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Seniors Urged to Get Flu Shots as U.S. Cases Rise

Experts are asking seniors to get their flu shots ASAP as an exceptionally nasty flu season unfolds across the United States.

Already, 8.7 million flu cases have been reported, with 78,000 hospitalizations and 4,500 deaths, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the last week alone, the nu...

Pfizer Asks FDA to Approve Tweaked COVID Booster as Third Shot for Kids Under 5

Infants and young children could soon receive an updated COVID-19 vaccine as part of their three-dose series.

Pfizer Inc. on Monday asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to have the vaccine that targets the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 replace the third dose in the series for children aged 6 months through 4 years old. Children in that age group would still receive two doses o...

Scientists May Be Closer to Effective HIV Vaccine

It's thought that for an HIV vaccine to be widely effective, it will have to spur the body to make special antibodies that can neutralize a broad range of HIV strains. Now scientists say they have taken an essential step in that direction.

In an early study, researchers found that an experimental HIV va...

New COVID Variant XBB Is Gaining Ground Among Americans

U.S. health officials are tracking a new COVID variant that's a combination of two earlier Omicron subvariants.

Known as XBB, this latest subvariant now represents 3.1% of new COVID cases throughout the U.S. and 5% of cases in the Northeast.

Based on preliminary estimates from the U.S. Cente...

COVID in Pregnancy Can Vary — Get Vaccinated to Stay Safe

When pregnant women contract COVID-19, one in 10 will have moderate, severe or even critical symptoms, a new study finds.

So it's important they get their COVID vaccines, experts say.

“Given that patients in all trimesters of pregnancy are susceptible to infection and severe respiratory illness from COVID-19, these findings add urgency to the need for vaccination of all pregnant i...

White House Urges COVID Booster Shots Again, Citing Effectiveness

It's not too late to get the latest COVID-19 booster shot.

Whether it's the bivalent vaccine from drug maker Pfizer or from Moderna, the shots offer more protection against symptomatic infection, public health officials reiterated at a White House briefing on Tuesday.

However, since the vaccines debuted in September, only 13% of American adults have gotten the updated boosters, wh...

COVID Vaccine Boosts Protection, Even After Prior Infection: Study

Even if you've already had COVID-19, you can still benefit from a vaccine that can help prevent another infection, a new study shows.

Danish patients gained between 60% and 94% protection against reinfection, depending on the COVID variant wave, the researchers found.

The findings were published Nov. 22 in the open-access journal PLOS Medicine.

"In our study, we find...

Many U.S. Parents Avoid Vaccine Talks With Child's Doctor

Vaccines have become a hot topic in the past few years, but a new survey finds many parents aren't discussing immunization with their child's doctor.

Though a child's pediatrician has often been the go-to resource on vaccines, the University of Michigan Medicine poll found that 1 in 7 parents have not discussed vaccines with their child's doctor during the pandemic.

While 80% of p...

Pfizer's New Booster Shot Shows Protection Against Emerging Omicron Variants

Pfizer's updated COVID booster shots are proving their mettle against emerging omicron variants, the company announced Friday.

The latest version of the vaccine generated virus-fighting antibodies against four more omicron lineages, includ...

Despite Pleas From Pediatric Groups, Biden Balks at Declaring RSV a Health Emergency

The Biden administration on Thursday offered assistance to communities and hospitals dealing with a surge in cases of pediatric respiratory illnesses, but it did not declare a national public health emergency.

The Children's Hospital Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics had asked President Joe Biden and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra for that designation...

A Vaccine Against Deadly Fentanyl Might Be Near

Researchers report they have created a vaccine to fight fentanyl addiction, in a potential breakthrough in the opioid epidemic.

The shot would block the ability of fentanyl to enter the brain and cause the “high” that users crave. It could be used to prevent relapses in people trying to quit opioids, once it gets through clinical trials, the scientists said.

“We believe these ...

Flu Shot Could Be Lifesaver for Folks With Heart Failure

People battling heart failure should make the time to get their flu shots now, a new study suggests.

