Week in Review: December 17

The Week in Review provides an overview of the past week’s top health care content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Laboratories news, and upcoming events.

Industry News

COVID-19 single-dose nasal vaccine designed for infants and children

NIAID scientists have developed a candidate COVID-19 vaccine targeted for infants and young children that would require one dose delivered by a nasal spray. They originally had been working on a vaccine to prevent respiratory disease caused by human parainfluenza virus type 3 (HPIV3) in young children. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, they quickly adapted their project to include SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. A pediatric clinical trial is being planned for a single vaccine that would protect against both viruses. Via NIH

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Pfizer says its COVID pill will protect against severe disease, even from Omicron

A highly anticipated study of Pfizer’s COVID pill confirmed that it helps stave off severe disease, the company announced on Tuesday. Pfizer also said its antiviral pill worked in laboratory studies against the Omicron variant, which is surging in South Africa and Europe and is expected to dominate U.S. cases in the weeks ahead. “We are confident that, if authorized or approved, this potential treatment could be a critical tool to help quell the pandemic,” Albert Bourla, Pfizer’s chief executive, said in a statement. Via New York Times

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The COVID pandemic could end next year, experts say— here's what that looks like, and how the U.S. could get there

By the end of next year, the COVID pandemic could be over. But that doesn't mean the coronavirus will disappear. In a blog post on Tuesday, Bill Gates laid out one seemingly likely scenario: "At some point next year, Covid-19 will become an endemic disease in most places." If COVID becomes an endemic illness — a disease of relatively low severity that constantly circulates throughout certain parts of the world — the sickness' pandemic phase could come to a close in 2022, the Microsoft co-founder and billionaire health philanthropist wrote. Via CNBC

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Mayo Clinic News

Minnesota sees post-holiday COVID-19 surge, hopes for peak

Minnesota has the nation's third highest rate of new coronavirus infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but there are hopeful signs. CDC trend data indicate that Minnesota's infection rate may have peaked on Dec. 6, and Mayo Clinic's 14-day pandemic forecast predicts that infection rates will begin to drop next week. Minnesota ranks second among states with 43% of fully vaccinated adults receiving boosters, and that progress combined with immunity after recent infections is affecting Mayo's forecast, said Curtis Storlie, a creator of Mayo's predictive COVID-19 model. Via Star Tribune

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Everything you need to know about rapid COVID-19 tests

Rapid tests have been hard to find, and they’re often expensive if you can get one. Why? Matt Binnicker, director of clinical virology at Mayo Clinic, joined host Cathy Wurzer with more. Via MPR News

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Mayo to host community forum on 'Kids, Vaccines and Variants: COVID-19 Here and Now'

Mayo Clinic Health System will host a community forum featuring medical experts with the latest information about the greatest public health challenge of our lives. "Kids, Vaccines and Variants: COVID-19 Here and Now" will be held virtually from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday. The panel will feature Robert Jacobson, M.D., a pediatrician and vaccine researcher with the Mayo Clinic Children's Center. He will talk about COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness among all age groups, with particular focus on children 5 — 11 who were recently approved for COVID-19 vaccinations by the Food and Drug Administration. Via Yahoo! News

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Chantell Canfield

Chantell Canfield is a web content coordinator for Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She began working for Mayo Clinic in 2021.