In their study of recovered COVID-19 patients, the researchers determined that SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T-cell responses remained largely intact and could recognize virtually all mutations in the variants studied. While larger studies are needed, the researchers note that their findings suggest that the T cell response in convalescent individuals, and most likely in vaccinees, are largely not affected by the mutations found in these three variants, and should offer protection against emerging variants.T cells recognize recent SARS-CoV-2 variants — https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/t-cells-recognize-recent-sars-cov-2-variants
Click on the link for the NEJM Journal Watch weekly update. One hell of a great week for SARS-CoV-2 articles.https://www.jwatch.org/fw117559/2021/02/27/latest-covid-19-news-week-ending-feb-27-2021
Meanwhile at the NIH/NIC…
People who have had evidence of a prior infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, appear to be well protected against being reinfected with the virus, at least for a few months, according to a newly published study from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).NIH study finds that people with SARS-CoV-2 antibodies may have a low risk of future infection – https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-study-finds-people-sars-cov-2-antibodies-may-have-low-risk-future-infection
In animal tests, NVX-CoV2373 vaccination produced antibodies that blocked the coronavirus spike protein from binding to the cell surface receptors targeted by the virus, preventing viral infection. In results(link is external) of a Phase 1 clinical trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine, NVX-CoV2373 was generally well-tolerated and elicited higher levels of antibodies than those seen in blood samples drawn from people who had recovered from clinically significant COVID-19. NVX-CoV2373 also is being evaluated in a Phase 2b trial in South Africa, now fully enrolled with 4,422 volunteers, and data from a Phase 1/2 continuation trial in the United States and Australia is expected as early as first quarter 2021. Novavax also recently completed enrollment of more than 15,000 volunteers in a Phase 3 trial of the candidate vaccine in the United Kingdom, which is also testing two injections of 5 mcg of protein and 50 mcg of Matrix-M adjuvant administered 21 days apart.Phase 3 trial of Novavax investigational COVID-19 vaccine opens — https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/phase-3-trial-novavax-investigational-covid-19-vaccine-opens
The test is performed using a mid-turbinate nasal swab designed for comfortable self-sampling. The sample is inserted into a single-use cartridge that returns results in 15 minutes. The at-home test analyzer connects to the user’s smartphone through Bluetooth and pairs with a downloadable app that provides step-by-step instructions and displays results.
Users can share real-time results from the test, selling for approximately $30, with healthcare professionals, employers, and schools for efficient COVID-19 tracking. Ellume plans to scale-up manufacturing to deliver millions of home tests per month in 2021.NIH-funded COVID-19 home test is first to receive over-the-counter authorization from FDA – https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-funded-covid-19-home-test-first-receive-over-counter-authorization-fda
I wonder if this test works without a smartphone? I wonder if the app can share real- time results with local government agencies that are tracking test numbers? I wonder if low income people can take advantage of this test due to cost considerations? I wonder if applicants for life or health insurance will use this test, get results then apply for insurance thus creating another channel for anti-selection?
I wonder a lot nowadays but I truly don’t wonder about my last point. Of course people will self-test before applying for insurance. My local CVS has shelves full of at home tests that people are using now for lots of other things like nicotine, non-prescription drugs, etc.
Retirement can’t come soon enough for this old warrior.
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NIH-commissioned Census Bureau report highlights effect of aging boomers
Data on individual, economic, social changes linked to dramatically aging population
While rates of smoking and excessive drinking have declined among older Americans, prevalence of chronic disease has risen, and many older Americans are unprepared to afford the costs of long-term care in a nursing home, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau commissioned by the National Institutes of Health.
The report highlights those trends and others among America’s older population, now over 40 million and expected to more than double by mid-century, growing to 83.7 million people and one-fifth of the U.S. population by 2050. Population trends and other national data about people 65 and older are presented in the report, 65+ in the United States: 2010 (PDF, 12.0M). It documents aging as quite varied in terms of how long people live, how well they age, their financial and educational status, their medical and long-term care and housing costs, where they live and with whom, and other factors important for aging and health.
Funded by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of NIH, the report draws heavily on data from the 2010 Census and other nationally representative surveys, such as the Current Population Survey, the American Community Survey and the National Health Interview Survey. In addition, data from NIA-funded research was included in the report.
“The National Institute on Aging is pleased to support this 65+ in the United States report,” said Richard Suzman, director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Research at NIA. “This report series uniquely combines Census Bureau and other federal statistics with findings from NIA-supported studies on aging. The collaboration with Census has been of great value in developing social, economic and demographic statistics on our aging population with this edition highlighting an approaching crisis in caregiving — since the baby boomers had fewer children compared to their parents.”
A key aspect of the report is the effect that the aging of the baby boom generation—those born between 1946 and 1964—will have on the U.S. population and on society in general. Baby boomers began to reach age 65 in 2011; between 2010 and 2020, the older generation is projected to grow more rapidly than in any other decade since 1900.
The report points out some critical health-related issues:
“Most of the long-term care provided to older people today comes from unpaid family members and friends,” noted Suzman. “Baby boomers had far fewer children than their parents. Combined with higher divorce rates and disrupted family structures, this will result in fewer family members to provide long-term care in the future. This will become more serious as people live longer with conditions such as cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.”
