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Physician’s Briefing Weekly Coronavirus Roundup

Here is what the editors at Physician’s Briefing chose as the most important COVID-19 developments for you and your practice for the week of April 12 to 16, 2021. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal studies and other trusted sources that is most likely to affect clinical practice.

Senators Urge Biden to Waive Rules That Restrict COVID-19 Vaccine Production

FRIDAY, April 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The United States should support efforts to temporarily waive intellectual property rules so that nations struggling to vaccinate their populations against COVID-19 can get more vaccines, 10 senators urged in a letter to President Joe Biden.

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Europe Surpasses 1 Million COVID-19 Deaths

FRIDAY, April 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The COVID-19 death toll in Europe has surpassed 1 million, and it is seeing about 1.6 million new cases each week, a top World Health Organization official said Thursday.

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Response to One COVID-19 Vaccine Dose Strong in Previously Infected

FRIDAY, April 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) — For persons with a history of previous infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, the neutralizing antibody titer is higher after one dose of mRNA vaccine than after two vaccine doses among previously uninfected persons, according to a research letter published online April 14 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Booster Shots a Likely Reality for COVID-19-Vaccinated Americans

FRIDAY, April 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Vaccinated Americans will probably need booster shots to guard against emerging coronavirus variants in the future, a White House adviser and Pfizer said Thursday.

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Hemorrhagic Stroke + COVID-19 Doubles Risk for In-Hospital Mortality

FRIDAY, April 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) — COVID-19 ups the risk for death with hemorrhagic stroke by more than twofold, according to a study published online April 14 in PLOS ONE.

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ED Visits Down Dec. 2020 to Jan. 2021 Versus Prepandemic

THURSDAY, April 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Emergency department visits were lower during December 2020 to January 2021 compared with prepandemic levels one year earlier, according to research published in the April 16 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Routine Cancer Screenings Declined Significantly at Start of Pandemic

THURSDAY, April 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Following the COVID-19 national emergency declaration March 13, 2020, mammography and colonoscopy rates declined by more than 90 percent among commercially insured American adults, according to a report published online March 19 in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

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U.S. Overdose Deaths Have Soared During COVID-19 Pandemic

THURSDAY, April 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — There were more than 87,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States from October 2019 to September 2020, the highest of any one-year period since the nation’s opioid crisis began in the 1990s, preliminary government data show.

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Thousands of Vaccinated People in U.S. Infected With COVID-19

THURSDAY, April 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — COVID-19 infections have occurred in about 5,800 people in the United States who have been vaccinated against the virus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

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CDC Panel Says It Needs More Time to Study J&J Vaccine Clotting Cases

THURSDAY, April 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The fate of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine hung in the balance on Thursday after a government advisory committee said it needed more time and evidence to determine whether unusual, but severe, blood clots seen in a handful of people were caused by the vaccine.

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AAN: Neurological Manifestations Common in Children With PIMS-TS

THURSDAY, April 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — About half of children with pediatric inflammatory multisystem syndrome temporally associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 have new-onset neurological symptoms, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, held virtually from April 17 to 22.

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Asthma Exacerbations, ED Admissions Decreased During Lockdown

THURSDAY, April 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns on asthma is explored in three studies published online March 29 in Thorax.

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Firearm Injuries Up in Children Under 12 During COVID-19 Pandemic

WEDNESDAY, April 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) — During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in firearm injuries in children younger than 12 years and in firearm injuries inflicted by children younger than 12 years, according to a study published online April 13 in Pediatrics.

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Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine 90 Percent Effective Six Months After Second Dose

WEDNESDAY, April 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The Moderna two-dose COVID-19 vaccine continues to provide strong protection against the new coronavirus six months after people have received their second shot, the company reported Tuesday.

