IHA Daily Briefing: Nov. 18

Friday, Nov. 18, 2022
IDPH, Lurie Children’s Encourage Youth Flu Vaccines
FDA Approves First Drug to Delay Type 1 Diabetes Onset
CDC: Home Births Increased During COVID-19 Pandemic
Illinois COVID-19 Data
Briefly Noted


IDPH, Lurie Children’s Encourage Youth Flu Vaccines
IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra joined Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago CEO Dr. Thomas Shanley and other pediatric specialists yesterday in Chicago to stress the importance of youth flu vaccinations going into the winter months.

Healthcare leaders are encouraging parents to be proactive and get their children vaccinated to help keep them safe, especially with an increase of respiratory viruses, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), COVID-19 and seasonal flu.

While there is no vaccine for RSV, healthcare leaders say it is important to take advantage of the flu shot for children six months and older, as well as the new updated bivalent COVID-19 booster for children 5 and older. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines, boosters and flu shots, click here. News coverage of the announcement can be found here.


FDA Approves First Drug to Delay Type 1 Diabetes Onset
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) yesterday approved Tzield (teplizumab-mzwv) injection to delay the onset of stage 3 type 1 diabetes in adults and pediatric patients 8 years and older who currently have stage 2 type 1 diabetes. 

According to the FDA, the approval of Tzield adds an important new treatment option for certain at-risk patients. “The drug’s potential to delay clinical diagnosis of type 1 diabetes may provide patients with months to years without the burdens of disease,” said Dr. John Sharretts, director of the Division of Diabetes, Lipid Disorders, and Obesity in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

The FDA says Tzield binds to certain immune system cells and delays progression to stage 3 type 1 diabetes. Tzield may deactivate the immune cells that attack insulin-producing cells, while increasing the proportion of cells that help moderate the immune response. Tzield is administered by intravenous infusion once daily for 14 consecutive days. 

Tzield’s safety and efficacy were evaluated in a randomized, double-blind, event-driven, placebo-controlled trial with 76 patients with stage 2 type 1 diabetes, according to the FDA. In the trial, patients randomly received Tzield or a placebo once daily via intravenous infusion for 14 days. The primary measure of efficacy was the time from randomization to development of stage 3 type 1 diabetes diagnosis. The trial results showed that over a median follow-up of 51 months, 45% of the 44 patients who received Tzield were later diagnosed with stage 3 type 1 diabetes, compared to 72% of the 32 patients who received a placebo. The mid-range time from randomization to stage 3 type 1 diabetes diagnosis was 50 months for the patients who received Tzield and 25 months for those who received a placebo. The FDA says this represents a statistically significant delay in the development of stage 3 type 1 diabetes. 

According to the FDA, Tzield received Priority Review and Breakthrough Therapy designations for this indication.


CDC: Home Births Increased During COVID-19 Pandemic
Home births rose to the highest level in 30 years during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC says the percentage of U.S. home births rose from 1.26% (45,646) in 2020 to 1.41% (51,642) in 2021, an increase of 12% and the highest level since at least 1990. The increase demonstrates a higher rate of increase in home births during the first two years of the pandemic.

CDC data showed from 2020 to 2021, levels increased by 10% to 21% for each of the race and Hispanic-origin groups. For all women and non-Hispanic white women, increases occurred generally for most months of the year, although not all increases were significant. Although less pronounced and consistent, increases also were seen in home births for most months for non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic women.

To view the report, which was prepared by the Division of Vital Statistics, click here.


Illinois COVID-19 Data
Today, the Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) is urging Illinoisans to take precautions and celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday safely without spreading COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses to family and friends.

In addition to being fully vaccinated and boosted for COVID-19 and the flu, IDPH encourages the public to get tested before attending holiday gatherings, especially if you’ll be visiting someone at high risk for severe COVID-19; to stay home if you are sick; and practice good hand hygiene. In addition, holiday hosts are urged to ensure gatherings are well-ventilated.

These safety reminders come as the CDC is reporting 21 Illinois counties at an elevated Community Level for COVID-19. IDPH is reporting 13,659 new confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Illinois, and 48 deaths since Nov. 11.

To access updated Illinois COVID-19 data on daily case numbers, testing outcomes and deaths, click here. Hospitalization data, including the number of patients in the ICU and patients on ventilators, can be accessed by clicking here. The most recent COVID-19 vaccination data can be found by clicking here. The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) updates its COVID-19 data at 1 p.m. Monday – Friday. 


Briefly Noted
In a joint announcement, Pfizer and BioNTech today said their latest Omicron BA.4/BA.5-adapted bivalent COVID-19 booster vaccine also shows effectiveness against new subvariants of the virus. The two companies report that their bivalent vaccine shows “a greater increase in neutralizing antibody titers than the companies’ original COVID-19 vaccine against these emerging Omicron sublineages.”