- Children and COVID-19: State level Data Report
A joint report from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Children’s Hospital Association. Summary of publicly reported data from 49 states, NYC, DC, PR, and GU Version: 6/23/22. The numbers in this report represent cumulative counts since states began reporting. The data are based on how public agencies collect, categorize and post information. All data reported by state/local health departments are preliminary and subject to change and reporting may change over time. Notably, in the summer of 2021 and winter of 2022, some states have revised cases counts previously reported, begun reporting less frequently, or dropped metrics previously reported. For example, due to several changes on their dashboards and the data currently available, AL, TX, HI, DC and MS data in this report are not current (cumulative data through 7/29/21, 8/26/21, 1/13/22, 3/3/22, and 3/10/22 respectively). Readers should consider these factors. States may have additional information on their web sites.
- Effect of a 2-week interruption in methotrexate treatment versus continued treatment on COVID-19 booster vaccine immunity in adults with inflammatory conditions (VROOM study): a randomized, open label, superiority trial
Immunosuppressive treatments inhibit vaccine-induced immunity against SARS-CoV-2. Researchers evaluated whether a 2-week interruption of methotrexate treatment immediately after the COVID-19 vaccine booster improved antibody responses against the S1 receptor-binding domain (S1-RBD) of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein compared with uninterrupted treatment in patients with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases. Study authors did an open-label, prospective, two-arm, parallel-group, multicenter, randomized, controlled, superiority trial in 26 hospitals in the UK. They recruited adults from rheumatology and dermatology clinics who had been diagnosed with an immune-mediated inflammatory disease and who were taking low-dose weekly methotrexate (≤25 mg per week) for at least 3 months. Participants also had to have received two primary vaccine doses from the UK COVID-19 vaccination program. They randomly assigned the participants (1:1), using a centralized validated computer randomization program, to suspend methotrexate treatment for 2 weeks immediately after their COVID-19 booster (suspend methotrexate group) or to continue treatment as usual (continue methotrexate group). The primary outcome was S1-RBD antibody titres 4 weeks after receiving the COVID-19 booster vaccine dose, assessed in the intention-to-treat population. Between Sept 30, 2021 and March 3, 2022, researchers recruited 340 participants, of whom 254 were included in the interim analysis and had been randomly assigned to one of the two groups: 127 in the continue methotrexate group and 127 in the suspend methotrexate group. Their mean age was 59·1 years, 155 (61%) were female, 130 (51%) had rheumatoid arthritis, and 86 (34%) had psoriasis with or without arthritis. After 4 weeks, the geometric mean S1-RBD antibody titre was 22 750 U/mL (95% CI 19 314–26 796) in the suspend methotrexate group and 10 798 U/mL (8970–12 997) in the continue methotrexate group, with a geometric mean ratio (GMR) of 2·19 (95% CI 1·57–3·04; p<0·0001; mixed-effects model). The increased antibody response in the suspend methotrexate group was consistent across methotrexate dose, administration route, type of immune-mediated inflammatory disease, age, primary vaccination platform, and history of SARS-CoV-2 infection. There were no intervention-related serious adverse events. A 2-week interruption of methotrexate treatment for people with immune-mediated inflammatory diseases resulted in enhanced boosting of antibody responses after COVID-19 vaccination. This intervention is simple, low-cost, and easy to implement, and could potentially translate to increased vaccine efficacy and duration of protection for susceptible groups.
- Pediatric SARS-CoV-2 Seroprevalence in Arkansas Over the First Year of the COVID-19 Pandemic and Antibody Responses to SARS-CoV-2 in Children With COVID-19
Researchers determined SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence in children and adolescents from Arkansas over the first year of the coronavirus disease of 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. They tested remnant serum samples from children ages 1-18 years who visited Arkansas hospitals or clinics for non-COVID-19-related reasons from April 2020 through April 2021 for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. Univariable and multivariable regression models were used to determine the association between seropositivity and participant characteristics. Among 2357 participants, seroprevalence rose from 7.9% in April/May 2020 (95% CI, 4.9-10.9) to 25.0% in April 2021 (95% CI, 21.5-28.5). Hispanic and black children had a higher association with antibody positivity than non-Hispanic and white children, respectively, in multiple sampling periods. By spring 2021, most children in Arkansas were not infected with SARS-CoV-2. With the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants, recognition of long-term effects of COVID-19, and the lack of an authorized pediatric SARS-CoV-2 vaccine at the time, these results highlight the importance of including children in SARS-CoV-2 public health, clinical care, and research strategies.
- All-Cause Maternal Mortality in the US Before vs During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reported an 18.4% increase in US maternal mortality (ie, death during pregnancy or within 42 days of pregnancy) between 2019 and 2020. The relative increase was 44.4% among Hispanic, 25.7% among non-Hispanic Black, and 6.1% among non-Hispanic White women. Given a 16.8% increase in overall US mortality in 2020, largely attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers examined the pandemic’s role in 2020 maternal death rates. A total of 1588 maternal deaths (18.8 per 100 000 live births) occurred before the pandemic vs 684 deaths (25.1 per 100 000 live births) during the pandemic, a relative increase of 33.3% Late maternal mortality increased by 41%. Absolute and relative changes were highest for Hispanic (8.9 per 100 000 live births and 74.2%, respectively) and non-Hispanic Black (16.8 per 100 000 live births and 40.2%) vs non-Hispanic White (2.9 per 100 000 live births and 17.2%) women. (A secondary code for COVID-19 was listed in 14.9% (102 of 684) of maternal deaths in quarters 2 to 4, with 0% in quarter 1 of 2020. This percentage was highest among Hispanic women (32.1%), followed by non-Hispanic Black (12.9%) and non-Hispanic White (7.3%) women. In the US, maternal deaths increased substantially (33.3%) after March 2020, corresponding to COVID-19 onset, a figure higher than the 22% overall excess death estimate associated with the pandemic. Increases were highest for Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black women. Change in maternal deaths during the pandemic may involve conditions directly related to COVID-19 (respiratory or viral infection) or conditions exacerbated by COVID-19 or other health care disruptions (diabetes or cardiovascular disease) but could not be discerned from the data. Future studies of maternal death should examine the contribution of the pandemic to racial and ethnic disparities and should identify specific causes of maternal deaths overall and associated with COVID-19.