The United States are facing a new wave of Covid. The levels of spread of the virus are so high as to approach those reached in the first pandemic peak of 2020 and are not far from those achieved by Delta at the end of 2021. This was revealed by the US government’s wastewater monitoring agencies, Biobot Analyticsand the forecasting model expert Jay Weiland. According to Weiland’s latest projections, approximately 650,000 Americans are infected every day, one citizen in 51 is currently infected and in the next month a further 7-10% of the population will become ill. What worries doctors and virologists above all are the more serious forms of the infection: hospitalizations and deaths from Covid continue to increase, according to the latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From August 27 to September 2, the number of patients treated in hospital increased by 9%, while the increase in deaths reached 5% in the week from September 3 to 9.
Covid, updated vaccines available at the beginning of October: the ministry accelerates after the boom in infections
Vaccine for everyone
The response of American public health officials and the American Medical Association to this resurgence is the vaccine, against the Covid but also against influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in fact, they predict an autumn-winter characterized by a strong presence of the three most fearful respiratory viruses: Covid, influenza viruses and the syncytial virus. According to the latest projections from American government experts, hospitalizations due to Covid, influenza and RSV will remain high in the USA, at the levels of last year when the so-called “tripledemia” infected millions of Americans, killing more than 100,000 people in four months centers of winter. Therefore, doctors expect a high rate of complications from respiratory diseases also for 2023-2024. However, the CDC reiterated that for the three different types of viruses there are vaccines that can counteract their severity and spread, launching a comprehensive campaign. The United States has in fact decided to recommend a recall Covid-19 with updated vaccines for all citizens aged 6 months and older, to protect even the youngest, including children, as well as the elderly and fragile. The first doses will be available within days, the US Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve the updated Novavax formula, but on Monday it authorized the Moderna and Pfizer. The formula of the new vaccines “is very similar to the variants that are circulating now,” Dr. Stuart Ray, vice president of medicine for data analysis at the Department of Medicine at Johns Hopkins, explained to “Fortune” on Tuesday. Preliminary data released recently indicate that the latest generation vaccines should also offer satisfactory protection against the new highly mutated Omicron progeny, the Pirola variant.
Elderly and frail
In Italy, the decision taken by the USA to vaccinate the entire population aged 6 months and older garners conflicting opinions among experts. The CDC’s recommendation “confirms what has also been said in the past, that is, for younger children and for the entire population that does not fall into the categories with comorbidities, a booster of the updated anti-Covid vaccine is always useful”, l ‘opinion of Massimo Andreoniscientific director of the Italian Society of Infectious and Tropical Diseases (Simit) and professor of Infectious Diseases at the Tor Vergata University of Roma. «It should be remembered that this is an annoying disease even in healthy subjects and in younger children – continues Andreoni – Being vaccinated then reduces the risk of long Covid. So the CDC has issued a correct recommendation, the more the population is protected, the less the virus circulates, perhaps affecting those who are very fragile or immunocompromised.” Matteo Bassetti, director of infectious diseases at the San Martino Polyclinic in Genoa, does not agree with the path taken by the United States.
«I absolutely do not agree» with the CDC who recommend the updated vaccine to everyone from 6 months of age, «we must not make the same mistake already made two years ago by expanding vaccination to everyone from zero to 100 years of age without any distinction. If anything, we must try to avoid the mistakes made in the past.” Therefore insisting on one vaccination campaign aimed at those aged 70-75 and over, plus the frail and ultrafragile. In these categories – he reflects – we should be able to reach 100% coverage, because every person aged 70, 75, 80 who has Covid risks contracting a serious form, having problems, having to go to hospital. These people must absolutely be protected.” Focusing the campaign is also a priority for Fabrizio Pregliasco, virologist at the University of Milan. «As I have always said for the flu shot, the anti-Covid vaccination can and must be an opportunity for everyone. The recommendation, however, gradually becomes more stringent depending on age and in any case, beyond age, it is linked to frailty and the presence of intercurrent pathologies”, he remarks. The autumn-winter recall campaign “must therefore be focused on those at greatest risk, so much so that as far as I know it will start with eighty-year-olds, frail people, healthcare workers, and then everyone else”.