Moderna vax finally FDA approved, Trudeau tests positive, and the perils of long COVID

Let’s get caught up with today’s COVID-19 news for Jan. 31, 2022.

US gives full approval to Moderna’s vaccine

U.S. health regulators on Monday granted full approval to Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, a shot that’s already been given to tens of millions of Americans since its emergency authorization over a year ago.

The action by the Food and Drug Administration means the agency has completed the same rigorous, time-consuming review of Moderna’s shot as dozens of other long-established vaccines.

The decision was bolstered by real-world evidence from the more than 200 million doses administered in the U.S. since the FDA cleared the shot in December 2020. The FDA granted full approval of Pfizer’s vaccine last August.

Canada prime minister tests positive for COVID

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Monday he has tested positive for COVID-19 but is “feeling fine” and will continue to work remotely from home.

Trudeau said two of his children have COVID-19 and a test Monday revealed he has it as been infected as well. And he used a televised virtual press conference to denounce anti-vaccine protesters who filled Canada’s capital to complain about COVID restrictions.

“Canadians were shocked and quite frankly disgusted by the behavior displayed by some people in our nation’s capital,” Trudeau said. “I want to be clear. We are not intimated by those who hurl insults and abuse at small businesses and steal from the homeless. We won’t give in those who fly racist flags. We won’t cave to those who engage in vandalism or dishonor the memory of our veterans.”

Omicron amps up concerns about long COVID and its causes

More than a third of COVID-19 survivors by some estimates will develop such lingering problems. Now, with omicron sweeping across the globe, scientists are racing to pinpoint the cause of the bedeviling condition and find treatments before a potential explosion in long COVID cases.

Could it be an autoimmune disorder? That could help explain why long COVID-19 disproportionately affects women, who are more likely than men to develop autoimmune diseases. Could microclots be the cause of symptoms ranging from memory lapses to discolored toes? That could make sense, since abnormal blood clotting can occur in COVID-19.

As these theories and others are tested, there is fresh evidence that vaccination may reduce the chances of developing long COVID.

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