to be a contributing factor.
In a report by Yahoo News, Rochelle Walensky, MD, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), noted that previously the trend among cases in children was mostly due to adult-to-child transmission, but that more recently transmission is occurring more frequently between children and from children to adults.
Potential for COVID-19 vaccines to be needed annually
Booster shots and annual vaccinations may be needed against COVID-19, according David Kessler, a senior White House official. A third vaccine dose could be recommended 6-12 months after inoculation followed by annual revaccination.
Studies that are aiming to examine the durability of the antibody response triggered by the vaccines is currently ongoing in an attempt to determine the potential need for future boosters, according to a report by the Washington Post.