Dr. Mark Vaughan reviews COVID-19 (Coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2) pandemic news updates daily each weekday. Updates are based on daily news and scientific reports and are usually shorter than 5 minutes. Most of the information is gleaned from the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security daily updates among other sources of health and medical news stories.
Dr. Vaughan is the Medical Director of the Auburn Medical Group. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Sutter Independent Physicians. Learn about the Auburn Medical Group atauburnmedicalgroup.com.
Projections in this weeks MMWR are reason to get vaccinated now rather than later. People with chronic health conditions overall will be many times more likely to benefit from the vaccines than to be harmed.
The CDC is advisory committee on immunization practices is meeting today to review the occurrence of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis with thrombocytopenia occurring in six women after receiving the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. In addition to the thrombocytopenia, these patients also demonstrated antibodies to platelet factor 4.
The Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has caused 6 blood clots in women after receiving the vaccine. Administration of the vaccine is being paused until the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices can meet tomorrow. https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2021/s0413-JJ-vaccine.html
Pfizer and BioNTech are requesting that their existing emergency use authorization for the COVID-19 vaccine be expanded to include people down to 12 years of age.
The single demographic group most likely to refuse vaccination is self described white evangelical Christians. Help them learn about vaccines. https://www.christiansandthevaccine.com/episodes/collins?fbclid=IwAR1ycj3vB_Ei5O2cyAZ9zigxW6ID_jfJwLqc1z4Z-kdIF3Gl8QxaRGQrfSU
Novavax has announced 96.4% efficacy against mild, moderate, and severe disease caused by the original COVID-19 strain. It has an efficacy of 55.4% against the South African strain. It still has 100% protection against severe disease, including hospitalization and death.
An official at the State Department's Global Engagement Center has identified Russian intelligence service influence on US vaccine news stories. We cover these vaccine concerns in an Auburn Medical Group video.
Vaccine reaction treatment is easily covered for the vast majority of patients by just taking a couple Tylenol with the onset of any symptoms. Severe reactions which occur at a rate of 2 to 5 per million usually occur within 30 minutes of vaccine administration, and should be treated with emergency medical attention.
The current vaccines should still be effective against the more deadly South African strain (B.1.351) of COVID-19. Moderna is looking into adding either a third dose or a new version of their vaccine to give further protection against the South African strain.
Current research is looking into auto antibodies as a possible cause of severe COVID-19 disease and long Covid. Research is currently being performed to see if patient suffering from these will benefit from anti-rheumatologic drugs now used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
Patients deficient in vitamin D have been found to have worse outcomes in COVID-19. There currently is not strong evidence that vitamin D supplementation helps people who do not have an underlying vitamin D deficiency.
Patients who are 75 years of age or older with a Sutter affiliated HMO plan will be notified regarding receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. If you have a Sutter-affiliated HMO but have not set up My Health Online, click here to set it up now.
As of the recording of this episode there is no mention by the CDC, the California Department Public Health, or Placer County health department regarding earlier administration of COVID-19 vaccine to those age 65 and older and those with certain pre-existing health conditions.
This week begins Vaccine administration through Safeway pharmacies for healthcare workers. You must be signed up through an online link available only to healthcare providers for vaccination at this time.
A study published in Science recently gave information about different forms of immunity over time after infection with COVID-19. Most people infected with COVID-19 will continue to be immune to it for a long time with few exceptions. There is a possibility that over time, people given the vaccine will be able to get infected (following exposure to an infected person) with a form of COVID-19 limited to only the upper respiratory tract. The quickest and safest way to eliminate the threat of this virus is to have as many people as possible get vaccinated.
Serious reversible adverse effects are a 1000 times less common with either of the COVID-19 vaccines compared to death rates without vaccines. Side effects of renewed hope in the future, joy, elation, and resolved dread of going to work have been described by some who have received the vaccine.
Phase 1b vaccine distribution includes Frontline essential workers and persons aged 75 years and older. Phase 1c includes those aged 65 to 74 years of age and people age 16 to 64 years of age with conditions at increased risk for severe COVID-19, and essential workers not previously included in phase 1a or 1b.
We are going through the registration process with the California Department of Public health to be authorized to administer the COVID-19 vaccine. We do not yet know the earliest it could arrive at our office.
COVID-19 can last long beyond the regular acute illness for many people. This extended illness has been termed "Long COVID." There’s also a "Post Covid Syndrome" which can be experienced by people having symptoms longer than 12 weeks after their initial infection.
Ivermectin or the I-MASK+ protocol Is an anti-parasitic agent with a high incidence of G.I. side effects which has been found in initial study used to suggest an effect on COVID-19. Prospective randomized controlled trial‘s will be done to see if this effect is real.
The Moderno vaccine has a date scheduled with the FDA Vaccines and Related Biologics Products Advisory Committee. We expect fatalities from COVID-19 to continue to increase over the following two weeks.
The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices met yesterday and has recommended that healthcare providers and residents of long-term care facilities get vaccinated in phase 1A of the coronavirus vaccination program.
A study published in JAMA Network today found that 1/3 of elderly patients presenting to an emergency department with COVID-19 had delirium and that delirium was the sixth most common presenting symptom, sometimes even with in the absence of the typical fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
California still has not made the contact tracing app in mobile phones available for its residents . Send in a voice message if you have found updated information on trials using the app in California or information on proposed policies for using such apps in California.
It takes about eight days for activity restrictions to make a reduction in COVID-19 spread. It takes about two weeks to see an increase in spread of COVID-19 following relaxation of social restrictions.
