A medical worker holds a sign as Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) (out of frame) delivers a press conference after receiving a COVID-19 booster shot at AltaMed Medical clinic in Los Angeles, California, on Oct 6, 2022. (RINGO CHIU / AFP)
LOS ANGELES / WASHINGTON / MOSCOW – Health experts are concerned emerging Omicron subvariants would make some existing protections ineffective for the public, especially the immunocompromised people, amid sluggish uptake of the reformulated COVID-19 shots in the United States.
New Omicron subvariants are resistant to key antibody treatments for HIV patients, kidney transplant recipients and other immunocompromised people, making them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 this winter, experts warned
"With some of the new subvariants that are emerging, some of the main tools we've had to protect the immunocompromised may not work moving forward. And that's a huge challenge," Ashish Jha, head of the White House COVID task force, told reporters on Tuesday.
New Omicron subvariants are resistant to key antibody treatments for HIV patients, kidney transplant recipients and other immunocompromised people, making them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 this winter, experts warned.
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US President Joe Biden cautioned this week the estimated 7 million adults in the United States who have compromised immune systems are particularly at risk.
Experts are concerned new Omicron subvariants such as B.Q.1.1 and XBB could soon render useless treatments such as Evusheld, a therapy used to prevent illness in immunocompromised people.
More than 19 million Americans have received the new COVID-19 boosters that became available to those 12 and over in September and to children as young as 5 earlier this month, according to the latest data of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Racial and ethnic disparities persisted in outpatient COVID-19 treatment in the United States, according to a new study released on Thursday.
These disparities existed among all age groups and patients with immunocompromise, the study published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wrote.
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During April-July 2022, the percentage of COVID-19 patients aged at least 20 years old treated with Paxlovid was 36 percent and 30 percent lower among Black and Hispanic patients than among White and non-Hispanic patients, respectively.
Paxlovid is the most commonly prescribed medication and the preferred outpatient therapeutic for eligible patients.
Multiple factors likely contributed to the observed disparities, according to the study.
Persons living in counties that are both high-poverty areas and majority Black, Hispanic, or American Indian or Alaska Native are less likely to have access to COVID-19 treatment facilities, it stressed.
COVID-19 laid bare inequities that reflected poorly on what is supposed to be one of the most advanced nations in the world, said a report of STAT, a US health-oriented news website.
COVID-19 is an inverse equity story, not a racial equity success story, said the report.
A recent New York Times essay claimed the change in COVID-19 death rates is a laudable example of the United States overcoming racial injustice, said the report.
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Pointing to improvements in vaccination rates in Black and Hispanic communities, New York Times senior writer David Leonhardt wrote that the racial gap in death rates has also disappeared.
Russia recorded 7,849 new coronavirus cases over the past 24 hours, taking the nationwide tally to 21,402,209, the official monitoring and response center said Thursday.
The nationwide death toll increased by 82 to 389,872, while the number of recoveries increased by 12,040 to 20,763,904.