Not only will the shots help prevent influenza in this high-risk group, but it could also reduce pneumonia infections and cardiac complications, researchers report.

"If you have heart failure, you should get your flu shot because it can save your life -- that is what we found in thi...

Kids Born by C-Section May Have Weaker Response to Vaccines

Babies born via cesarean section may not mount as strong an immune response after some childhood vaccines compared to babies delivered vaginally, researchers suggest.

Antibody levels can be checked in blood or saliva, and babies born vaginally had higher levels of antibodies in their saliva to pneumonia shots at one year and meningococcal shots at 18 months, a new study showed.

But ...

Moderna's Booster Shot Prompts Strong Immune Response Against Omicron Subvariants

Moderna, Inc., announced Monday that its updated booster shot triggers strong antibody responses against three Omicron subvariants.

"We are pleased to see that both of our bivalent booster vaccine candidates offer superior protection against Omicron BA.4/BA.5 variants compared to our original booster, which is encouraging given COVID-19 remains a leading cause of hospitalization and death...

Three-Fifths of World's People May Have Been Exposed to COVID

COVID-19 swept across the world far more effectively than previously thought, with a stunning number of cases left unreported as recently as the summer of 2021, a new World Health Organization (WHO) study says.

About 3 out of every 5 human beings carried antibodies against COVID-19 in their bloodstream as of September 2021, according to

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • November 11, 2022
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  • For Pregnant Women and Their Newborns, COVID Vaccine Offers Better Protection Than Prior Infection

    Getting vaccinated for COVID-19 while pregnant provides higher levels of antibodies for both mom and baby than catching the virus does, a new study finds.

    When pregnant women received one of the two available mRNA vaccines, researchers found that the women had 10-fold higher antibody concentrations than those who were infected naturally.

    The research team from Children's Hospital o...

    Amid a Surge in RSV Cases, Hopes for a New Vaccine

    Infants and children sick with RSV are flooding pediatricians' offices and children's hospitals across the United States, due to an early surge of the common childhood virus this year.

    But within one or two “sick seasons,” doctors expect to have on hand long-sought tools to help blunt the impact of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

    As many as four new RSV vaccine candidates cou...

    Pfizer Study Finds Big Rise in Immunity From COVID Booster

    Getting an updated booster for COVID-19 is likely to boost protection substantially, according to a new study released by drug company Pfizer on Friday.

    The news affirms a decision by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to OK the bivalent booster without first requiring human testing, the Associated Press reported.

    The booster was tweaked to target the now dominant omicr...

    COVID Vaccine Inhaled Through the Mouth Launched in China

    China announced Wednesday that it has started giving its citizens a COVID booster that can be inhaled through the mouth.

    The oral vaccine was distributed in Shanghai. A video appeared on Chinese state media, showing people holding a translucent white cup with a short nozzle to their mouths. Text accompanying the vide...

    Stay Fit & Your COVID Shot May Work Even Better

    The more often you work out, the more effective your COVID-19 vaccination will be, a new study suggests.

    Fully vaccinated folks who clocked high weekly levels of physical activity were nearly three times less likely to land in the hospital with COVID, compared to those who got the jab but didn't ex...

    Pfizer Plans to Charge Over $100 Per COVID Shot in 2023

    Some Americans could pay up to $130 to get a COVID-19 vaccine made by Pfizer starting in 2023, but most will still get it for free.

    A Pfizer executive noted that people who would get its vaccine for free would likely include those on pub...

    Chickenpox Vaccine Has Nearly Erased Deaths, Hospitalizations From Virus in U.S.

    New government data shows that the chickenpox vaccine has virtually eliminated deaths and severe cases of the virus in U.S. children and teens.

    In the analysis, released Thursday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 97% fewer chickenpox cases among people under 20, alon...

    Add COVID Shot to Routine Vaccine Schedule: CDC Panel

    In an unanimous vote on Thursday, a panel of U.S. vaccine experts recommended that COVID shots be added to the list of recommended vaccinations for children and adults.

    Now it's up to the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention to decide whether to follow the advice of its Advisory Committee on Immuniza...

