MMWR News Synopsis
Friday, December 10, 2021
- Update on Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus Outbreaks — Worldwide, January 2020–June 2021
- Comparative Effectiveness and Antibody Responses to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines among Hospitalized Veterans — Five Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, United States, February 1–September 30, 2021
- Community-Based Testing Sites for SARS-CoV-2 — United States, March 2020–November 2021
- Previously Released: Influenza A(H3N2) Outbreak on a University Campus — Michigan, October–November 2021
- Notes from the Field
CDC News Media
Ongoing and new circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) outbreaks threaten progress toward polio eradication with type 2 cVDPV responsible for most outbreaks during January 2020 to June 2021. During January 2020 to June 2021, 44 cVDPV outbreaks affected 37 countries. Type 2 cVDPV outbreaks predominated (86%), affecting 28 African countries and resulting in 1,293 paralyzed children. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, polio surveillance and outbreak response vaccination activities were disrupted. Moreover, poor-quality and delayed vaccination campaigns resulted in lingering cVDPV2 transmission and the emergence of new outbreaks due to low overall type 2 immunity. In May 2021, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative launched an updated strategy to stop cVDPV2 outbreaks by the end of 2023. Part of this strategy includes introducing a novel oral polio vaccine (nOPV2) developed to be more genetically stable than the Sabin-strain type 2 that can revert to cause paralysis after prolonged spread in under-immunized populations. cVDPV2 outbreaks are a Public Health Emergency of International Concern that require rapid responses with available type 2 polio vaccines, whether Sabin or nOPV2.
Comparative Effectiveness and Antibody Responses to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines among Hospitalized Veterans — Five Veterans Affairs Medical Centers, United States, February 1–September 30, 2021
CDC News Media
An analysis of hospitalized older U.S. veterans found that mRNA vaccines remained effective at preventing COVID-19-associated hospitalization 120 days or more after the second dose. However, antibody levels among recipients of mRNA vaccines declined after 120 days or more after the second dose, suggesting that vaccine protection might decrease over time. These findings reinforce the importance of booster doses to maintain long-term protection against severe COVID-19 illness. Researchers looked at the effectiveness of mRNA vaccines (Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech) in preventing COVID-19-associated hospitalization among 1,896 U.S. veterans hospitalized at five Veterans Affairs Medical Centers during February 1, 2021 – September 30, 2021. They found that mRNA COVID-19 vaccines remained effective in preventing COVID-19-associated hospitalizations more than 120 days after receipt of the second dose of Moderna (VE = 86%) or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines (VE = 75%). Antibody levels, protective proteins produced by the immune system, were higher among Moderna recipients than among Pfizer-BioNTech recipients across all age groups and time periods since vaccination. However, antibody levels among recipients of both vaccines declined between 14 to 119 and 120 days or more after the second dose, suggesting that vaccine protection might decrease over time. These findings suggest the importance of booster doses to help maintain long-term protection against COVID-19.
CDC News Media
During March 19, 2020–April 11, 2021, the Community Based Testing Sites (CBTS) program conducted more than 11.6 million COVID-19 tests at over 8,000 locations across the United States and its territories. Overall, 8 out of 10 test results were returned within 2 days. Although the CBTS program represented a relatively small portion of overall testing, its successful partnerships and adaptability can inform current community-based screening, surveillance, and disease control programs as well as responses to future public health emergencies. Immediately following the March 13, 2020 declaration of COVID-19 as a national emergency, the U.S. government began implementing national testing programs. A White House Joint Task Force, led by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), created the CBTS program working with state and local partners. The CBTS program was created to establish safe and effective testing strategies to control the spread of COVID-19, increase the availability and accessibility to testing resources in the community, and define standardized operating procedures for use across the nation. During March 2020 and April 2021, more than 11.6 million tests were performed at 8,319 testing locations across the United States, including more than 400,000 administered through drive-through testing, more than 10 million through pharmacies, and more than 1 million through surge testing of communities at increased risk. Analyses suggest that both symptomatic and asymptomatic people across a broad range of age, race, ethnicity, and sex categories accessed testing through the CBTS program. In March 2021, the CBTS program expanded into the Increasing Community Access To Testing (ICATT) program by supporting additional testing sites in communities at higher risk for severe outcomes from COVID-19. As of November 12, 2021, the CBTS and ICATT programs conducted approximately 26.6 million tests with approximately 10,000 active testing sites.
Previously Released: Influenza A(H3N2) Outbreak on a University Campus — Michigan, October–November 2021
CDC News Media
- Deployment of an Electronic Self-Administered Survey to Assess Human Health Effects of an Industrial Chemical Facility Fire — Winnebago County, Illinois, June–July 2021Nearly half of residents who responded to an electronic survey distributed by the Winnebago County Health Department (WCHD) in Illinois reported new or worse symptoms after a chemical manufacturing facility caught fire and released smoke, dust, and debris for four days in June of 2021. This was the first documented use of an electronic, self-administered survey in an Assessment of Chemical Exposure (ACE) investigation and highlights how data modernization-driven public health resources developed during the COVID-19 pandemic can be adapted to serve other public health needs. On June 14, 2021, a chemical manufacturing facility in Winnebago County, Illinois, caught fire, releasing smoke, dust, and debris for four days. Review of Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics (ESSENCE) data during this time showed increased emergency department visits in five ZIP codes downwind of the fire. In collaboration with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), the Winnebago County Health Department (WCHD) used an existing electronic system that was previously used for COVID-19 vaccination registration to distribute a survey by email to residents in 11 selected ZIP codes (the five identified by ESSENCE data, plus six additional ZIP codes nearby). Among 2,030 respondents, 916 (45.1%) reported one or more new or worsened symptoms since the fire, typically related to ears, nose, and throat (638, 69.7%); nervous system (478, 52.2%); and eyes (383, 41.8%).
CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.