US regulators have urged Pfizer-BioNTech to apply for emergency authorization for a 2-dose regimen of their SARS-CoV-2 vaccine for children ages 6 months to 5 years while awaiting data on a 3-dose course. The companies’ vaccine, marketed as Comirnaty, was the first vaccine to receive FDA approval for people aged 16 years and older, and it is authorized for use among children aged 5 to 15 years.
Two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, America’s death toll is closing in on one million. Federal authorities estimate that 987,456 more people have died since early 2020 than would have otherwise been expected, based on long-term trends. People killed by coronavirus infections account for the overwhelming majority of cases. Thousands more died from derivative causes, like disruptions in their healthcare and a spike in overdoses. Covid-19 has left the same proportion of the population dead—about 0.3%—as did World War II, and in less time.
A study reported in The Spine Journal looked at the pandemic’s effect on elective spinal surgery cancellations and the ultimate effect on the patients. Over 1/3 of elective spine surgeries canceled due to COVID-19 at NYU Langone Medical Center have not been performed in the 8 months from when elective surgeries resumed in the hospital to the end of the study. Early rescheduled patients had less complex surgeries planned than those scheduling later. Patients who have not rescheduled continue to defer surgery primarily over concern for COVID-19 exposure. The toll on the health of these patients as a result of the delay in treatment and on their lives due to their inability to return to normal function remains to be seen.
CSSE is reporting 75,269,655 positive cases in the U.S. and 890,040 deaths. DOH reported for the week ending January 27, 5,478,671 confirmed cases in Florida with 64,955 deaths.