    • Cara Murez and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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    • October 21, 2022
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    FDA OKs Novavax COVID Vaccine as First Booster Shot

    Americans will now have another choice if they want a COVID booster shot.

    On Wednesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Novavax Inc.'s protein-based vaccine as a first booster dose. Until now, it had onl...

    As Tough Flu Season Looms, CDC Hopes for More Flu Shots Among Minorities

    It's a troubling equation: Many Americans with the highest rates of hospitalization for influenza have the lowest uptake of the annual flu vaccine.

    That's why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is stepping up outreach to minority communities, including Black, Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) groups, and working to reduce barriers to vaccination.

    ...

    What's Keeping Some Hispanic Americans From Getting the COVID Shot?

    While a large number of Hispanic Americans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at this point, a new study suggests barriers may still stand in the way for those who might want to get shots.

    Researchers identified four key barriers to vaccination: a...

    New Omicron Variants Gaining Foothold in U.S.

    New, more contagious Omicron variants are starting to spread across the United States, new government data show.

    Luckily, they're related to the Omicron variant BA.5, so recently updated booster shots should provide some protection against the new variants, known as BQ.1. and a descen...

    With Tough Flu Season Already Here, An Expert Answers Your Flu Shot Questions

    Indications are that this year's flu season is going to be particularly nasty, making the annual influenza vaccine even more important than usual, infectious disease experts say.

    People already are landing in the hospital with severe cases of influenza, about a month ahead of when flu season usually begins, said Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation for Infect...

    Pfizer's Updated Booster Targets Omicron Variants, New Data Confirms

    New trial data shows that Pfizer's updated COVID booster shot is more powerful against Omicron subvariants than the original shot, the company announced Thursday.

    The findings are reassuring, since human data on the tweaked vaccine was not available when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration

  • Cara Murez
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  • October 14, 2022
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  • Lots of Americans Lied to Others About COVID: Study

    At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 40% of Americans were untruthful about whether they had the virus or were ignoring safety precautions, a nationwide survey shows.

    The December

  • By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • October 10, 2022
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  • Extremely Low Incidence of COVID Hospitalization After Vaccine, Boosters: Study

    Getting vaccinated and boosted greatly reduces the odds for hospitalization if you get infected with COVID-19, according to a large new study conducted at U.S. Veterans Health Administration facilities.

    "This is remarkable, good news about the power and effectiveness of receiving COVID-19 boosting for all groups," said co-author Dr. Dawn Bravata, a research scientist at the Regenstrief In...

    COVID Boosters Could Save 90,000 Lives This Winter. Will Americans Get Them?

    How many Americans will die of COVID-19 this winter could depend on how many get their booster shots, a new report shows.

    Up to 90,000 U.S. COVID deaths could be prevented through the fall and winter, but that is less likely if vaccine uptake continues at the current slow pace, the Commonwealth Fund

  • By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • October 6, 2022
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  • CDC Warns of Possible Severe Flu Season Ahead

    Australia is experiencing its worst flu season in five years, and that doesn't bode well for the United States, federal health officials warned Tuesday.

    America's flu season often mirrors what unfolds in Australia, where winter spans April through October.

    Making matters worse, only 49% of Americans plan to...

    No Rise in Guillain-Barre Syndrome Cases After COVID Shots: Study

    A new study has found no evidence that COVID-19 shots increase the incidence of Guillain-Barré syndrome, according to researchers.

    "This is important because we can say that there is no significant increased risk of Guillain-Barré syndrome in the population," said study ...

    More Evidence COVID Boosters Improve Seniors' Immunity

    For older adults, getting vaccinated provides protection against COVID-19, but getting a booster is a key part of maintaining that immunity, a new study confirms.

    "The data support the CDC guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination and affirm that the vaccine is initially able to mount a good a...

    Money, Good Info Can't Undo Resistance to COVID Vaccine: Study

    Public health officials tried everything to convince Americans to get vaccinated against COVID, including giving away cash, but that wasn't enough to change hesitant minds, a new study shows.

    Researchers were surprised by the findings.

    "There is literature and evidence from other vacci...

