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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 June 14 to 18, 2021. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal studies and other trusted sources that is most likely to affect clinical practice.

U.S. to Spend $3.2 Billion to Help Develop Antiviral Pills for COVID-19

FRIDAY, June 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) — After spending billions to speed the creation of COVID-19 vaccines, the United States said Thursday that it will now devote $3.2 billion to the development of antiviral pills that could stop the new coronavirus before it does its worst damage.

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European Union Opens Doors to American Travelers

FRIDAY, June 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The European Union announced Friday that it will no longer ban U.S. tourists from traveling to Europe.

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16.3 Percent of Pregnant Women Have Had COVID-19 Vaccine

FRIDAY, June 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) — COVID-19 vaccination coverage is low among pregnant women in the United States, according to research published in the June 18 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Rare Events of ITP Associated With ChAdOx1 Vaccine

FRIDAY, June 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The ChAdOx1 COVID-19 vaccine is associated with a small increased risk for idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, according to a study published online June 9 in Nature Medicine.

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Obesity Tied to Long-Term COVID-19 Complications

FRIDAY, June 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Moderate and severe obesity is associated with a greater risk for postacute sequelae of COVID-19, according to a study published online June 1 in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

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Pandemic Tied to Worsening of Teens’ Mental Health

FRIDAY, June 18, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to worse mental health among adolescents, although there have been decreases in substance use, according to a study published online June 3 in The Lancet Psychiatry.

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Ahead of Tokyo Olympics, Japan Eases COVID-19 Restrictions

THURSDAY, June 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) — A coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo and six other areas will be downgraded when it expires on Sunday as new daily cases continue to decline, the Japanese government said Thursday.

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CureVac’s COVID-19 Vaccine Only 47 Percent Effective

THURSDAY, June 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) — CureVac’s COVID-19 vaccine was only 47 percent effective in a clinical trial, according to preliminary results released Wednesday that suggest the vaccine may not help fill the worldwide need for vaccines.

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U.S. Buys 200 Million Extra Moderna Vaccine Doses, as Possible Booster Shots

THURSDAY, June 17, 2021 (HealthDay News) — An additional 200 million doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine will be obtained by the U.S. government in case there is a need for booster shots.

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Coronavirus Delta Variant Classified ‘Variant of Concern’ by CDC

WEDNESDAY, June 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The highly transmissible Delta variant of the coronavirus has been classified as a “variant of concern” by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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European Union to Lift Restrictions on U.S. Travelers

WEDNESDAY, June 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Restrictions on U.S. travelers to the European Union should be lifted, ambassadors in the 27-member bloc decided Wednesday.

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New York Lifts Pandemic Restrictions

WEDNESDAY, June 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) — New York state has reached a milestone of having at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose in 70 percent of its residents and joined California in lifting many pandemic restrictions on Tuesday.

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Disparities in COVID-19 Vaccination ID’d Among Health Employees

WEDNESDAY, June 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Among health care system employees, there are considerable disparities in COVID-19 vaccination rates by race/ethnicity and occupation, according to a research letter published online June 15 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Modifiable Cardiovascular Risk Factors Linked to Severity of COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, June 16, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Many modifiable cardiovascular risk factors are associated with more severe consequences from COVID-19, according to a review published online June 9 in the European Heart Journal: Quality of Care & Clinical Outcomes.

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SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies Identified Before Cases Recognized in U.S.

TUESDAY, June 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 antibodies were identified in individuals before the first cases of infection were recognized, according to a study published online June 15 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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California Lifts Most COVID-19 Restrictions

TUESDAY, June 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Most of California’s COVID-19 restrictions were lifted on Tuesday and the nation’s most populous state is “poised to come roaring back,” according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

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Third COVID-19 Vaccine Dose Tried in Organ Transplant Recipients

TUESDAY, June 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — A third dose of COVID-19 vaccine may boost the antibody response in some solid organ transplant recipients, according to a research letter published online June 15 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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AMA: 96 Percent of Physicians Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19

TUESDAY, June 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Ninety-six percent of physicians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the results of a survey conducted by the American Medical Association.

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SARS-CoV-2 Infection Cuts Risk for Reinfection for Up to 10 Months

TUESDAY, June 15, 2021 (HealthDay News) — The presence of immunoglobulin G antibodies to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 nucleocapsid protein is associated with a reduced risk for reinfection at long-term care facilities, according to a study published in the June issue of The Lancet Healthy Longevity.

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Catch-Up Vaccinations for Children, Teens Lagging Behind

MONDAY, June 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Catch-up vaccinations for routine childhood and adolescent vaccinations are lagging behind after a decline during March to May 2020, according to research published in the June 11 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine Shines in Latest Trial

MONDAY, June 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Novavax, a Maryland biotechnology company that has struggled mightily with delays in developing its COVID-19 vaccine, announced Monday that its two-shot regimen was more than 90 percent effective overall in a trial that unfolded even as more contagious variants emerged.

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CDC Changes Mask Rules for Fully Vaccinated People Using Public Transportation

MONDAY, June 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Masks are no longer necessary in outdoor waiting areas or open-air seating for fully vaccinated people who use public transportation, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.

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Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over Hospital’s COVID-19 Vaccine Policy

MONDAY, June 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) — A lawsuit brought by a group of Houston Methodist employees over the hospital’s mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy was dismissed Saturday by a federal judge.

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Convalescent Plasma Use Inversely Linked to COVID-19 Mortality

MONDAY, June 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) — There is a strong inverse correlation between convalescent plasma use per admission and mortality for hospitalized COVID-19 patients, according to a study published online June 4 in eLife.

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Risk for Adverse Events Not Increased After COVID-19 Vaccine in IBD

MONDAY, June 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Individuals with inflammatory bowel disease do not have an increased risk for adverse events after the mRNA COVID-19 vaccination, according to a study published online May 25 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

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Stroke Features Characterized for SARS-CoV-2-Infected Patients

MONDAY, June 14, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Rates of severe stroke and stroke in younger patients are higher for stroke patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 infection compared with the general population, according to a study published in the May issue of Stroke.

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