Other areas covered in the report include economic characteristics, geographic distribution, social and other characteristics. See highlights below.
“We hope this report will serve as a useful resource to policymakers, researchers, educators, students and the public at large,” said Enrique Lamas, the Census Bureau’s associate director for demographic programs. “We sought to develop a comprehensive reference with up-to-date information from a variety of reliable sources.”
About the National Institute on Aging (NIA): The NIA leads the federal government effort conducting and supporting research on aging and the health and well-being of older people. The Institute’s broad scientific program seeks to understand the nature of aging and to extend the healthy, active years of life. For more information on research, aging, and health, go to www.nia.nih.gov.
About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.
NIH…Turning Discovery into Health
65+ in the United States: 2010 (PDF, 12.0M)
For Immediate Release
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Federal report details health, economic status of older Americans
Today’s older Americans enjoy longer lives and better physical function than did previous generations, although, for some, an increased burden in housing costs and rising obesity may compromise these gains, according to a comprehensive federal look at aging. The report, Older Americans 2012: Key Indicators of Well-Being, tracks trends at regular intervals to see how older people are faring as the U.S. population grows older.
In 2010, 40 million people age 65 and over accounted for 13 percent of the total population in the United States. In 2030, the number and proportion of older Americans is expected to grow significantly—to 72 million, representing nearly 20 percent of the population said the report, by the Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics.
Older Americans 2012, the sixth report prepared by the Forum since 2000, provides an updated and accessible compendium of indicators, drawn from official statistics about the well-being of Americans primarily age 65 and older. The 176-page report provides a broad description of areas of well-being that are improving for older Americans and those that are not. Thirty-seven key indicators are categorized into five broad areas—population, economics, health status, health risks and behaviors, and health care. This year’s report also includes a special feature on the end of life.
Highlights of Older Americans 2012 include:
- Increased labor force participation by older women – Participation of older women in the labor force has increased significantly over the past 40 years. In 1963, 29 percent of women aged 62-64 worked outside the home; in 2011, that had increased to 45 percent. In 1963, 17 percent of women aged 65-69 were in the labor force; in 2011, that had increased to 27 percent. For women 70 and older, 6 percent worked in 1963, increasing to 8 percent in 2011. Some older Americans work out of economic necessity. Others may be attracted by the social contact, intellectual challenges or sense of value that work often provides.
- Declines in poverty, increases in income since 1974 – Older Americans are in better economic shape now than they were in 1974. Between 1974 and 2010, the proportion of older people with income below the poverty thresholds (less than $10,458 in 2010 for a person 65 and older) fell from 15 percent to 9 percent. The percentage with low income (between $10,458 and $20,916 in 2010 for people 65 and older) dropped from 35 percent to 26 percent. There were also notable gains in income over the period, as the proportion of people 65 and older with high income ($41,832 and above in 2010) rose from 18 percent to 31 percent.
- Increased housing problems –The most significant issue by far is housing cost burden, which has been steadily increasing over time. In 1985, about 30 percent of households with householders or spouses age 65 and over spent more than 30 percent of their income on housing and utilities. By 2009, the proportion of older people with high housing cost burden reached 40 percent. For some multigenerational households, crowded housing is also fairly prevalent.
- Rising rates of obesity – Obesity, a major cause of preventable disease and premature death, is increasing among older people. In 2009-2010, 38 percent of people age 65 and over were obese, compared with 22 percent in 1988-1994. In 2009-2010, 44 percent of people age 65-74 were obese, as were 29 percent of those age 75 and older.
- More use of hospice –The percentage of older people who received hospice care in the last 30 days of life increased from 19 percent in 1999 to 43 percent in 2009. The percentage of older Americans who died in hospitals dropped from 49 percent in 1999 to 32 percent in 2009. The percentage who died at home increased from 15 percent in 1999 to 24 percent in 2009. In 2009, there were notable differences in the use of hospice services at the end of life among people of different race and ethnicity groups.
Older Americans 2012: Key Indicators of Well-Being is available online at http://www.agingstats.gov.
The Federal Interagency Forum on Aging-Related Statistics was established in 1986 to improve the quality and utility of federal data on aging. This report assembles data to construct broad indicators of well-being for the older population and to monitor changes in these indicators over time. The effort is designed to inform the public, policy makers, and researchers about important trends in the aging population. The 15 agencies represented in the Forum include the Administration on Aging, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Veterans Affairs, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, National Center for Health Statistics, National Institute on Aging, Office of Management and Budget, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (Department of Health and Human Services), Social Security Administration and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
Older Americans 2012: Key Indicators of Well-Being is available online at http://www.agingstats.gov and in limited quantities in print. Supporting data for each indicator, including complete tables, PowerPoint slides and source descriptions, can be found on the Forum’s website. Single printed copies of Older Americans 2012: Key Indicators of Well-Being are available at no charge through the National Center for Health Statistics while supplies last. Requests may be made by calling 1-866-441-6247 or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. For multiple print copies, call 301-458-4460 or send an e-mail request to email@example.com.
The following individuals are available to comment on the report:
National Center for Health Statistics:
Edward Sondik, Ph.D., director, National Center for Health Statistics
National Institute on Aging:
Richard Suzman, Ph.D., director, NIA Division of Behavioral and Social Research
To schedule interviews, please contact: