The Arthritis Foundation is your trusted source for arthritis-related news and COVID updates that affect people with arthritis. Here’s a wrap-up of the headlines from this past month.
The latest in COVID-19 News & Arthritis
FDA Committee Greenlights COVID Vaccines for Young Kids
The Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted by a majority to authorize the emergency use of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID vaccine for children ages 5 through 11. Read the latest.
FDA Authorizes Boosters for Moderna and J & J, Allows Mixing
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized booster doses for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, while also allowing boosters to be given interchangeably with any of the other vaccines in people who are eligible to get them. Learn more.
CDC Research Shows Children Equally Vulnerable as Adults to COVID
According to new research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children had similar infection rates, compared with adults, confirming there is risk of people of all ages. The research revealed that schools without mask requirements were three-and-a-half times more likely to have COVID-19 outbreaks than those enforcing mask mandates. Read more about it.
Get the latest on managing your arthritis during the COVID pandemic in the Care & Connect resource center.
In Other Arthritis News
Prevalence of Arthritis in the U.S. Continues to Rise
National prevalence of arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitations continue to increase. According to the CDC, 58.5 million (23.7%) U.S. adults now have arthritis — 25.7% of whom have arthritis-attributable activity limitations. Read more about the impact of arthritis.
New Finding: 71% of Active Adults With Arthritis Walk for Physical Activity
Physical activity can reduce pain, disability and functional limitations while also improving mental health and quality of life in adults with arthritis. Just over one-third of adults with arthritis are aerobically active. New research from the CDC shows approximately 71% of adults with arthritis who were physically active in the past month reported walking as one of their two most frequent activities. Learn how other activities ranked.
And be sure to check out Walk With Ease, the Arthritis Foundation’s walking program proven to reduce arthritis symptoms and improve health.
FDA Approves Combo Pill for Severe, Acute Pain
The FDA has approved a combination pill containing celecoxib and tramadol for the treatment of adults with acute pain severe enough to require an opioid analgesic and for which alternative treatments fail to provide adequate pain relief. Get the details here.
To learn more ways to take control of pain, visit arthritis.org/pain.
FDA Approves First Nasal Spray to Treat Dry Eye
The FDA has approved varenicline solution (Tyrvaya), the first nasal spray given the greenlight to treat dry eye disease. Varenicline solution will provide an alternative to the immunomodulators currently available.
Learn about the connection between dry eyes and arthritis.
Updates to Guidance for Shingles and Pneumococcal Vaccines
The CDC Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend zoster vaccine recombinant, adjuvanted (Shingrix) for the prevention of shingles in immunodeficient or immunosuppressed adults age 19 or older. During the same meeting, ACIP also voted to recommend pneumococcal vaccines for routine use in adults older than 65 and in adults ages 19 to 64 with chronic conditions such as diabetes, chronic heart disease, chronic liver disease and HIV, and disease risk factors like smoking and alcoholism.
National Emergency Declared for Mental Health in Children
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and Children’s Hospital Association have declared a national emergency in children’s mental health. According to the organizations, COVID-19 has taken a serious toll on top of already mounting challenges and policy changes are urgently needed.
Know the signs and how to recognize emotional distress in your child with juvenile arthritis.
High-Intensity Resistance Training Bests Pilates for Better Bone Density in the Spine
An eight-month high-intensity resistance and impact training program (HiRIT, Onero) led to greater gains in lumbar spine bone mineral density (BMD) and leg/back strength than a low-intensity Pilates-based program. Learn more.
Retraining the Brain May Help Relieve Chronic Back Pain
A patient’s perception of pain plays a key role in pain outcome, according to new research. Psychological therapy that changes an individual’s beliefs about pain not only provides lasting chronic pain relief but also alters brain regions related to pain generation. Read more about it.
Exercise Appears to Improve Bone Structure, Not Density
A recent study concludes there’s much more to bone health than strictly bone density and that postmenopausal women with low bone mass should obtain adequate calcium and vitamin D as well as participate in bone-loading exercises. Learn more.