Some studies have found a very small differences in risk for contracting COVID-19 according to blood type. The difference is less than 2%. It is type O blood that seems to better. There was no difference found in the rate of death from COVID-19 according to blood type.
Although the world health organization tells young adults not to expect a vaccine to be available for them until 2022 it is likely that they will be able to get a vaccine in the United States earlier than that.
Taiwan still has just over 500 cases of COVID-19 with only seven deaths this far into the pandemic. They accomplished this through universal mask wearing, widespread testing, strict quarantine enforcement, and contact tracing. They did not have to shut down businesses.
As phase 3 trials come to an end for front runners Pfizer and Moderna, the companies may be seeking emergency use authorization from the FDA in about a month. Widespread availability of vaccines for the general public would not be expected until near mid-2021.
The published case reports regarding extensive spread of COVID-19 and airlines involved a long 10 hour international flight and almost exclusively affected people sitting within two seats or rows of the infected person.
A dilute solution of povidone iodine is thought to potentially decrease the risk of catching COVID-19 if applied to the inside of the nostrils following contact with an infected person. This is generally anticipated to be done in a healthcare environment where the person was wearing the proper protective equipment when the contact occurred.
A study published in the CDC’s MMWR finds that people positive for COVID-19 were twice as likely to have gone to restaurants as people who tested negative. The same study found that people who tested positive were more than 3 1/2 times more likely to have gone to a coffee shop or bar than people who tested negative.
There is data to suggest that people do better with COVID-19 if they get their flu shot. The Auburn Medical Group now has flu shots appropriate for people age 65 and older in stock. Call for your appointment if you are an existing patient.
A statement was released by the executives of nine manufacturers of COVID-19 vaccines stating they will not compromise safety principles and practices in their development and release of their vaccines for COVID-19.
Apple and Google are including contact tracing availability for COVID-19 un their mobile phone operating systems. It is currently operating in iOS 13.7. I encourage listeners to contact their elected representatives to push for making this available in their area.
It is important to know that a county has to be achieving certain targets for number of new cases per hundred thousand residents and percentage of positive tests for two weeks before changing risk levels in the blueprint for a safe economy.
California, Florida, New York, Texas, Connecticut, Illinois, Arizona, and New Jersey plan to continue testing asymptomatic individuals for COVID-19 despite a CDC recommendation to discontinue such testing.
Yesterday the CDC gave emergency use authorization to Abbot for an inexpensive rapid COVID-19 test. They also noted that because of its lack of sensitivity, retesting should be considered for the vast majority of patients using this test.
Oleandrin has been found to have antiviral activity in a test tube, just like many chemicals. It should not be used as a home remedy for COVID-19. Call poison control at 1-800-222-1222 if you or somebody you are with has symptoms from Oleandrin and toxicity which can include nausea,headache, vomiting, irregular heartbeat and diarrhea.
It is easy to find propaganda attempting to convince readers that mask wearing is not beneficial and is even harmful. The truth is, the difference made by mask wearing is small, but can make all the difference in the world if you are among those whose lives are saved by it.
New covered 19 cases are currently decreasing in the United States, in California, and specifically in Placer County. The rate of deaths may not yet have peaked, but is expected to also have a decrease in rate coming soon.
The long-term presence of COVID-19 is an unknown. We need to be prepared for possibly having to live with it around us for years. It is of the utmost importance to continue mask wearing, physical distancing, and handwashing.
There are two opinion pieces published in Newsweek over the last week with opposite opinions regarding the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19. The Key to Defeating COVID-19 Already Exists. We Need to Start Using It
Hydroxychloroquine Is Not a Key to Defeating COVID-19. Find all of Doctor Vaughan’s podcasts at vaughanmd.com.
An article in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report investigated long-term illness in non-hospitalized patients, finding that a significant number of patients still had symptoms 2 to 3 weeks after testing positive.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can Include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea.
Refrain from air travel if possible. Check your potential carriers for policies regarding keeping middle seats free, requiring facemask use of passengers, and screening for fever or symptoms before boarding.
A South Korean study demonstrated that the novel coronavirus spreads much more within households than it does to non-household contacts. It also found that children age 0 to 9 years are the least at risk for spreading COVID-19.
Vaccines are being developed and tested at warp speed by manufacturing multiple candidate vaccines at once before the testing is even completed to know which vaccine or vaccines will be found to be safe and effective.
Nationally the numbers are getting worse than they have ever been in the United States. We can do something about it. Wear face coverings when you’re with non-household members, maintain a distance of 6 feet from non-household members. Try to not be indoors with non-household members as much as possible.
And an article published in Nature Medicine suggests that immunity declines rapidly in patients recovering from SARS-CoV-2 infections. Dr. Vaughan explains that this is not the whole story about immunity.
Evidence suggests that retesting coronavirus positive patients after symptoms resolve is not helpful. Patients should be considered to no longer be infectious if they have had at least 10 days since the onset of symptoms and at least three days without symptoms.
Yale University researchers have found that SARS-CoV-2 can be found in wastewater in municipal sewage treatment facilities. Surveillance of viral concentration scan predict community COVID-19 cases by one week and hospitalizations by three days. There are a few states which are seeing a concerning increase in the number of coronavirus cases following re-opening.
Immunity Passports are considered a bad idea by the World Health Organization even as Estonia starts to roll then out, Columbia University researchers find that 45% of Coronavirus tweets are authored by robots.
Antibodies are immune system elements specific to a particular infecting agent. Some antibodies will confer immunity to that agent (virus). If we can accurately measure the right antibodies, we can tell who has had a particular infection and is (most likely) immune to getting it again.