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B.1.1.7 SARS-CoV-2 Variant More Transmissible but Not Linked to More Severe Illness, Death

WEDNESDAY, April 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The B.1.1.7 variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 is not associated with more severe illness or death but leads to higher viral load and is associated with increased R1, according to two studies published online April 12 in The Lancet Infectious Diseases and The Lancet Public Health.

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Racial/Ethnic Disparities Vary in COVID-19 Hospitalization

WEDNESDAY, April 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Geographic and temporal differences were identified in racial and ethnic disparities in COVID-19 hospitalization levels during 2020, according to research published in the April 12 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Regular Physical Activity Cuts Risk for Severe COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, April 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Among adults infected with COVID-19, those consistently meeting physical activity guidelines have a significantly reduced risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes compared with inactive individuals, according to a study published online April 13 in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

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COVID-19 Infection May Up Mortality in Surgical Patients

TUESDAY, April 13, 2021 (HealthDay News) — COVID-19 infection is an independent risk factor for surgical mortality, according to a research letter published online April 12 in JAMA Network Open.

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WHO Urges Halt to Sale of Live Wild Animals at Food Markets

TUESDAY, April 13, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Countries should suspend the sale of live wild animals at food markets because they are a leading source of emerging infectious diseases such as COVID-19, the World Health Organization says.

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Restrictions on Access to Abortion Pill Will Be Lifted During Pandemic

TUESDAY, April 13, 2021 (HealthDay News) — A requirement that mifepristone abortion pills be dispensed only in person by a medical provider will be put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

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FDA, CDC Call for Pause in J&J COVID-19 Vaccine After Six People Develop Clots

TUESDAY, April 13, 2021 (HealthDay News) — After six people who received the Johnson & Johnson one-dose COVID-19 vaccine developed a type of rare and severe blood clot, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday each said they will seek a “pause” in use of the shots as they review the data.

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Rare Thrombosis, Thrombocytopenia Seen After AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine

TUESDAY, April 13, 2021 (HealthDay News) — While rare, thrombosis and thrombocytopenia can occur after the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 adenoviral vector vaccine against COVID-19 (AstraZeneca), according to two reports published online April 9 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Excellent Outcomes Found for Neonates Born to SARS-CoV-2-Postive Moms

TUESDAY, April 13, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Neonates born to and separated from their severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2-positive mothers at birth and fed unpasteurized expressed breast milk have no evidence of viral infection, according to a study published online April 13 in Pediatrics.

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FDA to Decide ‘Quickly’ on Pfizer Request to Approve COVID-19 Vaccine for Children 12 to 15

MONDAY, April 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The Pfizer request to expand emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine to include children ages 12 to 15 years will be evaluated “as quickly as possible,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says.

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Antibody Cocktail May Curb Infection in Unvaccinated Exposed to COVID-19

MONDAY, April 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) — People living with someone who has COVID-19 appear to get powerful protection against infection when they are given the Regeneron antibody cocktail, a new study shows.

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Scammers Selling Fake COVID-19 Vaccination Cards

MONDAY, April 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Fake COVID-19 vaccination cards are being sold online at sites such as eBay, Etsy, and Shopify, and bogus ads for the cards are appearing on Facebook, according to Fakespot CEO Saoud Khalifah.

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Chinese COVID-19 Vaccines Not Very Effective: Official

MONDAY, April 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Chinese COVID-19 vaccines “don’t have very high protection rates,” the director of the China Centers for Disease Control admitted over the weekend.

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Skin Reactions Usually Mild After COVID-19 Vaccination

MONDAY, April 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Skin reactions can occur following COVID-19 vaccination, but reactions are mild, according to a study published online April 7 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

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Blood Clot Risk High Following COVID-19 Hospitalization

MONDAY, April 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Following COVID-19 hospitalization, thromboembolic events occur frequently, according to a study published online April 6 in Blood.

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Dialysis Patients Develop Lower Antibody Response to Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine

MONDAY, April 12, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Most patients with kidney failure undergoing regular dialysis develop a substantial antibody response after receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, according to a study published online April 6 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

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