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Natural Immunity for the Win! At-Home COVID Antibody Test Gets FDA EUA

March 5, 2022 — Symbiotica, Inc. received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Self-Collected COVID-19 Antibody Test Kit System, the first antibody test authorized for use with a simple home collected dried blood spot sample. The COVID-19 Self-Collection Antibody Test System is intended for use as an aid to…

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Free Antiviral Pills for COVID-19 Positive People, President Biden Says

March 2, 2022 — The United States government is apparently launching a program dubbed ‘test to treat’, a plan aiming to provide free antiviral pills at pharmacies for people who test positive for COVID-19, according to President Biden’s remarks during his State of the Union Address. Gilead Science’s Remdesivir is the only antiviral drug approved…

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Younger Males Should Wait Longer Between COVID-19 Vaccines Over Myocarditis Risk, CDC Advises

February 28, 2022 — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its vaccine recommendations on February 22 to say younger males age 12 to 39 should consider waiting longer between doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 mRNA vaccines to reduce the risk of myocarditis — an inflammation of the heart muscle. “While…

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Majority of Healthy Americans Can Ditch Masks, per New CDC Guidelines

February 27, 2022 — In response to the growing consensus that the Omicron coronavirus variant is more transmissible but causes less severe disease, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released on Friday a new framework for measuring community Covid-19 levels that focuses less on positive test results and more on hospital utilization rates….

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BA.2 Omicron Subvariant Apparently Does Not Make People More Sick, South African Researchers Say

February 25, 2022 —  Worries that the BA.2 Omicron subvariant may cause more severe COVID-19 disease than the original BA.1 Omicron variant have been promulgated by a recent laboratory hamster study, but real-world data suggest that BA.2 isn’t more dangerous. Among 3,058 patients who required hospitalization in South Africa for COVID-19 from December 1, 2021…

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Omicron Name Used for Several Lineages of Coronavirus

February 23, 2022 — Pittsburgh, PA Meet the Omicron Family Omicron, originally referred to as B.1.1.529, has four other main lineages, BA.1, BA.1.1, BA.2, and BA.3, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As viruses replicate, they often experience mutations. Successful mutations lead to new variants. Sometimes these genetic variations cause the…

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BA.2 Omicron Appears More Dangerous, Researchers Say

February 19, 2022 — According to a pre-print Japanese lab study posted this week on bioRxiv, the BA.2 Omicron subvariant is not only faster at spreading than the BA.1 Omicron variant, but may also cause more severe COVID-19 disease. To place the study in context, during the two-week period from January 30, 2022 thru February…

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Coronavirus Cases Fall After Record Breaking Omicron Surge

February 16, 2022 — The U.S. on Tuesday reported an average of about 136,000 new COVID cases per day over the last week, down 83% from the record high average of more than 800,000 cases per day set on Jan. 15, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. Excluding Maine, new…

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3rd Vaccine Booster Offers Strong Short-Term Protection Against Omicron, but Effectiveness Wanes, CDC Study Shows

February 11, 2022 — Booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines provided a high level of protection against COVID-19 hospitalizations, but experienced considerable decline in effectiveness after about four months, according to a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The multistate analysis was the first real-world data in the…

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New COVID-19 Monoclonal Antibody Treatment for Omicron Authorized by FDA

February 11, 2022 — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for bebtelovimab, a new monoclonal antibody treatment that shows efficacy against the Omicron variant. The single-dose IV infused drug by Lilly, available only by prescription, is for individuals 12-years-old and over with mild to moderate cases of COVID-19…

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COVID Vaccines for Young Children, Ages 6 Months to 4 Years, Postponed

February 11, 2022 — The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months to 4 years old is delayed by at least 2 months in the United States. In a joint press release, the firms said they were postponing their request for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), pending more…

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Highest-Risk COVID Patients Least Likely To Get Monoclonal Antibodies, Researchers Say

February 9, 2022 — People who would benefit the most from receiving monoclonal antibody (mAb) treatment to fight a COVID infection — older Americans with chronic health conditions — have been the least likely to receive it, according to a new study co-authored by Harvard researchers. The likelihood of receiving the antibodies was higher among…

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N95 Masks Offer Better Protection Against COVID Omicron Variant Than Cloth Face Coverings, CDC Says

February 4, 2022 — N95 and KN95 masks, also known as a respirators, apparently offer the best protection against COVID-19, including the Omicron variant, according to the newly updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consumer mask website. People at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including older adults and individuals with certain…

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BA.2 Subvariant More Contagious Than Original Omicron Variant, Denmark Study Finds

