Physician's Briefing Weekly Coronavirus Roundup

Weekly Coronavirus Roundup
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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. 3 to 7, 2022. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal studies and other trusted sources that is most likely to affect clinical practice.

White House Finalizes Plan to Send Americans Free COVID-19 Rapid Tests

FRIDAY, Jan. 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The final touches are being put on the White House's plan to deliver 500 million free COVID-19 rapid at-home test kits to households across America.

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FDA Shortens Time to Booster After Moderna Vaccine to Five Months

FRIDAY, Jan. 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Citing the rapid spread of the omicron variant and the need for protection against it, U.S. federal health officials are shortening the recommended time between the second dose of the Moderna vaccine and a booster shot from six months down to five.

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Moderna CEO Says Fourth COVID-19 Dose May Be Needed Next Fall

FRIDAY, Jan. 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- A fourth COVID-19 vaccine may be needed for most people by next fall because of what will likely be waning immunity, Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel said Thursday.

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Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Biden's Vaccine Mandate for Big Business

FRIDAY, Jan. 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The Supreme Court began to hear oral arguments on Friday as it weighs whether the Biden administration can enforce vaccine mandates for large companies. The justices are also hearing arguments on a separate vaccine mandate for most health care workers.

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Hospitals Are Rationing COVID-19 Pills, Infusions as Cases Rise

FRIDAY, Jan. 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- It is the ultimate irony: More COVID-19 treatments exist now than at any other time during the pandemic, but the skyrocketing number of cases from the surging omicron variant might mean they cannot be accessed when needed most.

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Effect of Types of Screen Use on Child Mental Health Examined

FRIDAY, Jan. 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Higher levels of screen use are associated with poor mental health for children and youth during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a study published online Dec. 28 in JAMA Network Open.

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Vaccination Seems Less Protective Against Transmission of Delta Variant

FRIDAY, Jan. 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 vaccination is associated with a smaller reduction in transmission of the delta variant compared with the alpha variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, according to a study published online Jan. 5 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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COVID-19 Vaccines Significantly Cut MIS-C Risk in Teens

FRIDAY, Jan. 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 mRNA vaccination is associated with a lower incidence of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children in adolescents, according to a research letter published online Dec. 20 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Members of Biden Transition Team Call for New COVID-19 Plan

THURSDAY, Jan. 6, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Former members of President Joe Biden's transition team are calling for a new long-term strategy that envisions a world in which humans learn to live with the new coronavirus.

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Some At-Home Tests May Miss Omicron in Early Stages of Infection

THURSDAY, Jan. 6, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The Abbott BinaxNOW and Quidel QuickVue -- two widely used rapid at-home COVID-19 tests -- may sometimes fail to spot evidence of the omicron variant in the first days after infection, even when people are carrying substantial levels of the virus, preliminary research suggests.

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United Kingdom Eases COVID-19 Testing Rules for International Visitors

THURSDAY, Jan. 6, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday announced that predeparture tests for people traveling to the United Kingdom will no longer be required because restrictions meant to contain the international spread of the highly contagious omicron variant are now meaningless.

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CDC Backs FDA Approval of Boosters for Those Aged 12 to 17 Years

THURSDAY, Jan. 6, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday endorsed the emergency use of the Pfizer booster shots for children ages 12 to 17 years, expanding protection to adolescents and teens as students return to classes and the highly contagious omicron variant surges across the country.

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COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnancy Not Linked to Preterm Birth, SGA

THURSDAY, Jan. 6, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy is not associated with preterm birth or small for gestational age at birth, according to research published in the Jan. 4 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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Kroger, Walmart Hike Prices on At-Home COVID-19 Tests

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 5, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- At-home COVID-19 tests now come with a higher price tag, depending on where they are bought.

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Biden Urges Calm During Omicron Surge

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 5, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Be concerned about the rapidly spreading omicron variant, President Joe Biden urged Americans on Tuesday, but do not be alarmed.

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Fewer Teens Meeting Physical Activity Recommendations During Pandemic

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 5, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Fewer teens met moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic than before the pandemic, according to a study published online Dec. 27 in Preventive Medicine Reports.

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Serious Adverse Effects From COVID-19 Vaccines Reported Rarely

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 5, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Patient-reported data indicate certain factors, such as vaccine brand and younger age, are associated with an increased risk for adverse effects following COVID-19 vaccination, but serious adverse effects are rare, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in JAMA Network Open.

