In Case You Missed It: MMWR and COVID

Center for Disease Control's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly ReportThe Homeland Security Digital Library (HSDL) maintains a collection of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), which collects and analyzes data from the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on epidemiology and public health. Each issue of the MMWR is packed with raw and analyzed public health data and scientific studies from some of the top minds in the United States. In light of the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) epidemic, we are highlighting some of the most current and informative COVID-related studies included in their weekly reports. 

Here are some articles you may have missed from Volume 70, Issues 15-19 of the Centers for Disease Control’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Series. 

May 14, 2021 / No. 19 Featured Article: 

“Demographic and Social Factors Associated with COVID-19 Vaccination Initiation Among Adults Aged ≥65 Years — United States, December 14, 2020-April 10, 2021”

This article studies vaccinations amongst adults equal to or greater than 65 years old, who are at the highest risk of complications from COVID-19. After the first 3.5 months of the U.S. COVID-19 vaccination program, 79.1% of adults 65 years and older in the United States had received at least one dose. Unsurprisingly, “[c]ounties with lower vaccination initiation rates had higher percentages of older adults with social vulnerabilities.”

May 7, 2021 / No. 18 Featured Articles:  

“Safety Monitoring of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 Vaccine — United States, March-April 2021”

In light of the concern of the potential side effect of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) with thrombocytopenia from the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, and the consequential pause in its use, this report “summarizes adverse events among Janssen vaccine recipients, including non-CVST cases of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), reported to the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS), a passive surveillance system, and through v-safe, an active monitoring system.”

“Anxiety-Related Adverse Event Clusters After Janssen COVID-19 Vaccination — Five U.S. Mass Vaccination Sites, April 2021”

This report presents statistics on anxiety-related reactions after receipt of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 Vaccination.  Four out of five mass vaccination sites closed temporarily due to clusters of anxiety-related side-effects.  Comparisons of anxiety-related reactions over the flu vaccination versus the COVID-19 vaccination are also reviewed. Potential causes are also discussed, including a factor of persons being prevalent to anxiety over vaccines choosing the Johnson and Johnson vaccine due to it being a single dose.

April 30, 2021 / No. 17 Featured Articles: 

“Postvaccination SARS-CoV-2 Infections Among Skilled Nursing Facility Residents and Staff Members – Chicago, Illinois, December 2020-March 2021”

“COVID-19 Outbreak Associated with a SARS-CoV-2 R.1 Lineage Variant in a Skilled Nursing Facility After Vaccination Program – Kentucky, March 2021”

These articles review COVID-19 infections at two different skilled nursing facilities after vaccinations have been given.  Their analysis shows that overall, those who are vaccinated are less likely to have severe cases of disease; however, it is important that these facilities still follow “COVID-19 infection prevention and control practices, including following work restrictions, isolation, quarantine, testing of residents and staff members, and use of personal protective equipment.”

April 23, 2021 / No. 16 Featured Article: 

“Airport Traveler Testing Program for SARS-CoV-2 [severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2] — Alaska, June-November 2020”

Following Alaska’s implementation of post-travel screening of passengers for COVID-19 infections, this report presents findings of the success of the program and whether it helped reduce the spread of the virus within the state.

April 16, 2021 / No.15 Featured Article:  

Notes from the Field: Update on Excess Deaths Associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic – United States, January 26, 2020-February 27, 2021″

This updated report explores the incidence of an increased amount of expected deaths from January 26, 2020 through February 27, 2021, noting “an estimated 545,600–660,200 more persons than expected died in the United States from all causes.”


For more information, visit our Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Special Collection or our In Focus: 2019 Novel Coronavirus collection. You can also find pandemic-related resources in our HSDL Featured Topics on Pandemics and Epidemics. Please note that an HSDL login is required to view some of these resources. 

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