January 31, 2022 — The BA.2 subvariant of Omicron appears 33% more transmissible than the more common BA.1 Omicron coronavirus variant, according to preprint findings published in a Danish study. Researchers calculated the probability for spreading an infection within a household was 39% for BA.2 versus 29% for BA.1. Not only was BA.2 more contagious than…

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Omicron Evades Some, but Not All, Monoclonal Antibody Treatments, Study and FDA Say

January 24, 2022 — Some of the human monoclonal antibodies (used clinically to prevent patients from becoming severely ill from COVID-19 disease) may not be protective against the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 now spreading across the United States, researchers reported January 19, 2022 in the journal Nature Medicine. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that are…

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Omicron Generally Causes Less Severe COVID-19 Disease, Multiple Studies Show

January 21, 2022 — Several sources of real-world data from across the globe indicate the Omicron coronavirus variant produces a less severe form of COVID-19 disease. In South Africa, where Omicron was identified in November 2021, a private health insurance administrator reported in mid-December of 2021 that adults with Omicron were 29 percent less prone…

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Saliva Covid Test Better Than Nasal Swabs To Detect Omicron, Study Says

January 11, 2022 — COVID-19 saliva tests appear more effective at detecting the Omicron variant, a recently posted pre-print paper says. Researchers in South Africa tested 382 people who were not sick enough to be hospitalized but still had COVID-19 symptoms. They found that in those affected with Omicron, saliva tests worked best. The positive…

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FDA Authorizes & CDC Recommends Booster Shots for Older Teens

Updated Booster Guidance for 16-and-17-year-olds On December 9, the Food and Drug Administration authorized third booster shots of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for 16-and-17-year-olds. Hours later CDC Director Walensky signed off on third shots for the age group and issued updated booster guidance. Walensky said in a statement that initial data suggest a third shot may help…

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Omicron Has Extensive Escape of Pfizer Vaccine Protection, First Study of New Covid Variant Suggests

Study Findings A small study out of South Africa published online on December 7th offered a first look at how well people immunized with Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine might fare against the new Covid variant, Omicron. After testing Omicron against blood samples from 12 people – 6 individuals previously infected and vaccinated – and 6…

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5 Reasons To Keep PCR Home COVID Test Kits on Hand

With the arrival of the Delta and Omicron variants, we are not just yet finished with the COVID-19 pandemic. Sure, the wide distribution of vaccines has greatly helped in our fight to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease. But as breakthrough cases emerge and the virus continues to spread in non-vaccinated…

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COVID Update: Did Omicron Catch a Cold?

Omicron COVID-19 variant possibly looks more like the common cold. It looks like Omicron may have caught a cold. Seriously, researchers say the Omicron variant may have acquired at least one of its mutations from another virus, more likely the common cold, or possibly even the human genome. In a new research paper posted online…

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Vitamin D & Coronavirus Prevention: Facts & Myths

So What’s the Link Between Vitamin D and Covid? Vitamin D has been studied for nearly a century as an aid in the prevention and treatment of respiratory infections. There is presently a great deal of anxiety regarding the spread of the Delta and Omicron variants of COVID-19. Nearly everyone today, regardless of their vaccine…

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New Covid-19 Variant Facts: How Did Omicron Start?

What is the Omicron (B.1.1.529) COVID Variant? Last week South African scientists reported sequencing data on a new Covid variant, recently named Omicron by the World Health Organization (WHO). The data demonstrates some 50 mutations compared with the original Wuhan strain of Covid-19. Scientists and health experts around the world are in a tizzy over…

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Omicron New COVID-19 Variant Facts: What We Know So Far

What is the Omicron (B.1.1.529) COVID Variant? A new Covid-19 variant, B.1.1.529, has been classified by the WHO as a Variant of Concern and named Omicron. Most of the concern over Omicron comes from its 37 mutations on the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. The spike protein acts as the key for the virus to enter…

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At Home Fingerstick Blood Test Facts and Video

A blood test is an invaluable part of the practice of medicine. A blood sample collection traditionally requires an inpatient visit for an uncomfortable venipuncture. Usually, healthcare professionals collect vials of wet blood with a needle and then send them to the lab for analysis. To simplify and make lab tests less painful, scientists developed…

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Ditch Nose Swabs for Saliva At Home Covid Test Kits

What is a Saliva Home Covid Test? Brain tickling nose swabs often make getting a COVID test a nightmare. Although schools and workplaces are going back to in-person environments, COVID continues to circulate. Undoubtedly with the emergence of the Delta and Omicron variants, children and adults alike are going to have more coronavirus scares. Most…

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