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COVID-19: WHO Vaccine Recommendation, NIOSH N95 Mask Recall

Andrea Lugo
May 23, 2023

The World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition (TAG-CO-VAC) on May 18 recommended that future vaccines aim to neutralize XBB, a subvariant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. WHO reports that XBB.1 descendent lineages specifically predominate global SARS-CoV-2 circulation.

The TAG-CO-VAC also suggests excluding the original SARS-CoV-2 virus from future formulations of COVID-19 vaccines. The group says the index virus and antigenically closely related variants no longer circulate in humans, and the index virus antigen elicits undetectable or very low levels of neutralizing antibodies against currently circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants.

Monovalent COVID-19 Vaccines Do Not Increase Miscarriage Risk

Studies published in JAMA Network Open and the American Journal of Epidemiology indicate that monovalent COVID-19 vaccination during early pregnancy was not associated with an increased risk for miscarriage before 20 weeks’ gestation.

More than 100,000 pregnancies at 6 to 19 weeks’ gestation were assessed in individuals between 16 and 49 years old using the Vaccine Safety Datalink, a vaccine safety monitoring collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Immunization Safety Office and integrated health care organizations nationwide.

CDC urges pregnant people to remain up to date with COVID-19 vaccines, as they face a higher risk of serious infection. Additionally, vaccination while pregnant also offers greater protection to the unborn baby.

NIOSH Revokes Approval for Certain N95 Masks

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health on May 16 revoked temporary approval for eight N95 filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) and powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs) following the termination of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

FFRs and PAPRs that are no longer approved cannot be used in workplace settings that require the use of NIOSH-approved respirators.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the pandemic.

Contact Director of Policy Rob Nelb, MPH, at rnelb@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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