Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that any individuals who develop myocarditis/pericarditis after a dose of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine should defer receiving a subsequent dose until additional safety data are available.
On 9th November, 2021, the CDC allows mix and match of booster shots in USA.
National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommended boosters for other high-risk groups, including people 70 years of age and older and front-line health care workers who had a short period of time between their first two shots.
NACI also recommended boosters for people who received two doses of the Astra Zeneca vaccine, as the mRNA vaccines appear to offer better protection.
On 4th November, 2021, the United Kingdom became the first country to approve Pfizer’s competitorOK competitor Merck's COVID-19 pill, which is already under review at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) after showing strong initial results. Other antivirals are under consideration including an agent from Pfizer (Paxlovid). While promising, caution should be taken with interpreting data from oral antivirals as currently, no published data exist and much conclusions are drawn off grey literature .
India’s Covaxin covid 19 vaccine by Bharat Biotech reported a vaccine effectiveness of 77.8% from a clinical trial. , 2021, a CDC reported vaccine efficacy of 90.9% with primary data from one phase II/III clinical trial in preventing symptomatic, laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in children aged 5–11 years with or without evidence of previous SARS-CoV-2 infection.
November 2, 2021
October 21st, 2021 Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech announced results from a Phase 3 randomized, controlled trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of a 30-µg booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 with a relative vaccine efficacy of 95.6%.
On 21st October, 2021, the advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said people who received Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccines should receive a booster dose, and should continue with the original vaccine they recieved.
NACI’s latest guidelines suggest provinces should offer boosters to Canadians who received two doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) vaccine advisory group on 26th October 2021 approved the emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 at a reduced dosage from the stanard dosing available for those over 12.
Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia) has provisionally approved a third dose of the Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine for individuals 18 years or older. Pfizer (Comirnaty) is recommended as a single booster dose, irrespective of the primary COVID-19 vaccine used.
On 29th October, 2021, NACI issued new guidance "strongly" recommending booster shots for seniors 80 and older.
A survey at University of Oxford, UK, found that social media played a part in children aged 9 to 18 being more undecided than their older counterparts.
A report by the CDC found that the effectiveness of 2 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against COVID-19 hospitalization was 93% during the period of B.1.617.2 (Delta) variant dominance among children and adolescents aged 12–18 years.
Howell-Spooner, B; Dalidowicz, M; Boden, C. How is "compassionate visit" defined and operationalized in the context of an infectious outbreak or pandemic? 2020 Apr 28; Document no.: LTC042402-01 ESR. In: COVID-19 Rapid Evidence Reviews [Internet]. SK: SK COVID Evidence Support Team, c2020. 7 p. (CEST evidence search report)
Visitor restrictions in long-term care (LTC) during an outbreak or pandemic are implemented due to the perceived risk of transmission between residents or staff and visitors.
· Social isolation and possible loss of care resulting from visitor restrictions in LTC may place residents at risk of poorer outcomes in terms of both physical and mental health, as well as distress to families and staff (see Saskatchewan LTC Network Family Perspective).
· Visitor restriction policies typically allow visits for compassionate reasons that include end of life, critical care, and support of persons who require assistance beyond that provided by healthcare e.g. support for feeding, mobility, or behaviors, but specific detail on these is not consistent or clear.
· Recent changes to visitation policies in Australia are less restrictive and allow brief visitations (end of table 1, noted in red font).
· Although the majority of policies describe a need for flexibility and case-by-case assessment of visits deemed “essential”, the majority of policies are not clear in who is to conduct this analysis or the criteria that should be used to make these decisions.
Visitation policies differ in detail regarding the number of visitors allowed at one time, total number of visitors allowed, visit duration, mobility within the home and location of the visit.
· Remote and technology assisted visits are to be facilitated by LTC staff.
· Infection control practices are enforced for visitors, and may include screening (e.g. temperature, symptoms, travel and contact history), prohibiting ill visitors, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), hand and cough hygiene.
· Education of visitors and support for proper infection control practices is encouraged in the majority of policies.
Tupper, S; Ward, H; Howell-Spooner, B; Dalidowicz, M; Boden, C. How is "compassionate visit" defined and operationalized in the context of an infectious outbreak or pandemic in long-term care? 2020 May 1; Document no.: LTC042402
RR. In: COVID-19 Rapid Evidence Reviews [Internet]. SK: SK COVID Evidence Support Team, c2020. 17 p. (CEST rapid review report)
McCarron, M; Lee, S; Takaya, S; Howell-Spooner, B; Dalidowicz, M. Is there increased morbidity or mortality peri-operatively for symptomatic, asymptomatic, post-COVID patients? 2020 Oct 15; Document no.: INF092801 RR. In: COVID-19 Rapid Evidence Reviews [Internet]. SK: SK COVID Evidence Support Team, c2020. 27 p. (CEST rapid review report)
Boden, C; Ellsworth, C. What are best practices for engaging family care providers during a pandemic? 2020 Apr 30; Document no.: LTC042401-01 ESR. In: COVID-19 Rapid Evidence Reviews [Internet]. SK: SK COVID Evidence Support Team, c2020. 32 p. (CEST evidence search report)
Core concepts of family engagement include dignity and respect, information sharing, participation in care and decision making, and collaboration (Hart 2020).
A careful balance needs to be maintained between attending to patients’ physical and psychological needs and adhering to infection control guidelines, while offering psychological support to family members (Chan 2006).
The word ‘visitation’ does not adequately describe family members’ involvement. Family presence is a more suitable term as it redefines families as partners in care (Hart 2020). However, it is important to recognize that family presence is not a substitute for adequate staffing levels.
Very little guidance is provided in the literature on innovative or specific approaches engage family care providers during a pandemic. The literature mainly focuses on supporting alternate forms of communication such as telephone calls, or technology assisted communication through social media or video/voice calls.
Enhanced communication strategies that provide regular information to a primary family contact on the patient/resident condition and allow chosen care partners to contribute to decision making as much as possible are recommended (Koller 2006).
The negative impact of visitation restrictions places increased stress on patients/residents and families who are unable to provide or receive non-healthcare specific supportive care. Those with neurocognitive disorders or communication barriers are more significantly impacted.
Staff also report increased stress during family visitation restrictions due to the additional time required to take on a “familial role” for the patient/resident. These roles may include providing a supportive environment, social interaction, information sharing, and opportunities for play (Koller 2006a – pediatric hospital setting).
The search question did not specifically look at impact of visitation on infection rates; therefore, there is insufficient information to determine if visitation policies affect infection rates. However, a systematic review in pediatric hospital setting in Ontario found no connection between liberal visiting hours and increased SARS infection rates (Smith 2009).
When facilitating sibling visitation in the NICU, a pre-visit education process is recommended. Maternity settings may wish to consider a 'combination' policy, where the women's partners and/or significant other would have open visiting (all day), with restricted visiting for others. In other general hospital ward settings, open visiting with a 'quiet hour' is suggested (Smith 2009).
Tupper, S; Ward, H; Dalidowicz, M; Boden, C; Ellsworth, C; What are best practices for engaging family care providers during a pandemic? 2020 Apr 16; Document no.: LTC042401 RR. In: COVID-19 Rapid Evidence Reviews [Internet]. SK: SK COVID Evidence Support Team, c2020. 22 p. (CEST rapid review report)