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Pandemic Cut Orthopedic Residency Application Cycle Expenses

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 5, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- In the COVID-19 residency application cycle, the median expenditures of orthopedic residency candidates were $5,000 lower than in the previous year, according to a study published online Dec. 16 in Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research.

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Employment of Nurses Decreased Early in COVID-19 Pandemic

TUESDAY, Jan. 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Employment of nurses decreased early in the COVID-19 pandemic, then rebounded in most sectors, apart from nursing homes, according to a study published in the January issue of Health Affairs.

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CDC Backs Boosters for High-Risk Children Ages 5 to 11 Years

TUESDAY, Jan. 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday backed the emergency use approval of the Pfizer COVID-19 booster shot for high-risk children between the ages of 5 and 11 years, along with shortening the time period between a second dose and a booster shot from six months to five months.

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U.S. Hospitals Seeing Record Numbers of Young COVID-19 Patients

TUESDAY, Jan. 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 hospitalizations among children are surging across the United States just as students return to school and the highly transmissible omicron variant begins to dominate the country.

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Incident Psychotropic Use Down in Children in Second Quarter of 2020

TUESDAY, Jan. 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- In the second quarter of 2020, there was a significant decrease in incident stimulant and anxiolytic/sedative-hypnotic use among children compared with previous years, according to a research letter published online Jan. 4 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Birth During COVID-19 Pandemic Impacts Infant Neurodevelopment

TUESDAY, Jan. 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Birth during the COVID-19 pandemic, but not in utero exposure to maternal severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infection, is associated with differences in neurodevelopment at age 6 months, according to a study published online Jan. 4 in JAMA Pediatrics.

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Timing of COVID-19 Vaccination in Pregnancy Examined

TUESDAY, Jan. 4, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- COVID-19 vaccination before and during pregnancy is associated with detectable maternal anti-spike immunoglobulin G levels at delivery, according to a study published online Dec. 28 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

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Hip Fracture Surgery Generally Lower During COVID-19 Pandemic

MONDAY, Jan. 3, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Among older individuals, hip fracture surgery volumes were generally lower during the COVID-19 pandemic than two years earlier until the COVID-19 vaccine became available, according to a research letter published online Dec. 30 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Israel Will Give Fourth COVID-19 Shot to People Older Than 60, Health Workers

MONDAY, Jan. 3, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Israel will now offer a fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccine to an expanded group of people, as it works to control a wave of the highly contagious omicron variant.

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Scientists Spot Clues to Why Omicron Infections Are Milder

MONDAY, Jan 3, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- New animal research offers a compelling explanation as to how the omicron variant causes less severe disease than some of its predecessors: It seems to settle in the nose, throat, and windpipe, rather than traveling down to the lungs.

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Negative COVID-19 Test May Be Required After Isolation Among Asymptomatic

MONDAY, Jan. 3, 2022 (HealthDay News) – Right now, Americans who have tested positive for COVID-19 but have no symptoms are advised by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to isolate for five days and then wear a mask for another five days when around others. But they could soon be asked to also receive a negative antigen test before ending their isolation, Anthony Fauci, M.D., said Sunday.

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FDA Approves Pfizer Booster Shots for Children Ages 12 to 15

MONDAY, Jan. 3, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved the emergency use of the Pfizer booster shot against COVID-19 for youths aged 12 to 15 years.

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COVID-19 Omicron Wave in South Africa Characterized

MONDAY, Jan. 3, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- In South Africa, the pattern of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 early in the fourth wave showed fewer hospitalizations and reduced severity of illness compared with earlier waves, according to a research letter published online Dec. 30 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

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Many U.S. Adults Report Pandemic-Related Sleep Disturbances

MONDAY, Jan. 3, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- More than half of U.S. adults say they have experienced an increase in sleep disturbances since the beginning of the pandemic, according to survey results published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

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BNT162b2 Still Effective, but Less So, Against Omicron

MONDAY, Jan. 3, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- The effectiveness of two doses of BNT162b2 was maintained, albeit at a reduced level, during an omicron variant proxy period in South Africa, according to a letter to the editor published online Dec. 29 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Metabolic Syndrome Ups Odds of ARDS, Death in COVID-19

MONDAY, Jan. 3, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- For hospitalized COVID-19 patients, the presence of metabolic syndrome is associated with increased odds of acute respiratory distress syndrome and mortality, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in JAMA Network Open.

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