April 1, 2020

Special Announcement
Covid-19 News


Summit Call Schedule Update

Summit calls are usually held weekly on Thursday at 3 PM ET throughout the influenza season, unless cancelled. Call information and an agenda generally are sent the morning of the call.

Please be aware that, during the current urgent response to COVID-19 and due to the reduced incidence of influenza in the United States, Summit calls are being reduced in frequency for the time being. Weekly call summaries are available on the Summit website shortly after each call. Pressing announcements will be sent out directly to partners, while less urgent stories will be sent out through The Buzz.

Please email L.J Tan  or LaDora Woods if you have any updates on activities to provide to the Summit.


CDC Guidance Regarding Routine Childhood Vaccinations During COVID-19

Please note the CDC has issued guidance titled Maintaining Childhood Immunizations During COVID-19 Pandemic. In addition, we understand that a similar guidance on adult vaccinations during COVID-19 is being prepared.

AAP Guidance on Provision of Well Care Visits and Vaccinations during COVID-19

Please note that AAP has issued guidance on well child visits and vaccinations during COVID-19.

Washington State Department of Health Guidance on Immunizations During COVID-19

The State of Washington has issued a new guidance document, Please Continue Vaccinating Adults During COVID-19.

Coronavirus Death Rate is Lower Than Previously Reported, Study Says, But It’s Still Deadlier than Seasonal Flu

How many people die after being infected with the novel coronavirus? As reported on CNN, fewer than previously calculated, but still more than die from the flu.  The research, published in the medical journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, estimated that about 0.66% of those infected with the virus will die. That coronavirus death rate, which is lower than earlier estimates, takes into account potentially milder cases that often go undiagnosed — but it’s still far higher than the 0.1% of people who are killed by the flu.

Cells’ Response to SARS-CoV-2 Different from Flu, RSV

SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus behind the COVID-19 pandemic, seems to provoke a muted antiviral reaction in human cells and in ferrets, according to a study posted to bioRxiv on March 24. The authors of the study, which is not yet peer-reviewed, propose that this distinctive transcriptional response may be responsible for the coronavirus’s high fatality rate.

“The value of really looking at how the host is responding to this virus is obviously very high and can inform [future work on] drugs,” says Carolina Lopez, who studies how viruses stimulate the immune system at University of Pennsylvania and who did not participate in the study.

An additional story on this study is available in The Scientist.

US Scientists Link BCG Vaccination with Fewer COVID-19 Cases, Indian Scientists Hopeful but Cautious

The Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine, administered to millions of Indian children soon after birth to protect against tuberculosis, could be a “game-changer” in the fight against the deadly coronavirus, say US scientists. The severity of COVID-19 impact may be linked to national policies on BCG childhood vaccination, the yet to be published study (in the non-peer reviewed publication medRxiv) from the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) states while citing the examples of Italy and the US.

“We found that countries without universal policies of BCG vaccination, such as Italy, the Netherlands, and the United States, have been more severely affected compared to countries with universal and long-standing BCG policies,” noted the researchers led by Gonzalo Otazu, assistant professor of biomedical sciences at NYIT. While the US has reported almost 190,000 cases with more than 4,000 deaths, Italy has 105,000 cases and over 12,000 fatalities. The Netherlands has reported more than 12,000 cases of the disease and over 1,000 deaths.

A full story is available in StatNews. (paid membership needed)

COVID-19 Resources from National and International Organizations

The links below direct users to COVID-19 resources available from Summit partners and other respected organizations.

American Academy of Family Physicians

American Academy of Pediatrics

American College of Physicians

American Public Health Association

American Psychiatric Association

American Society for Microbiology

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (for the public)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (for healthcare professionals)

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

JAMA Network

Johns Hopkins

Lancet Journals


National Association for Home Care & Hospice

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases

National Institutes of Health

New England Journal of Medicine

World Health Organization


After Steady Decline, Influenza Activity Rising Again in US

Influenza cases confirmed in clinical laboratories fell from 14.9% to 6.9%, but visits to healthcare providers for influenza-like illness (ILI) have risen from 5.6% to 6.4%, according to the March 21 FluView report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Healthcare visits for ILI fell steadily from 6.8% in the week ending February 8 to 5.2% in the week ending March 7 before rising for the past 2 weeks. “More people are seeking care for respiratory illness due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” the CDC reports. The full story is available on Medscape.

Coalition to Stop Flu Advocacy Coalition Launches April 2, 2020

The Coalition to Stop Flu, a new multi-sector advocacy coalition dedicated to ending deaths from seasonal and pandemic influenza, will be launching with a press release this week. Former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle will serve as the Chairman of the Coalition. The Coalition will focus on increasing federal funding and implementing proactive policy solutions to stop influenza deaths; raising awareness and prioritization for seasonal and pandemic influenza preparedness; and serving as a united voice and trusted resource for policymakers.

The Innovative Way Maternal Immunizations May Protect Newborns

When Patrice Gamble’s seven-month-old son developed a runny nose, cough, and 102°F fever, she thought it was a cold. She brought him to an urgent care center where she was told “nothing was wrong” and that maybe, as a new mom, she was taking his temperature wrong. But when his symptoms worsened and his cough began to sound like he was choking on his tongue, she knew it was not “nothing” and brought him to an emergency room.

“I felt terrible, helpless, and afraid. That’s the only way to describe it. The cough alone was enough to break my heart. I could tell he was in pain by the way he’d whimper afterward,” says Gamble. “It’s not something I ever want to experience again.”

At the hospital, Gamble’s son was diagnosed with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and they recommended she have her son sleep on a slight incline to help with breathing. They also advised she frequently suction his nose and keep it lubricated with saline spray and “treat it as I would a ‘typical’ cold,” she said.

The full story is available online.

FDA to Review Baloxavir for Pediatric Use, Postexposure Prophylaxis of Influenza

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has accepted for review the supplemental New Drug Application (sNDA) for baloxavir marboxil (Xofluza®; Genentech) for the treatment of acute uncomplicated influenza in otherwise healthy children aged 1 to <12 years who have been symptomatic for ≤48 hours.

Summit Website Offers Wonderful Resources on Adult and Influenza Vaccination

Remember to visit the Summit website for the latest on adult and influenza immunization resources. You also can find archived copies of The Summit Buzz there.

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