Fall outlook on COVID-19 vaccines, variants, monkeypox – American Medical Association

by | Aug 10, 2022 | COVID-19

Heading into fall, many Americans have concerns about two evolving viruses, the highly transmissible BA.5 SARS-CoV-2 Omicron subvariant, and monkeypox, which the White House has declared a public health emergency in the U.S.—building on the World Health Organization’s declaration that monkeypox is a public health emergency of international concern.
COVID-19 cases have spiked again with BA.5. The good news is most of the country has been exposed to the virus either through infection or vaccination, leading to a reduction in hospitalizations and deaths, noted virology expert Peter Hotez, MD, PhD, who helped develop the Corbevax coronavirus vaccine.

Still, COVID-19 remains the fourth-leading cause of death in the United States. And not enough people are taking advantage of the tools that medical science has offered—either opting against initial vaccination, skipping booster doses or avoiding immunization for their children, said Dr. Hotez, an AMA member. He is dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine, and professor of pediatrics and molecular and virology and microbiology at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

In an episode of “AMA COVID-19 Update,” Dr. Hotez discussed vaccine strategies to fight COVID-19 and monkeypox—and why people shouldn’t wait until the fall to get their SARS-Cov-2 vaccine booster dose.

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Dr. Hotez admits he has mixed feelings about rolling out a bivalent vaccine that targets BA.5. “By the time it’s ready in the fall, BA.5 may be past us and we may be on to something entirel …

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