    Jynneos Vaccine Protects Against Monkeypox in Early U.S. Data

    The Jynneos vaccine, originally designed to guard against smallpox infection, also seems to protect against monkeypox, new U.S. government data shows.

    The potency of the vaccine in a real-world setting was impressive: While two doses of the vaccine offered more protection against...

    COVID Shot in Pregnancy Helps Baby, Even If Mom's Been Infected: Study

    Pregnant women who get COVID-19 and then get vaccinated before giving birth are more likely than other moms to pass protective antibodies to their newborns, new research shows.

    Babies can't get their own shots until they're

  • By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • September 29, 2022
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  • 'Breakthrough' Infections After COVID Vaccine Can Help Prevent Future Illness

    It's very frustrating to get a COVID-19 vaccine and then wind up catching the virus anyway.

    But these breakthrough infections actually do yo...

    Study Probes Links Between Vaccines and Asthma in Kids, With Inconclusive Results

    Aluminum in childhood vaccines has long been the cause of speculation about a potential link to allergies and asthma, but a new study designed to figure out whether there might be a connection did not come to a definitive conclus...

    More Evidence COVID Vaccination Can Cause Temporary Change in Menstrual Cycle

    Women may experience a small, but temporary, delay in their menstrual cycle after receiving a COVID shot, a new study finds.

    The delay was, on average, less than one day and, for most women, it resolved after the first cycle post-vaccination, according to this research funded by the U.S....

    Canada to Remove All COVID Border Restrictions Oct. 1

    All COVID travel restrictions in Canada will be gone starting on Oct. 1, health officials announced Tuesday.

    Both international and domestic travelers to the country will be able to give up such pandemic mainstays as submitting mandatory health information through

  • By Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • September 27, 2022
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  • COVID Infection Raises a Child's Odds for Type 1 Diabetes by 72%

    Children who fall ill with COVID-19 may have a slightly increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes, a new study suggests.

    Researchers found that of more than 285,000 children with COVID, 0.04% were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes over the next six months. While that's a small percentage, it was 72% higher than the rate in a comparison group of kids with no history of COVID.

    Experts...

    Pfizer, Moderna Seek Approval of New COVID Boosters for Kids

    Both Pfizer and Moderna have asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to approve their updated coronavirus boosters for children.

    The "bivalent" shots, like those that adults were able to start receiving this month, t...

    CDC Says Universal Masking Can Be Dropped in Some Nursing Homes, Hospitals

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has eased its universal masking recommendation for nursing homes and hospitals, unless those health care institutions are in areas seeing high levels of COVID-19 transmission.

    The change is part of updated guidelines publish...

    • By Cara Murez and Robin Foster HealthDay Reporters
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    • September 26, 2022
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    4.4 Million Americans Have Gotten Updated COVID Boosters

    At least 4.4 million Americans have received the updated COVID-19 booster shot.

    The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted the count Thursday as public health experts decried President Joe Biden's televised claim that "the pandemic is over."

    The White Hous...

    Canada May Soon Drop COVID Vaccine Requirement for International Travelers

    If you haven't had a COVID vaccine, you can't travel to Canada, but that could change soon.

    The vaccine requirement for foreign nationals in that country is likely to be eliminated by the end of September, the Associated...

    FDA Warns Against Overuse of TPOXX Monkeypox Drug

    U.S. health officials are advising doctors not to overuse the only antiviral for monkeypox because there is a risk of the virus mutating and rendering the drug useless.

    TPOXX ...

    U.S. Monkeypox Cases Decline, But Health Officials Worry About Reaching Minorities

    Monkeypox cases continue to fall in the United States, but public health officials now are concerned that the virus is wending its way into communities of color.

    New case numbers are down by nearly half since early August, White House monkeypox response coordinator Bob Fenton said in a Thursday media briefing....

    WHO Says Pandemic's End May Be Near

    The end of the COVID-19 pandemic is in sight, the leader of the World Health Organization declared Wednesday, with deaths at their lowest level worldwide since the new coronavirus first began to spread in March 2020.

    However, the death rate is relatively flat and not yet at their lowest level in ...

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