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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 Jan. 24 to 28, 2022. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal studies and other trusted sources that is most likely to affect clinical practice.

Three mRNA Vaccine Doses Protective Against Delta, Omicron

FRIDAY, Jan. 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Receipt of three doses of an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine is associated with protection against delta and omicron compared with being unvaccinated and receipt of two doses, according to a study published online Jan. 21 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Neutralization Titers Against Omicron Up With mRNA-1273 Boost

FRIDAY, Jan. 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Neutralization titers against the omicron variant are lower than those against the D614G variant following the primary two-dose series of the mRNA-1273 vaccine, but a booster dose of mRNA-1273 vaccine substantially increases them, according to a letter to the editor published online Jan. 26 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Remdesivir May Benefit Adults Early in COVID-19 Course

FRIDAY, Jan. 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Hospitalized COVID-19 patients receiving no oxygen or low-flow oxygen were more likely to achieve clinical improvement within 28 days if they were treated with remdesivir, according to a study published online Dec. 15 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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Thrombosis, Thrombocytopenia Syndrome Up After Ad26.COV2.S

FRIDAY, Jan. 28, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The rate of thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome is higher after receipt of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine than mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines, according to a case series published online Jan. 18 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Third mRNA Vaccine Dose Ups Effectiveness Against Hospitalization

THURSDAY, Jan. 27, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Receipt of a third COVID-19 mRNA vaccine dose is associated with increased vaccine effectiveness against COVID-19 hospitalization, according to research published in the Jan. 28 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Moderna Begins Testing Booster Shot Aimed at Omicron

THURSDAY, Jan. 27, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Moderna Inc. announced Wednesday that it has launched a trial that will study the power of a redesigned booster shot — one that homes in on the highly contagious omicron variant.

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Scientists Watch, Worry About New ‘Stealth’ Version of Omicron Variant

THURSDAY, Jan. 27, 2022 (HealthDay News) — A “stealthier” version of the omicron variant that has been spotted in the United States and dozens of other countries is being closely monitored by health officials and scientists.

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Hospital Defends Decision to Deny Heart Transplant to Unvaccinated Man

THURSDAY, Jan. 27, 2022 (HealthDay News) — In response to claims that a man was denied a heart transplant because he refused to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston said Wednesday that its transplant policies mirror those used across the United States.

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Omicron Linked to Increase in COVID-19 Cases, Lower Disease Severity

THURSDAY, Jan. 27, 2022 (HealthDay News) — COVID-19 cases have increased with the emergence of the omicron variant, but disease severity seems not to have increased, according to research published in the Jan. 25 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Alterations in Gut Microbiome ID’d in Postacute COVID-19 Syndrome

THURSDAY, Jan. 27, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Patients with postacute COVID-19 syndrome have alterations in the gut microbiome, according to a study published online Jan. 25 in Gut.

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COVID-19 Vaccination Not Linked to Fecundability in Men, Women

THURSDAY, Jan. 27, 2022 (HealthDay News) — COVID-19 vaccination is not associated with fecundability among couples trying to conceive, according to a study published online Jan. 20 in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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Risk for Carditis Tied to Second Dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

THURSDAY, Jan. 27, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Despite a low absolute risk, there is an increased relative risk for carditis associated with BNT162b2 (Pfizer-BioNTech) vaccination, particularly among men and adolescents, according to a study published online Jan. 25 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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~7 Percent of Lung Transplants Due to COVID-19 Respiratory Failure

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) — From August 2020 through September 2021, about 7 percent of lung transplantations were performed in patients with COVID-19-related respiratory failure, according to a letter to the editor published online Jan. 26 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Booster Shots More Effective During Omicron Emergence Period

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Booster doses seem effective for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 omicron variant, according to research published in the Jan. 21 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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More Than 1 Million U.S. Children Diagnosed With COVID-19 in Single Week

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) — More than 1.1 million American children were diagnosed with COVID-19 during the week ending Jan. 20, new data show. That is 17 percent higher than the 981,000 cases diagnosed the week before and double the number from two weeks before that.

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Biden Administration Withdraws Vaccine Mandate for Large Employers

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The Biden administration on Tuesday withdrew an emergency COVID-19 vaccine-or-test mandate for workers at large companies following the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling against the requirement.

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Casirivimab + Imdevimab Prevents Progression to Symptomatic COVID-19

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For asymptomatic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 polymerase chain reaction-positive individuals living with an infected household contact, treatment with the subcutaneous casirivimab and imdevimab antibody combination reduces the incidence of symptomatic COVID-19 over 28 days, according to a study published online Jan. 14 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Children’s Hospital Admissions Reduced After March 2020

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 26, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Substantial and sustained reductions in hospital admissions were seen among children after March 1, 2020, according to a study published online Jan. 12 in The BMJ.

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Pfizer Begins Testing COVID-19 Vaccine Targeted to Omicron

TUESDAY, Jan. 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Pfizer Inc. announced Tuesday that it has launched a trial that will compare its existing COVID-19 vaccine against a new version tailored to beat back the highly contagious omicron variant.

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Omicron Shows Signs of Ebbing as U.S. Cases Fall, Hospitalizations Level Off

TUESDAY, Jan. 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Weeks after omicron began ravaging the United States, experts are now seeing statistical signs that suggest the wildly contagious variant might be losing steam.

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EU Eases COVID-19 Travel Rules Within the Bloc for Fully Vaccinated

TUESDAY, Jan. 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) — European Union residents should be able to move freely between the 27 member nations if they have been vaccinated in the past nine months or have recently recovered from COVID-19 infection, bloc officials said Tuesday.

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Free N95 Masks Begin Arriving in U.S. Pharmacies

TUESDAY, Jan. 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The distribution of free N95 masks for Americans has begun, the Biden administration said Monday.

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FDA Limits Use of Two COVID-19 Antibody Treatments

TUESDAY, Jan. 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Monday that it will curtail the use of two monoclonal antibody treatments that do not appear to work against the highly contagious omicron variant.

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No Evidence of Malignant, Sustained Arrhythmias Seen After COVID-19

TUESDAY, Jan. 25, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For outpatients after a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, there is no evidence of malignant or sustained arrhythmias, according to a study published online Jan. 20 in Open Heart.

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England to Lift Travel Restrictions for Vaccinated Visitors

MONDAY, Jan. 24, 2022 (HealthDay News) — COVID-19 testing requirements for vaccinated people arriving in England will be scrapped, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced Monday. Details about the changes are to be provided later in the day by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, the Associated Press reported.

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Vaccination, Previous Infection Protect Against COVID-19

MONDAY, Jan. 24, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Vaccination and previous COVID-19 infection were protective against COVID-19 infection and hospitalization during the alpha and delta severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 waves, according to research published in the Jan. 19 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Pandemic Having Major Impact on Pediatric Oncology Providers

MONDAY, Jan. 24, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The COVID-19 pandemic is having a profound impact on pediatric oncology health care providers, according to a study published online Jan. 24 in Cancer.

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Ad26.COV2.S, mRNA Boosters Immunogenic After Ad26.COV2.S

MONDAY, Jan. 24, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For health care workers who received a priming dose of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine, Ad26.COV2.S and mRNA boosters are immunogenic, with the strongest responses after boosting with an mRNA-based vaccine, according to a study published online Jan. 19 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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