Coronavirus Updates


Dr Veena Aggarwal, Consultant Womens’ Health, CMD and Editor-in-Chief, IJCP Group & Medtalks Trustee, Dr KK’s Heart Care Foundation of India    10 December 2022

With inputs from Dr Monica Vasudev


China eases Covid restrictions 


In a major shift from its zero Covid policy, China has now allowed home quarantine for asymptomatic cases and patients with mild Covid-19. These patients can shift to designated hospitals if their condition worsens, according to the National Health Commission. The policy regarding high-risk zones has also changed. Now the high-risk areas will be defined by “building, unit, floor and household” and not the entire buildings or residential societies…(Source: Medscape, Dec. 8, 2022).


Children aged 6 months are now eligible for Covid vaccine


The US FDA has authorized the bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna Covid-19 vaccine for emergency use in children as young as 6 months of age. Now children aged 6 months to 5 years, who have been vaccinated with the monovalent Moderna vaccine can now take the single dose of bivalent vaccine as booster after a gap of 2 months. While the unvaccinated children in the age group 6 months to 4 years will get the bivalent Pfizer vaccine as the third dose after two doses of the original Pfizer vaccine…(Source: US FDA, Dec. 8, 2022).


Effectiveness of Covid-19 vaccines against long Covid


Compared to the unvaccinated, even a single dose of the vaccine was protective against long Covid. Analysis of data of 1.6 million subjects showed that the effectiveness of a single dose of Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or the J&J vaccine in preventing long Covid ≥3 weeks was 29%. The protective efficacy increased to 35% among individuals who had taken the vaccine prior to getting Covid-19 compared to 27% effectiveness in those who took the vaccine post-Covid-19…(Source: Antimicrobial Stewardship & Healthcare Epidemiology, Dec. 6, 2022).


Marked increase in suicidal ideations during the pandemic


A PLoS One study has reported almost five-folds increase in suicidal ideation during the Covid-19 pandemic. A 13% increase in suicidal ideation was noted in the study. 31% of people who were unable to pay rents developed suicidal ideation, while 24% of those who lost their jobs and 25% of those who were lonely had high prevalence of suicidal ideation…(Source: PLoS One, Nov. 16, 2022)


Benefits of Covid-19 vaccine in patients with rheumatic disease 


Fully vaccinated patients with rheumatic disease reduce their chances of developing long Covid by at least 50%. Four weeks post-Covid, 41% of the fully vaccinated patients reported at least one symptoms vs 54% of the partially or unvaccinated patients. After 3 months, 21% of fully vaccinated patients complained of one persistent symptom compared with 41% of the partially or unvaccinated patients…(Source: Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, Nov. 28, 2022).

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